Dr. Harry Vanderspiegle has been through a lot over the course of five Resident Alien miniseries. The small-town doctor and amateur sleuth from Patience, WA has investigated murders, disappearances, arsons, and the origins of a mysterious artist from across the country. He’s grown close to the residents of Patience, including nurse Asta Twelvetrees, her father Dan, and the town’s mayor and sheriff. He’s really making the best out of being an alien stranded on Earth, so long as the fed who’s on his trail doesn’t find him, and the little girl who can see through his psychic disguise doesn’t spill the beans.
Created by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse, Resident Alien is an incredibly clever sci-fi twist on a neo-noir series. Compelling mysteries are driven by charming characters, and the overarching threat of Harry’s exposure means that even the most innocuous interactions carry an air of tension. Now the latest Resident Alien miniseries, Your Ride’s Here, may (or may not) be bringing the series to a close. And just in time for the Alan Tudyk-starring TV adaptation to premiere on Syfy.
The Beat had the opportunity to chat with Hogan about the forthcoming sixth Resident Alien series, and what may be next for Harry, Asta, and the other residents of Patience.
Joe Grunenwald: The subtitle of the new Resident Alien series is Your Ride’s Here. The obvious implication is that someone from Harry’s planet has finally arrived to pick him up. Given how much he’s acclimated to life on Earth at this point, how would Harry react to seeing another member of his race after so long?
Peter Hogan: You might find this interview a bit frustrating, because I’m going to have to be a little evasive in order to protect the world from spoilers. This is a longer series than the previous ones – six issues instead of four – with a fairly complicated plot that hopefully contains quite a few surprises.
So… as far as the title goes, your interpretation might be a correct one, or it might not. You won’t find out until the last issue of this series.
Grunenwald: After the end of An Alien in New York, we know someone else is arriving in Patience looking for Harry in this series. The government has been on Harry and Asta’s trail for a while now – how will the arrival of a man in black complicate their lives further?
Hogan: Yes, there’s a man in black in Patience now, and that’ll be one of the major plot threads this time around. We’ve had quite a slow burn as regards the government pursuit of Harry, but I realised quite early on that we shouldn’t keep the readers waiting for a payoff forever – at some point these guys would have to actually catch up with Harry, or else it’d be a bit of a cheat. As to how it all plays out, wait and see.
Grunenwald: A potential romance between Harry and Asta has been teased for a while, but the two of them have never talked about their feelings for each other. How do you see their relationship and where it’s going?
Hogan: Well, that’s been another thing that’s been building up in the background, and it’s something that’ll come to the fore in this series. Again, you’re going to have to wait to see what happens.
Grunenwald: You and Steve have been working in the world of Resident Alien for nearly a decade now. How has the series evolved from your initial plans? Did you end up going in any directions that surprised you as the series continued?
Hogan: It was all very organic. At first we probably thought we might not even get a second series, and when we did it just flowed on easily from the first one, and then it kept on flowing after that. We tried to vary the kinds of crime Harry encounters from book to book, partly just for the sake of variety, and partly to make it more believable than having a string of murders all taking place in one small town. En route Harry developed as a character, his relationships with others developed, the supporting cast grew and grew…
For me it was a little odd, since up till this I’d been used to writing mainly established characters, like the casts of Sandman and Tom Strong, where I was following the templates that Neil and Alan had set up. Resident Alien was the first major thing I’d done where I was finding out what the characters were like as I went along. I think the thing that probably surprised me was that I’d originally thought that Harry’s observations on humanity would be comical ones, and instead they turned out to be gently philosophical and compassionate. Harry also turned out to be really quite courageous when the chips are down, which was slightly surprising.
Grunenwald: At first the advance word on Your Ride’s Here seemed to suggest that it would be the last series of Resident Alien, but more recently there’ve been suggestions that it won’t be. So, what’s really going on?
Hogan: Again, spoilers – and I honestly can’t tell you anything about what’s going to happen without ruining the suspense. You’ll find all the answers in issue six!
Grunenwald: Any updates on Syfy’s Resident Alien adaptation? Has production resumed yet? Any word on a new premiere date?
Hogan: Yes, they’re filming again in Vancouver right now. They don’t have much left to do on it, they’re just finishing off the last episode, so it shouldn’t take them that long – though afterwards there’s all the post-production stuff to do. No one’s mentioned a date for a premiere yet, but I’m hoping it’ll be early in 2021 [NOTE: Syfy revealed during a panel at this past weekend’s NYCC Metaverse that Resident Alien will premiere in January 2021].
Published by Dark Horse Comics, Resident Alien: Your Ride’s Here #1 arrives in comic shops on Wednesday, November 11th. The final order cutoff for preordering the issue is Monday, October 19th.
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Co-creator Peter Hogan discusses how RESIDENT ALIEN has evolved over the years, what’s next for Harry Vanderspiegle, and the forthcoming Syfy adaptation.
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