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Why Halphas From Raised By Wolves Looks So Familiar

If science fiction is good at anything, it's dissecting the human condition. Behind all the artificial intelligence, decked-out spaceships, and alien lifeforms, the best sci-fi stories set out to tell us a little something about ourselves — sometimes even a big something. Raised by Wolves, streaming on HBO Max, looks to be one of those stories. Executive produced by none other than legendary Alien director Ridley Scott, the show takes place on Kepler-22b, a planet hundreds of light years from Earth. Two androids dubbed Father and Mother are to raise a group of human children to be the next generation, but the settlers of a nearby human colony — not to mention, the perils of the planet itself — complicate matters. Just like on Earth, religion and relationships muddle what could otherwise be very simple affairs.

The cast is packed with relative unknowns, including one Chris Fisher, who is not to be confused with the director of the same name. And while Fisher is now garnering recognition for his role as Halphas on Raised by Wolves, this sci-fi tale isn't his first time acting. Here's why he looks so familiar.

Fisher battled more than just the waves in Black Sails

Space may be the final frontier in Raised by Wolves, but the same could be said of the ocean in Black Sails. Set in the early 1700s, the show follows a group of pirates as they gallivant across the high seas, searching for treasure and staving off those who would try to impose authority over them. Some of the pirates depicted are purely fictional, such as Captain Flint (Toby Stephens), based on the Robert Louis Stevenson character of the same name. On the other hand, there are characters like Blackbeard (Ray Stevenson), who is, of course, the real deal.

Chris Fisher's character, Ben Gunn, lies strictly on the fictional side of things, having first appeared in Stevenson's Treasure Island, before getting his time in the sun in The Adventures of Ben Gunn, by R. F. Delderfield. 

In Black Sails, Gunn was once a crewman on a slave trader, only to become the sole survivor after his ship moored on Maroon Island, where the Maroon Queen (Moshidi Motshegwa) forced him into hard labor. Captain Flint eventually finds himself captured by the Maroon Queen as well, and Gunn is the one to tell him what fate awaits him if he stays. From there, it's escape or bust — and they're pirates, so naturally, they choose escape. Gunn joins Flint's crew on the Walrus as more than just a swabbie, aiding in the perennial hunt for loot and defending New Providence Island from the English. All in all, Fisher couldn't have asked for a more adventurous role to play.

Fisher sailed a famous ship in Saints & Strangers

Traveling even further back in history than Black Sails — another century, to be precise — the two-part National Geographic miniseries Saints & Strangers focuses on the journey of the Mayflower and the Pilgrims' settlement of Plymouth, Massachusetts. Despite the American setting, Saints & Stranger was shot quite a long way from New England, as filming instead took place down in South Africa. That proved to be a stroke of luck for Fisher, who hails from the country. He must've felt right at home.

Based on the historical figure of the same name, Fisher's John Alden initially serves as the Mayflower's cooper, responsible for making and maintaining the ship's barrels — imperative work when crossing the Atlantic. Once the vessel lands in Plymouth, however, Alden decides to stay, making a life for himself in the colony rather than return to England. Going from cooper to one of Plymouth's most important settlers is no small feat, and the role itself required solid acting. Thankfully, Fisher sells it perfectly.

Fisher featured in multiple other productions before Raised by Wolves

National Geographic pulled Fisher back for Origins: The Journey of Humankind, a documentary series chronicling, you guessed it, the progression of mankind over the ages. His roles as a sapien and a hunter were much less prominent than the barrel-mending Alden, but they required an entirely different skill set to pull off, and his efforts deserve respect. 

Outside of roles that take place in the distant past, Fisher also played the lifeguard Bryce Elliot in SAF3, a series about the trials and tribulations that beset the fire department of Malibu, California. Funnily enough, the show is just like Saints & Strangers, in that it was filmed in South Africa, despite being set in America. The country's beautiful beaches would fool anyone, except natives like Fisher.

On the sillier side of things, Fisher plays Riley James in Monster Island, a 2019 kaiju film about a gigantic starfish battling a creature called the Walking Mountain. While this is a long way from the serious nature of Raised by Wolves, not all sci-fi needs to be so dark — sometimes, the pure entertainment of titanic beasts going at it is enough — and the fact that Fisher stars in both is a testament to his acting range.

Following his stint as Halphas in Raised by Wolves, Fisher is set to appear in the upcoming Grow, a series about the world on lockdown. What lies in store for this increasingly visible South African actor, after that? Time will tell.