A Look Inside “Warehouse 13”

Eddie McClintock stars as Pete in Warehouse 13
One of the new Syfy series helping viewers to “Imagine Greater” (SCI FI Channel’s new tagline after rebranding itself as Syfy) is Warehouse 13, airing Tuesdays beginning July 7. The show follows Secret Service agents Pete and Myka (Eddie McClintock and Joanne Kelly), who are reassigned to the title location — a top-secret government facility in South Dakota where strange and often supernatural relics are collected. Taking care of the place is Artie (Saul Rubinek), who charges the new agents with chasing down reports of activity that may be related to artifacts needing to be warehoused before they threaten humanity. In the opener, the pair discover an innocuous-looking hair comb that once belonged to Lucrezia Borgia, which has been causing mayhem and murder in Iowa.

Warehouse 13 has elements familiar to fans of The X-Files and the Indiana Jones films, and star Eddie McClintock finds comparisons to those franchises complimentary, but also notes differences.

“I think that this show is a little lighter [than The X-Files],” he says. “X-Files I thought took itself seriously. [This] show doesn’t carry around this heavy weight. As far as Indiana Jones is concerned, yeah, we’re looking for artifacts that could have dangerous effects on civilization. If that’s the parallel I would say, OK, it’s like that. But mostly it’s a show about relationships. The artifacts aren’t just things that we’re out there looking for. They have an emotional resonance for the characters and for the people that the artifacts come into contact with. So it’s not a procedural where they go, ‘OK, there’s the thing, go out, get it, bring it back, make a couple people laugh in the interim and be done with it.’ It’s got more heart than that.”

It’s this heart, and especially the humor of the series, that really appeals to McClintock. Although he loves sci fi (“It gives you a chance to get out of your head and go somewhere else for a little while”), he started his acting career playing a lot of comedic roles before “moving on to play cops,” as he does here, and which he did in guest stints as a special agent on Bones.

“I like the fact that I’ve kind of moved on to playing cops. I started out playing a lot of comedy. A lot of sitcoms. I started off as the goofy guy next door. It just happened that I auditioned for that and I did it well for some reason, and I started getting those jobs. As my career has progressed I kind of moved into [cop roles]. It’s a role and a job I probably could have done a lot sooner, but this is just the way that it’s happened for my career.”

In Warehouse 13, McClintock can put his background with these two types of roles to good use.

“I love the fact that I can play the drama, and play the suspense, and play the action — the sci fi element — and then be able to punctuate a scene with something that’s funny. To me, every serious thing that happens has some element of comedy in it, in life, so I like the fact that we can do that in our show.”

What he can also do is stunt work, since Warehouse 13 has its share of action.

“I love doing my own stunts,” says McClintock. “I tend to do all the stunts that I can unless they just absolutely won’t let me. I grew up playing football, I wrestled for 12 years, I wrestled in college. Physical things don’t bother me, I’m not afraid of them. Plus, I think it looks better for the show. I think a lot of times you can go, ‘Oh, look, there’s the stuntman with a wig on.’ So I try to do everything on my own. We do have some physical stuff, and I love that, because it gives me a chance to do physical comedy also, which is something I enjoy.”

Sci fi, check. Comedy, check. Action, check. But we had to ask the inevitable question: Is there going to be a will-they-or-won’t-they romantic relationship between Pete and Myka?

“For the viewer, I think that is inevitable,” McClintock says, “whether or not it’s written into the script. The viewers just want to see them get together. [Right now] the way [this] is written, I think it’s more of a brother/sister relationship. Or like a Lisa Loopner/Todd relationship [Gilda Radner and Bill Murray’s characters on the old SNL], when they used to give each other noogies. Pete’s always trying to give Myka a metaphorical noogie, and she wants nothing to do with it. I’m like her pesky younger brother.”

Eddie McClintock as Pete Lattimer, Joanne Kelly as Myka Bering, Saul Rubinek as Artie Nielsen

To McClintock’s pleasure, as he has kids of his own, this is a show that he believes the whole family can watch.

“I want young kids to be able to watch it, too. It can be a little spooky, but it’s not too spooky. I think it would be cool if people said, ‘Hey, Warehouse 13 is on, let’s get some popcorn going, turn down the lights and get some blankets and sit in front of the TV,’ because that’s what I used to do when I was a kid.”

Photos: © SCI FI Channel Credit: Philippe Bosse