Warehouse 13 Official Site

The Time:
Tuesdays, 9:00 PM, Syfy

The Show:

After saving the President’s life during a museum gala where a worker is infected by an ancient Mayan idol’s evil, Secret Service agents Myka Bering and Peter Lattimer find themselves assigned to the government’s Warehouse 13, a top secret repository where supernatural objects an artifacts of the unexplained have been stored for over a century.  The agents are chosen for their individual talents: Bering’s being that she is a driven perfectionist who notices every detail about a situation and Lattimer getting unexplained vibes about a situation that usually steer him in the right direction.  In their new assignment, the agents are tasked with obtaining these artifacts and securing them in the warehouse for the public’s own good and safety.  Helping them are the Warehouse’s eccentric supervisor, Artie Clark, and their boss, Mrs. Frederick.

The Stars:

•  Eddie McClintock – Peter Lattimer (Eddie McClintock)
•  Joanne Kelly – Myka Bering
•  Saul Rubinek – Arthur “Artie” Nielsen
•  Genelle Williams – Leena
•  Allison Scagliotti – Claudia Donovan
•  CCH Pounder – Mrs. Frederick
•  Samuel Reynolds – Daniel Dickenson

The Episode: “Pilot”

Lattimer and Bering arrive at Warehouse 13 after receiving their orders from Mrs. Frederick, an enigmatic director of a government agency overseeing the warehouse.  There they meet Artie, who fills them in on the purpose of the warehouse and how they’re needed to continue the mission of obtaining supernatural artifacts that either pose a danger to the public or that the government would prefer no one know about.  In this case it’s an Italian artifact that has to do with Lucretia Borgia that incites bad mojo..

The Lowdown:

This show may have potential, but it isn’t to be found in this pilot episode.  Aside from the fact that the only thing these first two hours have going for them is Saul Rubinek doing his best Doc Emmet Brown, there’s a muddling of tone as the show can’t decide whether it wants to be X-Files or Moonlighting, which is only a couple of sources the producers seem to draw upon.  The show is also reminiscent of Friday the 13th: The Series, Men In Black and, of course, the Raiders of The Lost Ark warehouse, which every critic, blogger and schlub with a keyboard and an internet hookup will be sure to mention.  There were a couple of items in this first story that grabbed me, such as Houdini’s wallet, a wish kettle that produces ferrets in lieu of impossible wishes, and some mini pocket video communicators invented by Philo T. Farnsworth.

Unfortunately, the items are about the most interesting things aside from Rubinek.  There’s very little spark between McClintock and Kelly, although the blame doesn’t fall squarely on their shoulders, as their characters are about as engaging as…well, let’s just say not very.  When matched with, say, Nathan Fillion’s and Stana Katic’s Castle and Beckett, who clicked from practically the first scene together, the two protagonists are coming up more than a little light in the chemistry department.  Nevertheless, The ever-excellently-named CCH Pounder puts in an always welcome appearance, but is criminally-underutilized as she mostly gets to stand around and give her best Zed impression. 

In regards to this first case they were on, going after the item they were didn’t hold my interest very much. And generally, the entire episode was just sort of okay at best.  There were things that seemed to thrown in for convenience without much storytelling merit.  For instance, what was it that kept cutting into the cell phone service, and even the land line service?  What exactly was it that the Borgia artifact did to people anyway?  There’s some heat thing it does, a hulking out thing it does, a mesmerizing thing it does, and it seems to control fire.  But dip it in some leftover ooze from the first Power Rangers movie and everything is right with the world again.  What the show might also want to watch out for are those cavernous warehouse interior master shots with the Sound of Thunder-worthy process shots.

I’ll give the show a chance (mostly because I don’t have that much to review for THUD this summer), but I’m not floored by this first attempt.

5.2 out of 10