Syfy's ambitious new deep-space series, Ascension, just cast its ship captain

Contributed by
Jun 3, 2014, 5:40 PM EDT

The cast of Syfy’s ambitious new space-set series Ascension is coming together, and the network has now chosen the man who’ll be piloting the generational ship.

Showrunner Philip Levens (Smallville) has tapped actor Brian Van Holt (Black Hawk Down, Cougar Town) to star alongside Battlestar Galactica fan favorite Tricia Helfer. He brings comedy chops as well as action sensibilities, so it’ll be interesting to see how he fits into the role.

The series follows the inhabitants of a secret starship launched from Earth in the early 1960s, tasked with populating a new world. But as they approach the point of no return, the murder of a young woman causes the crew to question what the mission is really about.

Holt will play the ship’s captain William Denninger, who Entertainment Weekly describes as “a natural leader, a military man and politician ... strong-willed and confident.” He apparently became captain of the Ascension after saving the ship from a fire that nearly killed everyone aboard. Holt’s character is the husband of Helfer’s Viondra, though the two apparently have a “tortured marriage.”

The six-hour event series is slated to debut in November, and it sounds like a mix of Mad Men and Battlestar Galactica — which is an admittedly strange mashup, but we’re still dying to see it.

(Via Entertainment Weekly)