Battlestar Galactica's Tricia Helfer Boards Syfy's Ascension

If you're casting a role described as "beautiful, manipulative and dangerous," Tricia Helfer would be a pretty ideal candidate for the part. See her performance as Six in Battlestar Galactica for evidence of that. With that in mind, it's particularly fitting that Helfer should return to Syfy for a "beautiful, manipulative and dangerous" role in the cable channel's six hour event series Ascension.

As it happens, this project, which is created and written by Philip Levens (Smallville), is also named after a space ship...

In 1963, the U.S. government launched a covert space mission sending hundreds of men, women and children on a century-long voyage aboard the starship Ascension to populate a new world. Nearly 50 years into the journey, as they approach the point of no return, the mysterious murder of a young woman causes the ship’s population to question the true nature of their mission.

Tricia Helfer will play Viondra Denniger, a woman who regards herself as "a not-so-secret power broker" aboard the Ascension. She's also the beautiful, manipulative and dangerous wife to the Captain of the ship. Her position of power and privilege comes in handy as the Ship's Chief Steward.

This is certainly a notable bit of casting for the ambitious project, which Syfy's aiming to get on the air this November. Since playing Six (and numerous variations of the Cylon model) in Battlestar Galactica, Tricia Helfer has bounced between network and cable TV, with roles in TNT's Dark Blue, Fox's Lie to Me, NBC's short-lived The Firm and most recently, ABC's Killer Women. She also dropped in for guest spots in shows like Community, Two and a Half Men and Franklin & Bash. It's been hit or miss for her in terms of new projects. She had starring roles in Ronald Moore's 17th Precinct pilot, which didn't go to series, and also played the lead in Scent of the Missing at TNT. That didn't pan out either.

While Helfer's proven adept at handling strong female roles in any genre, it's especially promising to note that she's returning to the genre that set her career off. Meanwhile, based on the projects Syfy is lining up, it seems like the cable channel is targeting more and more projects that suit its base genre. With non-sci-fi shows like Being Human wrapping up, Syfy is pushing forward with projects like 12 Monkeys, The Expanse and another helping of Helix. And then, of course, there's Sharknado and Z Nation, which fit into their own niche of the sci-fi genre. It's going to be very interesting to see how Syfy looks in the coming years once all of these projects settle in.

Kelly West
Assistant Managing Editor

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.