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TV Review: Eureka – “Founders Day”

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They're back! Once again, the citizens of Eureka are in viewers' living rooms for a fresh round of episodes. Depending on how one counts, this is either the rest of the third season, or the start of season four. In theory, the departure of two characters from the finale last time should make the summer of 2010 a fresh start. However, this show is also now known for splitting its episodes like some others do. They pause for fall premieres and holiday hiatuses, then come back in winter to finish things out. It's a good strategy, since otherwise a storyline could get caught in the resulting pileup.

As the new story opens, Jack (Colin Ferguson), the town sheriff, and various residents are getting ready for a celebration in honor of the city's founding. When one considers that most citizens are employed by Global Dynamic, the facility which develops technology for the Pentagon, the sight of Dr. Douglas Fargo (Neil Grayston) dressed as Albert Einstein is smile-worthy.

Due to an electrical malfunction, Jack and several others are transported to 1947, when GD was a mere military base. The science is hard to explain, but all you really need to know are phones and teleportation. Somebody somewhere hit a wrong button and the background goes from pure bright color to sepia. Whoever came up with the idea is a wise soul indeed.

James Callis, long known to Battlestar Galactica fans as Gaius Baltar, is a welcome addition to the cast as Professor Trevor Grant. The only thing viewers get so far is his working on a science thingie with Einstein which apparently puts the town on the map.

It would probably be a mistake to consider Callis as a series regular. Think of him like Eva Thorne, played last season by Frances Fisher. He's around long enough to recognize him on sight, but departs after his episode list is over. Although his character is hardly the epitome of warmth, the man isn't repulsive, either.

This new season is bound to be full of surprises. I won't spoil the premiere ending by revealing which characters got a shock in the last two minutes or so. Suffice it to say that echoes of past seasons came out of the woodwork. Here's a hint — somebody returned. Another stepped into large shoes.

Tune in Fridays at 9pm (yes, new day) for an all new season of Eureka!

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