29 April 2013

Warehouse 13

So, I know I've pretty much only used this blog to bitch about Game of Thrones,(an important work, in my humble opinion) but tonight we're gonna take a little detour. From HBO to SyFy, from Game of Thrones to Warehouse 13. Warehouse 13 is an excellent show, beginning the second half of its Fourth season. One of SyFy's original shows, which fits into the shared universe alongside of Alphas and Eureka. The show follows a team of US Government agents who track down dangerous "artifacts" released upon the world. The Warehouse has existed for generations, moving location to whatever nation is the world's most powerful. The  modern incarnation is the 13th version of the warehouse, located at an undisclosed location in the Dakotas. Previous locations have included Rome, Cairo, The Holy Roman Empire, and the Library of Alexandria. The American version claims to have been constructed by MC Escher, Thomas Edison, and Nikolai Tesla, who's technology is at the core of the gear agents use everyday. Key amongst these are the Tesla stun-gun and the Farnsworth, a steampunk video-phone. Many of the gadgets in the show have a steampunk-esque feel to them.
Every week, the agents are tasked with tracking down and collecting artifacts, each of which bears a specific power set, often used by its owner without prior knowledge of the artifacts effects. An artifact is created by a specific person or event, for example, Lewis Carrol's looking glass, or Edgar Allen Poe's pen. Every season, also features an overarching plot, similiar to shows like Buffy or the X-Files which mixed full-season plots with "monster of the week" episodes. Major villains have included former agents, evil priests, and H.G. Wells herself.

The cast of the show is excllent as well. Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, and Saul Rubinek headlined the cast initially, with Alison Scagliotti and Aaron Ashmore joining on later. CCH Pounder excels as Mrs. Frederick, the mysterious Caretaker of the Warehouse. I was lucky enough to meet Eddie at NY Comic Con last year. Hands down, the nicest celebrity I've ever met at a Con. The show has also featured an array of phenomenal guest stars. Mark Sheppard (Badger-Firefly/Romo Lampkin-BSG), Jeri Ryan(7 of 9-STVOY), Kate Mulgrew(Captain Janeway-STVOY), J August Richards(Charles Gunn-Angel), Michael Hogan(Colonel Saul Tigh-BSG), Amy Acker(Fred Burkle-Angel), Rene Auberjoinois(Constable Odo-STDS9), Sean Maher(Simon Tam-Firefly), Jewel Staite(Kaylee-Firefly) (Bonus for Firefly fans - they played a couple!), James Marsters(Spike-Buffy/Angel), and Brent Spiner(Data-STTNG) have all featured for one or more episodes.

The show took off in interesting directions after its beginning. Not what I anticipated when I first began, and has gotten better with each passing season. The artifacts themselves provide nearly as much entertainment as the interplay between the actors. Its a challenge to guess who's items cause what powers, and if anything in the Warehouse already can be used to defeat the rogue items.

I highly reccomend this show to anyone who enjoys sci-fi, fantasy, adventure type shows and movies. Early on, I heard the show described as Indiana Jones meets the X-Files, and thats not a terrible metaphor, though it leaves some of it out. The early seasons are available on netflix now. More importantly, the show is going into an unsure future as we begin this half-season, and has not yet been renewed by Syfy. Airing behind the new show Defiance might help numbers, so if you're watching that, tune in after to see what Pete, Myka and crew are up to. For Buffy fans, James Marsters will be featuring quite prominently this season,oddly enough as an immortal, ageless British-accented man. (Not a Vampire this time).

Give it a try. If you read this blog, odds are you'll enjoy the show.

Till next time
- The Penguin

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