Many a science fiction television series has the tendency to take itself as seriously as a heart-attack, only occasionally dabbing into the subgenre of “the funny.” As such, they tend to become what one might desire to call “soap operatic” — reaching at every ring the merry-go-round dispenses in their direction, all the while becoming more staid in nature than before. And then there are those shows that, from the get-go, take a light-hearted approach to things. One such series is SyFy’s Warehouse 13 — a not-too-terribly solemn series that was surely inspired by that epic closing shot from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
In case such a memory eludes you — or you were raised in a very underprivileged household — the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark witnessed an important historic artifact being dollied down into the dark recesses of a secret government warehouse; boxed away in a wooden crate, surely to never see the light of day again. [Oh, did I spoil that for some of you? Tough: you should’ve seen that movie by now anyway, dammit!] Warehouse 13 focuses on such a surreptitious government facility: one wherein numerous weird and often mystical relics various people and cultures have left behind since the dawn of time — with several Secret Service Agents assigned to retrieve and protect the supernatural objects, which have a nasty habit of disappearing and being used out in the real world.
Here, David Boreanaz/Henry Rollins hybrid Eddie McClintock stars as the quirky Pete Lattimer: our quirky, not-overly-bright hero who — at the beginning of this season — is faced with the ever-dreaded obstacle of working with a new partner (Aaron Ashmore, Iceman’s twin brother). Pete also tries to carry on a working relationship with his former by-the-book partner, Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly) , all the while battling the various hindrances that arise on a weekly basis for the show’s undercover team. Heading the troupe is the great Saul Rubinek, who steals the show as the nearly-nutty Artie Nielsen. A sexy young lass by the name of Allison Scagliotti inhabits the role of techno-wiz Claudia Donovan, and Genelle Williams returns as the aura-reading Leena, who runs a bed-and-breakfast where the team resides, and serves as the series’ therapist-type character.
Plot points for Warehouse 13: Season Three involve a series of murders committed à la Shakespeare tragedies, a mysterious tie clip, the missing flask of General Grant, and a zombie-like outbreak in New York. Guest stars (recurring and non-recurring) include Anthony Michael Hall, Star Trek alumni Kate Mulgrew, Jeri Ryan and René Auberjonois, Lindsay Wagner (yes, The Bionic Woman herself!), CCH Pounder, and Neil Grayston — the latter of whom appears as his Eureka character, Dr. Douglas Fargo in a crossover episode.
The folks at Universal Studios Home Entertainment bring us all 13 episodes of Warehouse: Season Three on three discs in their original 1.78:1 aspect ratio with a 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack accompanying. Bonus materials for this venture into not-so-serious sci-fi includes cast/crew commentaries on select episodes, several deleted scenes, a gag reel, a 10-part animated web series entitled Of Monsters and Men, and a holiday episode from Season Two (“Secret Santa”), which is included here for some strange reason.