„I love science class!” is what one visitor to Eureka exclaimed upon seeing all the wonders that take place in this cozy Pacific Northwest town.
I love Eureka!! I wish I could live there, but alas, it is only a TV show. In fact, it is my favorite TV show. I like it better than Doctor Who, NCIS, Gilmore Girls, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. (Ok, the 1957 Zorro TV series with Guy Williams is still too close to my heart to be topped, but you get the idea.)
“Eureka” (aka “A Town Called Eureka”) is what most would call a Sci-Fi show, but really, it is a Science show…. set in a town full of geniuses and scientists, most of whom work for a government funded research facility… Global Dynamics. Even the school kids are geniuses, doing science fair projects dealing with particle theory and quantum physics.
That means there is plenty of adventure. Things always go wrong with someone’s project or experiment, and disaster looms. It is usually Sheriff Carter, a regular guy, who saves the day, by either using logic, or by being the guy who has to risk his life to fix something.
Mostly, Eureka is about relationships… whether it involves romance, or family, or holidays, or lunch at Café Diem, the local diner. That is what hooks you into this interesting town. Plus, there is plenty of laugh-out-loud comedy. After all, geniuses usually have personality quirks.
However, lest we get complaisant with the heartwarming aspects of this little town, hidden away in the Oregonian wilderness, it is the excitement and intrigue that takes center stage with each episode.
To that end, the show went through a transformation in its 4th season, when 5 of the main characters accidentally traveled back in time, to 1947, when Eureka was just a military base. Fortunately the reluctant travelers returned home, but the home they returned to was not quite the one they left. While most of the town was essentially the same, some of the people had different jobs or had developed different relationships, adding yet another layer to this complex town.
The scientific aspect of the show, meanwhile, remained unchanged. For example, in one episode, we learned about the effects a Higgs field has on gravity, when a Higgs Field disruptor caused the local bank to float away, giving new meaning to the phrase, “bank robbery.”
The current story arc concerns a NASA grant for GD to build a space ship to go to Saturn’s moon, Titan. We saw some scientists train for the Astraeus mission, and others develope technology to insure the mission’s success, while workers at GD constructed the vehicle.
We also saw AI, Deputy Andy stranded on Titan, far away from Sarah, the Smart Home that he loves. When you can get emotionally involved in a storyline like that, you know that you are watching a quality program.
Naturally, the mission goes awry when an outside force diverts control of the spacecraft, sending it and the crew to…. who knows where???
So, we wait anxiously for the 5th season, which, unfortunately will be the last. In the meantime, however, we have been treated to a Christmas episode of Eureka, “Do You See What I See?” While the story wasn’t as entertaining as last year’s “O Little Town”,
the concept for Do You See was, (ok, I’ll say it…) pure genius !!
The characters in the town become animated, going from live action, through 4 animated forms:
with the characters acting as they would in those types of cartoons; as well as 4 other styles quickly thrown in for good measure (Peanuts, The Simpsons, South Park, and Scooby-Doo).
Plus there are a few guest stars, including the guy whom we met last year, who just may be the real Santa Claus.
Sadly, the Astraeus crew never got to Titan, and the show was cancelled after the 5th season. However, the network did allow one final episode. Penned in only three days, it was, perhaps, the best episode…. ending as the series began, with Sheriff Carter and his daughter Zoe, passing themselves on the road to Eureka.