Alan Tudyk Resident Alien Episode 7
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Credit: James Dittinger/SYFY

Here's how that mini-Firefly reunion came to be in SYFY's Resident Alien

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Mar 23, 2021, 3:28 PM EDT

Fellow Browncoats! Two crew members of the Serenity recently enjoyed a brief reunion in Episode 7 of SYFY's Resident Alien. Did you happen to catch it? Alan Tudyk was easy to spot because ... well, he's Alan Tudyk. The other Firefly alum, however, was totally incognito.

Need a hint? He had eight tentacles and lived in a tank at a sushi joint in Patience, Colorado. Yep, your ears were not deceiving you — the octopus that shares a chat with Harry was indeed voiced by Malcolm Reynolds himself, Nathan Fillion. During a phone interview with SYFY WIRE Tuesday afternoon, creator/showrunner Chris Sheridan exclusively reveals that the cameo role was all Tudyk's idea.

Credit: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

"At one point, I had gone to Alan to see if he wanted to [voice the octopus] in a different voice or something," he recalls. "And then, I think in that conversation, he suggested Nathan Fillion, which, of course we thought was an amazing idea and we asked if he thought he’d have a chance to get in touch with him and see if he wanted to do it. We loved trying to get those two together again in this little, weird way. We reached out to Nathan and he was into it ... Like everyone is doing these days, he recorded from home at the time. But he played with the part and ad-libbed some really funny things. It’s a really odd role and I think Nathan was just hysterical in it."

In the world of Resident Alien, Harry's people share a genetic link with Earth-bound octopi, but the common ancestor (maybe Cthulhu?) that makes them cousins is never revealed. It's a very Douglas Addams-y touch that shellacs on another layer of bizarre and surrealist comedy to the hit show. So long and thanks for all the fish!

Featuring a special guest spot by Ancient Aliens scholar Giorgio A. TsoukalosEpisode 9 of Resident Alien, "Welcome Aliens," premieres on SYFY tomorrow night (Wednesday, March 24) at 10 p.m. EST. The finale, "Heroes of Patience," airs the following week (Wednesday, March 31) at the same time. A second season has already been greenlit.