Dr. Grant Fourier-Lee is a professor of astro-anthropology at Oxford-Seoul University on Earth. He joins the crew at the behest of Earth’s civilian government in order to map and study Draconis, a planet that has eluded Earth’s scholars for generations.
Grant is a mysterious man who seems both at once incredibly detached and as though he understands far more than he is letting on. He has a quiet confidence and an almost haunting demeanor.
A VR addict since he was young, Grant’s passion is exploring new worlds, both physical and virtual. He’s outfitted with augmented reality implants that allow him to experience a reality and several senses that are not normally afforded to human beings.
Grant grew up as a weird kid in a well-to-do family on Earth before rising through the university ranks as a renowned scholar.
He volunteers for the mission to Draconis in order to make a name for himself and solidify his legacy as a scholar of note. More personally, after being professionally discredited as an addict and losing his wife and young sons, he wants to leave a legacy for his estranged family to be proud of, even if it means never being able to return home.
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In Draconis, the crew rotates cooking duties. Grant has a lazy nature and tends to be an instant noodles kind of person, but he tries to put in some extra effort for the crew.
- Budae Jjigae
- Kimchi Fried Rice
- Garlic Fried Chicken
There were a couple of big ideas that led to Grant as a character. First, I wanted to include this futurism concept about VR and AR where reality sort of breaks for everybody. VR is so indistinguishable from life that people can get lost in there for years, and also the world of AR is vibrant and ever-present in a way that, for people who are plugged into it, is almost like a form of schizophrenia.
This idea that, if you’re playing Pokemon GO, you can see a Pokemon no one else can see, and what is the end idea of that. And so part of the reason Grant seems so zonked out all the time is that his reality includes a lot of stuff that is not real, or is questionably real, almost like a technologically induced schizophrenia. But then, additionally, what seems like insanity at first gradually reveals itself to be ahead of the curve as they get deeper and deeper into questions of deep space and reality as the adventure progresses.
Beyond that, I knew I wanted to include a civilian character and I knew I wanted him to be interesting and unique and not this dork civilian stereotype you tend to see in a lot of war stories. And so I had this idea of a Lewis and Clark type of guy, and Squid Game had just come out and so I was a little inspired by sort of the family drama that’s heavy in the first few episodes there. And that actually fit perfectly together because you have this guy who is recently divorced and trying to do this kind of second act life restart, and what better way to do that than to go on the biggest adventure of a lifetime?
I also knew I wanted him to be Korean because part of the future I envisioned was that the University system on Earth, as it became more globalized and less national, I thought, ok, in that setting, what does the #1 university of the future look like? And I figured it’s got to be some East meets West setting, so I had this idea for Oxford-Seoul University, and then I thought, who would be the guy who gets sent from there?
There’s a lot of mystery surrounding Grant’s character, especially because his interests and objectives are very different from the rest of the crew, and unknown, and I’m desperately trying not to give anything away. But let’s just say most of the crew considers him to be a pretty hard guy to read and leave it at that.