Foreign resident was one of the pleasures of last year. Based on the comic book by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse, he remixed the original premise of a stranded alien posing as a country doctor into the story of a strange visitor on a mission to end the world that is being made. just a friend by being wrong. for the doctor whose body he stole. But what happens when the alien reconsiders its mission? Is the alien – known as Harry Vanderspeigle in his human guise – embracing a new humanity? Plus, what about the citizens of Patience, Colorado, themselves as colorful and eccentric as the alien among them?
Season 2 of the Syfy series returns this week with a season full of guest stars like Alex Borstein and Nathan Fillion, and more of the humor, heart, and misguided Harry storytelling that viewers have come to expect from the show. Rotten Tomatoes caught up with stars Alan Tudyk, Sara Tomko, Corey Reynolds, Alice Wetterlund and showrunner Chris Sheridan to get some of the lean on Harry’s second year on Earth and his place within the human community.
(Photo by SYFY)
“I really wanted to dig deeper into these characters and get to know them more,” Sheridan said of her plans for the second season. “Harry’s journey on the planet as an alien is kind of about gaining his humanity. And he learns that from these people, these real humans around him.
Humans and their relationships are among the show’s greatest strengths and one of the main departures from the source material. One of those differences is the relationship between Harry (Tudyk) and the town sheriff. In the books, Sheriff Mike comes to rely on Harry’s observational skills and love of detective novels to help him solve local mysteries, but in television, Harry and Sheriff Mike Thompson ( Reynolds) are much less copacetic. However, Reynolds foresees a time when their commonalities could forge greater cooperation.
“I think there’s more common ground to be found,” he said. “But I also think the Sheriff still thinks he’s a very strange individual because I’m sure Harry thinks of the Sheriff the same way.”
(Photo by James Dittiger/SYFY)
Tudyk added: “I can see Sheriff Mike and Harry Vanderspeigle in old age being like those two Muppets who sit on the balcony and comment on everyone. They [both] have a lot of judgment and a way of looking at the world that they could end up like this, just on a porch together talking about the world going by.
Of course, it may still take a while to get to that relationship with Mike still investigating the death of the former town doctor alongside deputy Liv Baker (Elizabeth Bowen), a partnership that has reached a place of mutual respect during the first season.
“He’s accepted that what she brings to the table is helpful and useful, and, I think, necessary. He needs her and that’s an acknowledgment he was very reluctant to do,” Tudyk said of the police duo.
Despite this acceptance, Mike hasn’t really changed, Reynolds was quick to add.
“I think the way he sees her has changed,” he said, but more soul-searching about his posture will occupy at least part of the second season. “Some of the most dramatic work I’ve done on a show has been in a comedy with this upcoming season. We’re getting into its backstory and it’s getting pretty deep.
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Part of that soul-searching comes from that evolving relationship with Liv.
“She’s the only person who could say certain things or question him in certain ways, [and] it would solicit a response from him that would be self-introspection,” Reynolds said. He compared the situation between the characters to that between Harry and Asta (Tomko). “Asta’s opinion matters to Harry. Anyone else could say something to Harry, and it wouldn’t cut him as deeply as a perceived criticism of Asta. I think Mike and Deputy Liv have a similar dynamic.
Of course, Tudyk relativized the Harry-and-Asta dynamic: “When she thinks he shouldn’t kill all of humanity, he wants to respect that opinion and not do it.”
As viewers will quickly learn, Harry’s desire to see the end of the human race is not exactly gone in Season 2. But he’s tempered by his friendship with Asta, a relationship that could read as something more – although he and Tomko felt it was important to make sure their bond was always presented as what Tudyk called “friend friends”.
“He learns love and learning love only romantically is very limited,” the actor explained. Instead, his friendship with Asta throughout the first season illustrated different forms of love seemingly alien to Harry. These interactions, however, especially with Asta, helped him make up his mind about completing the mission. “He decides not to destroy humanity because he loves Asta. It should not be confused with a physical relationship.
(Photo by SYFY)
“I think if it became a romantic relationship, it would be, it would definitely change things,” Tudyk added. “That would be all form of water thing again. And it’s just – it’s tricky, all that water.
Tomko said maintaining the platonic relationship between them was the more interesting choice. Instead of being “a bit cliche”, the series depicts “a man and a woman helping each other, being real friends and trying to maintain this relationship with each other, trying to figure out what this relationship means for them,” she said. . The actor thinks the story is much more relevant to viewers and “provides a dynamic we’ve never seen before. It’s not about sex, it’s about trust.”
Wetterlund, who plays Asta’s childhood friend D’arcy, offered a different interpretation: “We don’t know what romantic relationships are like on planet Harry. We need to remember what science fiction means. We’re talking about exploding our human ideas about relationships and relationships.
“I never thought of that,” Tomko replied. “Thank you very much. Now I’m nervous.
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Given that Foreign resident is a show about deep friendships, the long-standing bond between Asta and D’arcy proves to be one of the most unique on the show, if not on television as a whole. The end of last season saw them drift apart ever so slightly, as Asta had to keep the secret from Harry and D’Arcy bonded with Jay (Kaylayla Raine), the daughter Asta gave birth to. These tensions – especially the last one – continue to test the characters’ friendships in Season 2.
“The totality [of] from season 1 to season 2, Asta and D’Arcy make amends, get back together, find out again and again, and Asta almost tells D’Arcy [about Harry] over and over again, because it’s so unnatural for her to hide something that big from him, but she has to,” Wetterlund explained. “If D’Arcy ever finds out, we’ll see what the conflict becomes.”
Meanwhile, Asta encourages Harry to make more friends but, as Tomko said, “she sees new friendships forming between her daughter and her best friend and it’s really, really hard for her to bear.” .
According to Wetterlund, the origins of this new bond are easy to see: “Jay is a teenager, and so is D’Arcy, emotionally speaking.” From this point of view, she does not see the harm this could cause Asta.
“She has no idea what it would be like to have a daughter and she doesn’t want to have a clue,” she continued. “She’s just like, yeah, we’re friends, whatever. And in many ways, her recklessness leads to this conflict with her best friend.
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No one can guess how this conflict unfolds. As always, Asta has a full plate with Harry and his latest ploy to keep them safe. Although we will tease Something brought together all the women of Patience very early on, which could change the whole dynamic of the city. And as Sheridan explained, the building of the city and the connections between people like Asta and D’Arcy are essential for Foreign residentis creative success.
“Early on, I realized that I didn’t think the show would work well unless it could work without Harry,” he explained. “I thought if we could develop all these other characters and create real talent with real things that work well on their own, and then drop the alien in the middle, that’s a much more rewarding experience.”
Harry still serves as the sci-fi anchor in both drama and comedy, of course, and just like in the comics, he’ll end up doing it as the town doctor.
“It’s such a big part of comics, [and] I didn’t want to lose that,” Sheridan said. The start of season 1 saw him in this role, but as the producer points out, it was necessary, “like in the comic, to distance him a little” to tell certain aspects of the story. But season 2 has a trajectory.
“Our goal is to get him back as the town doctor and establish himself pretty firmly in the town,” Sheridan said.
(Photo by James Dittiger/SYFY)
But when or if Harry returns to the Patience Clinic, his emotional journey is far from over.
“I think what’s so funny about Harry now is that he’s not comfortable where he is,” Sheridan said. “It’s irresistible to have someone who lives in a place they don’t want to live in and want to leave, but who is constantly being brought back to that place because of the friendships they make and the people they he meets.”
Being able to settle into this place and accept his life is something Sheridan said is an “emotional realization” that will take Harry a lot longer, and maybe one day his friends will convince him that humanity is not that bad.
premieres Wednesday, January 26 at 9/8C on SYFY
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