Season two of Snowpiercer is on TNT Jan. 25. About a train whizzing around the world carrying the world’s last survivors, Snowpiercer has Daveed Diggs, Jennifer Connelly and Sean Bean in the cast.
The series premiered in May. With so many people stuck at home due to the pandemic, a yarn about people trapped on a train offered a unique take on escapism. Showrunner/executive producer Graeme Manson mentioned “an all around sense of watching something close to home,” and said he was pleased with how Snowpiercer landed.
“It made it feel of the zeitgeist,” he added. “There were political parallels going on at the time, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I like to squirm.”
Season two offers some hardy head-to-head battles, including Connelly’s Melanie and Bean’s Mr. Wilford.
Snowpiercer shoots in Vancouver. Manson doesn’t ride trains much in his “walkable” nabe, he said, but mentioned having crossed Canada twice on trains and digging the experience. “I love train lore and I love train songs — a Western song with a train in it,” he said.
Dark as it may be, Snowpiercer also shows the decency of humankind. “Season two develops a theme of hope,” said Manson, “and the strength it takes to have hope.”
Resident Alien starts on Syfy Jan. 27. A mix of comedy and drama, the series follows Harry, an alien that crash-lands on Earth and passes himself off as a doctor in a small Colorado town.
Chris Sheridan, longtime Family Guy writer, is showrunner and exec producer. The folks at Amblin sent him the graphic novel to gauge his interest in adapting it. “I loved the story, I loved the character, and I could see it as a show,” he said.
Alan Tudyk plays Harry. Sara Tomko, Corey Reynolds and Alice Wetterlund are also in the cast.
Sheridan notes “slight similarities” between Resident Alien and Family Guy, but “very different worlds.” Producers can get away with stuff on Family Guy because the characters are animated, he said, and on Resident Alien because the main character is an alien.
The series begins with Harry trying to kill a boy who knows he’s an alien. “That’s not a likeable trait, wanting to kill a kid,” said Sheridan. “But you forgive him, and the horrible things he might do, because he’s an alien.”
While Harry is on Earth, he’s searching for a device he lost when he crash-landed. He needs the thing to complete his mission, according to Sheridan.
He called Fargo an influence. “We go for a similar tone,” he said. “Resident Alien has dramatic things in it and it’s also got some dark comedy. And the setting is specific to the show.”
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.