It’s probably safe to assume the people of Ladysmith are sane souls, living normal lives. They are, after all, Canadian.
So they may not get many sights like this: “Running down the streets of Ladysmith with an octopus was fun to do,” Alan Tudyk told the Television Critics Association. “I think it was popular with the local residents as well.”
We should probably explain that this was a talking octopus in “Resident Alien” (9 p.m. Wednesdays on Syfy, with the second season starting Jan. 26). We should also explain that Tudyk plays an alien who came to Earth, killed a doctor and took his human form. He’s supposed to kill all Earthlings, but …
Well, the show requires a lot of explaining. Suffice it to say that it made sense for Tudyk (shown here) to run through downtown Ladysmith (a Vancouver Island town of 8,500) with a talking octopus.
“It’s made of rubber, some kind silicone, and it does its own acting,” he said. “You just give it a little jiggle and it really comes through; it’s a great scene partner.”
Tudyk is accustomed to sci-fi strangeness. He’s been Mr. Nobody in “Doom Patrol,” Wash in “Firefly,” K-2SO in “Rogue One” and voices in countless cartoons.
Now he’s in a show that has solid human drama, occasional sci-fi surges and persistent bursts of humor.
This started as a graphic novel. Amblin (Steven Spielberg’s company) bought the rights and turned it over to Chris Sheridan, a “Family Guy” producer.
“It took off in its own direction early in Season One,” Sheridan said. Still, he said, the original is reflected in the visuals and part of the plot. “The first graphic novel was about the murder of Sam Hodges, (a story that) is continuing into the second season.”
Now “Harry” – as the alien is called in his human form – doesn’t want to kill all Earthlings because he likes one of them, a woman named Asta. He tried to return to his home planet, but a boy – the only Earthling who sees his alien face – was a stowaway.
New complications arise, centering on Harry’s ability to disguise as other people. In the third episode, Alex Borstein (an Emmy-winner for both “Family Guy” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) arrives as a scientist … and as Harry, assuming the scientist’s body.
She’s free to use her improvising skills – as are the other actors. “I’ve never had the opportunity to have as much influence over a character’s choices and voice,” Corey Reynolds said.
He plays the odd sheriff who has an odd deputy in an odd (and fictional) town that’s supposed to be in Colorado, far from the sensible (one assumes) Canadian world of Ladysmith.