Kate O’Hare – The Oklahoman
On Tuesday, a popular cable network gets a new name and opens the door to a passel of mysterious artifacts and enigmatic relics.
With the two-hour premiere of “Warehouse 13,” SCI FI Channel becomes SYFY and shakes up its on-screen image, hoping to expand its audience even further beyond science-fiction fans.
“Warehouse 13” focuses on two Secret Service agents — Peter Lattimer and Myka Bering (Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly) — who save the life of the president and wind up transferred to a facility called Warehouse 13.
Located in South Dakota, the top-secret bunker houses a collection of bizarre objects, all under the care of Secret Service agent Artie Nielsen (Saul Rubinek), who answers to Mrs. Frederic (CCH Pounder).
“Everybody is a closet conspiracist,” says Jack Kenny, who executive produces with David Simkins. “We all want to think, ‘Oooh, there is all this stuff going on that we don’t know about.’
“And there probably is a bunch of stuff we don’t know about and probably don’t want to know about. We like the idea that there’s a warehouse out there that houses everything the government doesn’t know what to do with but needs to safeguard and protect.”
“We don’t want to go into alien stuff because it stretches the point of believability,” Kenny says. “Every one of these artifacts, we want to be absolutely viable.”
“The artifacts come from history,” Simkins says. “They come from science. They come from strong-willed individuals (like) Lucrezia Borgia. All the artifacts are based in reality.
“You could go to Wikipedia or Google and look this stuff up.”
Luckily for science-fiction fans, while the artifacts may not be from outer space, a few guest stars have worked there.
Among them are Tricia Helfer and Michael Hogan from “Battlestar Galactica” and Joe Flanigan from “Stargate Atlantis.” Others include Ivan Sergei (“Charmed”) James Naughton (“Gossip Girl”) and Erica Cerra (“Eureka”).
The show also promises a sense of humor. For example, there’s the purple goo.
“We get purple goo squirted all over us,” McClintock says. “The purple goo is a big story point. When we put an artifact into the purple neutralizer, it takes all its power away and makes it easier to transport.”
The Special Effects Crew
Michael Innanen (Max Payne, The Incredible Hulk, Jumper) is the special effects supervisor
Laird McMurray (The Incredible Hulk, Dawn of the Dead, Cinderella Man) is the special effects coordinator
Shane Million (Assault on Precinct 13, Dawn of the Dead, Man of the Year) is the key special effects artist
Marcus Rait (X-Men, 16 Blocks, Chicago) is the special effects foreman