Meteors, disease, demons... James Tupper reveals the topsy-turvy world of new Syfy series Aftermath
With so many apocalypse-themed shows on television at the moment, it seems unlikely that anyone could find a new take on this well-explored subgenre. Nonetheless, Syfy will attempt that with its new science fiction-meets-supernatural series Aftermath. The show debuts this autumn and isn’t going to tell a typical end-of-days story, according to star James Tupper (Revenge). “It’s a little bit of Raiders Of The Lost Ark mixed with a family sitcom,” he says. “It’s really fresh in terms of the idea of the show.”
Tupper plays Joshua Copeland, a university professor interested in ancient religions. While trying to survive with his three children and wife, Karen, a former military pilot, Copeland investigates the mystery behind the events surrounding the collapse of world order. The part is a dream come true, says Tupper, who has always wanted to play an action hero. Yet he reveals that, in a reversal of traditional roles, it will be Karen, played by his real-life spouse Anne Heche, who does most of the ass-kicking. “She never walks through a door, for instance. She just boots it open,” says Tupper. How the Copelands’ tight bonds help them handle a variety of dangers will be one of the main themes of Aftermath, explains co-creator William Laurin (Alfred Hitchcock Presents). “They come in loving each other and so as the shock mounts, it has a double impact. One is the impact that you get out of terrifying events and the other is, ‘God, that’s happening to my mum!’” Where the dysfunctional relationships in Fear The Walking Dead are a microcosm of the breakdown of civilisation, the Copelands will be a source of optimism. “The world is falling to pieces but we have a sense that somehow, possibly, it could be survived if you make the right choices and you learn the right knowledge,” Lurin says. “It’s not at all a nihilistic show, which most apocalypse shows are.”
Aftermath will premiere on Syfy in the US later this year.
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