The Alphas are back, but things aren't going to be easy for them as they head into their second season tonight. In season one on Syfy's Alphas, the gang took down Red Flag leaders and wondered if they'd made the right decision to help the government against their own kind. Then Dr. Rosen exposed the existence of Alphas very publicly.
"We were left with just an embarrassment of good choices at the end of the year [with] so much interesting stuff going on, especially in the final episode," said executive producer Bruce Miller in an exclusive interview with Blastr. "The first episode picks up about eight months later. And the team has, for different reasons for each person, split up to a lot of different directions."
The first few episodes are about "the team finding a way to come back together and finding a new way to work with their government overlords in a way that they don't feel morally gross about. But also the circumstances definitely play a big part in pulling them back together, when things happen that they can't avoid, like the fact that they're going to have to help prevent some terrible catastrophes from occurring," said Miller.
"We have an antagonist this year played by John Pyper-Ferguson, who returns playing a role he played at the very end of last season, Stanton Parrish, who is an Alpha who has lived a very, very long time," he said.
Rosen really "goes head to head against Parrish. It's a conflict where both people respect each other, a conflict where they both have competing philosophies and competing ideals, but certainly there's a ruthlessness, a violence and ruthlessness coming from Parrish that we have to deal with all season."
Between the men is Rosen's daughter, Dani, who is a secret follower of Parrish's. Kathleen Munroe also returns this season as Dani. To complicate things even further, Dani has begun seeing Hicks secretly.
Also joining the cast this season is Erin Way, who plays an Alpha named Kat.
"Whether she ends up making it onto the team officially or not is another question, a mystery for the season. Kat does not have a last name because she doesn't remember anything that happened more than about a month or six weeks ago. Everything's just gone. But she can learn things very, very quickly in the present. For example, if you give her a book and she reads it overnight, she can do neurosurgery. She can do anything she reads about. And, in fact, she has muscle memory, so if she ever learns how to, for example, do karate or judo, she can still do it, although she doesn't remember that she can," said Miller.
"In some ways, she's kind of what we all strive to be, which is someone who lives very much in the moment, someone without the baggage of their past. In other ways, she is always looking around for a place to belong, because without those roots, everybody you meet is a new acquaintance and it gets difficult for her. So like all the Alphas on our show, she has upsides to her ability and quite strong downsides. So she falls into our group's hands," he added.
Kat will work very closely with Dr. Rosen, who tries to extract some of her old memories "which she believes just exist but not in a form that she can get at. So there's lots of both positive and negative emotions that come out of that."
As for the rest of the Alphas this season, they'll all have their challenges.
"Gary has a lot of anger after last year," said Miller. "He ends up living at the office for a while, which is hilarious in and of itself. Just to have Gary in the office. But also he secretly takes up the banner, the idealistic banner that he thinks [Red Flag leader] Anna has left behind. In his mind, Anna died and she shouldn't be dead, so therefore her work should go on, and he continues that work with some very interesting consequences as the season goes along. Considering Anna in her life was very active but also violent and a very 'ends justify the means' kind of person, Gary is not necessarily like that, but he's certainly trying to carry on her message."
As for Bill, in the first half of the season he "has a very interesting arc about using his ability. It's starting to become quite difficult for him to use it, and afterwards it takes a long time to recover, and he's very tired and it takes a lot out of him. And all of the things he's trying to cover up, just like all of our characters, I think that their abilities represent their personalities, and he's very strong and his fear is that he's always afraid of being weak, so he doesn't want to let anybody see that he has weaknesses," he said.
Rachel comes back to the group after taking a few steps back in her journey to "engage the world," but she eventually "decides to dive in, and there is a character who comes on the show who she definitely has a connection with. And so we'll see how that goes. It's a very rocky relationship, not just for her but for him. And he's not an Alpha. And that causes its own problems."
Nina returns to the group, but there are some surprising twists in her arc. "Our very beautiful-seeming, happy-go-lucky Nina, who seems to be the girl with everything, we find out a lot more about where she came from, a lot more about how she became the person she is and what it's like to have an ability where you can get anything you want, and therefore nothing you have means anything," said Miller.
And finally Hicks "really moves this season from being someone who was reluctant to join the team to being someone who really sees this team as a place where he's comfortable and happy and it brings out the most positive sides of him." He'll also try to reconnect with his ex-wife and child.
Guest stars this season include Lauren Holly, C. Thomas Howell and the returning Summer Glau.
"We're taking the show we had last year and just running with it. Everybody here, both the people who were here last year and the new people, were huge fans of the show and have such affection for these characters, and it's such a world of possibility. We can't wait to show everybody what we've been thinking about for the past couple of months."
Here's a look at the season-two premiere, "Wake Up Call":
Alphas premieres tonight at 10 p.m. ET on Syfy.
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