Eureka, Oregon: City of Science

E

Welcome to day five of the A to Z Blogger Challenge where E stand for Eureka!

I fell in love with Eureka from the very first episode. (Or maybe I developed a crush on its star, Colin Ferguson. It’s difficult to say.) The idea of a town filled with great thinkers all conducting secret experiments is tremendously appealing to me. Yes, there are minor issues with jealousy, competition, and the usual personality conflicts, but for the most part, the characters on this show work together to either keep the town a safe, fun place, or they work together on secret scientific projects. I would find either one of these positions interesting.

Colin_Ferguson

Colin Ferguson stars as Sheriff Jack Carter in Eureka.

The residents of Eureka are, for the most part, some of the most intelligent people on the planet. The scientists work for a corporation called Global Dynamics, and they are responsible for all significant technological discoveries and inventions since the corporation was formed.

Eureka is actually a mix of mystery and science fiction. One would think that with this many great minds the city would run super-smooth. This is not the case. In fact, in every episode of Eureka there is a serious accident, or intentional misuse of the technology that is created by the town’s residents, and Eureka’s sheriff, Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson), is called upon to solve these mysteries with the help of his deputy, the lovely Erica Cerra (Jo Lupo), a former U.S. Army Ranger (as I recall, she was with the Special Forces in the Pilot show) who is a bit quirky and obsessed with firearms.

There is generally two stories occurring concurrently on this show. The first is the accident and the second is the larger story that is revealed during the course of the investigation of the accident.

The Pilot

It was actually the Pilot of this show that sucked me in to watching the series. The plot of this initial show, in my opinion, is both creative and intriguing.

The first episode aired on July 18, 2006. The show begins with U.S. Marshal Jack Carter driving down an isolated road surrounded by dense forest land. Carter is transporting a prisoner, who also happens to be his delinquent daughter, Zoe Carter, played by Jordan Hinson. Carter is involved in an accident and he and his daughter end up in the nearby town of Eureka. Once there, he is immediately involved in his first investigation–a case involving a tachyon accelerator, which is causing space and time anomalies to occur in the town. Strange things happen, including the disappearance of an entire herd of cows. Carter is confused and concerned, particularly for the safety of his troubled daughter.

The “Love Interest”

As Carter continues his investigation he suddenly find himself kidnapped by Jim Taggart, played by the talented Matt Frewer. Taggert is the Biological Containment Specialist for Global Dynamics, and the town’s veterinarian (remember the missing cows?) Carter then meets Allison Blake, a medical doctor for the Department of Defense who is also working at Global Dynamics. Blake introduces Carter to the concept behind the city of Eureka.

The creation of Eureka was commissioned by President Harry S. Truman with the assistance of Albert Einstein and other advisers. The commission was for a secret residential development hidden in the remote areas of the Pacific Northwest. The intention of the project was to serve and protect America’s greatest intellectual resources–its scientists.

Salli_Richardson

Salli Richardson-Whitfield, who plays Allison Blake, the attractive doctor on Eureka. 

The tachyon accelerator is found, but the man who built it dies trying to stop it, so the U.S. military quarantines Eureka–Carter is stuck in Eureka along with his teenage daughter. Unfortunately, there is still a possibility that the accelerator will go off again, so Eureka’s deputy, Jo Lupo, helps Carter escape from Global Dynamics. During his time at Global Dynamics, Carter met Kevin Blake (played by Meshach Peters in the first three seasons and Trevor Jackson in the fourth), the autistic son of Allison Blake, and believes Kevin can solve the problem with the accelerator.

Carter is right–Kevin is able to shut down the accelerator before another collision occurs using his exceptional knowledge of quantum physics. Kevin saves Eureka, and possibly the entire planet. All is well, and Carter is free to leave with his daughter, but first he is offered a new job as the sheriff of Eureka. The former sheriff is retiring, and Carter has developed a romantic attraction for Allison Blake, so he accepts the job, much to the chagrin of Jo Lupo who wanted the promotion, and his daughter, Zoe, who is not the least bit thrilled by the thought of living in a small town.

Secondary Characters

Although he is featured in the pilot, Dr. Taggert (Matt Frewer) is actually a secondary character. Although he is Eureka’s Biological Containment Specialist he is seen most often in his role as a veterinarian. He is also a stubborn Australian who doesn’t seem to like the people of Eureka, mainly because they don’t seem to appreciate the unique wildlife in the area. On the other hand, he also has a love/hate relationship with the town’s stray dog, Lowjack, who he claims is “evil,” but is often seen sharing affectionate moments with the animal.

Dr. Henry Deacon (Joe Morton) is one of the town’s scientists and the town mechanic. His assistance is often required in the bigger plot situation that always arises after the initial mystery is solved, mainly because he is very familiar with the inner workings of Global Dynamics.

Grace Monroe (Tembi Locke) is, of course, another scientist. She is also the wife of Henry Deacon in an alternate timeline that was created when the Eureka Five time traveled to 1947, which is a very creative detail in my opinion.

Dr. Nathan Stark (Ed Quinn) is another one of Eureka’s top scientists, but he is a thorn in the side of Sheriff Jack Carter, possibly because he has an on (and off) relationship with Allison Blake, who has Carter behaving like a school boy with a crush. According to an interview with Ed Quinn by Melissa Hank, Stark is modeled after a Marvel Comics Character.

Dr. Douglas Fargo (Neil Grayston), another scientist who is not treated very well by his coworkers. He is a bit of a disaster, constantly dealing with on-the-job accidents. The actor, Grayston, is also the voice of the computer that runs Sheriff Jack Carter’s home, S.A.R.A.H. (Self-actuated Residential Automated Habitat). The home is more of a bunker, but becomes a character (or S.A.R.A.H. becomes a character) in a few of the episodes.

Series Details

Eureka premiered on the Sci-Fi Channel on July 18, 2006. It’s final show was on July 16, 2012. The show, created by Andrew Cosby and Jaime Paglia, and produced by Universal Media Studios, had a slow start, but eventually became a success for the network with an average of 3.2 million viewers. Eureka was nominated for the 2007 Emmy Award for Outstanding Visual Effects for a Series, but I believe it should have won the award, and for many years. It did win a Leo Award for Best Visual Effects in a Dramatic Series. Eureka is still shown in the UK where it is called A Town Called Eureka. 

Sources: 

  • Eureka. Creators: Andrew Cosby, Jaime Paglia. Perf. Colin Ferguson, Jo Lupo, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Jordan Hinson. NBC Universal Television. Running Time: 60 min.
  • Hank, Melissa. “Sci-Fi Made Sexy on Eureka: An Interview with Ed Quinn.” Retrieved April 6, 2013. 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. pammypam says:

    well…i dont watch much tv but i love the idea of doing the alphabet through tv shows!