When Eureka [Syfy, Fridays, 9/8C] begins its fourth season tomorrow evening, the main characters find themselves in Camp Eureka, three years before the town was founded – and their return to the present has a little, teensy glitch [or six].
Series Co-Creator Jaime Paglia and series star Colin Ferguson [Sheriff Jack Carter] went well beyond their allotted time on the teleconference Q&A, they were so happy to be talking about what sounds like it will be Eureka’s strangest and most entertaining season yet.
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It’s been a really exciting departure. I think that we’ve managed to kind of go back even to Season 1 and bring back elements of our show that we were missing and sort of take the best of the journey so far and really kind of launch into Season 4 with sort of a renewed enthusiasm and creative vision. And I think we all sort of share that sentiment. So anyway, we look forward to your thoughts.
So the first question is for both of you. Can you talk about how you became involved in Eureka at the beginning.
Colin Ferguson: Sure thing. Jaime you predate me.
Paglia: Okay. Well it was, you know, it was a concept that was generated by Andy Cosby and myself. We co-created the show together. We had been doing some feature films before this one and we sat down for lunch one day.
And so what we – if we were going to do a TV series what would we do. And I think that the sort of show concept was a perfect blend of our particular personalities and interests. I think I was sort of more of the Northern Exposure sort of character dramedy kind of mindset.
And Andy was more of the sci-fi geek lover and, you know, we both enjoyed shows like Northern Exposure and Twin Peaks and X-Files. And by the end of lunch we had sort of dug through some old concepts and made some changes to them.
And we pretty much had the premise of the show. You know, Pacific Northwestern town that doesn’t appear on any maps and [a] US Marshal stumbles onto it and, you know, finds himself assigned to be the town sheriff. That was pretty much the most productive lunch meeting I’ve ever had.
Ferguson: And then I guess (unintelligible) part of the casting of it back in the day. And, you know, we did – I guess the final casting was the most interesting one because it was myself and Jordan and there was another guy – Ed Kerr. I don’t remember who the girl was.
And we did the mix and match. And it ended up being Jordan and I who got the role. So probably she’s arguably as important for me getting the job as anything else.
Paglia: Yeah, I have to say we, you know, Andy and I were dividing and conquering in the early days of getting the pilot going. And I had seen – I was doing casting first with our director, Peter O’Fallon. And Colin came in I think on day two of casting.
And Andy was scouting locations in Vancouver and I called him up afterwards and I said I think we found our guy. You’ve got to get back here and see him.
And, you know, there was obviously a lot of pressure to stunt cast with, you know, feature film actors and all of those sort of pressures that you’re under when you’re trying to launch a new series. But Andy came down, he literally walked over, talked to Colin for about 30 seconds and he came back over to me and he said yeah, that’s our guy. So we knew.
Ferguson: And it’s a funny thing too because I was, you know, as an actor you go in the room and you do what you do. And I have a very quirky sensibility. And Jaime has a very quirky sensibility. And Jaime was the one in the room who as I just said, you know, he was the guy I met.
And typically on my end, you know, you go in and you do your quirky thing and they go that’s weird. Why – no, you know, and that’s – you’re sort of going through and they cast someone else. So it was a refreshing change of pace for Jaime to sort of go yeah, actually you know what, that’s right.
Paglia: That’s the guy.
Paglia: Colin’s quirky matched my quirky.
Great. And for a follow up can you talk a bit about the crossover that’s coming up with Warehouse 13?
Paglia: Sure. You know, we’re thrilled that Warehouse has been doing as well as they have. And, you know, most of our staff and cast and crew are friends with the Warehouse folk, you know, from other jobs previously or just from being in the same, you know, world.
So we were at Comic Con last year and I ran into Jack Kenny who is the executive producer and Saul Rubinek who is of course the lead on that show and had played a very pivotal character for us, Carl Carlson in Season 1. And I said we should do a crossover where we can have, you know, Saul play both characters or we could send, you know, (Carter) and (Joe) over to help out with you guys or he could send someone else to us.
And, you know, we joked for a little while about well if we send our characters to your show then it’s your headache not ours. So we – until the network I think finally said no, this is actually a really – something that we want to do.
So we ended up realizing that it would – we sat down, you know, (Bruce Miller) is co-show running with me this year and as we were sort of crafting our season and Jack and his team were crafting theirs, we sat down and met and said okay, look this is what we’re doing. What are you guys doing? Let’s figure out if there’s a good, you know, a good place for this to work out where we could send a character to you and you could send a character to us and maybe have it be almost, you know, not quite a two-parter but at least sort of – it felt like there was some continuity.
And we worked it out. So it worked out in the timing of the schedule that we could have Allison Scagliotti on our show when they were on their production hiatus and we were able to schedule it so that Neil Grayston could go over to their show during an episode where we were a little bit lighter on this character. And I think by everybody’s sort of estimation they both did such a great job. I think they’re the best friends now. They’re dying to work together more.
So Colin, you know, Jack obviously is in the midst of some very, very intelligent people, some very, you know, heavy hitters, people that have done a lot obviously with their lives. But yet he seems to be the one that’s always solving the problems, always saving the town.
You know, what is it about the character that you think enables him to sort of see what all of these very intelligent people don’t see or get things that they don’t get?
Ferguson: What would it be about the character? I think – well I think he still has a good moral compass to him. And he has a good logical head on his shoulders but no real facility with information. So I think he’s a follow the numbers sort of guy in a town where people are so bright, they’re so used to being ten steps ahead, you know, or 20 steps ahead that sometimes it is the little things that he’s good at focusing on.
But he also – and he’s a – or was a federal marshal. I mean he’s good at what he does. I think he sort of Columbos it sometimes. And pretends to be a little, you know, more clumsy than he actually is. What do you think Jaime?
Paglia: Yeah. I mean I sort of – in terms of sort of the characters that we have on our show and who they in some part have been patterned after I had a job for a while where I was program manager of this public affairs lecture series in Cambridge where I got to interview all of these amazing minds from MIT and Harvard and around, you know, the country. And, you know, people like (Rodney Brooks) who was the head of the MIT, you know, robotics lab and, you know, (Tim Burnersly) who actually did create the worldwide Web. And I really found that a lot of them – their minds just work differently.
I mean they can barely – their mouths can barely keep up with their brains because they go so fast. And they have an ability in certain domains to be just unbelievably, you know, facile. But then they – it’s not seeing the forest for the trees. And I think that Carter has always been that guy who doesn’t get, you know, bogged down in minutiae. He sees the big picture and he picks up the small details that other people might not notice. That his intelligence is – it rivals theirs. It’s just in a slightly different domain.
He may not be, you know, amazing at physics but he can read people and he can take in, you know, the details and put puzzles together in a different way. So I think that, you know, he can see any situation and he just sort of sees it slightly differently than the others do.
Right. Yeah, obviously your show has a fairly large will they or won’t they between Carter and Allison. You know, I thought that the chemistry last year between Colin and Jaime Ray Newman was very good. I imagine that she’s probably not coming back to this season or to the show at all this season. But what is sort of the overall game plan for Carter and for his love life for this season?
Paglia: Well you might be surprised about who comes back this season.
Ferguson: Yeah, no Jaime’s back. Jaime – Jaime’s back – Jaime – she’s back in some capacity this year for a good part of it. I guess I’m not allowed to say what’s going on. So I’ll just shut up but Jaime…
Paglia: No – there – what I will – what I feel comfortable saying is that there is definitely a love interest for Carter this season and maybe a bit too much of it. So decisions will have to be – decisions have to be made. We’re not going to string you guys out any longer. Let me just say that.
I have a couple of questions. One – Zoe left for college at the end of last season. Does that mean we won’t see her much at all or if any this season?
Paglia: You will definitely be seeing Zoe this season.
Ferguson: Yeah. She comes back for a bunch. There’s – she was heavy I would say, in the episode that I directed in the first ten and that’s always great for me. I mean she’s such a great sort of presence on set and I think brings so much to the show that it’s nice – it’s nice that she always comes back.
Paglia: That relationship has always been I think, you know, a really, you know, vital, central focus of our show. And, you know, and in terms of just, you know, the reality of contracts and things like that, we just don’t have Jordan Hinson for all episodes produced this season because she was striking out and doing other exciting things as well. But she is definitely still a part of our show.
Great. And then my follow up question – what has been your favorite type of – I’m not sure what to call it – science-y thing so far in the show. And can you tell us anything about anything that’s coming up?
Paglia: Colin do you want to go for it?
Ferguson: Sure, yeah. I mean I like the more basic stuff. I mean the intense stuff is fantastic, you know, if you’re going to go into the (unintelligible) field and all of that stuff. But I like the serum that makes you run really quickly. I think that would be fun.
I like the hover board. I think that would be fun. Ending up in another dimension – I think that’s fun. Jaime what’s your favorite?
Paglia: Yeah, I think that, you know, things like the biosphere that we did underground and, you know, the ability to mind link with somebody else and, you know, relive memories and things like that. Those would all be great. I think that the – in terms of the storytelling for me and I know for Colin, I mean this is something I think he and I both have felt very strongly about and it showed in episodes like the one that he directed last season, Your Face or Mine.
You know, the concepts that really lend themselves to learning more about our characters that are much more about our people and less about, you know, either town wide or worldwide jeopardy, that those are the ones that we really enjoy the most. They’re certainly the most fun to write and I’ll let Colin speak to the, you know, his feelings.
Ferguson: Yeah. And as for this year the stuff we have coming up, fun stuff, we have sort of what did they call it – what did you guys call it, metamaterial cloaking?
Paglia: Yeah. Which is what Colin – in the episode the Colin directed for us this season.
Ferguson: Yeah. The – where we’re I guess in some forms it can match any sort of item to another item. And that goes horribly wrong. And what else did we have – we had the mind meld this year. We had what are some of the science stuff? We had – oh, we had a race around the moon.
Ferguson: What did we have?
Paglia: And I’m thinking – and I think that, you know, there is an episode that we’ve wanted to do for a while that was sort of my – one of my sort of passion episodes that we got to do this year in coordination with (Matt Gorr) our visual effects producer, called (Momstrosity) which I always wanted to do our version of Jurassic Park. And we’re finally kind of getting to do that this year which is fantastic.
Ferguson: And we also went into the science of Santa for a little while.
Paglia: And we did. We are doing a Christmas episode which will be a standalone episode that will air in December. And (Bruce Miller) had a concept for that one that at first thought he- it scared me to death but he convinced me it could work and it actually did. So I – my hat’s off to him for I think – and (Eric Tuckman) who wrote the episode. It’s going to be a great one and we have some returning people in that episode – Matt Frewer who is fantastic.
Hey guys. Fantastic two episodes back. I really enjoyed them. And I was wondering if you could talk – I know we don’t want to spoil anything but talk about your motivation to switch things up with this big – this big thing that happens with all of the – with the main characters and, you know, why you decided to do that. How long is that going to play out?
Paglia: Well, you know, the – obviously when you’re reaching sort of a Season 4 and then, you know, in terms of the actual chronological time that’s passed, Season 5 because we split our last season in two.
You know, if you want – if you want your series I think to have, you know, multiple seasons more you want to do something that’s going to be sort of exciting and change things up but not, you know, takeaway the essential, you know, core of what your show is. And there was a concept that we wanted to do since Season 1 that, you know, Founder’s Day. It is one of the original episode ideas that we gave to the network when we were – were basically trying to convince them that this was a series that they definitely wanted to green light to pilot.
It was an episode about Carter and at the time it was going to be Kevin, accidentally – Kevin accidentally transporting the two of them back to Camp Eureka and then having to figure out how to get themselves back and solve a mystery there without changing the future. And we were talking about doing that as, you know, over the seasons the reason we couldn’t do it is because it was so expensive to do a real – a period piece. You know, the amount of extra money that goes into costumes and sets and all of those things obviously can be a budget buster.
But we were going to do it as a two hour movie this time around. And then when our schedule changed around and we couldn’t do that we thought well what if we do it as our season opener? That could be interesting. And then in kind of kicking it around the idea came up that well, what we could do is have, you know, maybe a couple of little things change when they get back.
And then it just sort of hit us which says no, everything could change which is a different concept that we had wanted to do as an episode where we would start the episode and, you know, Vincent would be the head of Global Dynamics. And, you know, Allison would be working at Café Diem and Henry would be the sheriff and Carter would be the mechanic, where everybody was sort of in a different role and over the course of an episode you would discover how they got to be in those roles and that they would get back to normal by the end of the episode.
But it just – it just sort of hit us I think that this was an opportunity to have our same town and our same characters but in new dynamics and relationships. And get to play the fun of that out for, you know, a 20 episode arc. And it just sort of I think for everybody here it reenergized us because it was a chance to really kind of reboot in some ways and again embrace the aspects of the show that we’ve loved, change some of the things that I wasn’t necessarily as thrilled about.
You know, some might think patterns that we fell into last season that I wanted to move away from. And then I’ll let Colin talk to the acting side. But I think that, you know, from our cast it was just new stuff to play and they seemed pretty excited about it.
Ferguson: Yeah. I guess from my side Jaime called me in and I guess I went in sometime in December or January, to the office. And I’ve told this story before. And they, you know, he pitches this idea for going back in time and I say oh that’s, you know, that’s great. You’re going to get shot down at network. You know, there’s no way you’re going to get green lit on that. And he said no, actually we were there this morning and it’s a go. They’re excited about it. So for us right out of the gate it was instantly fresh.
I mean it was huge – it was a huge sort of boon for us because it was a statement of faith by the network. It’s a monstrous thing to do. It’s a monstrous reboot to do in Season 4. So the fact that they would sign off and show their faith in Jaime and the writers and all of that stuff on that level, sort of gave us a bunch of confidence and a bunch of energy. And then it sat in the writers’ room – we didn’t see the – I mean the concept sat in the writers’ room.
And so the entire ten episodes were sort of filled with this sort of new sense of well if we could do this then we could do this. And if we can do this then we could do that. And it sort of redoubled on itself over the course of the season. And it made for probably the best ten episodes we’ve done.
Paglia: I totally agree. And what has been exciting is it’s not just, you know, the writers and the actors. It’s the entire team. Our crew, our production designers, our visual effects guys, our writers and directors up there, the network and the studio.
Everybody has just been so excited by the opportunity and they’re all doing their best work. I don’t think the show has ever looked as good. I don’t think the stories have ever been as compelling. And the performances just across the board by everybody, have been really phenomenal. Everybody has sort of stepped up to I think a new level this season. And it’s a really exciting energy to be a part of. I keep on hearing from other aspects of, you know, my life, agents or executives who have talked to other people associated or who work on our show.
And they say god, you know, we keep on hearing all of these amazing things from your staff and people and your crew. And it’s like yeah, it’s exciting. So, you know, we hope that that translates to people enjoying it as much as we’ve enjoyed making it.
Well I think it has a new edge to it almost. And I love that the five main characters know what’s going on. Because that’s like a whole other element instead of just being sort of brainwashed and not knowing what’s happening. Can you talk about working with James Callis?
Ferguson: Sure. Jaime or me? Do you want me to…
Paglia: You. Why don’t you go ahead?
Ferguson: Sure. James – first of all, he was – way back when Battlestar and Eureka were on the same lot James was one of the first and definitely most vocal people to come forward and be so supportive and encouraging and, you know, helpful. So it was really fitting that he was the one who gets to sort of, you know, come on our show and do ten episodes. And we were really, really happy about that. Working with James, I mean it’s sort of preposterous how nice a man he is.
He’s like the sweetest guy in the world. Like oh, you can – he just extends himself so above and beyond for everybody. So that alone is a pleasure. And then plus he comes at it, you know, it’s nice to get a different energy on the set because he’s such an actor – you know, where like my character and this and, you know, what about this? And he’s always digging, you know, through (unintelligible) or history through, you know, his own research to come up with different angles for things.
And it’s really nice, you know, in a season where we are sort of reinventing or rebooting, to have someone doing all that work again. You know, and sort of reminding you yeah, you know, dig in. See what you can find. So as an actor it was fantastic and as a person it was fantastic.
Paglia: Yeah. And for us obviously, you know, as writers we were – we – as Colin was saying, you know, we have the same soundstages next to each other with Battlestar Galactica up north in Vancouver. And our writers’ offices for the first three seasons were next to each other here and our post production offices were here together in Los Angeles. So, you know, we’re friends with all of those guys over there – (Ron) and (David) and everybody.
And we love their show. I mean it’s an amazing accomplishment what they did with that show. It’s sort of in a category by itself. And, you know, James is the consummate actor. So to have him, you know, embrace the character that we created for him and to come over and be a part of our series, was really exciting for all of us.
Since [the last guy] asked my questions for you Jaime I’m just wondering maybe if you could expand a bit more on Claudia’s visit and the circumstances that bring her there and whether or not there will be any ongoing repercussions from it.
Paglia: Well we kind of created an interesting, you know, I think romantic dynamic with Claudio’s character and Fargo’s character. And it’s something that starts in the Warehouse 13 episode that will air the same week as ours as a sort of crossover event week.
So, you know, her visit to Eureka is almost in some ways manufactured by Fargo to get to spend more time with her because he likes her. And, you know, he’s created a real thing for the Warehouse that they could utilize which is their, you know, supposedly the reason that she’s come here. And then of course as things are wont to do in Eureka, something goes awry and she gets caught up in it with Carter and everybody in terms of trying to help figure things out.
So, you know, at the moment it was a nice sort of two episode arc that leaves the door open for, you know, future potential if we decide to do more.
Allison was fantastic. I think everybody loved her. I would totally keep her and if I could figure out a way to steal her away from Jack Kenny without him coming over and pummeling me I would do it.
Cool. Colin this will sound like an odd observation but the more I watch Eureka the more I am thinking that Sheriff Jack Carter is the Sheriff Andy Taylor of this generation. And ny that, I mean he’s the town fixer essentially.
And like Andy Griffith, you come from a comedy background. So I was wondering if you could speak to how your comedy experience works for processing drama and I was wondering if this season might shall we say, pose unique challenges.
Ferguson: Yeah. I mean how I process drama I come from I guess a Second City background. And when you do as much comedy as I did sort of coming up, the comedy is easy. The comedy is the – you can always throw a joke in. You can always fix something with a bit of levity or reaction and all that stuff, but you cannot sacrifice the drama to serve the comedy. And I know Jaime feels the same way. So on a show like Eureka I think the reason it has a sort of parental (unintelligible) Andy Taylor aspect to it is that the drama is very precious to me.
And the drama is, you know, the situations of other people’s lives and the situations that they’re going through and the emotional stakes that them as people are going through, that’s always sacred to me. So the jokes will come – and to Jaime. And so the jokes will always come outside of that. And I think there’s something really parental about that, something very sort of caretaker. You know that, you know, you’re safe. You know that you won’t be – nothing will be at the expense of you, you know, in a big way. In a little sort of poking fun way, yes but nothing, you know, you’re okay.
And then this season what posed, you know, unique challenges – what was fun about this season is the best writers we’ve had, it’s the best scripts we’ve had. So in some senses it was the least work I’ve ever had to do because everything was so good right out of the gate. So then the problem is all of a sudden I’m left with like well, I guess I’d better start thinking about what to do on take two, you know.
And it opened up the door for all sorts of like well great, this is just – we’ll just nail this in one take and then maybe I can improvise this or, you know, maybe give you another option on the end of the scene with this. And it made it really, really fun this year that we as the actors could then give the writers, you know, A, everything they wanted and then oh, and then there’s this ending and this ending. And we threw this joke over here if you want this.
And it became really, really fun to feel like we were giving them, you know, maybe more than they had hoped or different things and that was a fun exercise for us all season long. And that was a challenge to do that.
Just one more thing. Jaime will there be any more Eureka comics?
Paglia: You know, I don’t think that they’re planning on doing anymore Eureka comics. But the novels are going to be coming out in conjunction with the release of the show. I think actually they’re being released god, it might be actually this week or next week. So the first I think two novels are going to be coming out pretty much back to back. And then…
Ferguson: Wow. Who’s publishing – are you doing those? Jaime, are you involved in those Jaime?
Paglia: I was involved with sort of the early conceptual just sort of, you know, helping select, you know, the writers and some areas for them to explore and sort of the general approach to how we’re going to do it. And once the season started I had to take a step back and…
Ferguson: Busy? You got busy? Really?
Paglia: A little busy. I had a couple of things going on. But I think, you know, the nice thing about them is that they get to explore, you know, sort of different stories in more of the internal, you know, thoughts of our characters. Obviously it’s a different style of writing. And it’s a different experience of the town. And we’re keeping them largely to the, you know, the sort of more current present day where we are in terms of the evolution of our series by the end of last season. But it’s going in new directions and not necessarily incorporating the newer characters that we have on our show this season.
Oh dear god, is it Penguin? I think it might be Penguin. I have – I have been going back and forth with this. So don’t quote me on who’s publishing the books. But…
Ferguson: Sorry Jaime.
Paglia: Yeah. (Unintelligible) and I blew it. Well done.
Colin, have you ever read like a script and seen where they’ve asked you to do a crazy stunt and you thought oh my god, I’m not doing that? And how did it work out for you.
Ferguson: When have I not read a script where I’ve had to do a crazy stunt? Yeah, I mean sometimes, you know, you’re – it’s usually later on in the season because at the beginning, you know, the first two or three you’re like yeah, this is going to be awesome. Let’s do it. You know, sure kick me in the face? I hope everyone kicks me in the face. You know, and you’re just going – you’re going to do everything that’s requested of you. But, you know, by Episode 8 all of a sudden you’re going like so in the scene where I get hit by the car that’s – we’re getting (Heath) to do that right? You know, you start seeing if you can maybe not – as your body doesn’t heal quite as fast as you were hoping.
I mean some of the (unintelligible) is more curious for me technically how we’re going to pull it off. Like okay, so he crashes into the side of a car. Are we going to use an air ramp? Are we going to use CGI? What are we going to do? Is that going to be like sort of a two day thing, second unit? How much of it are you going to be wearing a helmet? You know, that for me is more where my mind goes – the technical of how we’re actually going to pull it off. And then within the technical where is it going to be the window to put the character in there.
Because the stunt itself is very, very quick. So you – you’re left with okay, so is it going to be on the fall? Is it going to be on the reaction to the fall? Is it going to be – because that’s the stuff where I have to – where I feel like, you know, you can get a laugh. You can maybe make the scene a little better by putting some character stuff in. So that’s where I like to do my work.
Paglia: Well I mean Colin is particularly good at the physical comedy also. I mean his – the ability to control his body in the way that he can – I mean one of the – my favorite moments in the series ever was in Duck Duck Goose when he comes walking into Global Dynamics and he gets hit by the field that makes him lose control of his body. And he kind of just does this, you know, un – it’s completely unnatural to any human body, arc back and falls flat on his back on the floor. And we laughed at that so much that when it came to the, you know, when I was writing the season finale last year and he has to go and turn off the device that’s inside the garage and all of the things are flying around and the magnetic poles are swirling and all that stuff, you know, it was the opportunity to, you know, use him as a puppet essentially, with a remote control.
I just thought, you know, at first I mean there were – I think there were, you know, there was that potential that in most series you were like okay, this is your big dramatic climax. You’re really going to go for the funny with this. And I absolutely knew that Colin would be able to make that funny and dramatic at the same time. And it was. It was great.
Ferguson: And that’s a funny – in situations like that because in response to the question, I get really, really nervous because I mean obviously Jaime and I know each other really, really well but this one show I know that he’s sort of going oh, do this. I’m like oh, you know, he’s sort of raising the bar and sort of going and do this now, you know, so you get nervous because you read it and you’re like oh, okay, okay, okay. You know, you start thinking on the weekends and you’re like okay, how am I going to – okay, how can I – what can I do? You know, and it’s – I know it’s a challenge that he’s sort of throwing my way and it’s really nice.
Sometimes I don’t think things through when I do that sort of stuff. Like I’ll say like oh, I’ve got this great idea. I’ll throw myself off the stairs and I’ll land on my face. And I’ll do it and it’ll work and then, you know, I’ll have a mild concussion.
Paglia: So he’s like okay, you’re not going to get another take on that one. I’m done.
Ferguson: Yeah. Yeah, I’m like ow. But I get so married to the idea because, you know, they write it and I think oh, that’s hilarious. We’ve got to do it. We’ve got to do it. And I get so excited about it that I forget sort of the ramifications of what happens right afterwards.
Paglia: But we have fun.
As a follow up to that maybe you can comment as a director when you directed a couple of these episodes, if you take that into consideration as far as like the physical challenges for your fellow actors.
Ferguson: I’m a bit pigheaded about it to be honest. I don’t. I feel like I take the body so many times that when someone else has to do it I sort of relish it and I’m not really like, you know, oh you have to wear knee pads? Oh okay. Sure. All right, whatever.
I’ve said I’m not a soft guy when it comes to that stuff. I sort of think it’s part of the deal. And I do – I have a really childish sense of humor when someone gets hurt. I mean not injured but hurt. You know, like you’re doing a stunt, you know it’s going to hurt and you can see that they’re hurt. It just tickles me the same way that I laugh when I get hurt. I – we were doing something what episode was it when the – it was recently – when my face was too close to the explosion.
Paglia: Yeah. We had a spark explosion from an electrical transformer and Colin insisted on getting like right down in there, you know, to be – he wanted to be in the moment and that thing went off right in his face.
Ferguson: Yeah, so I get, you know, you get this, you know, you get – you burn. You burn your eyelid or whatever and, you know, it’s a stupid thing. And then about an hour afterwards I’m like what – who – that’s the dumbest, you know. So we tend to get really excited about our ideas and not really think about how hard they’re going to be or how much they’re going to hurt.
Paglia: I should – let me jump in so that I don’t look like a complete moron. The Berekely Publishing Group – Berekely Books [note: a quick check of amazon.com reveals the publisher is Ace Books, which is part of the Berekely Group] is doing our novels. So (Lance Patterson), who is our editor over, there would kill me if I had gotten that wrong.
We were wondering if you maybe Jaime, could talk a little bit about some of the guest stars this season like Wil Wheaton and Jamie Kennedy. And also if you have any dream guest stars that you’re dying to get on the show.
Paglia: Oh yes. We are – it’s been I think what, you know, what Colin was saying earlier about, you know, having scripts that are polished and ready and all of those things, early, that has all kinds of benefits. And one of them is that you get ahead enough in the game. You know, obviously your crew has more time to consider scripts on the creative level so that they can prep those episodes and make them look the best that they can. But it also gives you the option of actually going out to guest actors and having something that’s done and ready for them to see. Where you’re not just saying okay, we have this episode idea that we want to, you know, do for you. But you’re not going to be able to see any pages before the week before it shoots.
And, you know, Wil Wheaton is somebody that we’re all, you know, we were all I think everybody on the staff, you know, loved Next Generation. And he’s good friends with some of our writers, (Amy Berg) in particular. And we had the potential for this particular character that we thought would just be perfect for him. And was designed to be potentially recurring. And the plan is hopefully that that was – is going to happen in the back ten episodes as well.
Jamie Kennedy was a friend of (Matt Hastings) who is one of our co-APs and he’s up there on the ground in Vancouver. And he’s also directed many episodes for us this season. And Jamie was a fan on the show and wanted to come over and play so we found a role for him that we kind of tailored a bit more in terms of the personality, to him. You know, we – I – in terms of some of my dream cast, you know, I’ve always wanted to have William Shatner play Carter’s dad.
That’s just me. You know, I know that that’s going to – that’s a long shot probably. But (Felicia Day) is on our list, Eddie Olmos is on our list. Gosh, I know that – I know I have many, many more but those are at least a couple of the people that I would love to have…
Ferguson: And we have people coming back as well.
Paglia: …come over and…
Ferguson: We have a couple of regulars coming back.
Paglia: I’m sorry. Say that one more time?
Ferguson: We have – we also have some of our regulars coming back. Our – well you said earlier Frewer is coming back.
Paglia: Yep. We’ve got Frewer coming back and, you know, Jaime Ray is going to be back. And Jordan Hinson is going to be back. And we might have some surprises in store for you as well.
That’s excellent. Thanks. And Colin this is a little bit off topic but we read online that you are the West Coast regional champion Canadian Duck Duck Goose player – champion. And we were just wondering if that was true and what that’s all about.
Ferguson: That’s – wow. That’s (Kaya Ericson) who – he and a buddy of his were – they were doing that to each other and somehow I got looped into this. And so now they’ve put it up on IMDb every – I don’t every couple of weeks they throw it up. And I have a team of people who try to take it off. So no, it’s not real. It’s (Kaya Ericson) harassing me is what it is.
Excellent. Well we like it.
Ferguson: Yeah, it’s pretty funny.
Paglia: I should add to our – some of our – one of our wishlist – Ming Na is also on that list. You know, somebody that we’ve been talking to potentially coming over and seeing us.
Now, Colin, I want to know how is the introduction of Dr. Grant going to affect Jack and Allison?
Ferguson: He’s a bit of a thorn. You know, it’s one of those really difficult things because, you know, they have feelings for each other and, you know, I haven’t made a move and, you know, she’s single and he’s single so you don’t really have a right or any leg to stand on to object. But when emotionally you do object it puts you in a really strange place. So yeah, he’s a bit of a thorn but he’s also a very nice guy and yeah, it’s a nice – it’s a nice little triangle.
And what was it like to direct Jamie Kennedy?
Ferguson: It was great actually. It was really, really great. When they said they casted him I was nervous. I wasn’t sure what I was going to get, you know, because I wasn’t sure if he was going to want to go crazy with it. And I didn’t want him to go crazy. But he showed up and he was actually the opposite. He – the first take we always as scripted, right on. He nailed it. He nailed the drama of it. And then from them we ratcheted it up. He was an absolute fantastic guy to work with because he could put jokes in wherever you need it.
You know, you’d sort of go okay, do the scene – I think there’s something here. I think there’s something here and I think there’s something over there. He goes yeah, yeah, yeah. So we do again and he’d boom, boom, boom and throw in three. We’d do it again and he’d throw in three different ones. So he was an absolute pleasure to work with and I was really, really pleased.
Jaime you mentioned the Warehouse 13 crossover and how that happened. What will determine if you guys continue doing that?
Paglia: You know, well there are a number of factors. I think that it was a good experience for all of us, you know, on both shows. Obviously we’ll see how the audience likes it. I know the network has, you know, has a lot to say about whether they want us to do more.
Part of it is honestly just logistics. It’s a challenge just making your own show. It’s a bigger challenge when you’re trying to coordinate your production calendar and schedules of actors and what days they’re working, with another show’s calendar and actors and directors and all of those things. And you’re looking for windows, you know, if we have one of their characters come over we know that out of our seven day schedule we’re going to need them for four or five days.
If they’re in the middle of their shooting cycle as well that means that they have to be, you know, missing for four or five days from their calendar unless they’re on hiatus. So those are just, you know, the nuts and bolts, you know, moving parts that you just have to coordinate. So – but I think it’s something that, you know, we are – we’re all definitely interested in possibly doing again.
So Colin I – I know Carter, you know, obviously has a pretty weird gig saving Eureka all the time and everything. And I’ve also heard many times that you have your own weird gigs before breaking into acting, particularly being a window mannequin.
Ferguson: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Can you tell us a little about that?
Ferguson: Sure. I mean I, in a weird way I can link it back to the character which is sort of bizarre.
Oh yeah, do that.
Ferguson: Yeah, do that. Well it’s sort of, you know, whatever gets the job done has sort of always been something that I’ve tried to live by. And, you know, when you’re coming up through university and in your early and mid 20s you have a – you need money. It’s really important. So whenever anybody offered me something I was just – I would just sort of say yes. You know, could you do this? Like I – they – I worked as a DJ for a little while.
I have no business being a DJ. I can’t – but, you know, you get talking to someone who says oh, we need a DJ. I’m like oh, I’m an amazing DJ. You know, so I was always very quick to sort of put myself in that sort of horrible situation to try to make it all work. So yeah, it was – I was a substitute teacher, I was a mannequin in a window, I was a DJ, I was a – yeah, you name it, I did it. I moved a school. I worked planting trees. I worked – I danced on a stool. I mean it was like I did the oddest things. So yeah, but it was always about getting the job done and that was about paying rent.
So a lot like Carter in that sense that he’s just determined to do the best?
Ferguson: Exactly. You know, it’s all about sort of, you know, setting, you know, if you want to, you know, setting a goal and having a problem and overcoming the problem. And however it gets accomplished is great. You did it. You know, it’s I think a lot of people in my world could say yes a little more.
Yeah. And with the mannequin job I mean it was just for like a department store or something like that?
Ferguson: Yeah. I was in a store window and, you know, I was wearing a toga and I was spray painted white. And it was a girl named (Angel) who was organizing it. And we then would go out into the department store. And the things that – dirty people – I mean like the things people say to you. And like the old ladies and they’re sweet and they’re trying to get you to move and it’s like filthy. Just like are you kidding? But it was fun. And yeah, I mean your feet go numb. I don’t think I’d do it very often. But… there was a group of people who did all the time. That was their gig. And it’s an amazing thing actually for how long they can just stand there and be completely content. I was miserable in my head but I did it.
Jaime I’m kind of wondering about the fan base for Eureka. I mean I know like Comic Con gets a lot of big fans. What have you seen as far as the followers on the show?
Paglia: You know, I think that we’ve been really fortunate that we sort of inadvertently created a family show. And, you know, we have dark elements that appeal to certain viewers. We have the comedy that sort of takes the sting off. And there’s, you know, a little bit of sci-fi mixed in. but ultimately it’s really a show about these characters and their, you know, their connections to each other and our connections to them.
And I think that the thing that I’ve heard from, you know, so many fans that I, you know, appreciate the most is when I – it’s – this is – what I love about Eureka is that I can watch this, you know, with my dad and my daughter. And you get, you know, multiple generations who have found something for them in the show, you know, sort of age 7 to 70. And, you know, our, I think our median age of the viewer is, you know, mid 40s. So it’s great.
I mean I think that it’s nice that we’ve – I think sort of managed to find a place that there isn’t a whole – there aren’t very many shows that sort of fall into that category anymore. And, you know, we’re happy to – that they’ve embraced us.
Is there any part that either maybe it was like a deleted scene or maybe just that you couldn’t quite afford to do something that you wished like had been in the show that you had to cut? Or on the other end, is there something maybe you wish you had cut in hindsight?
Ferguson: Oh god! Every week – every week there’s something we wish we could fit in that we don’t get a chance to fit in.
Paglia: Yeah, that is really the challenge. And, you know, we’ve made an effort to add more and more deleted scenes to our DVDs. This last season I think I’ve added more than we ever have before just because even if it’s like a portion of the scene there are times when there’s, you know, just a really interesting exchange or some great performances that you miss.
But, you know, I think that the hardest part of, you know, making the show is you know, you right something that you love and the performers give you something fantastic and the production design time gives you something great, you know, to look at. And then you realize okay, I have to squeeze this into under 43 minutes and we have, you know, 48 minutes of footage. Something has to go. So it’s a weekly – it’s a weekly dilemma.
I think for me, you know, probably one of the times that it – that a scene that got deleted that was of, you know, the most importance was in Phoenix Rising last – I guess that might have been in Season 2. It was a scene where Carter confronted Henry when he – when – the sort of memories – these little pieces of memories of a relationship with Allison and Henry having done something to him were kind of coming back in fragments. And he realized and confronted him when Henry was behind bars.
So I guess actually that was at the top of Season 3. And it – it was – it was a really emotion scene where Henry basically had to admit to him that, you know, I took your memories of her away. And Carter was saying well, you know, you’re not going to play the martyr for me. You know, you behind bars doesn’t help anybody. And we’re going to work through it. And it really was a chance for them to kind of confront this dark thing that Henry had done out of grief over losing Kim. And it really tested the relationship.
And it unfortunately did not make it into the final cut of that episode. So it was something that, you know, I think was sort of a slightly unresolved thread that, you know, we’ve tried this kind of, you know, put to bed in, you know, smaller ways over the course of the series.
Ferguson: And as an actor it’s really hard – let me just jump in on that. As an actor it’s hard because you act an episode that you love and you, you know, you do it all the way through and then because of the nature of post production you don’t find out that that scene isn’t in there until three weeks later when they actually get to the point and they go oh, it’s got to go. And so all of a sudden you’re going I’ve been acting the two episodes after like that scene has been – like that scene is a part of it.
It then puts a sort of a strange, you know, strain on you like oh well I hope my stuff is – I hope it’s going to work. You know, oh god, you know, you feel badly that, you know, you did it. But it – I mean it’s the nature – the bit that I can’t understand as a non-writer, you know, being able to write an episode and fit it to the second into the slot that they have for you. I mean you can’t – you can’t shoot too little. I mean you have to overshoot. Because you shoot too little and you’re (not-really-unintelligible).
They have to split it too.
Ferguson: Yeah, and then so it – it’s even the little sacrifices that kill me where it’s like there’s this little joke that has to go. And it’s a great little joke. That’s the stuff that kills me. It’s not the big stuff, it’s the like – it’s this great little joke that you read in the script and you’re like oh, that’s a great joke. And you got on set and it just killed. And for the two seconds that that joke is it’s got to go to get it down to time. And that’s the stuff where you’re just like oh, part of you dies.
Paglia: Part of you dies. And that’s what we try to maintain. There’s a – there are, you know, there are a couple of deleted scenes from Founder’s Day that – one in particular with Carter, Grant and Henry and – when they’re walking out, it’s after the – since you guys have all seen the episode that – it’s after the satellite dish goes down and Carter has to go climb up the tower.
There was actually a scene where they leave all three of them and go outside and they’re looking up at the tower. And it’s the discussion about you’re going to have to climb up there and you’re going to have to adjust to ten degrees and Carter has – wants nothing to do with it because of his fear of heights. And it gets into the sort of slightly, you know, digging exchange between Grant and Carter.
And they were hilarious. I mean I – in writing the scene I, you know, it’s always such a pleasure to write for our cast because you know what they’re capable of doing. And, you know, we craft the dialogue that, you know, that we feel like, you know, best fits them. And, you know, Colin just completely nailed the joke exactly how it was in my head when I wrote it and I loved the scene and I had to cut the whole scene to get that episode down to time. And it pains me greatly but it will definitely be on the deleted scenes reel.
Ferguson: And the hard thing about that is like the scenes can go in but you can’t include sort of – on the DVD you can’t include, you know, 45 two second jokes.
Ferguson: Everyone will be going what is this you know?
Paglia: Maybe I will – maybe I’ll just string them all together this time. That could be…
Make it like a blooper reel thing.
Quickly I wanted to ask you Colin, you sort of said that with Jamie Kennedy that he did it on the show but when – from an acting standpoint do you and the other cast generally stick to the script or do you sometimes kind of add your own jokes and, you know, which do you find harder if you do?
Ferguson: Well we all lean on each other definitely. I mean it’s, you know, sometimes if we catch a mistake, you know, yeah, we’ll definitely go oh, gosh there’s a thing. And sometimes we don’t catch it even until it’s on its feet. You know, and all of a sudden we’ll be doing the thing and at the same moment everyone will sort of turn to each other and go there’s a mistake right here. and so yeah, so obviously we’ll have to fix that. And, you know, the – we have a great relationship with everybody so that’s – we all lean on each other to do that. this year has been the best scripts we’ve ever had. So as far as having to fix things it hasn’t really happened this year.
I find what’s hard is if there is something to fix it’s then really hard to improvise around because you’re all focusing on fixing a problem either like, you know, the space is huge that you’re in and the way the scene was written it doesn’t play right in a big space. You know, something like that.
Paglia: I think that becomes – that’s often more the kind of situation that arises that is the most challenging. Is like, you know, you’ve written a scene that’s supposed to be a walk and talk through the rotunda and down the stairs or, you know, or whatever, up in Parker’s office. And you get there on the day and, you know, for whatever time or blocking or, you know, some reason the director says you know what, I need to play this all in one spot because we don’t have time to do all of the coverage that we’re going to need to set this all up and light the whole thing.
So now all of a sudden you have to fit the scene into a completely different sort of timing of a location. And – or vice versa. And then you’re like okay, so now we have a whole bunch of extra time that we have to fill while the actors get from point A to point B before we really start the scene like we thought we would.
Ferguson: Yeah. Or the scene where it’s like a four line scene that’s 4/8 of a page and the way the production is sort of – the location that we got has the car, you know, 50 feet from the door. You know, you need more lip flap to get from that door to the car. So it’s all of a sudden it’s like great, fix it, you know.
But that’s obviously a rare occurrence. I don’t – no one really enjoys that sort of thing but it’s fun because it sort of gets everybody’s gears going. What we do prefer is sort of you get the script, you do the script and then if you can give the writers more for the edit then you do. Because that gets really fun where it’s sort of like okay well let’s do a different version of this joke and let’s, you know, and – because you know you’ve hit it right out of the gate on the first one. So that’s hard.
Paglia: Especially like for buttons on scenes, you know, where you might have that last joke as the out of that scene before you cut to something else. And, you know, our guys are, you know our cast is so quick on their feet and funny in their own right that they, you know, they’ll come up with something else just as another option to have as – at the tag. And that’s always great if you can have options in the editing room you’re always in good shape.
Ferguson: And sometimes that’ll just never make the light of day. It’s something that’s so extreme that, you know, Jaime will be on set and he’ll go (unintelligible) you can do it. But I mean really, you know?
I just wanted to ask do you guys have any plans to bring Stark back to the series at some point?
Paglia: You know, we’ll have to see. I mean obviously that’s always a challenge with, you know, when you kill off a character I was always of the mind that, you know, if we can manage it to leave, you know, we have a Sci-Fi show. So ultimately at the end of the day anything is possible and we love Ed Quinn. So, you know, I think if the circumstances are right we’ll – I’ll never say never.
Ferguson: I’m really good friends with Ed and we always joke about bringing him back – well I have no say in it but it would be really funny to bring him back as his brother and call him Tony Stark and then just get mileage out of him having the same name as Iron Man.
Just bring him back as Iron Man (unintelligible).
Paglia: There you go.
Ferguson: Well he’s big enough. That would work.
Paglia: Seriously. He doesn’t even need the suit.
Ferguson: No. Oh, you know, he was working out, he was doing all that work working out and he lost – Ed had a child this year so his wife and him had a child. And he said being a dad for three weeks, he lost all of the weight he got at the gym.
Paglia: Yeah. That happens.
Ferguson: Yeah, that happens. You’d know.
Colin, I was just wondering as you directed a couple of episodes, if directing and learning about that has influenced how you act at all.
Ferguson: Yeah, it has. I mean not in – not stylistically but the more information, the more you learn about all aspects of production, the more you can astutely get your creativity in where it should be. I think a lot about acting in television and on film is about getting acting in the right place.
We move very fast, like really fast as a show. We’re a seven day show that has visual effects and comedy and drama and big locations. And so it – if you don’t know where to put certain beats they’ll get lost. And so becoming a director and then directing a couple of episodes and a movie now, it’s – you just get better at what you do. So I’m incredibly grateful for the experience. It’s made me a better actor absolutely. And, you know, more helpful I would think because I’ve been in those places where a director is sort of going dammit, you know how do I, you know, and I actually have more help now where I can go oh actually we can – I can help you out by doing this. Does this help you out?
So I know where to help better.
Jaime, Colin mentioned earlier that you obviously had to get approval and backing from the network to shake things up this year. Does having such enthusiasm behind that kind of give you the creative freedom to know that maybe you can break your toys a little bit more and not necessarily have to put them back the way they were?
Paglia: Absolutely. I mean I think that one of the primary things that we, you know, that we presented to them that they really were supportive of is wanting to have there not just be stakes but actually ramifications to what happens in these episodes that last for more than just the episode. And I think that that was, you know, sort of fundamental in them getting behind us for this reset. Is, you know, it wasn’t like oh great, so they all come back and you’re going to change the roles and then you’re going to fix it all up in the next episode.
It’s like no, no, we’re actually going to – we’re going to mine this. You know, this isn’t – we don’t – we’re not doing a – and then we wake up and everything goes back to normal like so many shows I think – or, you know, films have done that I think ultimately make your audience sort of feel kind of cheated. It’s like, oh wait, we went through all of that and none of it really matters. So when they, you know, it’s – (Mark Stern) is, you know the head of the network here on the West Coast development. And has been, you know, the champion of our show since the beginning.
So I think it may have been his first original program that he green lit. You know, when he challenged us to really push boundaries and then we said, you know, we – this is what we want to do, you know, he owned it. He said, you know, I challenged you guys and you’re stepping up so I guess I have to – I guess I have to keep my word, you know. And he has. And they’ve all been really, really amazing and supportive of us not, you know, not being afraid to take risks.
And I think that, you know, in every episode, especially I – I mean wait until you guys see Episode 3 which is another departure I think and sort of shows that if we’re going to do sort of a genre homage that we want to push it and really kind of go to those places. It might have been the first episode…
Ferguson: Oh, that was insane. That was a…
Paglia: I mean visually and stylistically it’s unlike anything we’ve done. Content wise it’s actually – it’s a little scary. It might be the very first episode that I might, you know, want to put a warning on the front of it that it may not be – it might be a little scary to some of our younger viewers. But, you know, it’s not like we’re changing, you know, the core of what our show is. But we’re feeling, you know, much more emboldened to paint outside of the lines. And that’s what – I think what has made this season so exciting.
Well, whether you fix it or leave it as it is, you’re going to have characters happy and characters heartbroken so that’s an interesting conundrum. So the only last thing I have is add to your guest star wish list Lee Majors.
Paglia: He was on my – he is on my guest star wishlist. Actually he’s even on the wall in the writers’ room. He was one of the people that was considered for Sheriff Cobb in the pilot. So…
Ferguson: Lee Majors could be my dad.
Paglia: He could be. It’s been discussed. It’s been discussed.
Colin, I talked to Erica [Cerra, who plays deputy Jo Lipo] last week and she told a funny story…
Ferguson: Oh, I’m sorry.
She told a funny story about how your episode last year you directed where she had to sing, how relieved you were when she could actually sing…
And how excited you got. And then she also talked about how you speak Erica. I was wondering if you could talk about that and maybe tell some stories.
Ferguson: Erica is funny. She’s – well first of all I’ll talk about the singing thing. I mean that’s something that Jaime and the writers do all the time. They’re always sort of in the best of ways, sort of saying, you know, do this, you know, and do this. And really sort of pushing the actors to do more, different, better things than was done before. And so getting Erica to sing was – because I remember when I got the script I went to Jaime and I said are you kidding?
You know, I’ve got to shoot her on a piano and she’s singing. It was like let’s talk. Let’s talk. So we do this thing and Jaime was insisting. He was like no, this is what we want. So we recorded it. And Erica was terrified and she said she couldn’t sing and all of this stuff. And we get to the studio and she’s got this great raspy, sexy, sultry voice that fits completely the song that she’s being asked to sing. So it worked out brilliantly. I mean for us because, you know, she could have just as easily been tone deaf.
Ferguson: Which would have been interesting. But yeah, (Erica) is – for the character she plays she plays a sort of hard, you know, business, you know, focused, everything aligned, everything arranged sort of girl. And she couldn’t be more the opposite. She speaks about 100 miles an hour, she – anything shiny she’s gone and looking at it. She just scatters all over the place. You know, now take my part, do this now, run over this hill, got to go to the bathroom, take it to the top and do this. I mean she’s always bouncing around in circles.
So she reminds me a lot of my sister. So yeah, we get along…
Paglia: She’s like everybody’s sister I think.
Ferguson: Yeah, pretty much. So she’s – so yeah, I do speak (Erica) which means I can speak very quickly and yeah, about anything.
All right. And I was wondering if you guys can tease anything about the zombie episode we’ve seen a clip of.
Paglia: It will definitely feature Erica and obviously it features Wil Wheaton’s character. And, you know, we had wanted to do a little bit of our sort of version of 28 Days Later and this is going to be that episode.
Ferguson: I do love that about our show, that we can do – you can choose your favorite movies and you sort of do I want to do a Eureka version of that.
Paglia: Yeah. I mean we, you know, we always sort of concede of the show as being, you know, a love letter to science fiction where we can sort of take our favorite concepts or stories or homages and, you know, genres and do our sort of, you know, Eurekafied version of them. You know, when it made sense for what was going on with the characters. And it totally fit in with what was happening to our characters in this particular episode.
Our readership aren’t sci-fi fans and I constantly have to say this is the best show on TV that you’re not watching. So I was hoping that you, Jaime could speak to that. Maybe just sell the show for a different audience.
Paglia: You know, absolutely. I – this is – I mean I think that the funny thing is that I’ve never thought of our show as a sci-fi show. And when we pitched it to the Syfy channel what (Mark) said was I didn’t realize what we were missing in our programming until we heard the pitch.
I think we are first and foremost a unique character dramedy. We approach every episode from the characters first and what’s happening with them. And after we know what we want to do with them and those relationships over the course of an episode then we choose what the sci-fi concept is that would sort of thematically fit and help, you know, be the catalyst for those, you know, the conflicts that we want to have arise over the course of an episode.
You know, so I think for us, you know, every episode needs to live or die based on the character stories first. And, you know, it’s – we just have the sort of added benefit of this little bit of science fiction that we can throw in to, you know, change things up and tell stories in way that you can’t tell in the traditional drama or comedy format.
I would never before – if you had asked me, you know, when did we sell this show, 2003? That was seven years ago. And if you had told me that I was going to be, you know, running a sci-fi show and people were going to be looking to me as the sci-fi guy in that realm, I would not – I would say there’s not a chance. I don’t think that I am particularly, you know, sci-fi oriented in terms of how we approach the show.
And the biggest number – I mean I think we, you know, in the first two seasons we brought over 5 million new viewers to the Syfy channel. You know, the – our premier, you know, set a record for the channel that has – that still stands in terms of, you know, the numbers of people who tuned in. And I think that they tuned in because it wasn’t a traditional sci-fi kind of concept. So I would definitely say to anybody, you know, who wouldn’t normally watch the Syfy channel, this is a show that could be on NBC and I think it would still have the same kind of following. So check us out.
Bill Brennan [Syfy]: Just a little ratings background I’d just like to give you guys. I was just – anytime I get somebody’s ear – where Eureka has followed a very unique trend of each new season has grown year over – season over season with the audience than the one prior. So I think we left us at averaging over 3 million a week last season with Season 3. So…
Brennan: Yeah. It keeps growing.
Paglia: And that’s (unintelligible).
Brennan: So I always like to get that out there, you know, there’s always time for new viewers, especially this season, you know, to have to get on board. So…
Paglia: Yeah. And we particularly kind of crafted this season to be really, you know, open to new viewers coming on board. You know, it’s always great to be able to see a series from the very beginning. But you could come into, you know, I think Founder’s Day and very quickly have the relationships when characters are established. And then we actually give you the history of the town now and how it came to be. So it’s a great time to actually check out the show and not feel like you’ve missed the boat.
Now you guys have both talked about, you know, the whole reboot of the season and everything. So this is for Colin. Since it’s changed so much does that kind of change your approach from an acting standpoint of how you’ve, you know, done so this season?
Ferguson: No. No, I always approach it sort of the same way. I mean it’s always script first. You know, you get a story and then you figure out how – what you know how to do is going to help tell that story. What I’ve enjoyed about this season is that going to new places. With what we can deliver I find that the scripts this year are more open to comedy. They’re more open to a little joke here and there than I guess last year or the year before. And that’s really exciting. It feels like there’s a lot more – everything’s grounded in a new way this year. Which is really exciting. There’s more subtext going on and I like that. So no, I wouldn’t say it changes how I go about it but there’s always different things that are called upon to execute it and that’s what’s been great about this year.
Now, I know that you’ve directed. You’ve talked about it. Are you ever interested in writing? And Jaime, are you ever interested in directing or acting?
Ferguson: Yeah, I’ll answer that real quick for me. I’m a good – I’m a good rewriter. I’m not a good creator. I’m not a good from scratch guy. But once a concept’s there I’m good at sort of tweaking it. So I would be interested in a writing partnership but I don’t have the creator aspect to me.
Paglia: As for directing I’ve been asked this for a couple of seasons now, when am I going to finally do it. And it may potentially happen in these back ten episodes. It’s, you know, we’ve been discussing it and hopefully, you know, planning for it. I think it really depends on where we are with the scripts by the time we get to, you know, the time slot that would fit for me to do it. I would love to do it. I think it would be an amazing learning experience. And I know that the team that we have will help make sure I don’t crash and burn.
Ferguson: Yeah, I mean the problem for Jaime is obviously as a director you need to be up there for seven days, and you need seven days of prep, so that’s three weeks. So that’s asking him to not be a part of the writers’ room for potentially three weeks and that’s, you know, you just can’t lose a member like that for that length of time.
So I mean I know that’s the battle that he fights regularly as sort of, you know, being asked and wanting to sort of go up and direct. But then to leave the writers’ room is – I don’t even know if you can do that.
Paglia: And I’ve been fortunate that with (Bruce Miller), you know, running the writers’ room while I’m rewriting and traveling back and forth and doing other aspects of it. You know, when I can’t be in the room with him has made this a real potential thing for me this year. And if we’re sort of aiming towards like Episode 18 ideally. Then that way we will have written the last two episodes at that point probably. And I could still potentially write the finale and then still direct this episode. So we’ll see. You know, it’s my hope. I’ve got fingers crossed.
Ferguson: That’d be great.
Paglia: Thanks very much. And with that I actually get to go and watch the midseason finale right now – the cut that just came in which is going to be unlike anything we’ve ever done on the show. I’m so excited. So I’ll just tease you guys with that. Episode 9 is going to be amazing.
Ferguson: Oh wow.
Yeah, just make us jealous now.
Paglia: All right. Thanks everybody so much for your time. I really appreciate it.
Brennan: Yeah. Thank you guys. I just wanted to mention a few dates because we mentioned the guest stars. Wil Wheaton – I just want you to know that episode airs July 23. The episode with Jamie Kennedy and also Jordan Hinson’s in that one, that’s the one Colin directed, that’s July 30. And I know we’re going to see a lot of you guys at Comic Con. I look forward to seeing you there. The Eureka panel is Saturday at 4:15. So hopefully you’ll make it then.
Ferguson: And if we bump into each other at Comic Con just let me know that you were on the conference call because sometimes names and faces don’t collide for me. So just go oh, I was on the conference call.
Paglia: And for me as well. And Wil Wheaton on Friday night at – I think we’re – we’re doing the screening for Eureka it’s either 8:30 or 8:45 on Friday night. Wil Wheaton is actually going to introduce the screening with us.
Ferguson: Oh, great.
Paglia: Thanks everybody I’m going to say goodbye. I’ll talk to you guys hopefully at Comic Con.
Ferguson: Yeah, me too. I’m out. Later everybody.