Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Bones in Warehouse 13

Warehouse 13 is off to a good start on the SyFy (formerly SciFi) Channel.

Bering (Joanne Kelly) and Lattimer (Eddie McClintock) have a lot of the chemistry of Bones and Booth in Bones, and the couples even look a lot like each other (Lattimer a little more like Booth). And Artie Nielsen (Saul Rubinek), while we're into comparisons, reminds me of Walter on Fringe.

But the comparisons end there, and if you relish science fiction, as I do, the stories on Warehouse are more intriguing than those on Bones. The warehouse houses off-the-track artifacts from various times in the past, my favorite being a neat-looking mobile videophone from the 1920s - which still works just fine, and is used by Bering and Lattimer - and is said to have been invented just after television. This is actually an historically sound premise, because the first famous display of television was actually a two-way connection, between then Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover in Washington talking to AT&T President Gifford in NYC in 1927.

And the warehouse is clearly informed by and sprinkled with the work - known and unknown, real and hypothesized - of the likes of Edison and his rival Tesla. This puts the series in an historically and scientifically grounded kind of science fiction that I usually prefer to the alternate dimensions of Fringe.

But the potential also exists in Warehouse for it to blur its focus with genies in bottles, and, in fact, the premier episode had a bit too much of that.

So we'll just have to see. But if the series remains true to its Asimovian, nearly factual roots, Warehouse could well be worth browsing through and looking at for years to come on SyFy.

5-min podcast review of Warehouse 13

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