Merry Christmas! Tuesday night Syfy is giving us its annual Christmas present via special holiday episodes of its summer shows, Eureka, Warehouse 13 and Haven. So what does that mean for us? Well, how about an animated Eureka, a world where Pete was never born on Warehouse 13 and Christmas in July for Audrey on Haven?
Considering all the shows are in the middle of storylines and cliffhangers, you might think it'd be difficult to spin out a heartwarming Christmas tale. Not so much. All the shows are set "out of time" and are nonlinear, according to the stars of the three shows, Eureka's Colin Ferguson, Warehouse 13's Eddie McClintock and Haven's Emily Rose.
"You want it to be perennial. You want it to be something that can air every single year. So if you lock it in the continuum of a show, you almost make it outdated by the next year. So I think I you do a service to the holiday. All of our [shows] exist out of time," said Ferguson, who plays Sheriff Jack Carter on Eureka.
"It's like a little gift to the fans, kind of a holdover type of intermission episode where it's just its own little gem of an episode. So if you miss the characters and you've missed the world, you could hop into it," said Rose, who plays Audrey Parker in Haven.
For Ferguson, it is an especially special episode, considering he gets animated.
"It was really, really fun, really fun to see, for myself to be a Rankin and Bass [claymation] character," said Ferguson. "It brought me back to when I was a kid. I haven't seen that stuff in a long time, so it was really, really fun to watch."
In his episode, Jack and the gang turn into animated characters when a mysterious kaleidoscopic wave of color washes over the town of Eureka. That leads to several animation styles, including anime, claymation, Looney Tunes-inspired animation and modern CG.
"For us it was more of a concept than a reality. We took one of the sets that we usually shoot in, Café Diem, and we sat there for six hours one day and blew through 30 pages of dialogue or something like that. That's awesome. I mean, if I could shoot like that every day, that'd be the greatest. So we loved, loved that."
As for Warehouse 13, Pete touches an artifact and suddenly discovers he was never born. Talk about complications, especially when the new Warehouse agents think he's an intruder and someone from his past shows up in charge of the Warehouse.
"I liked this year's Christmas episode better because I just felt it was a little too, dare I say, 'schmaltzy' last year. Not that it was a bad episode. I enjoyed it, but I just like this one better," said McClintock, who plays Pete Lattimer on Warehouse 13. "I mean, Roger Rees is back as MacPherson. There's an actual bad guy, and the stakes are much higher this year."
There was "more great writing from Jack Kenny and company, to give Pete the depth that I think that he needs to have longevity in regards to the show. Don't get me wrong. There's still some good, lighthearted, funny stuff, and there's some good heartfelt moments as well. It's not that dark, but I think what it primarily does is it gives you the same feeling, I think, that It's a Wonderful Life provided for viewers. Kind of that sense of redemption and struggle, and at the end I think it'll leave everybody nice and happy and ready to go see Santa," he said.
And if offered up a moment that fans might not forget soon. "I think any chance for Pete to nestle his head between Mrs. Frederic's ample bosom, I think that'll be a fan favorite. And that kind of comes out of nowhere," said McClintock.
While Eureka and Warehouse 13 have both gotten into the Syfy Christmas spirit before, this is the first time we'll see a Haven holiday episode.
In the Haven episode, everyone in the town thinks that it's normal to have Christmas in July, until people start vanishing in thin air. Audrey is the only one that "thinks that it's foolish, and why would it be happening in July? So again, she's feeling on the outside and has to try to solve things and get everything back on track on her own. But she's pretty good at that, so nothing to worry about," said Rose.
Audrey has other reasons to feel ambivalent toward Christmas, considering she's living with another woman's memories. "I think that's the great chestnut about that character, is that the past for her is something that is really hard for her to literally wrap her head around. But what she does remember, whether they're her memories or not her memories ... what she does remember isn't exactly the most pleasant thing. So how does she overcome that and deal what's going on in the day? And I think it makes for a pretty interesting episode," she said.
So what are the actors' Christmas wishes for their characters?
"I guess I'd like Pete to find himself a good woman. You know, he gets tired of being alone at night back at Leena's," said McClintock.
"I would wish a great holiday online shopping [spree] for Audrey, that there would be some great accessible stores for her to go and shop in so that she can continue to have a really amazing wardrobe for the consecutive seasons," joked Rose. "No, I think I would always hope for Audrey that she would find out more about her mother or her previous memories, or whatnot. I will always be begging the writers to dive more into that ... because it's so intriguing. And whenever I do get to look into her past, I get to dress up in really cool period costumes. So that's what I would hope for for her."
"I think for Jack it would be a simpler wish of just raising a family again, in a sense, properly, and continuing to do what he does in the town. I think he belongs there. I think the town should sort of go off and do what it does forever. So my wish would be that he gets to settle in and have a real family community small-town life. I think it would do well for him to have that," said Ferguson.
Of course, the real Christmas wish for Rose and McClintock might just be that they could actually be animated like Ferguson.
Rose jokes that she's jealous. "A little bit, yes. I'm having to deal with that right now. I'm having to keep the jealousy down now."
"I'm drawing a picture of you. I'm drawing a picture of you right now. There we go then," said Ferguson.
"I kind of am not as bent out of shape as I could be just because they've done a Warehouse 13 comic book. And apparently Jay Leno and I have the exact same chin," said McClintock.
Here's a look at Syfy's holiday episodes for Eureka, Warehouse 13 and Haven:
The holiday episodes premiere on Syfy on Tuesday night with Eureka airing at 8 p.m., Warehouse 13 at 9 p.m. and Haven at 10 p.m. ET.
Are you ready for some holiday cheer, Syfy-style?