The secluded small town of Eureka isn’t on any regular map and for good reason. A closely guarded secret, this hi tech community is mostly composed of genius level scientists conducting strange experiments and whipping up the latest invention, usually to disastrous results. That insanity certainly was U.S. Marshal Jack Carter’s initial impression when he stumbled upon Eureka while escorting his troublesome teenage daughter Zoe back to her mother in Los Angeles. However, when a freak accident injured the local sheriff, the only-average intelligent Carter reluctantly assumed the position along with all the wackiness that comes with it. Heading into its astounding third season on July 29th, creator/executive producer Jaime Paglia definitely feels the Sci Fi Channel series has hit its groove.
Newsarama recently spoke with Paglia about the just-started Season 3…
Newsarama: Jamie, a lot of shows take a few years to really find their legs and Eureka seems like it has been getting better and better.
Jaime Paglia: Definitely. The more time you spend with the characters and getting to know them and writing to them, the more you want to explore those people and relationships. This year, we’re getting back to the lighter side of our show.
In the second season, we went into deeper character exploration and to darker places, especially with Henry, and wanted to pay off some of the storylines that were introduced in season one. In season two, we went a little darker and I am glad we did that. It was interesting to have a chance to pay those things off and see other aspects of our town and the characters. This time, we are looking to have a little more fun and that is always a great pleasure to write.
NRAMA: Having the Sci Fi Channel increase the episode order from 13 to 21 must affect how you approach the season.
JP: We kind of broke things into mini arcs which is nice. Sometimes a 13 episode arc can be a little challenging. You have to obviously be able to plan further ahead and it’s always an extra complicated way to break stories when you are carrying a thru line as part of your over arcing mystery or mythology. We are doing an eight episode for the first part of the season which feels more manageable from a storytelling standpoint. We are kind of doing a couple of mini arcs in the back 13. It’s actually sort of allowed us to approach the story breaking process in a more manageable way.
From a personal gratification stand point, I like to see characters grow and evolve. Having some kind of serialized element is really important otherwise it begins to feel a little bit thin. We have been fortunate that the studio and network have allowed us to have a more serialized approach and we are doing the same thing this season. It is nice to have a stand alone quality so new viewers can come in at any time, have a satisfying experience, and hopefully be drawn in and come back again.
NRAMA: Last season ended with some lingering plotlines. How long will viewers need to wait to get some answers?
JP: In the season premiere, you will be getting some answers like whether Allison is going to say yes or no to Stark’s proposal and that will have great implications for the direction of these relationships. The best part about it is we do have conflict. That is the nature of any kind of character drama and if you don’t have that, things get a little dull. It is nice to have people sparring over one another. Allison is always going to be a little torn one way or the other over who she is going to gravitate towards.
We will definitely be resolving whether Henry goes to prison or not. You will be seeing him this season but for how long, I won’t say, but he will be back in the premiere and exploring the outcome of what he did at the end of the season finale. We will be introducing a brand new character into the show, Frances Fisher, whose name is Eva Thorne. She is known as The Fixer. Eva is sort of a corporate tycoon Donald Trump type figure who is brought in from the private sector to make this place profitable. Global Dynamics is going to start having to earn its keep so she comes in and shakes things up for the first half of the season.
NRAMA: Rumors have been swirling that Carter’s sister is going to be visiting as well.
JP: Yes, we are going to bring her in mid way through the season for a multi episode arc. She is completely polar opposite to Carter so she is going to be a thorn for him and now he has to deal with a thorn at home and literally a thorn in his work life. Carter will be getting it from all sides.
NRAMA: Carter has always had this high level of awe so after all he’s seen, is it difficult maintaining that scientific wonderment while giving him some personal growth?
JP: Obviously, Carter has to get used to being here; he can’t just stare in wonder. He is always going to have that “Really?” look on his face where someone has done something but it is no longer necessarily about shock of it existing. It is about the “Now I have to clean this mess up.”
We are always introducing new characters who can be the new eyes. Part of Eureka’s growth is the fact that this is a series where anything can happen and the people have grown used to that and hopefully our audience has as well, and are looking forward to, seeing what we have cooked up.
NRAMA: Part of Eureka’s wow factor comes from those gadgets and gizmos that ultimately cause a world of trouble. Which ones do you have on tap?
JP: We have a very interesting military attack drone in the season premiere. We have what a missing person’s case in Eureka, a self regulating biosphere, would look like. We always have the various gadgets that help resolve problems and we have the cool technology that might allow somebody to become a superhero and what a superhero would look like in Eureka.
NRAMA: What else can viewers expect in the upcoming weeks?
JP: We are having a lot of fun with some homages to our favorite science fiction, comic book, and horror concepts. We are playing with some larger special effects then we ever have before and we are going to be doing some more character focused episodes, especially in the latter half of the season where we can really get into what Jo is like and some of the others in ways we haven’t before. We are slowly exploring her growing relationship with Zane who is also back and will be a big part of the mythology this season for what our Fixer character is here for. She also has a very personal agenda which is a bit more mysterious than coming in, shaking up the town, and making it profitable. Zane gets drawn into that aspect. We are also going to be exploring that constant struggle over whether Jo should be boss and she just might get her wish.
NRAMA: Eureka will be going on an undetermined hiatus before it airs the back end of its episodes. Why the long break?
JP: Honestly, this time it was a matter of pragmatics. We couldn’t produce all these episodes and air them in our normal time slot. We could only complete eight if we were to have our normal season premiere date so this allows the writers to catch up on scripts before we get back to work again. Whether they end up airing in January, May, or next summer, we don’t know. I hope they are sooner in the year than later since that would be more satisfying for the audience. At this point, all the episodes are considered season three.