Catherine Bell in <EM>The Triangle</EM> Catherine Bell in The Triangle

Starting Monday, Dec. 5, at 9 pm/ET, Sci Fi Channel will explore The Triangle — as in, yes, the inexplicable Bermuda phenomenon — over the course of a three-part miniseries event. Joining the likes of Eric Stoltz, Lou Diamond Phillips and Sam Neill in the ensemble cast, JAG alumna Catherine Bell plays Emily Patterson, a deep-ocean resource engineer driven by dire financial straits to contribute her expertise to a frustrated shipping magnate's daring effort to explain the oceanic mystery of the Triangle.

"After JAG ended, the first thing that happened for me was The Triangle, actually," the actress tells "I read the script and totally fell in love with it and decided to do it."

It was most fortunate that she had such a strong reaction because, Bell notes, "I only had three days to decide. I was moving into a new house and [needed to go] to South Africa three days later [to shoot the miniseries]."

That decision-making process and its resulting workload, she says, "was intense, but well worth it."

Whereas JAG was rooted in realistic military procedures, The Triangle (as well as Bell's forthcoming if truncated guest-starring gig on CBS' soon-to-fold Threshold) sent her into far funkier supernatural territory — and she liked it. "I've always been curious about and intrigued by [the Bermuda Triangle] since I was a kid," she says. "I just wanted to know, 'What is this crazy place where ships and airplanes disappear?' — because I know that there's more to life than meets the eye. I always want to know more."

As do Bell's avid fans. Namely, they want to know where they can spy the stunner after The Triangle comes and goes. "After nine years on JAG and three months in South Africa, I'm just enjoying time with my family," she reports. In addition to her Threshold turn, she says, "I am working on creating and developing my own sitcom, as well as some other projects."

A sitcom, really? Why? "Oh my god, after working 18 hours a day [on dramatic fare], sitcoms sound really nice," she explains with a laugh. "I did some sitcoms before JAG, and [appearing in the Jim Carrey comedy] Bruce Almighty was a blast. I like the lighter side of me, so I'd like to do some more of that and explore that."

Additional reporting by Allison Corneau