For its second season, Syfy’s Alphas has a new showrunner (Eureka‘s Bruce Miller), a new hero (played by Detroit 1-8-7‘s Erin Way) and a new creative direction (the world now knows about the existence of people with superpowers). We recently spoke to Miller, who’s stepping in for previous showrunner Ira Steven Behr this season (and btw, Alphas co-creator Zak Penn is expected to consult on the show, but not write any episodes this round — the man has the upcoming Karate Kid sequel and story credit on The Avengers, after all, so we suspect he’s busy). Below, Miller gives some fresh details about what’s to come; the show returns Monday, July 23:
EntertainmentWeekly: The Alphas went public in the first season finale. How does this change the game?
Miller: The show exists very much in the real world so we tried to think what would really happen. We decided that some people would believe it and some would not. The goverment wouldn’t confirm it. Alphas would be somewhere between Area 51 and Bigfoot. And certainly Dr. Lee Rosen (David Strathairn) the hammer would come down on him for making that kind of revelation. I think he was trying to do the right thing. But the repercussions were quite strong. Rosen has been institutionalized and discredited. The team has broken up. It’s a team of misfits but they fit well together. I wanted to see their lives without the team. Some have become more much committed to each other, some have fallen quite far morally and ethically.
What’s their relationship with the government like now?
The government finds they’re in a position where they don’t particularly trust Rosen and he doesn’t trust them. But this team has special skills and there are some very scary Alphas escaping into the world. They the team is brought together, not because the government wants them but because the government needs them.
What’s Erin Way’s character like?
She really is fabulous we feel she’s a terrific actress and we’re lucky to have her. Erin’s character is named Kat and she shows up [in an] episode where there’s an Alphas Fight Club and she’s going to toe with Harken (Malik Yoba). Her character has an amazing ability — she’s a quick study, she can learn anything really quickly. She can learn how to fly a helicopter overnight. But it comes with an extraordinary downside, that she has no long-term memory. Things that happened six weeks ago fades away. She’s almost like a Tivo moving forward. But her muscle memory doesn’t go away. So she doesn’t know what she knows and what she doesn’t know. Sometimes she’s incredibly useful sometime she’s not and you never know which it’s going to be. She’s living in the moment. It’s a very cool character.
You’re stepping into the showrunner seat this season. What might we expect different in terms of focus or tone or whatnot?
Season 1 is always an experiment in a show finding its way. I was a huge fan of the show last year. I think you want to take that and move it ahead and have characters grow and change. I think we’ve just scratched the surface and I really want to see what these characters are like, get to know them more intimately, their strengths and weaknesses and good side sand bad sides — so you’re rooting for them even more to overcome their bad sides.
What else is coming in season 2?
We are definitely going to see Stan Parrish (John Pyper-Ferguson) again. We’ve got some great guest stars like Lauren Holly and C. Thomas Howell. We’re doing things you’re not going to see on any other show, like we have an episode that takes place in the Civil War. This season is fully packed.
For more scoop on summer’s hottest TV shows, pick up EW’s big Summer Preview issue on stands this week.