When I woke up this morning, nobody explained to me that this was going to be one of the most illogical days in history, with Syfy unveiling one promising project after another to add to their already expansive upcoming schedule. But they can’t just keep greenlighting projects without actually casting some of them. So it’s excellent that today also brings the announcement that one of the network’s most recognizable faces of the past is returning, as Battlestar Galactica‘s Tricia Helfer has signed on to star in the intriguing space opera miniseries Ascension.
Who better to lead Syfy’s explosive return to science fiction than someone from one of the network’s greatest accomplishments? It’s barely a coincidence that the network’s name changed from The Sci-Fi Channel to Syfy around the same time that Battlestar Galactica left the airwaves. So maybe Helfer will help to usher in a new era of dynamic space fiction. Ascension is the first miniseries Syfy has developed since 2009, and Helfer’s casting offers us a few more details about this potentially amazing story.
Created by Smallville and 2009’s Knight Rider producer/writer Philip Levens, Ascension takes place aboard the titular starship, 50 years after it was secretly launched into space by the U.S. government in 1963. The story will center on the crew and population of the ship as they reach the mid-point of a century-long mission to find a new world to populate. Or so they thought, as the murder of a young woman reveals clues that their real mission might be something else entirely.
Helfer will star as Chief Steward Viondra Denniger, the beautiful and manipulative wife of the Ascension‘s captain. Her position gives her power and privilege, and she considers herself the real leader of the ship. You can bet there will be some standoffs involved, presumably with the fate of hundreds of innocent people at stake. If there’s anything to criticize here, it’s the extremely pretentious name Viondra Denniger, which sounds like a perfume only winemakers are allowed to wear.
For four years on Battlestar, Helfer played the gorgeous, constantly changing cylon Number Six, a character that is getting her own comic miniseries launching today. More recently, she starred as Texas Ranger Molly Parker in ABC’s western drama Killer Women, and voiced The Grid on the animated series TRON: Uprising. On the film side of things, she starred in Ellie Kanner’s ensemble comedy Authors Anonymous and Randall Batinkoff’s romantic mystery 37. Anyone with an attraction to Helfer need not look elsewhere for the apex of “compilation videos set to music,” as you can find it below, with Portishead’s “Glory Box” on top of lusty glance after lusty glance.
Executive produced by Jason Blum and his mega-successful microbudget studio Blumhouse Productions, Ascension is set to debut the first of its six episodes this November. Expect more casting soon, along with three more Syfy shows and a new website.