Review: Warehouse 13 Pilot from Sci Fi

Warehouse 13, a new show set to premiere on the Sci Fi Channel in July, seems to be a mish-mash of various other shows, such as:

(1) The X-Files, which I loved. You’ve got the two partners here (male and female). The male is slightly more eccentric and a rule-breaker. He’s also the kind of guy who follows hunches, whereas the female partner is much more by-the-book. The difference between X-Files and Warehouse 13? There’s no aliens. Yet.

(2) Relic Hunter. I never watched that show, but Warehouse 13 has an old-world sort of feel to it, particularly the kind of equipment used on the show. This comparison might be bad, because I’m making this judgment based solely on commercials for Relic Hunter, but this makes sense to me.

(3) The Librarian TV movies. I love Noah Wyle and these TV movies were actually kind of cute. It’s about a guy who goes around the world collecting relics, which is pretty much what Warehouse 13 is about (more on that below).

Having just watched the pilot episode for Warehouse 13, I can say that I actually enjoyed it. Created by Jane Espenson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and executive produced by Jack Kenny (The Book of Daniel), the show follows two secret service agents in their pursuit to find and secure mysterious and paranormal relics.

Eddie McClintock (Bones, Desperate Housewives) plays Agent Peter Latimer, a cavalier rule-breaker. His life seems kind of empty in the pilot episode, and while he’s good at his job, he’s suspended after an incident at a museum. Peter may or may not have some psychic properties, because he gets a lot of hunches and feelings that help guide him through his job (and which he once ignored to his father’s peril).

Joanne Kelly (Jeremiah, The Dresden Files) plays Agent Myka Bering (pronounced Mi-cah). She’s a very straight shooter type of agent who likes to come up with a lot of plans and follow protocol. A rising star in the Secret Service, she has a past that she just can’t seem to shake, because something very traumatizing happened to her in a previous assisgnment.

Myka and Peter, naturally, do not get along, but both are recruited by the mysterious, and ageless, Mrs. Fredric, who is played by CCH Pounder (Law and Order: SVU, ER). She sends them off to South Dakota to work with Agent Artie Nielsen (played by Saul Rubinek from Fraiser and Wall Street) who is in charge of Warehouse 13.

During their first visit to the warehouse, Myka and Peter learn that many paranormal and crazy relics and inventions are stored there, including cars that run on human energy (which was apparently turned down by Henry Ford) and Pandora’s Box. Myka and Peter are quickly sent off to Iowa to investigate a domestic abuse case between a college student and his girlfriend which could possibly involve some crazy relic that makes people crazy.

I’m not going to spoil the plot or give away too many details, but the agents get to play with some cool toys and there are actually some interesting relics stored in Warehouse 13 (including what may be a genie’s lamp that is actually a large kettle). The leads have some cute chemistry and easy banter. Overall, I’m interested in seeing how this plays out. I suspect it may become a sort of one-off episode show, where each episode involves a new case to be solved and then discarded, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I wonder if they’ll go the X-Files route and introduce a series-long mythology aspect as well. Time will tell.

Warehouse 13 premieres on the Sci Fi Channel on July 7, 2009.

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