Syfy is not looking too far past the genre for some quality actors to take on roles in upcoming pilots.
And “Defiance,” from “Farscape” great Rockne S. O’Bannon, is no exception.
The Syfy pilot has cast Mia Kirshner and Fionnula Flanagan, joining a group that already includes “True Blood’s” Grant Bowler and “Dexter’s” Julie Benz.
Kirshner was first introduced to genre fans more than 20 years ago as Sophie Metternich in “Dracula: The Series.” In 1996, she was Sarah in “The Crow: City of Angels,” and later would play Ruby Cates in the short-lived series “Wolf Lake.”
More recently, she spent five years in the Showtime lesbian drama “The L Word” before joining The CW’s “Vampire Diaries” last year as Isobel Flemming.
In “Defiance,” Kirshner will play Kenya, the town “madam” who is pretty much in touch with everything that goes on in the frontier town.
Joining her is Flanagan, who most fans would probably recognize as Eloise Hawking in “Lost,” and if you’re a fan of “The Others,” as the amazing Mrs. Bertha Mills in that 2001 mostly overlooked film. Flanagan has a distinguished genre record, however. beginning in 1976 when she guest-starred in an episode of ‘The Bionic Woman.” She also played Catarine in the Star Wars-inspired television movie “Ewok Adventure” in 1984.
She has also appeared more than once in Star Trek series, beginning in 1993 when she played Enina Tandro in the “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” episode “Dax” and Dr. Juliana Tainer in the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” episode “Inheritance.” She would later don some pointed ears to play Vulcan ambassador V’Lar in the 2002 “Star Trek: Enterprise” episode “Fallen Hero.”
Flanagan will play Nicky, a former mayor of the town who uses her clout and political experience to help mentor Benz’ character of Amanda.
Bowler plays Jeb Nolan, a police officer in a boomtown filled with humans and aliens on a new Earth built from a once uninhabitable planet. Nolan, according to a Syfy release, is a former Marine who lost his wife and child in the way against the aliens, and has to balance that with his new job.
Filming for the pilot begins as early as next week in Toronto, and with a related massive multiplayer online game in development alongside the series, there’s a good chance Syfy could pick this project up for series pretty early.