'Resident Alien' launches from comics to Syfy this week

A new TV series follows the off-beat journey of a wayfaring alien (played by beloved "Firefly" actor Alan Tudyk) who's crash-landed on Earth and must complete an ominous mission before returning home.

"Resident Alien," a new comedic drama, premieres on Syfy Wednesday (Jan. 27) at 10 p.m. EST (Jan. 28 at 0300 GMT). The series, which is based on the popular Dark Horse Comics series by co-creators Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse. The show stars Tudyk ("Rogue One," "Doom Patrol") as an alien stranded in Colorado who takes on the identity of Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle. First, however, Vanderspeigle has to learn how to act like a human. 

"Everything was from square one with him," Tudyk told Space.com in an exclusive interview. "Walking, sitting, dressing … he's a child in that way." 

Related: Here's what we learned about aliens in 2020

To prepare for the role of an alien masquerading as a human, Tudyk "took clowning class," he said, "which helped because clowns are supposed to be mainly like children that were never told no. They are very curious … but they're bumbling and they make mistakes." 

Throughout the show, which falls somewhere between murder mystery, slapstick comedy and heartfelt drama, Vanderspeigle grapples with "the moral dilemma of his secret mission on Earth — ultimately asking the question, "Are human beings worth saving?'" a press release states. 

The outrageous and sincere new series also features actors Sara Tomko ("Once Upon A Time") as nurse Asta Twelvetrees, Corey Reynolds ("The Closer") as the bold Sheriff Mike Thompson, Alice Wetterlund ("People of Earth") as local bartender D'arcy Bloom and Levi Fiehler ("Mars") as Mayor Ben Hawthorne. 

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Chelsea Gohd
Senior Writer

Chelsea “Foxanne” Gohd joined Space.com in 2018 and is now a Senior Writer, writing about everything from climate change to planetary science and human spaceflight in both articles and on-camera in videos. With a degree in Public Health and biological sciences, Chelsea has written and worked for institutions including the American Museum of Natural History, Scientific American, Discover Magazine Blog, Astronomy Magazine and Live Science. When not writing, editing or filming something space-y, Chelsea "Foxanne" Gohd is writing music and performing as Foxanne, even launching a song to space in 2021 with Inspiration4. You can follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd and @foxannemusic.