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Television

WonderCon ’21: ‘Debris’ and human connections

Showrunner, Joel Wyman, and the cast talk Debris and what’s to come for the rest of the season.

Debris premiered early this month on NBC. The science fiction series follows an international taskforce who search the globe recovering the pieces from an alien spacecraft wreckage that falls to Earth. All of the space debris possess different properties that defy the laws of our science and there are unprincipled groups looking to gather the pieces. The show hosted a panel at WonderCon@Home with creator and showrunner, Joel Wyman, in attendance along with cast members Jonathan Tucker, Riann Steele, Norbert Leo Butz, and Scroobius Pip.  

Viewers were first treated with a sneak peek at this Monday’s episode that showcased the shaky alliance between the U.S. and U.K. and Steele’s Finola Jones wrestling with her father allying with the secret organization.

Wyman then discussed the genesis of Debris. He wanted to create a program with space alien stuff but little green men weren’t his forte when it came to sci-fi. That’s why he made the space material aesthetic something people could understand and grasp but imbued it with traits that didn’t obey physics. What’s happening around the debris is mind blowing and the audience slowly understands its significance as Butz’s Maddox figures it out on the series and comprehends what it’s really capable of.

In addition, similar to Wyman’s work on Fringe and Almost Human, the creator injected lots of heart and investigated human connections. Many of the main characters have deeply emotional backstories. Especially in the current climate and how they have filmed during the pandemic, small moments of disconnect can mean so much more now.

Pip talked about his unconventional path to acting. His character, Anson Ash, has been radicalized and has a strong belief in the new power these cosmic materials have. Ash thinks big governments will exploit its powers. On a show centered on connections, it was ironic that Pip’s character didn’t really interact with the other main cast members until the fifth episode. Similarly, Finola and Bryan (Tucker) are managing a different drama since all the different secrets make them see how in the dark they are and question whether they can trust the people around them.

To tease what’s coming in the back half of the season, Wyman said to expect the unexpected. It’s just the beginning and things will change in ways you won’t understand until you see them.

Debris airs Monday nights on NBC.

ICYMI, you can also read about the possibility of real UFO artifacts.

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