Tell us about your character.
Mitchell Hoban is kind of a disillusioned pioneer, someone who’s really embraced the chance to start again. He desperately wants to turn his back on the way things have been on Earth and what we’ve done wrong in the past. He’s a sort of hands-dirty kind of guy, he likes the toughness of starting from scratch. He really does enjoy the pioneering element, and as soon as civilization becomes too calcified it’s boring to him. He’s not necessarily a rebel but he’s one of those people who is trying to get away from government and big societies. David Cameron would not be his favourite person!
What’s Mitchell’s role?
He’s an expeditionary so he’s sort of an engineer rolled in with an explorer. The expeditionaries are basically in charge of exploring, finding the resources, creating the infrastructure, mapping this new planet. He’s the go-getter, he’s probably got a Special Forces background. That’s the kind of guy he is, a do-er and he’s been very much at the forefront of establishing this new world. He’s a bit of a poster boy for it, but he’s gone native. So he’s slightly at odds with the establishment in Carpathia. There are things that have happened in the past that he was involved with, and he’s not happy about them.
Did you hesitate to take on another futuristic project after Battlestar Galactica?
I did pause for thought, but the amazing thing about Battlestar Galactica is it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. And while there are similarities between the shapes of these plots – thousands of people stranded in a void, basically, and trying to make something out of that – they’re quite different as well. This is very much an experiment in settling on a planet, Battlestar Galactica was much more a space odyssey.
Was there anything from the Battlestar Galactica experience that you brought with you to this show?
Having lived through the excitement of Battlestar Galactica for five years and then having the privilege of starting again from square one on another adventure makes you appreciate it even more, because I know how rare it is to find these kind of stories. But in terms of the approach, not so much. You’re just dealing with a character and trying to flesh that out as much as you can. I suppose the lesson you learn is that these dramas can go anywhere so get involved 100 percent early on and take it for all its worth.
Are you still in touch with the Battlestar Galactica cast?
All of them. We speak on the phone or email. When I get back to LA I can guarantee we’ll have a Battlestar barbecue at some point, and they’ll all come over. We’re all very close. Five years is a long time, and we were all in a place where none of us were really from, so you were a sort of de facto family.