Forget those old Ark of the Covenant and Holy Grail relics that Indiana Jones used to obsess over. In SCI FI Channel's upcoming Warehouse 13, Secret Service agents Pete Lattimer (Eddie McClintock) and Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly) have a more eclectic group of artifacts to track down.
"I would have to say that my favorite episode so far has been Lewis Carroll's mirror, probably because it was the biggest acting challenge," Kelly told reporters in a recent conference call. "It was a huge challenge, and it was a lot of fun. I got to kick up my heels a little bit. So that's probably been my favorite, along with the fact that I'm such a Lewis Carroll fan and have been for years and years. ... Through the Looking-Glass and [Alice's Adventures] in Wonderland are two of my favorite books, so that was really kind of special."
For co-star McClintock, it was the items that stretched his acting muscles that proved the most enjoyable.
"'Breakdown,' where we end up kind of trapped in the warehouse, was a favorite for me, because it was so much fun and we just had such a great time," McClintock said. "And there was a lot of physical stuff for me to do, which is just stuff that I love to do. I love physical comedy. I love being able to do it, and hopefully I do it well. And then there was 'Burnout,' where we discover this artifact called the Spine of the Saracen. I won't get too specific, but it was an episode for me where I really got to explore where I am right now as an actor, who I am as an actor, and so that was kind of the biggest challenge."
After saving the life of the president, the two agents find themselves abruptly transferred to Warehouse 13: a massive, top-secret storage facility in windswept South Dakota that houses every strange artifact, mysterious relic, fantastical object and supernatural souvenir ever collected by the U.S. government. The Warehouse's caretaker, Artie (Saul Rubinek), charges Pete and Myka with chasing down reports of supernatural and paranormal activity in search of new objects to cache at the Warehouse, as well as helping him to control the warehouse itself.
"We keep coming up with cool areas to explore in the warehouse, too," executive producer Jack Kenny said. "We've got the Dark Vault coming up, where the super-dangerous stuff is kept. We've got the Gooery, where the purple goo is pumped throughout the warehouse to keep the objects in line with themselves. Our production designer, Franco De Cotiis, is just a genius. Every week we're on an entirely different set, an entirely different location, and he builds these things, these big mechanical scary-looking things, that are just the coolest stuff to work with, and it just looks amazing."
Kenny also praised cinematographer Derick Underschultz. "They have created this incredible world, every week we throw new stuff at them, and they create more stuff," he said. "It's amazing."
Other parts of the Warehouse include the mysterious bronze sector, Kenny said. "We've got this area where the most frightening people in the world have been preserved, people you never heard of: Not the Hitlers, but the people that would have become the Hitlers," he said.
The creative team did put one particular artifact on the back burner. "There's an artifact that we've been kicking around the writers' room for quite a while, Hitler's microphone," executive producer David Simkins said. "And, yeah, I've got to tell you, it's a really interesting concept to sort of take something from history that we're all very aware of and the incredible, tragic worldwide consequences of that. But what would happen if somebody got a hold of that microphone, and it possessed some sort of ability or power to transfer the ability to convince people to do very, very wrong things? It was an artifact that circled the writers' room quite a bit, and I think it's still circling."
The writers have one guiding principle with regard to the artifacts they will build an episode around. "It really comes down to what artifacts can we explore that will reflect on our two characters in a really cool and interesting way," Simkins said, adding: "If we can do an artifact that really sort of forces Pete and Myka to look at themselves, look at the world around them in a different way, or to get the audience to sort of reconsider something, then we know we've landed on our artifact that we can run with. It really comes down to the artifact serving the story, as opposed to letting the artifact run the story."
Warehouse 13 will premiere Tuesday with a two-hour pilot starting at 9 p.m. ET/PT.