Harry is a character in the science fiction comedy television series Resident Alien. He is an alien who crash-lands on Earth and takes over the life of a doctor in the town of Patience. Harry is portrayed by Alan Tudyk.

Character overview[edit | edit source]

Harry has the ability to morph into the form of another species and does this with Harry Vanderspeigle, completely assuming his identity after killing him. He then learns English through watching television, particularly old reruns of Law and Order. He hides out in a small shack by a lake and his first major test comes when he is forced to assume Harry's role as a doctor, summoned to the town of Patience to investigate a murder. He has lost a portion of his spacecraft and is desperately searching for it in order to complete his mission before somebody else finds it. His mission is the genocide of the entire human species and he considers his own interaction with humans a distraction he must now deal with to avoid being detected before he can complete his job. His species has no human emotions and he finds, to his annoyance, that he is beginning to experience human emotions upon having assumed human form. Despite being on a mission to kill all humans, his short time in a human form has already led him to become protective towards Asta Twelvetrees, Sam Hodges's nurse who is now working under him. He has no qualms, however, about attempting to kill Max Hawthorne, a young boy who is able to see through his human form.

Due to his unfamiliarity with human behavior and nuances, Harry Vanderspeigle is often bluntly honest. This comes across as refreshing to some, but often annoys or exasperates others. He also has trouble with humor and often realizes only after seeing other's reactions that he has said something that they consider to be funny. Although he has trouble with bowling, he proves a natural at shooting a basketball, though has trouble with the nuances of the game, such as dribbling and passing the ball.

The star of his home system is approximately 46 light-years away from Earth and can be found in the sky some distance underneath the Big Dipper. He claims to Asta Twelvetrees to have had a wife back home, who passed away.

Appearance[edit | edit source]

On the surface, Harry Vanderspeigle appears to be an ordinary human Caucasian male, clean-shaven with short, light-brown hair. In truth, he is an alien with olive-colored skin, big black eyes and ridges across his skin. Whereas the original human Harry Vanderspeigle wore glasses, the alien apparently does not need them in his human form. He describes his human form as looking like a "young Jerry Orbach," based on his knowledge of Earth culture from watching reruns of Law and Order.

Plot summary[edit | edit source]

Arrival and trying to fit in[edit | edit source]

Harry Vanderspeigle arrived on Earth in his spaceship, his mission simply to deposit a device which would result in the destruction of the entire human species. His spaceship struck down in a lightning storm, he wandered the countryside of Colorado for a time before coming across the cabin of Harry Vanderspeigle on the outskirts of the city of Patience. He killed the man in what he considered self-defense, sending his body through one of the cabin's windows and into an icy lake. He then used his species' metamorphic abilities to assume the man's identity and began learning to behave as a human, largely through watching old reruns of Law and Order on television.

For several months, the Vanderspeigle alien lived a solitary life, spending his time searching the countryside for his device, the fragments of his spacecraft, and also at times searching the lake for the body of Harry Vanderspeigle. One day, he was busy searching the lake when Mike Thompson and Liv Baker, the sheriff and sheriff's deputy of Patience, arrived outside of his cabin. Upon meeting him, they told him that there had been a murder in town and they wanted him to investigate, as he was a doctor and the man who had been killed was the town doctor, Sam Hodges. Vanderspeigle reluctantly agreed to accompany the two back to town. There, he made a cursory examination of Hodges and claimed that the man had committed suicide. He then left the doctor's office, where he encountered Max Hawthorne, a young boy who screamed and fled upon seeing him. He realized, to his chagrin, that Max was one of the one in approximately one million humans able to see past his human form. Before he could consider it further, however, Asta Twelvetrees, Hodges's nurse, confronted him and insisted that he return and do a full autopsy.

Vanderspeigle agreed to her demand and the two worked together to complete the autopsy, but Twelvetrees found his behavior and mannerisms to be very odd. Determined to prove that he fit in, Vanderspeigle agreed to her request to join her in the town pub. There, he met the bartender, D'Arcy Bloom, danced with her, and learned something of the town's history. He also got very drunk and, afterwards, decided that the best way to deal with the boy Max was to try to kill him. He was caught by the boy, who screamed for his parents, then hid under the boy's bed while they escorted him out of his room, convinced that his talk of an alien trying to kill him was simply due to having watched the movie E.T.: The Extraterrestrial. The next day, he returned to town, having agreed to let Twelveetrees use his truck to move some boxes out of her old home. He ended up encountering her ex-husband, Jimmy. She tried to send him away, but he hid out and observed him abusing her, at which point he pulled him through the wall of his home and throttled him within an inch of his life. When Twelvetrees asked how he managed what he did, he wrote it off as having done yoga.

Vanderspeigle attended the funeral of Sam Hodges and confronted Ben Hawthorne, the town's mayor. He asked him why it was that everyone was calling him, believing him to be the new town doctor. Ben told him that everyone has the right to medical care and, as the town's mayor, it was his job to ensure that they get it. He continued that he had a standing 4 P.M. therapy appointment with Hodges on Tuesdays and he wanted to continue it with him. He walked away and Twelvetrees joined Vanderspeigle. A passing comment she made led him to have a brainwave and realize that rather than committing suicide, Hodges was poisoned. To everyone's shock, he opened Hodges's coffin, telling Twelvetrees that if he waited, it would be too late. After Twelvetrees led him away from the shocked priest and mourners, he explained his new theory: Hodges had been poisoned, causing his throat to constrict. He attempted to give himself a tracheotomy, but passed away before he could complete the procedure.

The next day, Vanderspeigle returned to the clinic, beginning his new job as the town doctor. He was led into the exam room to meet his first patient, but upon pulling back the curtain, discovered Max Hawthorne, the boy from before, who screamed loudly. "Yeah, this is some bullshit," he agreed.

First day on the job[edit | edit source]

Vanderspeigle made another cursory attempt to kill the boy, but he ran away and hid under a bench outside. With the boy gone, he began his first day at work as the new town doctor, bluffing his way through the job. As an alien of superior intelligence, he figured that he could just look up everything he needed on the Internet, but the initial work proved more challenging than he might have guessed. Trying to give a woman a pelvic exam, his attempt to hide his Internet search resulted in him accidentally flashing a photo, which he explained away as taking a selfie. Later, he gave a woman a breast exam and insulted her by using the term "tit."

That evening, Vanderspeigle met Asta Twelvetrees's adoptive father, Dan, who upon seeing him told her that he had a "bad feeling." When she replied that he has a bad feeling regarding any man within ten feet of her, he told that when he looked at Vanderspeigle, he felt nothing at all. Afterwards, while out walking, he noticed a number of wanted posters with a picture of his alien form, made by Max using a sketch created by deputy Liv Baker. Realizing that the boy wasn't going to give up, he decided to take a different tack and call up Max's home, pretending to be one of Max's school friends. When Max took the phone, however, he realized that the voice on the other end of the line wasn't that of a child and quickly sussed out Vanderspeigle's ruse. Frustrated, Vanderspeigle again shouted that he was going to kill the boy.

An emptiness[edit | edit source]

Back at the clinic, Asta Twelvetrees set Vanderspeigle up in the nurse's office, explaining that she didn't yet want anyone to be in Sam Hodges's office. He asked her about her struggles with Sam Hodges's death and she told him that she didn't have anyone to talk to when she was sad as a child, as she and her father didn't get along well and she moved out. He asked her why she moved back and she admitted that she missed home. When, however, she tried to ask him about his own past, and where he was from, however, he evaded the question, saying that he was hungry. Reflecting that the human form was often confusing to him and he was often struck with an emptiness that didn't go away despite eating, Vanderspeigle traveled to the pub from before. When D'Arcy Bloom asked him why he was there, he told her that he had been hungry, but for some reason no longer was. She suggested that it might be stress, admitting to being a big stress eater. She offered him some more whiskey, but he refused, saying that he had tried to kill someone the last time that he drank it. Taking this for a joke, she quipped that if he was going to kill someone, he should make it look like an accident or else he wouldn't be able to go bowling with her the next evening. This led him to the conclusion that he could kill Max Hawthorne and make it look like an accident. He accepted her request and left, wondering to himself what bowling was.

The next day, he gave a counseling session to Ben Hawthorne, discovering that the man sometimes fantasized about being a kid again. Their session was interrupted by a loud argument, as the widow of Sam Hodges had arrived in the office and was trying to claim his possessions, despite Twelvetrees's insistence that the place was a crime scene and nobody was allowed to touch everything. As he watched the ongoing argument, he reflected to himself that pathetic humans allowed emotions to dictate their behavior. That evening, he went bowling with Bloom as promised. At the bowling alley, the two were surprised to encounter Sheriff Mike Thompson, Bloom quipping that he ought to be out solving crime. The two both bowled strikes, but when Vnaderpseigle took his turn, his attempt at calculating a shot using math resulted only in his accidentally lobbing the ball backwards into Thompsons's crotch, an embarrassing failure. Thompson left and he and Bloom sat down to talk. He asked Bloom when the snow on the mountain usually melted and she replied that it all depended on when they got a good rain and it could happen in as little in a week. The conversation turned to skiing and Bloom admitted that she had once had dreams of skiing in the Olympics, dreams that were dashed when she fell and broke several bones. The comment gave Vanderspeigle an idea and he rose suddenly from their table, telling her that he had to go.

Vanderpseigle reflected that Max Hawthorne rode his bike every morning to school and that he wouldn't survive without brakes. He cut the brakes on the boy's bike, considering it a genius plan. The next day, however, he was working the clinic when he was told that Ben Hawthorne was there and that there had been an accident. "I'm sorry for your loss," he told Ben. "What loss?" asked Ben, showing him Max and telling him that he had fallen in his driveway and needed stitches. "That's it?" asked Vanderspeigle, stunned. He and Max squared off, him saying that he didn't bite, then whispering to Max that he actually did. He told him that they had Novocain for good boys, asking him if he was going to be a good boy. "Of course," Max agreed for the benefit of his father, who was listening from a distance, before whispering to Vanderspeigle, "No, never." Vanderspeigle then stitched up Max's wound, Max grimacing through the pain, but refusing to give. As he and Ben walked out, Vanderspiegle warned "Remember, if you're not careful, something horrible can happen to you." Max shot back that he could take care of himself, then tricked Vanderspeigle by making him think his shoe was untied. That evening, at the clinic, Asta Twelvetrees admitted to Vanderspeigle that Dan wasn't her biological father, that her mother left her when she was one and that Dan took her in and raised her. He agreed to play a card game with her, telling her he'd put his stuff in his office, referring to the nurse's office. She, however, told him that Hodges's office was his office now. As the two played cards, he reflected that he didn't want to, but he could tell that Asta was sad. He wondered how it was that he could feel an emotion that was inside somebody else. As he continued his search of the mountains, he discovered tellurium, a substance from his home planet with anti-gravitational properties. He realized that human emotions were growing inside of him and the emptiness he had been feeling was loneliness. He reflected further that now that he had found the tellurium, he could heal the loneliness by flying home once he found his device undiscovered and detonated it, frying every human being on Earth.

Another body[edit | edit source]

Vanderspeigle continued to search for the remains of spaceship, but found his progress hindered by an avalanche caused by others who were searching the mountain. One morning, he heard a knock at his door and opened it to find Kate Hawthorne, the mother of the boy Max. She stated that her son told her that he was an alien. Alarmed, he secretly reached for a knife, already readying himself to kill her, when she asked him what was wrong with her son, why it was that he was making things up. He clarified that she did not, in fact, believe her son's story. Relieved, he told her that she didn't have anything to worry about. She showed him a wanted poster that had been created by Max, saying that he was driving her crazy and asking him as a doctor if there was anything they could do. "Move," he suggested, saying that Scotland needed mayors. She told him point blank that her family wasn't moving and he played it off as a joke, saying that Max was probably just looking for attention. She agreed that this made sense, as she tried to avoid Max during the day, with it being awkward for him to have a mother who worked at school. "Neglect," agreed Vanderspeigle, telling her she could go.

Later that morning, he discovered Max lying in wait for him outside the clinic. The two traded barbs and Max accused him of ripping down his posters. He shot back that he could put them back up if he wanted, that nobody believed him, not even his parents. The two got into an argument regarding Vanderspeigle's knowledge of Earth's history and culture that ended with Max getting the one-up and Vanderspeigle calling him an "asshole." Inside the clinic, he had a discussion with Asta Twelvetrees in which he revealed that he was having trouble sleeping (in fact, was not able to at all), which was interrupted by the arrival of a summons to the town hall on a report that there had been another dead body found, this time in the lake. Upon arriving at the town hall, however, he learned that what had actually been discovered was an individual foot, found by fisherman out trawling the lake. He quickly realized that the foot in question was that of Harry Vanderspeigle, the doctor whose identity he had assumed. Sheriff Mike Thompson expressed that they had a serial killer in town, which he felt was a good thing, because serial killers were easier to catch than normal murderers. He announced that he was sending the foot to Denver for DNA testing and Vanderspeigle panicked, as he knew that the results of the DNA test would implicate him.

Hatching a plan, Vanderspeigle asked Thompson to give him the foot. He told him that he had experience in pathology and that he could take a sample, rather than it being necessary to send the whole foot to Denver. Thompson agreed that this was a good idea and ordered him to take a skin sample. Then, while examining a baby who had been brought to the office, he asked if the boy had been circumcised. When she said that he hadn't, he told her that she really should consider it, that it could reduce both urinary tract infections and STDs. Somehow, he got the woman to agree to the procedure, then delivered the foreskin to Thompson, passing it off as the skin sample from the foot. That evening, he tried again to sleep, only to be disturbed by the sudden arrival of Mike Thompson, his deputy Liv Baker and their police dog Cletus, as well as Ben and Kate Hawthorne. Thompson announced that they were going to be searching the lake and would not stop until they found the body the foot had come from. He and the others departed for the lake, leaving the dog behind.

Alien's victory[edit | edit source]

As the search got underway, Vanderspeigle lamented that he didn't like this feeling, that even the dog was making him nervous. He flashed back to a time when he had no feelings, when he was still wandering the wilderness and he encountered a cowboy on horseback and stole both his horse and hat. Back in the present, he heard Cletus's barking and discovered that the dog had found the body of the human Vanderspeigle washed upon the shore. Fighting the dog the whole way, he dragged the body back inside the cabin, only to be startled by the sudden arrival of D'Arcy Bloom and Judy, who had been watching the search on the lake, but had gotten bored. He told them he was just standing there doing nothing and they told him about their own activities, saying that it was like their town's version of a drive-in. They asked to use his bathroom and he allowed it. They did so, examining his medicine cabinet in the process, and he then ushered them out. They told him that they didn't want to stay anyway, that they were going to a party, but it was a girl's night out thing, so he couldn't come.

Vanderspeigle was relieved at their exit. Sometime later, the search at the beach was called off due to the mayor's seasickness, and Thompson and Baker returned to Vanderspeigle's to collect Cletus. Upon arrival, however, they discovered the dog barking its head off. Despite Vanderspeigle's pleas that they couldn't go in, the dog led them directly to the cabin's basement and its freezer. Thinking the dog was onto something, Thompson opened the freezer, only to discover a number of wrapped packages labeled as meat products - "bison," "pork chops," etc. He said that this explained things, that Cletus was crazy for meat. He agreed that there was nothing to see there and he, Baker and Cletus cleared out. Vanderspeigle then crowed to himself over his victory, as the body of the human Vanderspeigle was in the freezer, buried carefully underneath the piles of meat packages. The next day, he returned to the clinic, where he discovered Twelvetrees applying a lock to the desk drawer where Hodges had kept his prescription pads. He told her that he also had some things he needed to lock away and she asked who he even was. "Just a... guy," he told her. Later that day, he was eating in a cafe when the girl Sahar, who claimed to believe Max Hawthorne's story, came in for a closer look at him and then knocked over his drink cup before running away with Hawthorne.

Guess who's coming to dinner[edit | edit source]

Vanderspeigle had a dream in which he walked through the town of Patience in his alien form, receiving warm regards from everyone he met before finally returning home to an alien wife and baby. There, he received a package from a friendly mailman, which turned out to contain the device he'd been searching for. It activated, killing every human. Vanderspeigle then awoke with a start, commenting that he dreams now. He went out to confront Sheriff Thompson, complaining that his "domesticated wolf" (Cletus) woke him up. He and Deputy Baker explained that they moved their search to the shore.

That afternoon, Vanderspeigle was in a cafe eating pie, when he was approached by Mayor Hawthorne, who told him that he was making progress on finding a new town doctor. He remained sitting there and when Vanderspeigle pointed it out, he explained that he and his wife were concerned about their son's behavior. To this end, they were inviting Vanderspeigle over for dinner. Vanderspeigle tried to refuse, but Hawthorne wouldn't take no for an answer. Vanderspeigle then returned to the clinic, where he tried to invite Asta to come to dinner with him, but she refused, being busy. She, however, volunteered D'Arcy Bloom, who agreed to come. Meanwhile, Asta accused Jay of stealing one of Sam Hodges's prescription pads. Jay tried to play it off and Vanderspeigle asked why Asta would ask her that. Jay thought he was backing her up, only for him to comment that statistically she was the one most likely to have stolen it.

Vanderspeigle arrived over at the Hawthornes' place, where Ben and Kate were surprised to discover that he had brought a date. Vanderspeigle, meanwhile, was surprised to discover that Max was being perfectly civil towards him, unaware that outside, Max's friend Sahar was busy stealing his keys to make copies of them. The dinner proceeded, with Kate discovering that Bloom and her husband had a shared history. As for Vanderspeigle, during a moment alone with Max, he asked him why he was being so nice, given how many times that he had tried to kill him. Max simply replied that he would do the same if he were an alien, asking him if he wanted more potatoes. Vanderspeigle and Bloom finally left, despite Max's attempts to stall their departure to give Sahar more time, and Vanderspeigle reflected that maybe the boy had finally come to like him, that he was a likeable alien. Vanderspeigle drove Bloom home and she asked if he was going to kiss her. He reflected that he had seen this on TV and gave her a kiss. Though a bit awkward, Bloom commented that it wasn't the worst kiss he ever had. She exited and Vanderspeigle had an erection, thinking that it was rigor mortis and his penis was dying.

Harry don't got game[edit | edit source]

The afternoon of the next day, Vanderspeigle was on call when Asta learned that her grandmother's back was hurting again. In the past, Sam Hodges would have traveled to the Ute Reservation to give her an injection and so Asta wanted Vanderspeigle to come in Hodge's place, given that he was on call. Vanderspeigle did not want to go, but she took him and her adoptive father Dan, who didn't want to come either, on the basis that she didn't want grown men to act like children. On the way there, the group stopped at a gas station, and while going to the bathroom to pee, Vanderspeigle unwittingly encountered David Logan, one of two military agents out searching for the alien that had crashed in the mountains.

The group finally arrived at the reservation and Vanderspeigle, seeing everyone there, came to a realization. He saw that it was not food that brought people together, but rather a basic need to felt like they belonged, something which felt good. They entered Asta's grandmother's room and Vanderspeigle gave her the injection, the two of them bonding over some shared abuse of Dan. Asta's grandmother then made a comment that it was about time that Asta had a child and Vanderspeigle said that she already did, that it was obvious from their shared facial structure and how they both ate like they were starving to death, it was obvious that Jay was Asta's child. Stunned at Vanderspeigle outing her like this, Jay exited, leading Vanderspeigle to comment that they also both ran out of rooms in the same way. Realizing that he needed to give everyone some space, Vanderspeigle left the room as well and took a walk, coming across a group of guys playing basketball. When one of them accidentally tossed the ball his way, they shouted for him to toss it back, but to their astonishment he dunked the ball from all the way across the court. They all immediately wanted him as part of the game, but quickly discovered that he was unfamiliar with the nuances of the game. He aggravated them all by being clueless when it came to things such as dribbling and passing the ball, and even at point scoring against his own team. Finally, he nearly passed out in a field, unable to keep up with their energy and vigor and wondering if it was the end for him. As darkness fell and he looked up at the night sky, he reflected that his home planet was 46 light years away.

Vanderspeigle was joined by Asta. He apologized for revealing her secret, but she brushed it off, telling him that he had actually done everyone a favor, that it needed to come out. He told her that he missed home and she asked if he had any family there. He told her that he had a wife, who passed away, thus he took a job that brought him there. The group returned home, jamming to the song "Boujee Natives" on the way there. Upon arriving at his cabin, Vanderspeigle discovered the door open. He locked it before going inside, and heading for the basement, where he discovered the kids Max and Sahar passed out on the floor, having tried to touch the apple he had floating over a saucer via the power of tellurium. He checked their pulses and was annoyed to discover them both still alive. He stuffed them both in duffel bags and then headed upstairs, only to discover an unfamiliar woman standing in the living room. He asked her how she got in, given that the door was locked. "I have a key," she told him. "I am still your wife."

Quotes[edit | edit source]

"Humans have a term for this: "Bad luck," and "raw deal," and "this is some bullshit.""

-- Vanderspeigle regarding Max's ability, "Pilot"


"How long do you think I have?"
"Do you like Christmas?"
"Yes, very much.
"Celebrate it before June."
"Oh okay. Oh. But between now and Christmas?"
"You can eat anything you want."
"I like you. This is the first time that a doctor’s been totally honest with me. This town is very lucky to have a doctor as good as you."

-- An elderly patient and Harry Vanderspeigle, "Homesick"


"Circumcision. What is that, eye surgery? (clicks, gasps and covers his eyes) They are a savage people.

-- Vanderspeigle, researching medical procedures, "Secrets"


"If Max doesn't drop the alien thing, I'm gonna kill him."
"You and me both. (chuckles awkwardly)"

  -- Kate Hawthorne and Harry Vanderspeigle, "Secrets"


"I can't sleep at night. I want to learn how."
"Okay, well, please stop, it's creepy."

 --Vanderspeigle, staring at Jay, and Asta Twelvetrees, "Secrets"


Gallery[edit | edit source]

Promotional[edit | edit source]

Pilot[edit | edit source]

Homesick[edit | edit source]

Secrets[edit | edit source]

Birds of a Feather[edit | edit source]

Love Language[edit | edit source]

Sexy Beast[edit | edit source]

Navigation[edit | edit source]

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References[edit | edit source]


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