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SYFY's ‘The Ark’ creators, stars dig into Season 1 finale cliffhanger & tease Season 2 plans
What do you get when you combine Ark One and Ark 15? We're about to find out.
What’s to come of the crew of Ark One now? We’ll have to wait until Season 2 to find out. But SYFY WIRE caught up with the creators and stars of the hit SYFY series The Ark to dig into the game-changing season finale and look ahead to what comes next.
**SPOILER WARNING! Spoilers ahead for The Ark’s Season 1 finale on SYFY**
The season ended with the crews of Ark One and Ark 15 finding a way to work together, as Lt. Sharon Garnet (Christie Burke) continues to find the best in humanity and puts her trust in the often treacherous captain of Ark 15. That faith was put to the test in the season finale’s cliffhanger ending, with Ark One reaching out to Ark 15 for aid — and a tease that the two crews will be thrown together when the series officially returns next year.
Let’s get to the cliffhanger first. Series co-creator Jonathan Glassner said the ending was one of the wildest twists they could think of to set up further adventures, while leaning into the questions of whether or not humanity can ever find a way to work together — or if pride will always get in the way in the end.
“It sets up a whole variety of ways we can go and we'll probably go down all of them at some point. But it's also kind of the final answer to that question … which is are we better all working together? Or survival of the fittest?” Glassner told SYYF WIRE. “And I think Garnett has that stronger together belief and carries it to the very end, even though everybody else thinks she's crazy. But she’s ultimately proven right by it, so I think it has a nice message to it, although we don't know that it's going to stay the right decision.”
Fellow co-creator Dean Devlin dug into the broader decision to make the show’s central threat a human one in the end, as opposed to something more alien (like, y’know, aliens). The reason? There’s nothing scarier than humanity pushed to the brink and trying to survive.
“I think if you look historically, we've always been our own worst enemies. As we learn as the season goes on what actually took place on Earth after Ark One left, the level of paranoia and suspicion and hostility grew,” Devlin explained. “We're seeing it in our everyday lives when we're facing these life and death situations, and suddenly we're approaching it from very give diametrically opposed positions. So this gave us a chance to really kind of look at the greatest danger for humans, which is other humans.”
'The Ark' stars Christie Burke, Reece Ritchie talk Season 1 finale
Christie Burke confided she had a bit of trouble connecting to the optimism and trust that her character, Garnet, so easily finds in other people, though as the season wore on, she came to appreciate the trait — especially considering it turns out to be the saving grace for the entire crew in the end.
“It was really hard to be someone who was always kind of like, in a way a saint, but I really felt like it was important that she have a lot of flaws and that she was struggling, and that she was in the mud with everybody else,” she said. “Then at times we do see see her incredibly fail. You know, I think that's really important because I think that's true to leadership and leaders in general. It was so difficult, trusting people like that. I think that's one of my favorite things about her. She sees potential in people and believes in people.”
Reece Ritchie, who plays Lt. Spencer Lane, arguably went on one of the twistiest roller coasters of the season. He started at odds with Garnet, eventually sided with William Trust in an attempted coup of Ark One, but eventually circled around to being one of Garnet’s most trusted allies. Ritchie said it proved a rich story to bring to life, playing a man who wants to be the hero but is on that journey of figuring out exactly what it means to be a hero.
“I think in the beginning he thinks he wants power, but not for power's sake, it’s just so that he can make more decisions for the people on that ship, so that he can do what he thinks is best to help them survive,” Ritchie said. “And then when he kind of gets what he wants, he realizes that he's not probably the best person to actually drive the ship. It was a lot of fun, but also as an actor you have to keep changing direction. And also you have to justify, I mean, it was in the script, of course, but you have to also sell and justify that he would do that in that situation. So he's a little led by by certain people. But then by the end of the season, he always had those redemptive qualities.”