Last weekend Eddie McClintock, Saul Rubinek and Kelly Hu from SyFy’s Warehouse 13 visited London to meet fans at the MCM Expo Comic Con. I was lucky enough to spend some time with the cast both at a public panel and later during a short interview.
One of the most obvious impressions I came away with having met the Warehouse 13 cast was how much genuine affection they have for the show. With the upcoming season five now confirmed as the final season and only six episodes long, naturally many of the questions asked were about how everyone felt regarding the show’s impending finale.
Saul told us that “saying goodbye to the warehouse” was the hardest scene he had ever shot for the show and Eddie recounted a story in which he was performing a monologue for the end of the series. Right before filming commenced, executive producer Jack Kenny approached him and whispered that he would “never again say these words to these people in this place.” The resulting emotion caused Eddie to genuinely breakdown during filming, tipping the rest of the onlooking actors into tears themselves.
Saul also had his own moment of deep emotion during the finale filming. Sitting alone on a prop car he recalled sitting in the same spot many years before, that time during filming of the show’s pilot with his 12-year-old son who has since left to begin college. He immediately asked the crew to begin filming an emotional monologue he had been struggling with, so far finding that the emotions were now flowing easily, although shooting a second take was one of the hardest things he ever had to do.
Asked whether or not they were happy with what eventually happens to their characters, all three agreed that they were. Eddie explained that upon hearing of the show’s cancellation he called Jack Kenny very upset and asked what would happen to them and the Warehouse; “what are you gonna do, are you gonna kill us all, are you gonna kill the Warehouse?“ he asked.
Jack replied “nah, we’ve already killed everybody… a few times“ and proceeded to explain the show’s finale to Eddie who soon found himself almost in tears on the phone. “I think everybody ends up where they should be,” he summarised. Saul instantly agreed with him, “like all really good stuff that’s written, it’s both surprising and inevitable at the same time – I’m really proud of that,” he explained. “We were all touched and moved by the fight [to produce a short fifth season so the show would have closure] and by the beautiful writing,” he told us, “I know our fans will feel a sense of completion and a sense of continuity.”
Another thing that made a big impact on me during my time with Warehouse 13 was their dedication to family. There is a clear sense of pride that comes, most noticeably from Saul, on how the show is truly for families.
“We loved that we could create a show without talking up to people and without talking down to people,” he said during the panel. Later, he recounted a story from a previous fan event where an elderly grandmother had approached him with her young grandson and talked to him about how they watched the show together–this he explained was one of his happiest and proudest moments. “We’re dads, we have kids and we wanted to make a show that a family can watch together – it’s the proudest thing we’ve got.”
Part of the way in which the show is pitched at all levels is with its humor. “There’s jokes on a number of levels,” Saul explained, from adult references that will sail over the heads of any children watching right down to the more base level humor of gas jokes. “It’s a gassy show,” he admitted. “Thank God it’s a big warehouse,” added Kelly Hu.
The cast also mentioned how violence is kept mostly off-screen, except for almost comical cartoon style fights. It’s a fair point. The agents of Warehouse 13 use Tesla guns and rifles that usually stun their opponents as opposed to traditional firearms and even when characters are killed there is little to no blood on screen. The death of a major recurring character in the show’s third season was shot in such a family oriented style that I would have no qualms about letting the scene run in front of my preschooler.
I was deeply upset when I learned that Warehouse 13 was getting cancelled and spending time with the cast has only made the tragedy of the fact more apparent. There are precious few geeky shows that families can watch together, and as of 2014 there will be one less. Still there are six more episodes left to air and I am now more confident than ever that Warehouse 13 will be going out on a high.
Entry to MCM Expo was provided free by the organiser.