The Bionic Woman's Lindsay Wagner is returning to television in a new recurring role on Syfy's Warehouse 13 as in-house warehouse doctor Vanessa Calder. While she doesn't appear to have any bionic parts this time around, Wagner's new character still manages to turn the head of warehouse keeper Artie Nielsen (played by Saul Rubinek).
"Dr. Calder is being based around what's happening today and what is generally referred to as the Energy Psychology or the Energy Medicine field," said Wagner during a conference call with journalists. "It's working with the energy system directly to heal the physical instead of focusing so much on trying to fix the physical only."
Dr. Calder is introduced on Tuesday's episode, "For The Team," and comes to the warehouse to deal with Artie's yearly appendix regrowth. Meanwhile, Myka (Joanne Kelly) and Claudia (Allison Scagliotti) head out to investigate mysterious deaths on a wrestling team and end up getting help from H.G. Wells (Jaime Murray).
While the busy Wagner, who balances acting with doing workshops and retreats around the world called Quiet the Mind and Open the Heart, had never seen Warehouse 13, she hit the web and caught up on the series.
"I found it to be just a really fun concept," she said. "Very creative. And the visuals, the way it's shot and the chemistry of the actors just really impressed me. It's really fun. And in its own way, very current and very today. ... It felt a lot to me like The Bionic Woman in that, which is what attracted me to want to take the part and do a little cameo, which of course now is kind of turning into somewhat of a recurring Warehouse doctor.
"I think what tickled me the most right off the bat was ... when I got to Canada and got my rewrites for the next day, they'd rewritten a little bit of my script. And the writer had gone on to my website from my workshops ... and looked at the kind of work that I was doing, and he pulled from one of the techniques that I teach. He pulled that and put that into Dr. Calder's treatment on her first appearance, and then allowed me to elaborate on it to kind of get it more specific and correct as far as how to do it."
According to Wagner it was a small moment "when I'm talking to the character and treating them. But it was really impressive to me that they took the time and effort to want to put something new into it, and something that was really directly related to the work that I'm doing."
Working with Rubinek was the other thing that impressed her during her work on Warehouse 13. "He is just ... he's wonderful. I mean, he's obviously a very talented and professional actor. He's very serious. He takes it very seriously," said Wagner. "Even when he's doing comedy, his mind is looking not only at the dialogue, but also at the impact on the story. He's a very well-rounded performer, because he also can think like a director. He can also think like a writer. And I thoroughly enjoyed working with him."
As for the future, we see another visit from Dr. Calder, which will likely again set Artie's heart aflutter. "There have been no real long-term conversations, but I have done a second episode now, and that'll be on towards the end of the season."
It's a cool new character for Wagner, although Dr. Calder likely won't replace Jaime Sommers' Bionic Woman in our hearts anytime soon. When it comes to her 1976 series, the actress still has fond memories of her iconic role.
"I consider that whole thing to have been a gift to my life. And I love it when people share with me that it was for them as well. That makes me very happy," said Wagner.
"The show was never a hindrance for me. And that series, that experience, that character was ... it was so much learning for me about the industry, about how to work with story and how to put things in it, which then gave me the experience to be able to do the television movies that I did, which were ... so many of them were that I chose or developed to talk about human issues, that I wanted to talk about through story."
Warehouse 13 airs on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Syfy.