This octopus appeared as a character in the Syfy science fiction comedy series Resident Alien. It was voiced by Nathan Fillion.
The octopus lives in a fishtank in a Chinese restaurant in the town of Patience, Colorado. It encounters Harry Vanderspeigle, an alien who has crashed on Earth and who is passing as human, and has a telepathic conversation with him. It is somewhat foul-mouthed and sarcastic, and is bitter about its situation.
At a low point in his life, Harry Vanderspeigle meets up with Asta Twelvetrees and D'Arcy Bloom. Learning that he tried to drown his sorrows with alcohol and pills, they decide to try a different tack by getting him high instead. Afterwards, severely wasted, the group retires to a Chinese restaurant and eats noodles. While there, Vanderspeigle gets up and wanders off to a fishtank in the restaurant. There, he encounters an octopus, who recognizes him as one of his alien relatives despite his human disguise. The two begin a telepathic conversation and the octopus asks why he looks like "them." Vanderspeigle explains that he had to blend in and the octopus comments that he came at a good time, that things are getting bad for them. Vanderspeigle tells him that he has good news and bad news: the bad news being that he crashed and failed his mission, the good news being that his friends didn't order the octopus. The octopus tells him he can't give up, that they need him, then realizes that he's high. It chastises him for getting baked and having a good time when its brother is swimming around in the ocean stuck in a six-pack ring. Vanderspeigle shouts at him that panic-inducing pressure is not an effective tool on those who smoke marijuana. The octopus apologizes and tells him that he already knows what he needs to do. At this, Vanderspeigle realizes that he can use the power of the boy Max Hawthorne to find the power emanations that can lead him to his device. He leaves, telling the octopus not to tell anyone that he crashed, and the octopus shoots back that it's stuck an aquarium and can't tell anyone else. It then shouts at him to break it out, only to realize it should have opened with that.
Behind the scenes
The octopus is voiced by Nathan Fillion, who appeared as Malcolm Reynolds on the series Firefly, which also starred Resident Alien lead Alan Tudyk as Hoban Washburne. Fillion received no credit for his role, but his voice was immediately recognized by fans and the role was acknowledged officially in an article posted on Syfy's website. Showrunner Chris Sheridan revealed that he had initially planned to have Tudyk voice the role, and Tudyk suggested trying to get Fillion, which Sheridan found to be an "amazing idea." He reached out to Fillion, who was happy to agree to the role, and recorded it at home and "ad-libbed some really funny things."
"Are you high? You're baked. Look, my brother's been swimming around for six years with a plastic six-pack contained wrapped around his ass, and you're here smoking bowls? Just so long as you're having a good time."
- Syfy Wire: Here's How That Mini-Firefly Reunion Came to be In Syfy's Resident Alien by Josh Weiss. March 23, 2021.