Robert Picardo reveals the mystery behind Persons Unknown

Robert Picardo (the Stargate series) told SCI FI Wire that if all goes according to plan, his guest shot on the upcoming Lost-esque series Persons Unknown may evolve into a recurring role. Picardo similarly leveraged his Stargate SG-1 guest shot as Richard Woolsey into a recurring role on SG-1 and later into a series-regular role on Stargate: Atlantis.

Persons Unknown is a co-production of Fox TV Studios and Televisa, and 13 episodes were filmed in Mexico this past fall. The show will air on Televisa in Mexico and is reportedly being shopped around domestically and elsewhere around the world. SCI FI Wire spoke exclusively to Picardo earlier this month. Following are edited excerpts from that interview.

What can you tell us about Persons Unknown?

Picardo: That's from Chris McQuarrie, who wrote The Usual Suspects. And the executive producer is Remi Aubuchon, who also wrote the Caprica pilot along with Ron Moore. It's reminiscent of the classic Patrick McGoohan series The Prisoner. It's about these people who are strangely abducted and held against their will and are apparently being studied or manipulated. It's a very exotic, paranoid premise for a show. The actors are great. Alan Ruck, an old friend of mine, is one of the main cast members [along with Chadwick Boseman, Gerald Kyd, Kate Lang Johnson and Kandyse McClure from Battlestar Galactica].

You make your first appearance in the last episode. What do you play?

Picardo: I'm a very powerful guy, sort of the power behind the power. I won't even tell you his name, because the name is kind of a placeholder. But it was great to work with [director] Michael Rymer, who did Battlestar Galactica, and I'm hoping the show is picked up in the U.S. It's sold throughout Europe and South America, and I don't know that they have an American buyer yet, but I'm confident they will, because I saw the pilot and it's great.

And you'd be a recurring character if they do more?

Picardo: Yes, if the show goes beyond 13, then I will recur.

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