US tv series (2006-current). NBC Universal Television for The Sci Fi Channel. Created by Andrew Cosby and Jaime Paglia. Producers include Paglia and Robert Petrovicz. Writers include Cosby, Paglia, Thania St. John, and Bruce Miller. Directors include Mike Rohl, Michael Lange, Michael Robinson, and Matthew Hastings. Starring Colin Ferguson as Jack Carter, Jordan Hinson as Zoe Carter, Salli Richardson-Whitfield as Allison Blake, Joe Morton as Henry Deacon, Erica Cerra as Jo Lupo, Neil Grayston as Douglas Fargo, Chris Gauthier as Vincent, and Ed Quinn as Nathan Stark. 1.5-hour pilot followed by 44 one-hour episodes so far.
Presumably as a response to the decade's fascination with dark themes, gritty storylines, and morally ambiguous characters, the late 2000s saw a proliferation of frothy, unchallenging, continuity-light television series. Most of these were procedurals (Psych, Leverage, White Collar), but The Sci Fi Channel joined in the fun with Eureka (and, in 2009, with Warehouse 13). US Marshal Jack Carter and his daughter Zoe are driving cross-country when they happen across the titular town, the secret reservoir of America's geniuses and the source of many of its technological advancements, some of which – artificial intelligence (AI) and Nanotechnology, for example – have never left the town's boundaries. Impressing the local authorities, and particularly government agent Allison Blake, with his abilities, Carter is offered the position of town sheriff, and over the course of the series must learn to cope with the reality of what had previously been only science fiction, with the frequent threats to the world's survival that emerge when one places so many Mad Scientists in close proximity, and with a population that views him as, at best, a dunce. A game cast and charming writing make for lightweight summer fare, but not much more than that. [AN]
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