Alphas: Writer Reveals Character Details

Zak Penn – the scriptwriter behind such superhero films as X-Men , X2 and The Incredible Hulk (as well as the upcoming Avengers ) talks about his new series for Syfy

Zak Penn has been speaking to Coming Soon about his new superhero series for Syfy, Alphas, which debuts on the network on 11 July.

“The first thing is I really did try to start from a totally different paradigm. I mean I was saying to them… the show is probably closer to The Mentalist or The X-Files in its pitch. Seriously, that's where we started from… as opposed to Heroes which is completely serialised – I haven't watched the whole series but it is a lot like X-Men . We purposely started from the totally other direction in terms of what the show is actually like. In the same way that Law & Order is nothing like Heat . They’re two opposite ends of the genre. I think for me I was less worried about that than I was about other procedural type shows that had some overlap with us. But luckily they all got cancelled.”

Of the characters, he reveals, “The group is: Hark , who can initiate his fight-or-flight instinct, which gives him enhanced strength. Rachel is a synestheet – her various senses are crossed, so she has enhanced senses. It’s hearing, seeing, smell, etc, but only one at a time and the others shut down; Hicks has something called hyperkinesis, which is perfect synchrony between his thought and muscles, so that he can throw a quarter through a coin slot 20 yards away. He can balance on anything. Gary is autistic but he has the ability to perceive all electromagnetic wavelengths and interpret them. And Nina has what’s called instant induction – she can basically override your willpower for a brief period of time. These are all based on real people. They’re all based on actual research. I mean, they’re a little bit heightened, obviously, but one or two of them are pretty close to reality actually. No flying. No laser beams coming out of eyes. No capes. That’s kind of the rule.”