By Paula Hendrickson
I’ve wanted to visit the small fictional town of Eureka since I saw the first episode. Who wouldn’t love the scenic location, quirky locals, and the Carpe Diem restaurant where chef Vincent (Chris Gauthier) knows precisely what you want to eat even when you’re undecided?
Smart scripts and great production values make the town of Eureka inviting, but it’s the cast that brings Syfy’s Eureka to life.
From Colin Ferguson as Sheriff Jack Carter — pretty much the only non-genius living in the entire town — to Neil Grayston as geeky brainiac Fargo (Grayston also provides the voice of his Self Actuated Residential Automated Habitat project, aka S.A.R.A.H., Carter’s fully-automated and rather opinionated house).
Veteran actor Joe Morton, known mostly for dramatic film and TV roles, gets to show his comedic range, too, as former NASA engineer and current garage owner/problem-solver Henry Deacon.
As one-time head of Global Dynamics —the high-tech research corporation employing most of the town’s denizens — you might think Dr. Allison Blake (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) is the most powerful woman in town, but most residents would probably give that title to Jo Lupo (Erica Cerra), Carter’s tough, no-nonsense, gun-toting former deputy and Global Dynamic’s current head of security.
In the show’s fourth season, producers took a risk and sent these five core characters back in time (accidentally, of course) to when the town was founded in 1947. They figured out a way back, but wound up in an alternate timeline where Henry was married to Grace (Tembi Locke), Allison’s autistic son Kevin (Trevor Jackson) was no longer autistic, and Fargo was somehow the head of Global Dynamics. Carter returned to discover his ex-girlfriend had moved in with him, posing a slight problem to his budding romance with Allison.
The season ended last September with Carter circumventing disaster as usual, only to discover Allison was trapped in the Astreus, a space exploration vehicle that was actively launching on a mission to one of Saturn’s moons, Titan.
Eureka’s fifth — and sadly, final — season starts at 8 p.m., Monday, April 16. Do yourself a favor and watch Eureka while you have the chance. I think Syfy is crazy to cancel such a smart, fun series, but they were kind enough to give producers enough notice to tie up loose ends and finish telling the story they started in 2006.
If Syfy executives are one-tenth as bright as the dumbest character in all of Eureka, maybe they’ll consider doing an occasional Eureka TV movie instead of some of the cheesy original telepics they air each year like Jersey Shore Shark Attack, Alien Tornado and the oddly similarly titled Space Twister. (Think I’m kidding about these titles? See for yourself online: http://www.syfy.com/movies.) If you, too, would prefer a Eureka TV movie to Syfy’s typical fare, take a moment to let them know by sending them a message at Feedback@syfy.com.
Paula Hendrickson is a regular contributor to Emmy magazine and Variety, and has been published in numerous national publications, including American Bungalow, Television Week and TVGuide. Follow her on Twitter at P_Hendrickson and send your suggestions to email@example.com.
From the April 11-17, 2012, issue