"Warehouse 13" is “the big house that could” for Syfy.
It was the show that was introduced when the re-branding took place, and it has become the signature show for the network, much like Farscape and Stargate SG-1 had been when it was called the SciFi Channel.
The program has done big things for Syfy, particularly when it comes to drawing the female audience the network had longed to attract. It has also grown into the highest-rated ongoing weekly series ever regardless of what name it is currently using.
Late last week Monsters and Critics took part in a phone conference with Eddie McClintock and Saul Rubinek in which both stars discussed the second-season finale for the hit Syfy series "Warehouse 13" as well as other episodes.
Rubinek responded, “I like that. The boys of the warehouse, that’s cool.” McClintock replied, “The boys of the warehouse, yes. The boy and the man of the warehouse I would say.” Rubinek was quick to reply: “Don’t call yourself a boy, Eddie.”
Several of the first questions focused in on the atmosphere on the set, with Rubinek saying, “We all like each other, which is a relief since we’ve signed a long term contract because God, it could have been hell. But we’ve become a family which is kind of cliché for shows. We do joke around a lot. And some of what we do to joke around ends up on the screen every week.”
“The thing that fans often ask is, do you guys have as much fun on the set as it looks like you’re having? And we’re really glad that that comes across.”
McClintock agreed. “You’ve got to try and have a good time when you’re working 15 hours a day for five days a week. And I think it really sets the tone for the feeling of what’s going on, on the set in general. We know that we’ve got to get our work done. And I think we do, but we definitely try and keep it light and keep things from getting too tense on set.
“I think it helps for when guest stars come and they realize that it’s nice and easy on the set. And they can relax and be themselves and have fun,” he said.
When asked how they feel about the show finishing up its second season, McClintock said he was proud of all the program has accomplished.
“God, I am really proud of it,” he said. “It’s my first second season after thirteen, fourteen years as an actor. And I couldn’t be happier. I couldn’t be more proud. Syfy has turned out to be an incredibly classy operation. I am proud of my network and proud of my show.”
Rubinek added, “It’s been a really good second season. The writers had quite an interesting and daunting task after creating a show that turned out to be the most successful series audience-wise in the history of the network. And now you have to follow it up.”
“One of the things that I really like is that they’ve continued to explore the history of the place,” the actor continued. “One of the things I most enjoy about the show is the mythology that they’ve created about the Warehouse. If you go to Syfy.com, with a little bit of search you can find out something about the history of what the other twelve warehouses--where the other twelve warehouses were.
“And at what time period and the stories themselves have dealt with that mythology in one way or another. So we’re still artifact hunting and there’s adventures to be had simply by the fun of an artifact can do. At the same time, they’ve created an overriding arch for each season so far. That has given the show a little bit more depth than it might otherwise have had. And I am really proud of that.
“They’ve kept the characters and the relationships very close to their hearts so that we all care about each other, the stakes get higher and higher for us. And in all good series you will see I think the common--most good series you will see a common denominator like that.”
What’s it like being the top-rated show on Syfy?
”It’s unusual in anyone’s career that you’re the number one show of a network,” said Rubinek. “And it is a wonderful thing to see how NBC Universal executives who come and visit us become our friends … and the people who are responsible for the show, and how Syfy has supported it.
“I certainly in a very long career have never been a part of anything where I’ve been one of the stars of the show. I mean years ago I was a recurring character on Frasier, an example of one of the most successful shows in history but it wasn’t my show the way this is with our group. So I am really thrilled with it. I couldn’t be happier,” he said.
“The dynamic between Artie and Claudia (Allison Scagliotti) has got to be hands down one of my favorite parts of the show,” said another blogger. “Is there a possibility of having a spin-off of you two, perhaps like a web series or something?”
“A web series of Claudia and Artie. I hadn’t thought of that. You can pitch that,” said Rubinek.
“It’s a wonderful relationship that started right away because the brilliant writing of the first episode that she appeared in last season,” the actor continued. “It really set the tone for what the characters were going to be. But then the piece of good fortune that happened is that they cast her as a regular and because she is an accomplished actress even though she’s only 19."
“It was like we had been working together for years and we immediately have a short hand. It was like we were old friends right away. And some of that relationship that you’re seeing is off the set as well. So there is some kind of father-daughter thing happening which is fun for us and fun when the bickering and the love of the characters, their affection for each other and the mentorship–the sorcerer and his apprentice."
“Part of the relationship exists on screen to make, you know, to make the characters come alive. Some of it’s true to life and it is fun. But we are very fortunate. Yes, the chemistry between us was magical right from the very beginning and the writers have a great time writing for us. So it is a huge benefit for both of us.”
Alluding to the revelation that Claudia may be the future caretaker of the Warehouse, McClintock joked, “I think she’d have the Sex Pistols blasting over the intercom and the warehouse. And we would all have to get matching pink hair strips, which I am not sure I would go for.”
When asked about working in front of green screens, Rubinek said that they “call it schmacting as in ‘acting schmacting.’ That’s our phrase for it. We call it schmacting. We’ve got to do some schmacting. Early morning schmacting. Schmacting early in the morning.”
When asked about what both actors were doing while on break from filming, McClintock said he was designing a series of t-shirts for NBC Universal and the show.
“I’ve been working on those designs and really having a good time trying to figure out what the people are going to like,” he said. “And I am going to do a steam punk version. And I think there will be about four or five different versions of the shirt. So I have been kind of needling around with that. And hopefully within the next couple of weeks people will be able to go to the Syfy site or go to www.EddieMcClintock.com and check them out.”
When asked about guest stars, Rubinek said, “We are collecting people that have something to do with the Warehouse that are our own little extended rep company of actors. And they have been wonderful. In the Christmas show, Judd Hirsch for example plays Artie’s dad. You can see that there is a possibility for a life for the characters. Certainly there is a love interest between, you know, some kind of whom romance going on between Lindsay Wagner’s character and Artie.”
Are the actors just as surprised as the fans are when they find out what will happen in upcoming episodes? “It’s not a predictable show. We don’t know,” said Rubinek. “I guess that’s what is really cool about it. Are these guys going to stay around? Is this a regular? Is this going to become a regular character? We don’t know what we’re going to do from week to week. It’s completely different, and we have an opportunity to play with the genres in a way. They’re different--it’s like doing different series every week sometimes, you know? Anything can happen.”
When asked if Pete and Myka might develop a romantic relationship, McClintock was emphatic. “I’m glad the writers didn’t go down that path. Joanne (Kelly) and I would have definitely lobbied against that if they had thought that that would be a way to go as soon as the main actors get together, the show is basically over. Just like my relationship with Joanne continues to develop and grow, their relationship will do the same as long as they continue to have respect for one another.”
When asked about spoiling the season finale and the Christmas episode, both actors were tight-lipped. “The Christmas episode absolutely is a stand-alone episode,” Rubinek did volunteer. “It was to be set apart from anything to do with what was going in the season.”
Discussing Pete’s character, Rubinek waxed philosophical. “My impression of Pete is that as an FBI agent the year before he became an agent for Warehouse 13, that you might see a slightly different Pete. This particular world kind of opens up that childlike side of him. That side of him which can be so annoying to people who run a serious mission is also the side of him that may be able to intuit of things that other agents may not be able to that side of their brains were not as open as his is. And I think the warehouse, the artifacts, the wonder of the place opened that character up. It would be interesting to go back in time and take a look at him as an FBI agent.”
To this, McClintock responded: “Yes, and people don’t know this, but before he came to the Warehouse, he was actually black.”
“We’ve seen as kind of a recurring theme in the background of the show that romantic relationships don’t necessarily work out well on the show,” noted another blogger.” Yet this season both of you have romantic interests. So I was wondering if relationships going wrong specifically between Warehouse employees is in the back of the mind of each of your characters as they are preceding along.”
“The romantic relationships on Warehouse 13 are kind of the Warehouse’s version of red shirts, it seems like,” answered McClintock. “They probably aren’t going to be around too long because of the nature of the Warehouse, the danger that the Warehouse presents. I hope that that’s not the case because it would be nice to see Pete find somebody and settle down.
“I think that’s part of his inner empty space is he really wants to find somebody to care about. So I don’t know. Maybe Pete will end up with Lindsay Wagner’s character,” he continued.
“Not a chance,” quipped Rubinek.
“It’s an interesting part of the show, an eccentric part of the show because all of the characters have trouble that way. And I think the writers are enjoying that,” Rubinek continued. “They’re enjoying the fact that if a place like this actually existed and people had to do what they had to do, you’d find it hard to hold on to anything.
“One of the most fun shows that Eddie and I had to do was when we were alone in the Warehouse. The women went off to do their mission, and I am trying to talk to Pete’s character, but he is trying to tell me that I should loosen up and I should try to ask Lindsay Wagner’s character out and I am letting him know that he’s afraid of the same thing that happened to me.
“What happened to Artie was that he didn’t really have a life,” explained Rubinek. “He didn’t have marriage or children. He gave a lot to warehouse of his life. And Pete somehow in the back of his mind is worried about it. Artie tells him, ‘You can have more than me.’ And Pete says he’ll be honored to have a life like Artie’s but at the same time I think, it is a fear. And I think that it is part of what they’re going to continue with in the shows.”
“Why do you think the regents, who are supposed to be also smart, would not only let H.G. Wells back in to the Warehouse but reinstate her as an agent?” was asked.
“I like the fact that the regents are fallible or can be fallible,” Rubinek said. “I think that’s what is really cool is that Mrs. Fredric knows that. And she is--because she is not a regent; she is something else. We now find out that she is a caretaker for the first time just this last episode. We didn’t know what she was.”
“And one of the original members of Gladys Night and the Pips,” McClintock interjected.
“Reset,” the second-season finale for Warehouse 13, airs on Syfy this week!