Vancouver Island town to star in new Syfy series: Resident Alien

Fresh off its role in the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie, Ladysmith will star in the new Syfy series: Resident Alien.

Resident Alien is a twisted and comedic fish-out-of-water story that follows a crash-landed alien named Dr. Harry, played by Alan Tudyk, (Firefly) who, after taking on the identity of a small town Colorado doctor, slowly begins to wrestle with the moral dilemma of his secret mission of destruction on Earth. This leads him to ponder the question: are human beings actually worth saving instead of obliterating?

“It’s very funny, but it also has a lot of heart,” writer and executive producer Chris Sheridan said. “It’s an opportunity to look at humanity through the lens of an outsider and comment on it a little bit.”

The series is adapted from the original Dark Horse comic book. Sheridan was contacted by Amblin television in October 2015 and asked to take on the project. The series picked up by Syfy, and the pilot was shot in Vancouver last year. The lot that the pilot was shot on was sold, which sent the series searching for a new town.

That search led the series to Ladysmith. Ladysmith will play the role of Patience, Colorado in the series. Sheridan decided to set the show in Colorado, although the comic is set in Patience, Washington.

“I wanted to switch it to Colorado because I love the Colorado rockies surrounding the town, and making the people feel a bit isolated,” Sheridan said.

Sheridan said that architecturally, Ladysmith has a bit of a Colorado feel to it. He used the town of Crested Butte, Colorado as a reference. Ladysmith shares some of Crested Butte’s character with its colourful buildings, and welcoming atmosphere.

“We’re using mostly the inner section with those three colourful buildings in it, which reminded me a lot of the colour sense of Crested Butte. The colour lightens it. To me, it makes it feel welcoming, and a place where viewers wish that they could live there,” Sheridan said.

Ladysmith was chosen in part because of its proximity to Vancouver. Vancouver is one of the major film production centres in North America. It has infrastructure set up for film, crews who live in the area, and film equipment.

“Another benefit of Ladysmith is that there haven’t been too many productions there, so it might look individual to our show,” Sheridan said.

“We have a lot of great scenes of our characters walking down the street. Ladysmith is such a beautiful little town, we definitely want to shoot it. We want to portray it as this quaint, Americana life. Ladysmith has a great backdrop for that.”

Sheridan expects the show will begin filming in Ladysmith sometime toward the end of January. The season will be 10 episodes, nine of which will be filmed in Vancouver and Ladysmith.

The Ladysmith filming will take place in over two weeks, one in late January, and then another in either February or March.

There may be opportunities for Ladysmith residents to participate as extras in the show. Sheridan said Ladysmith residents should stay tuned for those opportunties if they arise.

If the show is picked up for more seasons, Resident Alien will return to Ladysmith.

Cole Schisler

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