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‘The Ark’ stars were ‘kids in a candy shop’ on set, because sci-fi space ships are incredibly cool

The Ark stars Richard Fleeshman, Reece Ritchie and Christie Burke on (almost) heading to space.

By Vanessa Armstrong
Pictured: (l-r) Richard Fleeshman as Lt. James Brice, Christie Burke as Lt. Sharon Garnet in The Ark Season 1 Episode 1

Space can be a dangerous place, especially if you’re a character on SYFY's The Ark, where the survivors are trapped on a failing spaceship with no help for light years. The show — co-created by Dean Devlin of Independence Day and Stargate fame and Jonathan Glassner, who created the television series Stargate SG-1 — centers around the few crew members of Ark One who are still alive after a catastrophic event severely damages the ship and kills most of the humans on board (while they were still in cryosleep for their long journey to colonize a faraway planet, no less). 

How to Watch

Catch up on The Ark on Peacock.

RELATED: Stream 'The Ark' series premiere free right now

The premise is a grim one, but for the actors who play the survivors on the show, pretending to be in space was nothing but fun. “Even when we weren't filming, we were still on the ship,” Christie Burke, who plays Lt. Sharon Garnet, told SYFY WIRE.

Burke, along with her co-stars Richard Fleeshman (“Lt. James Brice”) and Reece Ritchie (“Lt. Spencer Lane”), spoke with SYFY WIRE about their experience shooting the show’s first season. And while the three undoubtedly worked hard, they were quick to share that being on a sci-fi series set in space was a blast.

The Ark Season 1 Episode 1

Burke’s co-stars agreed they liked to pretend they were among the stars rather than shooting in a studio based on Earth. “Obviously as actors, your imagination is constantly going wild,” said Ritchie, who shared that he especially liked to envision a flurry of constellations going past the window of the Ark One bridge. 

For Fleeshman — whose character is the head of Ark One’s navigational system — the actors were all like “kids in a candy shop” on set, he said, adding that being on a spaceship was something he had dreamed about for years. “On a base level, just growing up and watching sci-fi shows and remembering being a small child, the day you first walk into the room and [the door goes swish], and you’re like, ‘Oh my God!’”

Burke in particular noticed Fleeshman’s enthusiasm on set. “Richard, I remember you looking at me,” she said, “and you had to operate some sort of thing, and you looked at me and you were like, ‘I’m an astronaut!’”

“Of course!” was Fleeshman’s ready reply. “You got to be like, ‘I’m taking her in.’ All my youngest fantasies were coming true.”

You can watch Fleeshman’s childhood dreams in action when The Ark airs new episodes every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on SYFY. New episodes stream next-day on Peacock.