KILL OR CURE?
MARK-PAUL GOSSELAAR stars in a new sci-fi thriller about a deadly experiment
The Passage Tuesday, FOX HD, 9pm
IN A SECRET US medical facility, a team of scientists experiment with a dangerous virus that could lead to the cure for all diseases, but could also wipe out the human race.
That’s the premise of FOX’S chilling new sci-fi drama, The Passage, executiveproduced by Oscar-nominated director Ridley Scott and starring Markpaul Gosselaar from NYPD Blue and
Saved by the Bell.
The scientists are testing out the virus on death-row inmates, who develop horrendous side-effects, turning them into bloodthirsty, vampire-like creatures. The latest stage of the experiment, codenamed Project Noah, aims to prevent this reaction, but requires a more controversial subject to test on – a child.
FBI agent Brad Wolgast, played by Gosselaar, has been tasked with coercing prisoners to be human guinea pigs for the project, but he resists bringing in the latest test subject – a young girl called Amy Bellafonte (Saniyya Sidney). ‘Brad has never really questioned his work before, or asked for exact details about why he was bringing these people in,’ explains Gosselaar.
ON THE RUN
‘He experienced a very tragic event in his life, which forced him to shut down emotionally, but when he’s asked to take a little girl to Project Noah, that wakes him up morally, and they go on the run.’
As Brad vows to protect Amy at any cost, he becomes a surrogate father to her. But keeping one step ahead of their pursuers puts the pair in many dangerous situations.
‘This is one of the most physical productions that I’ve been a part of,’ says the 44year-old actor.
‘It’s challenging; I had to make sure I was in good shape. I’ve been practising jujitsu since 2009 and I was able to train with Taran Butler, the man responsible for making Keanu Reeves look as
‘It’s one of the most physical productions that I’ve been
a part of’
good as he does in John Wick. We did lots of tactical training and I learnt how to manipulate weapons, so I did the overwhelming majority of the stunts myself.’
Gosselaar says he was blown away by the ambition of the 10-part series, which is based on Justin Cronin’s popular trilogy of novels.
‘As soon as I read the script, I knew it was going to be a big undertaking, especially with the pedigree of people involved and with Ridley Scott as producer,’ he says. ‘I was pretty excited. Then I devoured the books. I haven’t done a sci-fi show before, so this feels really cool.’
As fans of the books will know, Gosselaar’s character meets a grisly end early in the story, which proved an alarming prospect for the actor.
‘I was in a bit of a panic at first,’ he says. ‘I rang the casting agent and asked her if I was the Ned Stark [the Game of Thrones character killed off early]of The Passage! But she said that wasn’t going to happen. There are lots of twists, though, and every episode has a cliffhanger.’
CAROLINE CHIKEZIE AS MAJOR NICHOLE SYKES, LEADER OF PROJECT NOAH
JAMIE MCSHANE PLAYS PATIENT ZERO, THE FIRST TO CONTRACT THE VIRUS