Alan Tudyk is no stranger to being the resident star of genre fare on screens both big and small. Memorably soaring like a leaf in the wind on the gone-too-soon Firefly and Serenity, his superb character work has ranged from the more prestigious (3:10 to Yuma, Trumbo) to the unabashedly fanboy-friendly, a la Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Dollhouse. He even poked fun at the dichotomy on his web series Con Man. However, he is returning to sci-fi proper now via the Syfy channel with Resident Alien, an adaptation of a Dark Horse comic book series of the same name.
The series is based on Dark Horse’s comic by Peter Horgan and Steve Parkhouse, which riffs on The Day the Earth Stood Still archetype by having its alien Harry (Tudyk) crash land on Earth in the Colorado wilderness. It is there he takes on the identity of a small town doctor, befriending and studying his neighbors who are unwitting diplomats of their species, for Harry is on Earth to deduce one thing: are human beings worth saving?
The series is being adapted for television by Chris Sheridan, who has worked as a producer on Family Guy since 1999, he also co-executive produced CBS’ Yes, Dear. The show, which is being produced as a pilot for Syfy by Universal Cable Productions, Dark Horse Entertainment, and Amblin TV, also has Sara Tomko (Sneaky Pete), Corey Reynolds (The Closer), Alice Wutterland (Silicon Valley), and Levi Fiehler (Mars) attached to star. Tomko is playing Asta Twelevetrees, who will be Harry’s “match” upon their meeting; Reynolds will play Sheriff Mike Thompson, who is apparently a bit of a cowboy on a power trip; Wetterlund is D’arcy Morin, a former Olympic snowboarder now working as a bartender; and Fiehler is Ben Hawthorne, a 20-something fresh out of college and who has political aspirations in the small town.
While only a pilot, it is clear Tudyk has great cache with the type of genre enthusiast audience who is Syfy’s bread and butter. His eclectic career has included turns from comedy (Dodgeball) to animation (Frozen), but to many he will always be that leaf on the wind. Watch how he soars.