Syfy Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View

'The Ark' official after-show: How the series premiere's big speech was inspired by Pres. Obama

If you're looking to inspire hope, then look no further than the 44th President of the United States.

By Josh Weiss
After The Ark: Episode 1

If you're looking to inspire hope, then look no further than the 44th President of the United States of America. Appearing on the official after-show for SYFY's The Ark, cast member Christie Burke revealed that the delivery of Lt. Garnet's rousing "we have no alternatives" speech in Episode 1 of the new television series was partly inspired by Barack Obama.

"I was really trying to inspire everybody and [show creator] Dean [Devlin] used Obama and all these different leaders as examples of how he wanted Garnet to give speeches," the actress explained. "And so, I was like, 'I'm never gonna be Obama. He's amazing.' But yeah, I was just staring at eyeballs and hoping that things were landing on them ... Everyone was in the scene with me, so I felt really supported."

Burke — who isn't a big public speaker or extroverted person in real life — went on to recall how the scene was filmed a mere three days into production at PFI Studios in Belgrade, Serbia.

"I was so jet-lagged and I couldn't stop crying," she said. "I was trying to do the speech and Dean was like, 'Get it together!' And I was like, 'But everyone's so beautiful and I'm so inspired by these people!' It is such a beautiful speech and really empowering ... I felt like I was doing that speech all day. Even for other people's coverage, we kept doing the speech. It was just crazy, but if you asked me to repeat it today, I don't think I could."

You can also catch the full after-show below on YouTube:

Devlin (co-creator, co-showrunner, and executive producer on the project alongside Stargate SG-1 alum, Jonathan Glassner) later went into detail on the rationale behind shooting in Europe.

"This is a show that should cost four or five times what the budget we had to do. So the only way to give it the size and scope was we had to go to Serbia. On the flip side of that, is they have such amazing crews there that we'd come to know. Our costume designer, Ivana Vasic ... came up with that incredible spacesuit. I think it's so hard to come up with an original-looking spacesuit today. We've seen so many of these movies. But even that helmet, having the oxygen be part of the helmet, I've never seen that before."

For Glassner, the sci-f element was always secondary to the characters. "We knew we had to have crises happen, but the crises, in my mind, are only an arena to set the character stuff in," he added. "If all we were doing was watching people figure out a way to get oxygen without knowing them or caring about them, it would get old fast. But when you have these people doing it, who you've come to love and you understand all the baggage they're carrying with them when they're doing these things, then it's more interesting."

The Ark airs on SYFY every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET. New episodes are available to stream on Peacock the day after they premiere. Click here to watch the premiere for free.

Looking for more sci-fi content? Check out shows like Resident Alien, Brave New World, Project Blue Book, Eureka, Heroes, Intergalactic, and more streaming now on Peacock.