By Rich Heldenfels Akron Beacon Journal
The Syfy series “Warehouse 13” is not currently in production. But there’s still work to be done.
Eddie McClintock, who plays investigator Pete Lattimer on the series, said in a recent telephone chat that “I’ve been working diligently on my Twitter and Facebook page to rally the troops for the coming premiere.”
That premiere is at 10 tonight on Syfy, and it comes with as big a mystery as the supernatural ones the show looks into: Why hasn’t “Warehouse” been picked up for a fifth season?
The run of episodes beginning tonight is, according to Syfy, a continuation of the show’s fourth season. The first part began in July 2012 and ran for 10 episodes before the show went on pause from October until now, when 10 more episodes will air.
When the network ordered those 20 episodes, it said the first 10 would be the fourth season and the others would be saved, presumably for a fifth. Now it’s all one season.
That could just be a money-saving move; if the latest run was counted as a fifth season, the cast was due a raise. But it remains confusing for viewers, who had a long wait between telecasts, and the people making the show, who face uncertainty after several secure seasons.
The series, which follows a group collecting dangerously powerful artifacts and storing them in a secret warehouse, has been solid entertainment, funny and touching, suspenseful — and literate, with real history tied to the artifacts.
McClintock said last year that the network considered the fourth season the show’s strongest to date. Tonight’s telecast picks up where the series left off, with a plague unleashed on Earth, and warehouse supervisor Artie (Saul Rubinek) stabbed.
The other members of the warehouse team will have to deal with those crises, but there are plenty more to come in the ensuing telecasts.
“I feel like we’re still doing great work,” McClintock said. “I feel like there’s a lot more to be done with the show. The dark tone that it took at the end (of last year’s telecasts) doesn’t overpower the premiere or the following episodes.”
It has to honor what has gone before, some of which is grim, he said. But it would never get too grim.
“I think that the grim, dark stuff that we deal with also gives us license to have the funny parts as well,” he said. “It’s why people love it.
“That’s what really makes me love the work I do. That I can still be the silly character I love to do, but at the same time I can be a real actor and do some real work.”
Pete, he said, “is not just some cutout of a wacky detective.” He is good at his job and a recovering alcoholic; he “has dimension,” McClintock said. As do other characters on the series.
Still, Syfy and its corporate parents NBC Universal and Comcast have not given “Warehouse” a vote of confidence even as they have been renewing other Syfy series.
McClintock does try to be optimistic. “The writers are actually at work right now,” he said.
“NBC Universal has paid over a million dollars to get them in the room so that some scripts will be ready for the projected start date (of production on a fifth season), around mid-June. But until it’s announced … it’s not official.”
“Warehouse 13” returns at 8 tonight on Syfy.