Eureka (the television series)

Television Notes From The Rust Belt..........Youngstown, Ohio

I started watching Eureka when it was first run, in 2006.  I was hot for Eureka based on the preview ads on SyFy (it was SciFi back then).  In my world it sort of was like the anticipation I had waiting for the pilot episode of the X-Files lo those many years ago.

I was giddy.  I had goose-flesh.  My nipples got hard.  I didn’t get disappointed.

Eureka was hands-down the pinnacle of SyFy programming.  It seemed to spawn a couple of other dandy programs (Haven and Warehouse 13) that had some legs at SyFy.  The basic premise of the show is this:  Eureka is a secret town in the Pacific Northwest populated by scientific geniuses working collaboratively and individually to make a better tomorrow, better weapons, better food additives--better stuff.  They manage to place the universe in peril frequently and are routinely saved from their own genius by the only non-genius of the group, the common sense of the smartest guy in town, Sheriff Jack Carter.  My kinda set-up for a great program.

Main characters, you ask?  We got Canadian Colin Ferguson as Sheriff Jack Carter.  Colin holds citizenship in Great Britain, The U.S., and Canada, but was born, like most of the main cast, in Canada.  Well, the series is filmed mostly in Canada, so it’s only fair that the Canadians get first shot at the roles, I guess.  Far as I know, the only scenes shot in the U.S. are some City Hall shots in Ashland, Oregon.  Then we got Chicago native Salli Richardson-Whitfield as the main love interest of the Sheriff, Dr. Allison Blake, Halloween-born Canadian Erica Serra as the former special forces Deputy Sheriff Jo Lupo, Canadian Niall Matter as Lupo’s love interest Zane Donovan, Canadian Neil Grayson as Fargo, New York native X-Files alumnus (from the “Redrum” episode) Joe Morton as Henry.....There were many, many actors in recurring and/or temporary but important roles.  You get the idea, I think.  A collaborative group portraying a collaborative group.  Almost all of the main characters had love interests at one time or another.

When it was announced that season 5 would wrap the series, I declined to watch it first-run, opting instead for the final season to become available on Netflix or Amazon Prime--which it did.  I marathoned it.  The writers, bless them, wrapped it up in a totally satisfying way and left the door open for a subsequent movie, or TV movie, or a continuation of the series at a later date.  If they do any of those things, I’ll watch.

Over the course of the seasons, the tone of the program migrated from sinister to light-hearted.  It was all worthwhile.

Dandy writing, great idea, ended too soon.  I never quite had the love affair with any of the characters--even Sheriff Carter and Allison Blake--on this show that I had, and continue to have, with Mulder and Scully of the X-Files (or, for that matter, Joe and Helen from Wings).  Maybe there were just too many main characters on Eureka, or, a more likely suspect, the seasons were too short and the wait between them too long.  I lost interest between seasons.  It was on the air for 7 years and only managed to produce 77 total episodes.  In a just world, there would have been 150 episodes in 7 years.

That minor grumble aside, a wholly satisfying experience.  Television done right.

Have a look whenever you can.  On Netflix.


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