Star Wars alum Alan Tudyk has been cast in the pilot for Syfy's Resident Alien. The story began life as a comic series co-created by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse. Published by Dark Horse Comics, the first four-issue miniseries debuted in 2013, to critical acclaim. There have since been five miniseries, with a six and final one due to be released sometime in the future. The story follows an alien who crash-lands on Earth and is forced to take over as a small-town doctor when the previous one is murdered.
The adaptation will be helmed by former Family Guy writer Chris Sheridan. Dark Horse Entertainment will produce the show, with Mike Richardson (30 Days of Night, Hellboy) and Keith Goldberg (The Legend of Tarzan) signed on as executive producers alongside Steven Spielberg's Amblin TV. Syfy ordered Resident Alien to pilot back in May. Now, it seems they may have found their lead.
According to Variety, Tudyk will star as the titular alien and resident, Doctor Harry Vanderspeigle. The story will seemingly undergo some changes from page to screen. Rather than Vanderspeigle being an identity the alien adopts, using his empathic powers to pass as human, it seems there will be more of a body-snatching component. Vanderspeigle will instead be a reclusive citizen that Tudyk's alien will choose as a host. It also seems as though he will have nefarious intentions, at first at least, rather than merely awaiting rescue.
The show has also cast Sara Tomko in the series regular role of Asta Twelvetrees. The character will no doubt be familiar to fans of the comic. Alongside them, Corey Reynolds, Alice Wetterlund, and Levi Fiehler will help to round out the rest of the cast. It's proving to be an increasingly busy time for Tudyk, who was also recently cast as Mr. Nobody in the pre-planned Titans spin-off, Doom Patrol.
Syfy is generally very hit or miss when it comes to its output. For every lauded series, there are numerous duds that fail to grip and/or live up to their premise. Although there are aforementioned differences to the story, Resident Alien still has potential to really hit home. Especially if the show retains the elements of crime procedural and murder mystery that permeates within the comics and which audiences seem to respond to en-masse. The mix of those elements with family and relationship drama, as Tudyk's character no doubt starts to warm to the town he's potentially unleashing chaos upon, could prove a recipe for success. That is without mentioning the intrigue regarding the alien's original intentions, the tension of a government agency (as seen in the comics) trying to hunt him, and the potential for social commentary and satire inherent in the title.
Tudyk's involvement is sure to only add to that excitement. Although he came to prominence in such cult favorites as Firefly and its big-screen continuation Serenity, he has had a long and varied career since even before that. His stock has risen even higher of late, having turned in scene-stealing performances in such as Rogue One. Despite that, Tudyk still remains one of the most talented and underrated actors working today. The show, however, will hopefully offer him a chance to flex both his considerable comedic and dramatic muscles to their fullest. If so, Resident Alien is looking more and more like a show to watch out for.