Inspired by Whitley Strieber’s “Alien Hunter” series of novels, Syfy’s “Hunters” tells the story of Flynn (Nathan Phillips), an FBI agent with a dark past searching for answers in the wake of his wife’s disappearance. That search leads him to a secret government unit whose goal is to hunt down a mysterious group of terrorists who may have allegiances beyond this earth. One of the key figures he will encounter is Regan (Britne Oldford), a government asset who has some secrets of her own.
At New York Comic Con, Oldford joined Executive Producer Natalie Chaidez in the world famous CBR Tiki Room for a chat with Jonah Weiland about their new series, the twists and turns inherent in an alien conspiracy tale, and how the project came about. Oldford discusses growing up geek while Chaidez explains the benefits of shooting in Melbourne, Australia and what she thinks will help the series stand out amid a crowded television landscape.
On how this project came about:
Natalie Chaidez: When Gale Anne Hurd asks you to do something about aliens, the answer is yes. [Laughter] Lifelong fan of Gale. Look, I’ve been working in sci-fi, I’ve done comic book heroes, I’ve done robots, I’ve done time travel, and it was time to take on aliens.
I, too, grew up in L.A. listening to KFI and Whitley on the radio [on the Art Bell Show] and the world of the unknown; that there’s an unseen world that we can’t quite get our minds around that we know is out there and we want to grasp, that idea intrigued me.
1:30 – On what it’s like for Oldford to attend her first comic convention and feeling like she’s found her people:
On who Oldford’s character Regan is:
Britne Oldford: Regan is one of the most valuable operatives at a place called the ETU, Exo Terrorism Unit, which is a classified joint task force and she is quite complex. She’s kind of battling a lot of demons and has some secrets to herself, and she’s just trying to get by and really understand who she is and what her purpose is.
On the benefits of shooting in Melbourne:
Chaidez: Like Gale said, you’re not going to say that about any of the locations that you see. They’re all unfamiliar. We’ve also discovered a tremendous creative community because we’ve gone in and are working with Australian crew, Australian directors, Australian DP, many Australian cast. I think it makes the show fresh. You’re not gonna through the show and say, “I’ve seen that face. I’ve seen that location.” Melbourne has tremendous city locations, it has outskirts that play the desert, perhaps other planets — I don’t know, could happen. It just offers a wide variety of geographical locations to shoot in.
On whether Oldford was teased for growing up as a geek:
Oldford: I was actually quite a loner as a child, which I guess sort of suited that vibe, and with my old brother growing up watching him play video games all the time and watching anime that’s just what I was surrounded by. My cousins as well. It was — I, fortunately, grew up in a time when it was starting to become a little more mainstream. In the ’90s, nearly all the kids that I knew growing up in Canada — I’m from Toronto — had consoles. You would go over and you would play video games, that’s what you would do, and you would watch Gale Anne Hurd’s “Terminator” and that’s what you would do and just sort of geek out about it. It was just a part of my generation.
On what makes “Hunters” stand out from the pack:
Chaidez: It’s ambitious, but I want to recreate the alien show. I want aliens to be scary again; I think they haven’t been for a long time. They’ve become friendly over the years, and they’re not. They’re terrifying, hunters are terrifying, and I think the combination of horror, thriller and the allegory of aliens as terrorists is what is gonna set our show apart.
On whether the show’s humans or aliens are the bigger threat:
Chaidez: That’s the question of the series. Who are the good guys, who are the bad guys? Are the hunters good, are they bad? What are they here for and what do we become in chasing them is the larger question.
“Hunters” premieres April 2016 on Syfy.
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