Warning: This article contains spoilers for Resident Alien season 2, episode 1, “Old Friends.”
SyFy’s Resident Alien season 2 premiered, and with it, a new/old character returned in the form of the octopus–and his voice might sound very familiar to viewers. Resident Alien, based on the comics of the same name, was one of SyFy’s best new shows of 2021 and delighted audiences. After the ending of the season 1 finale found Harry (Alan Tudyk) and Max (Judah Prehn) on Harry’s spaceship heading out to space, the premiere of Resident Alien season 2 found them returning to Earth–or more accurately, crashing back to Earth. Harry is now grounded once again and back among the characters he’s not sure he still hates and wants to kill or is secretly starting to care for.
One of those returning characters isn’t human at all, however. One of the best running gags from season 1 looks to get even bigger in Resident Alien season 2’s story: the octopus. Octopi, of course, are the closest thing Earth has to Harry’s race, being descendants of aliens themselves. Unfortunately, the only octopi Harry ever gets to talk to are in a tank at the local restaurant, forever doomed to be turned into calamari. Resident Alien season 2’s premiere introduced a new octopus who was even more talkative than the previous ones, even convincing Harry to break him out of the tank and run away with him. With the cephalopod’s loquacious nature, audiences may have noted that his voice sounds incredibly familiar.
That’s because his voice is familiar, at least to anyone who watches anything in the sci-fi or nerdier genres. Resident Alien‘s octopus character is voiced by none other than Nathan Fillion. He actually voiced the octopus in one episode in Resident Alien season 1, but it was a much smaller and uncredited role. This time, his voice was unmistakable and it’s a revelation that should come as no surprise considering Fillion’s relationship with Tudyk and his long history of voice work. Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk, of course, starred together in the beloved sci-fi show Firefly and its movie spinoff Serenity. Later, the two friends once again reteamed for Con Man, loosely based on their experiences as icons of nerdy genre TV shows, as both stars and co-producers.
The pair have also done voice work in the same show, albeit not necessarily together, with both lending their distinctive (and in Tudyk’s case, incredibly changeable) voices to shows like Robot Chicken and Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K., as well as both appearing in the flesh in Santa Clarita Diet. Like Alan Tudyk, Nathan Fillion has quite a bit of on-camera acting work to keep him busy alongside his multiple voice acting roles like Resident Alien. Currently, Fillion stars in the cop drama TV series The Rookie, where he’s played the lead role of John Nolan for four seasons and counting. On the movie side of things, he was most recently seen in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad playing T.D.K. (The Detachable Kid). Rumors have also swirled for years that Gunn would find a way to work Nathan Fillion’s Wonder Man into a Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Considering Fillion’s penchant for liking to work with his friends, it’s not the most outlandish fan theory that’s ever been had.
Even if it’s just his voice, it’s fun to see Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk together again in Resident Alien. The pair have always had strong chemistry together as actors, no doubt helped by the strength of their real-life friendship. It’s unclear whether Fillion will return as the voice of the octopus in Resident Alien season 2. Considering Harry stealing him from the tank and running out of the restaurant is how the Resident Alien season 2 premiere ended, it appears it won’t just be a one-off gag but will get at least a brief arc. The best-case scenario is that the octopus becomes a recurring character throughout the season, giving audiences plenty of opportunities to hear Nathan Fillion at work.
Resident Alien releases new episodes every Wednesday on SyFy.