Chris Sheridan is executive producer of SyFy’s Resident Alien, inspired by the Dark Horse Comic book series of the same name created by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse. But at today’s TCA panel, the EP said his real inspiration came from a close encounter with a UFO on his honeymoon 20 years ago.
“I actually saw a UFO on my honeymoon,” Sheridan insisted on a panel that included Resident Alien cast members Alan Tudyk, Sara Tomko, Corey Reynolds, Alice Wetterlund and Levi Fiehler. As he describes the scene, he was in the Bahamas, walking on the beach at night with his new bride, and they both noticed what appeared to be one star that was mysteriously moving upward.
“In [a few] seconds, the thing was over us, it was triangular with six circular lights on the bottom of it, one light on the bottom [was] sweeping the beach,” Sheridan continued. “She tried to run, and I grabbed her…take her first,” he joked. But he is serious about the occurrence: “I’m not saying it’s aliens, but obviously it was. It went from a dot on the horizon to above us in the course of a few seconds.”
Describing his acting inspiration, Tudyk seized the opportunity to deadpan: “I was on my honeymoon in the Cayman Islands and I met an alien. That’s not true.”
Of course, there was also another event, in 2015 show producer Amblin Entertainment sent him the comic books and “I fell in love with it, and I knew I had sort of a take on it” from the UFO experience.
Despite his alien connection, Sheridan said he had to make a big change in Alan Tudyk’s character, the alien Harry, by having him appear in his human form most of the time. In the comics, he appears as an alien.
Not only did the TV budget allow for full-time aliens as one sees in a feature film, “I had to decide what I wanted to keep and what I wanted to change for a different format… [not only] is difficult and expensive to have an actor in makeup the whole time, TV audiences attach to actors and actresses [and it’s harder] to expect them to fall in love with an alien.”