CBC is adding the new sci-fi drama Ascension to its fall programming roster, tempting viewers with a fantastical, cross-genre plot to whet many palettes.

The year is 1963, and the starship Ascension is hurtling through space on a covert U.S. government mission, with hundreds of passengers on board, destined to populate a new world.

But the true nature of their century-long trek is thrown into question when a young woman is murdered.

Cougar Town's Brian Van Holt stars as the ship's heroic captain, William Denninger.

Battlestar Galactica actress Canadian Tricia Helfer will play his beautiful but manipulative and dangerous wife.

Brian Van Holt

Brian Van Holt is best known for playing the charming Bobby Cobb on the ABC sitcom Cougar Town. (Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

The Canadian-production will feature a number of other homegrown talents, including Jacqueline Byers (90 Days, Scared Stiff) and Andrea Roth (Rescue Me, Ringer).

Ascension is created, written and executive produced by Smallville producer Philip Levens. Canadian director Stephen Williams (Lost) is set to direct the first two episodes.

Filming is currently underway in Montreal. 

Six hour-long episodes are slated to premier on CBC Television beginning November 2014.