• Aidan Gillen and Michael Malarkey. (SBS)Source: SBS
Meet the alien hunters and shadowy conspirators looking into the wave of UFO encounters that swept the US in the fifties.
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14 Mar 2019 - 3:43 PM  UPDATED 16 Apr 2019 - 11:53 AM

It’s not just the aliens that are worth keeping an eye on in Project Blue Book – there’s also a first-class cast peering into the mysteries hovering above 1950s America. Here’s your guide to the men and women watching the skies.

Aidan Gillen as Dr J. Allen Hynek

Aidan Gillen as Dr. J. Allen Hynek

Best known today as Littlefinger from Game of Thrones, he’s been a morally dubious guy in a whole range of things, from the morally dubious mayor in The Wire to the morally dubious CIA guy in the plane with Bane at the start of The Dark Knight Rises. He’s also been an outright bad guy in the Maze Runner films and the sadly overlooked action movie 12 Rounds, but he’s been a good guy too – he was comedian Dave Allen in last year’s Dave Allen at Peace and Queen’s manager in Bohemian Rhapsody.

 

Michael Malarkey as Captain Michael Quinn

Hey, it’s Enzo from The Vampire Diaries! That show was pretty crazy, so let’s just say he died more than once, murdered a whole lot of humans, turned a few of them into vampires and was eventually redeemed by the power of love. So, tracking down some aliens should be a piece of cake.

 

Laura Mennell as Mimi Hynek

Mennell has done a lot of science fiction series over the years, including Haven, Alphas and The Man in the High Castle (where she was Thelma Harris), so dealing with '50s UFOs should be right up her alley. She also has acting experience as the wife of a top-level scientist, having appeared in the Watchmen movie as Janey Slater, the first girlfriend of physicist-turned-glowing-blue-superhuman, Dr Manhattan.

 

Ksenia Solo as Susie Miller

Ksenia Solo as Susie Miller.

If you’ve ever seen Canadian supernatural series Lost Girl, then you know Solo as Kenzi, the wise-cracking human best friend of succubus-turned-private eye, Bo. She was a stand-out across that show’s five seasons, winning a Gemini Award and being nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for best supporting role. And remember Shay Davydov from season three of Orphan Black? Her too.

 

Neal McDonough as General James Harding

Neal McDonough as General James Harding.

What hasn’t this guy been in? He was Tom Cruise’s sidekick in Minority Report and M. Bison in Street Fighter. He was in The Legend of Chun-Li, he’s been in both the Marvel Universe (as Dum Dum Dugan in Captain America: The First Avenger) and the DC Universe (as bad guy Damien Dhark in Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow) and was Dave Williams on season five of Desperate Housewives. How do you top that? Well, let’s not forget he was also the bad guy in Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

 

Michael Harney as General Hugh Valentine

Michael Harney as General Hugh Valentine.

He’s played cops, he’s played FBI agents, he’s played military men, and he was Xander’s dad on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: this is a man who projects authority. Unless you were paying close attention during A Star is Born (in which he played Wolfie), you probably know him best as Corrections Officer Sam Healy in Orange is the New Black. Though for an extremely small number of people, it’s his appearance on bonkers '90s series Vengeance Unlimited that’s his real claim to fame.

 

Robert John Burke as William Fairchild

Robert John Burke as William Fairchild.

Best known to some as Chuck Bass’s dad on Gossip Girl, remembered by others as Dennis Leary’s drunk priest brother on Rescue Me, Burke has made something of a name for himself playing flawed authority figures. So, no surprise here that he’s part of the shadowy military cabal looking to keep UFO sightings in the dark.

 

Michael Imperioli as Edward Rizzuto

Michael Imperioli as Edward Rizzuto.

He’ll forever be known as Christopher Moltisanti from The Sopranos (unless you saw Goodfellas first, in which case he’s the shoe-shine box kid that Joe Pesci shoots), but he’s kept busy since then, turning up as a regular on shows such as Law & Order, the US version of Life on Mars and Hawaii 5-0. He appears in two episodes of Project Blue Book as a soldier involved in an incident that nearly disrupted a nuclear test, with a very strange story of his own to tell.

SBS will air the double-episode premiere of Project Blue Book at 8.30pm AEDT Thursday 28 March followed by two weeks of double episodes. Episodes will stream simultaneously at SBS On Demand. From Thursday 18 April, the remaining episodes will air weekly at 9.30pm AEST.

SBS VICELAND airs episodes on Fridays at 8:35pm.

Watch the latest episode at SBS On Demand:

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