KILL OR CURE?

MARK-PAUL GOS­SE­LAAR stars in a new sci-fi thriller about a deadly ex­per­i­ment

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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.

CON­TRO­VER­SIAL

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.’

AM­BI­TIOUS PROJECT

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

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