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SYFY WIRE Resident Alien

First look: SYFY's Resident Alien is basically 'This Is Us' meets a murder mystery, with an alien

By Josh Weiss
Resident Alien

"Have you seen This Is Us?" asks co-star Alice Wetterlund in a new, behind-the-scenes featurette for SYFY's Resident Alien series, "It's sort of like that." Just, you know — with an alien, too.

The series, premiering in late January, takes place in small-town Patience, Colorado, where everyone has their own personal drama to deal with, and barely recognizes that a bona fide visitor from outer space (played by Firefly and Doom Patrol's Alan Tudyk) is walking among them inside the guise of Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle. He may only have the most general understanding of human behavior, but awkward ol' Harry could be the very thing the people of Patience need to solve a mysterious murder investigation.

Showrunner/executive producer Chris Sheridan (a veteran of Seth MacFarlane's Family Guy) puts it this way: "If this alien never came to Earth, it would still be a compelling show to watch."

Sara Tomko, who plays the role of local health clinic employee Asta Twelvetrees, describes the show as "a small town family drama that just happens to have an alien."

Check out the featurette below:

Corey Reynolds ("Sheriff Mike Thompson") and Levi Fiehler ("Mayor Ben Hawthorne") co-star alongside Tudyk, Wetterlund ("bartender D'Arcy Bloom"), and Tomko. And since Steven Spielberg's production company, Amblin Television, is attached to the project, you just know the federal government is on the lookout for the titular E.T. To that end, Terminator star Linda Hamilton plays General McCallister, a fierce military leader who is dispatched to find and capture the valuable asset.

The series is based on the Dark Horse comic book of the same name by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse. Mike Richardson (Hellboy) and Keith Goldberg (The Legend of Tarzan) serve as executive producers on behalf of Dark Horse Entertainment; Justin Falvey (The Americans) and Darryl Frank (The Americans) executive produce on behalf of Amblin TV. Wedding Crashers' David Dobkin directed and executive produced the pilot episode.

"The minute they told me it was going to be Alan, it struck me as kind of dream casting, and his performance as Harry proves that to be true," Hogan told SYFY WIRE earlier this year, referring to Tudyk's casting. "There’s a real ... otherness to Alan that makes him perfect for the role. Of course, the TV version of Harry isn’t exactly the same as the book version, but they still have a lot in common. Alan’s also great at physical comedy, which is something that’s very difficult to pull off in a comic book."

Resident Alien premieres Wednesday, Jan. 27 on SYFY.