Last month, Syfy unveiled their Face Off not-quite-spinoff Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge to the world, letting thousands of puppeteers realize that their lives were most certainly not for naught, and that they probably should take that cold gun out of their mouths. (Oh wait, it was only a puppet gun, thank goodness.) Rather than hiring someone off the street to host the show, like Oscar the Grouch, the Creature Shop Challenge is bringing in Australian actress Gigi Edgley, best known for playing the gray alien con-woman Chiana in Rockne S. O’Bannon’s fan-favorite series Farscape, which aired from 1999-2003. The show had its fair share of make-up and costume work, which I guess makes her somewhat qualified for the hosting gig. What does it take to be a host on Syfy?
It’s unfortunate that beyond the 2004 miniseries Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars, Edgley hasn’t really been a big name in American science fiction, but in the last few years she has starred in Australian series such as Rescue Special Ops and Trick Business. She was in the Syfy Original disaster flick Quantum Apocalypse, but that’s just an unfortunate blip on her resume. But now she’s off to meet the Muppets!
For the show, she’ll be hosting the competition in which 10 aspiring artists and designers will work through a series of challenges where they build all manner of creatures, from mechanical bots to scary monsters to magical beasts. It seems like the imagination is the limit here, as Face Off has been responsible for some of the most amazing characters out there. Hopefully, the contestants they bring in for this one will be top notch. They’ll be judged by a panel including creature fabricator Beth Hathaway, creature designer Kirk Thatcher, and Jim Henson Company chairman Brian Henson himself, the man partly responsible for keeping the brand alive, along with a host of other Muppet-y projects like his adult stage show Puppet Up! and The Hot Dogs.
The link behind all this, of course, is that the Jim Henson Company was a big part of Farscape, with Brian Henson serving as executive producer. As well, the Creature Shop created all of the show’s memorable characters.
Join me in watching the Creature Shop Challenge when it premieres on Syfy in early 2014.