WGN America's latest pilot is the sci-fi epic Roadside Picnic, based on the 1972 Russian novel of the same name by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. I'm hoping it makes it to series, because the cast is getting more and more interesting. The newest additions to the ensemble are W. Earl Brown (pictured above) and Michael Lindall, a veteran TV character actor and a relative newcomer.
Brown is perhaps best known for his role as Dan Dority on Deadwood, but he's recently been seen on shows that are making big splashes like True Detective and Preacher. Lindall is a fresher face with more to prove, but I love when shows give new actors a chance.
Roadside Picnic explores a near-future world where aliens have come and gone, leaving humankind to explore the wondrous and dangerous mysteries left behind. The story also explores the social ramifications of their visit, as seen through the eyes of Red (Matthew Goode), a veteran “stalker” who has made it his mission to illegally venture into the once inhabited zone and scavenge the abandoned remains of the alien culture.
Red is described as an “enigmatic, blue-collar contradiction” who can be quietly intelligent one moment and utterly ruthless the next. Red has a loving relationship with his wife Guta and his daughter Marie — who is shunned because she is a child of the “Zone,” the site of a long-ago extraterrestrial visitation. Red used to be a “Stalker” — one of the brave souls willing to risk their lives by illegally entering the Zone to sell what they find on the black market. Red, recently out of prison, finds his troubles are just beginning.
Brown will take on the role of Buzzard, "a veteran and affluent Stalker who considers himself the de facto leader of his criminal cohorts." Lindall is Tender, "a brave and daring Army vet recruited to join Red’s excursion into the zone."
The pilot was written by Jack Paglen (TRANSCENDENCE) and will be directed by Alan Taylor (TERMINATOR: GENISYS, Game of Thrones).