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TCA Press Tour: Eric Mabius ditches the fashion world for a space odyssey in 'Outcasts'

August 7, 2010 |  1:01 pm

Mabius He’s dressed in a sleek suit, a crisp blue button-down shirt peering through. It’s Daniel Meade straight from London! Eh, not quite. But Eric Mabius was here … all the way from South Africa to promote his upcoming BBC America series “Outcasts” at the TCA press tour.

In the series, Mabius is ditching those oh-so-colorful ties and bed buddies from "Ugly Betty" and is heading out of this world. Literally.  Well, literally in the TV sense. “Outcasts” is set in 2040 on the planet of Carpathia -- stop right there. Vampires in space this is not, no matter how much joy that would have brought Mabius. Instead, a group of pioneers leaves uninhabitable Earth and starts a new life, trying to survive as a species in the face of new conditions and obstacles.

Mabius plays Julius Berger, the last known transporter from Earth who serves as the source of hope on the planet.

“It’s probably one of the most fun characters I’ve ever played because he’s not black or white,” Mabius said. “He’s sort of the hero and anti-hero in this new place.”

It’s a sci-fi show, sure, but you won’t find laser beams and teleporting.  And it’s not "Battlestar Galactica" either; it's a much lower level of sci-fi than the SyFy series, creator Ben Richards said.

“We’re not at any point onboard transporters jumping through space,” he said. “We don’t have the kind of aerial battles you see in ‘Battlestar.’ ”

Richards hinted that an ecological catastrophe isn’t the cause of the Earthlings having to seek a new home but rather “some kind of global conflict between America and China.”

“Outcasts” is currently in production in South Africa; it premieres in December on BBC America.

-- Yvonne Villarreal

Photo: Eric Mabius attends the premiere of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" at Ziegfeld Theatre in 2009. Credit: Brad Barket / Getty Images

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