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Interview: Jaime Paglia and Colin Ferguson from Eureka

Interview: Jaime Paglia and Colin Ferguson from Eureka

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We had the pleasure of speaking with Jaime Paglia and Colin Ferguson. We spoke with them about their upcoming season of the Sci Fi Networks Eureka. Here’s what they had to say.

Looking back on these next new episodes, maybe you could tell us a little bit about Carter’s story arc going forward. I know in very general terms, and maybe some of the acting challenges you found in these next episodes coming up for you.

Colin Ferguson: Well, this is actually interesting, and Jaime can jump in on this, too. I mean, these were initially conceived as more of one season than two seasons, and then there was some sort of – towards the end of the season some sort of retrofitting, wouldn’t you agree, Jaime? With the arc?

Jaime Paglia: Yes, there is definitely a little bit of that going on. We had some curve balls thrown at us. I think midway through that were some – were production related and psych-related. And others were, you know, just the sort of things that happen with people’s personal lives that affects how you break stories. But I think it definitely; it had an impact on what we ended up doing with these back ten episodes.

Colin Ferguson: Yeah, and from an acting perspective what’s really nice about these back ones is I get to have emotional lines, more specifically with Jordan as we decide, you know, whether she is or isn’t going to go off to college. So that was a really fun episode to play. It was nice to go to those places.

And it’s also to dealing with Sallie more on a friendship capacity than a lover capacity because obviously she’s pregnant through these last episodes. I enjoyed that, being able to sort of dig deeper on the friendship angle of the – our relationship.

Jaime Paglia: Yeah, we let us – we wanted to bring in a new love interest for Carter and to change the dynamic we sort of traditionally have had and with Nathan Stark’s presence the two alpha males, you know, battling over the alpha female.

And with Stark’s passing we wanted to bring in a new character, which we did with bringing in actress Jamie Ray Newman playing Tess Fontana who has a history with Allison. They’re old friends, but that also gets a little tense when she and Carter start to develop a connection – a romantic connection which was really fun, I think, to play and actually give Carter a real honest love interest for this back half of the shoot.

Colin Ferguson: Yeah, it was nice. It was a nice change of pace to be able to be overt both receiving and giving of love with a character than the relationship we play with Sallie which is sort of unrequited or, you know, confused most of the time. It was nice. It was a nice change.

And Jamie Ray was fantastic to work with.

Jaime, Looking at these back episodes, creatively what was perhaps the most exciting thing for you going into these back ten and getting them up on the air for you, would you say?

Jaime Paglia: Well, I think that that definitely was one of the primary success. One of the things that I think we hadn’t had a chance really to explore in the way that we wanted to and had been planned had been changed out with things that of a practical nature were forcing us to go a different direction creatively.

But that we wanted to sort of, I think, bring in a romantic quality to the show to a lot of these characters that we’ve never really been able to before. I mean, we wanted Carter to get a girlfriend, which we’ve finally done. We wanted to step up the relationship with Jo and Zane and challenge it as, you know, is it really a short-term thing or is it something more.

And to give Carter, again – and also for Zoe and her boyfriend Lucas that she’s, you know, coming to an age now where they’re talking about college and whether they’re going to go to the same place and things like that.

So I think that it gave us a chance to really sort of deepen the relationships and those connections and go to some places that we haven’t before. And that’s a challenge as writers and I think that it’s a lot probably more satisfying, you know, for our cast as actors.

Colin Ferguson: And Jaime and I got to do something that we’ve wanted to do from the beginning.

Jaime Paglia: Yeah, we did.

Colin Ferguson: Which is cool. We’ve always wanted to do these smaller stories, these sort of less, you know, end of the world type stories. And by me getting to direct an episode it pulled me out of the plot in a way where Jaime actually got to write one of – a smaller more sort of character driven episode for Erica. And I know that he was really excited about that.

Jaime Paglia: Yeah, one of the things that we’ve – I think whenever we’ve had the opportunity to really sort of focus on some of our supporting cast members those are some of my favorite episodes. I think that our show actually is at its strongest when the problems that Carter is having to help resolve, you know, is about our characters, not so much about saving the world.

If those tie together, that’s great, too. But, you know, this was a chance where we wanted to really allow some of our other cast members to have a chance to really be the focus of an episode and, you know, Erica Cerra really stepped up to the task and I think it’s, you know, I think Colin might be a little bit biased, but I think it’s probably one of our favorite episodes of the past ten. And Colin honestly did a terrific job directing. He’ll be doing that again.

Jaime, I was a little confused by the mention of the strike. I was trying to remember, but you had a season since the strike came finished, haven’t you?

Jaime Paglia: We did. We had the first eight episodes. And the reason that this order got split the way that it did was because, you know, once the strike resolved it was, “Okay, hurry up and catch up.” In order to sort of stay on track for having episodes air last summer in their slot, we were only able to physically achieve shooting and completing eight episodes.

So we ended up instead of doing the full 18 episode run all at once, we wrote and shot the eight, we took a brief hiatus while the writers furiously caught up on scripts so that we’d have more stuff to shoot, and gave the cast and crew a little breather.

And then we went back and shot the last 10 episodes. And we had hoped that they were going to air earlier in the year, you know, more around February, but economics being what they they are elected to hold it until the summer.

Colin Ferguson: Well, it was also partially recession based. That decision was made, I believe in the fall of last year. Wow, in the fall of last year, right? When sort of everything was getting crazy and GE was having, what was it? It was Knight Rider got huge cuts and was, you know, and they were sort of making cuts across the board.

Jaime Paglia: So I think all of the shows, we were all asked to cut 10% out of our budget and that ended up also equating to doing, you know, 18 episodes as opposed to, you know, 21.

Well a couple of things worked out. You found a decent breaking point. I mean, this point of starting this half of the season with Carter just temporarily being out of a job. I mean, that worked out pretty well for you. Did you plan it that way?

Jaime Paglia: We had planned to do a mini arc with Eva Thorne’s character and that was, you know, something that we wanted to resolve. And we sort of, I think, discovered the challenges sometimes of doing a longer decent arc mythology you may not be able to explore it in every episode the way that you want to. And I think we decided that it was easier to be able to focus on that active element of those episodes and it resolved a little quicker – more quickly.

And then it allowed us to have a whole new mini arc for the back ten episodes. And it just – it felt like a really nice sort of manageable way to approach the story breaking process.

If either of you could just discuss philosophically one thing that you noticed particularly with this first episode and to the series in general, is this more than most shows as the ability to go either way. It can be absolutely as light and funny as it wants to, or it can be dead serious when it wants to. This particular episode has quite a bit of humor to it. I mean, this is fairly unique. You don’t have many shows that can cover that wide a range. Is it more fun and more interesting to be able to do a show like this?

Colin Ferguson: I’ll take my take on it. Yeah, it’s hugely interesting. I mean, it makes it significantly harder. I mean, you know, it’d be great to just do your one thing, you know? You go in and you know the tone of the scene right out of the day. But I imagine from a writing standpoint if you know what tone you’re writing all the time, you know what you’re writing all the time.

Whereas with Eureka it is definitely hard. You come into these scenes and you’re sort of like, “Okay, you can’t go too funny because that’ll destabilize that.” I love it. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but it’s difficult.

Jaime Paglia: Yeah, I think for us it’s sort of a really great toy box to be able to play in, in that we do have a tone that allows us to be, you know, really emotional and dramatic at times, but then to be able to sort of release the tension of that with the humor and the comedy.

And we’re fortunate to have a cast that can do that. I mean, Colin’s background in standup has, you know, had a huge impact on the way that we write for him because we know that he can go from, you know, a really, you know, poignant moment, you know, you’ll see it especially in this season’s finale with Zoe where you’re sort of – you’re on the verge of tears or crying and then he can turn it on a dime and have you laughing through that moment.

And I think that that is, you know, that’s a great thing to be able to have to work with. It’s great for us to be able to write for all of our cast members.

Can you talk a little bit about what the big bad is going to be this season or for the rest of this season?

Colin Ferguson: Hey, can I ask a question, too? What actually is airing first? There are rumors of different episodes starting. Jaime, do you know?

Jaime Paglia: “Sheriff Andy” is airing first.

Colin Ferguson: Okay, great, all right. Just – okay. Here, I’ll let you take it. I was just…

Jaime Paglia: You know, we wanted to have another big bad, but we wanted it to be something different and to have it sort of tie in also to a historical aspect of our characters and the town on a personal level.

So instead of it being necessarily a person, it’s a thing, and we don’t know what it is, and the question is, is it from out there? Is it manmade? But it’s coming towards Eureka and we have to deal with it and that sort of allows us to bring in some new characters and bring back some old characters that we haven’t had a chance to see in a while.

And I think that that was also a lot of fun for all of us to be able to sort of get back some of the people that we’ve been missing for a little while.

Who are you bringing back?

Jaime Paglia: I won’t – I don’t want to spoil it. I can’t spoil it. But I can tell you that there are two characters who have been a major part of our series who will be making reappearances, as well as getting to see, you know, Lexi Carter is coming back, who was played by Ever Carradine. She’s back for a few episodes and she’s great. And – but yes, we do have two favorites, I think, who are making a reappearance.

Colin Ferguson: And Billy Campbell comes in for an episode as well.

Jaime Paglia: And Billy Campbell, that’s right. We’ve got Billy Campbell, too.

For those of us who are just completely devastated by the lost future, what can you tell us about Jack and Allison’s relationship moving forward?

Colin Ferguson: Yeah, Jaime.

Jaime Paglia: Carter – Colin wants to know that right now. No, the thing is we always intended that (unintelligible) potential future. And there’s, you know, there has been sort of this recurring theme that we’ve sort of tried to weave in through the episodes over the last few seasons. You know, we don’t have a thing, we might.

Where there’s a certain amount of – you just have to have a little faith. And it may take a long time to get there, and it’s not going to be the same road that was traveled in that the (unintelligible) timeline that we saw at the end of Season 1.

You know, we’ve seen different people end up getting married, and different people, you know, being the parents of the kids. You know, when Allison was pregnant in the end of Season 1 it was with Carter. And in this last season it’s actually with Stark.

And those changes are a part of the show. But where we end up, whether Allison and Carter ultimately end up together, that’s still a potential outcome. And I think that, you know, you never know what the future holds. But if you believe strongly enough and you maintain those connections, any thing’s still possible.

Colin Ferguson: I like it a lot because, I mean, there was nothing in the way of them getting together before, and I just don’t know what the – that would have been really hard to play sort of week after week, you know, with – if we’d gotten together sort of immediately. So I really like the way this has played out. I think they’re truly earning it. And I have faith, you know, what I’m the actor on this show. I have faith that it’s going to happen.

I do, I think it’s going to happen. I think that they’re really going to come to a nice place eventually where they’re so close as friends, and they’re so comfortable that it’s less sort of puppy love or first love, but more of a deep emotional understanding of each other. It’s going to be a really reunion when it happens, I think.

Jaime Paglia: I totally agree with Colin. I mean, I think we really wanted them to earn it. And I think that, you know, so many people, certainly from my perspective, you know, we’ve had those unrequited relationships in our lives and, you know, they’re sort of the missed opportunities, or the timing wasn’t just right and somehow it went a different direction, and you always wonder what if you’d managed to have that worked out.

And we forced Colin – Carter and Allison apart in Season 2 as, you know, Allison was getting – taking over Global Dynamics and Stark was getting much closer to her and trying to help Kevin. And we really wanted to make that – that was a very deliberate choice that Carter was put in a place of not trusting Allison for the first time because she was making some choices that were, you know, much more guided by her own, you know, personal interests and love for her child.

And with the proposal at the end it really sort of, you know, a cap on the fact that she was going to go down that road. And then of course that got changed up when Stark died. And, you know, in a very noble way.

Then there’s this pregnancy that’s leftover and what is that going to do to the relationship with Carter and Allison, how he stepped up. You know, I just think as Colin was saying, it’s really nice evolution that’s been happening.

And also, as you’ll see with this season that that friendship has developed. You know it’s interesting when there’s another woman that comes into the mix that Allison has a previous relationship with. And she sees that she could potentially make Carter happy and has to make the unselfish choice or the selfish choice about whether to be supportive of that or not.

And I think that, you know, Sallie and Colin and Jamie Ray really play that dynamic nicely.

Regarding the science, the innovations and the inventions. Do any of those – is something that was purely fictional when introduced on the show, exist in the real world today?

Colin Ferguson: Wow, I think the most notable would probably be those PDA’s. When the show first began everybody had these little phones on them and it was just a screen, and that was the concept, it was just a screen on the phone. This was prior to the iPhone, well prior to the iPhone coming out.

And to sort of see cell phone technology, you know, mimics sort of – or not mimics, what am I talking about “mimic”? Going in the same direction as what we’ve done on the show it really funny. I mean, I didn’t understand it when we had the PDA’s. I was like, “How is that going to work? That’s ridiculous.”

No, and to see that it’s actually gone that way is really funny. Shows the limited nature of my imagination, that’s for sure.

Now you have to keep your real iPhone separate from your show iPhone.

Jaime Paglia: Pull myself together. Well, you know, they haven’t been able to make them as small as ours yet because we’re much more high-tech, Global Dynamics.

I’m interviewing Joe tomorrow and I just wanted to hear what you guys thought of him as an actor and as a person.

Colin Ferguson: Oh, Joe’s unbelievable. He’s…

Jaime Paglia: As a Director as well now.

Colin Ferguson: Yeah. There you go. Well, I mean, as an actor, I mean, he’s phenomenal. There’s no – I mean, I think that’s very well what I could say (unintelligible). You know, how everyone sees him already.

He’s so solid. Every scene he comes in he’s so pressed. He comes in with a ton of energy. He’s a joy to work with. Everybody enjoys it. The crew enjoys when he’s there. I mean, that’s just who he is as a person and what he brings to everything that he does.

And as a person, I mean, he is the, what do I want to say? I mean, he’s a father figure on set. He’s the one with the most experience. He’s done the most – a variety of stuff, and for him to come in and work harder than anyone else and to do more research than anyone else, I mean, it really sets the bar. And it shows he’s sort of – how inexcusable it is to come in with anything less.

Colin Ferguson: How do you like them apples, David?

Jaime Paglia: That pretty well sums it up. I’m not sure I can say much more than that. I think Colin is absolutely right. I mean, Joe, he’s the one that always holds our feet to the fire all the time.

Colin Ferguson: Yeah, Dr. Logic.

Jaime Paglia: Dr. Logic. You know, he’s always prepared with, you know, a take on a scene and, you know, wants to talk through it and has ideas that he’s always bringing to the set. And, you know, I think that he has always been a sort of grounding influence for the show.

There’s, you know, Henry’s character, I think really sort of represents that level of reality and possibility, even though he’s the dreamer, I think, in many ways. But he can ground a scene. And, you know, clearly he’s a fine dramatic actor.

But, you know, the comedic timing that he has been able to, I think, also show that he has on our show, you know, in particular in the relationship with Carter, has been, you know, really, you know, a vital part of why the show works.

Colin, can you talk about sliding into the Directors chair this season and what the story line of that episode is about?

Colin Ferguson: Sure, I guess from what I just gathered you guys got a copy of that in the screener, right?

Jaime Paglia: They’ve seen the first two episodes, Colin. So they saw Sheriff Andy and they saw your episode.

Colin Ferguson: Okay, so sliding into the Directors chair was absolutely fantastic. I’ve wanted to do it for a while. I mean, one of the things about our show, we’ve got so many different Directors come through, I don’t know the actual number, it’s probably 35 different Directors, so in shooting the episodes with that many Directors you get to learn, you know, from far more experienced people than, you know, potentially I’ve ever be, all their tricks, all their, you know, tools that they use.

And at the same time you get to sort of help them along the way, because I’m in the same set every week and I know where the cameras go in these sets, you know, or where the cameras ultimately end up despite where everyone tries to put them.

You know, so a lot of those things I didn’t have to learn. But I guess it’s really different, you know, once you step into the helm of it and really are responsible for what happens on set.

I loved it. I loved every second of it. I’m doing more this summer. I actually leave, I guess tomorrow to go to Bulgaria to shoot a movie where I’m directing. And it’s such a – it’s a great thing to have been allowed to do and I hope to do a lot more of it.

It was also great to be able to work with Erica, you know, who doesn’t get a ton to do, you know, on a – sort of on a, you know, a lot of emotional stuff to hold or sort of long plots to adhere to. And sort of be with her through that experience was fantastic and to watch her grow, you know, even through – not because of me, but just being able to – having to do the extra shots, you know?

It was fantastic, I loved it.

After playing Carter for a while now, do you find yourself wondering what’s going on behind closed doors? If you’re at the mall are you wondering like, “What’s going on in the basement of the mall”?

Colin Ferguson: That’s funny. I mean, it is funny that you walk around with all this authority on set and rah, rah, rah, rah. And it does sort of seep into your personality. I find it takes me a couple months when I get back to sort of drop my shoulders a bit. You know, because you’re walking around like something’s going wrong or, you know, you’re on your way to somewhere.

So it is funny. I mean, it’s a great character to sort of take on your personality because he always wins. So, no it’s not. I’ve enjoyed every second of it.

I also want to know what do you think of your new time slot.

Jaime Paglia: You know, I’m glad that Sci-Fi has sort of staked out a hold on Sci-Fi Friday’s for the channel. I obviously, you know, when you’ve got a time slot that seems to be working for you, there’s always that little trepidation about throwing any curve balls into the mix.

You know, we managed to – you know, we premiered, you know, to record numbers and have sort of managed to hold on to our number one, you know, status on the channel and we actually built our audience even more so. We have our highest ratings for the first half of this Season 3. And you want to see those numbers continue to grow.

And so I will be honest, I’m hoping that we can maintain that on a Friday night. But, you know, I know that the network has been very, very supportive of the show always and they, you know, I don’t think that they would be moving us if they didn’t think that we could hold our own. You know, hopefully that will prove to be the case.

Are you guys employing any new special effects that we haven’t seen before?

Colin Ferguson: I think Zoic always tries to, you know, do something new with what they’ve been given. Any new, like, techniques or – I have no clue. Do you, Jaime?

Jaime Paglia: Well, I mean, I would just say that the truth is that we get new things every week. I think that’s one of the biggest challenges for, you know, we’ve got a tremendous, you know, visual effects house.

Matt Gore our Visual Effects Supervisor and Zoic do the visual effects of consistently, I think really elevated the quality of our show on that level because they love it so much. And the reason that they love it is because they get to do something new every week.

You know, they win their Emmy’s for Battlestar Galactica and it’s phenomenal work, and I know that they enjoyed doing that show, but there was an element of, “Okay, we’re still doing cylons, we’re still doing space battles.” And there wasn’t really a whole lot of newness to, you know, what they were getting to do on a weekly basis.

And so I think the blessing and the curse of working on our show is that they have to kill themselves to come up with brand new, you know, renderings of our ideas and turn them into reality. But it’s really exciting for them and it shows in the final product.

This question is for either or both of you. Seeing as how shows take on a life of their own, what has surprised you the most as the show has evolved over several seasons now? Is there anything that’s been a really unexpected aspect of the journey?

Colin Ferguson: Oh, wow, so much has been unexpected. Oh, do you want this one, or me?

Jaime Paglia: No, you can go first.

Colin Ferguson: Okay, what’s been an unexpected part of the journey? Probably sort of, you know, less to do with the show, but in between the strike and the recession it’s been far more chaotic, I think, than any of us anticipated out of the gate. You know, trying to finish the season, trying to get it up and running.

It’s been an absolutely Herculean effort on a lot of people’s part to actually land this thing, and that was definitely surprising. And I think it sort of comes across in the show. It’s its own beat. It has so many different living parts to it that it’s really hard to get your head around when you’re up there.

And I would say on a personal level what’s been most unexpected is how close I’ve become to some of the cast. I mean, I’ve been with Jordan since she was 13 and just love that girl to bits. And that’s really sort of refreshing and the beautiful thing that’s come out of this for me.

Jaime Paglia: Yeah, I think from my perspective the sort of surprise has been that the show is – I think it really may be one of the only true family shows left. There are very few on television.

And that wasn’t something we set out to create, but it evolved into that. You know, one of the, I think, the most frequent comments I get from people when they discover that I work on the show has been, “You know, I love the show. It’s one of my favorite shows, but what’s really great is that it’s also my daughter’s favorite show and it’s my Dad’s favorite show.”

“And we get to watch it as a family.” And I’ve had, you know, on many occasions I’ve had people tell me that their parents watch it and their kids watch it and that they actually can all watch it together and there’s an element that they all enjoy.

And, you know, that’s great. I’m thrilled that it turned into that. And I think that probably is part of the reason that our audience is growing so far. So I hope that that continues.

are there any current shows out there right now that either of you are fans of, is there anything knocking your socks off?

Jaime Paglia: Oh I don’t like anything else on television.

Colin Ferguson: I just got cable for the first time in my life about a week ago.
I’m still stunned, I’m still going through channel 400, like I’m a little overwhelmed right now. I enjoyed watching I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here though because I know a bunch of those guys.

So that was entertaining.

Jaime Paglia: You know I’ve had a little down time now that you know Charlie Craig, our Executive Producer has been you know working tirelessly with our post and I’ve been in post with him.

And you know we just finally you know wrapped up the season finale and everything but you know in our down time you know he and I have been talking about the fact that we’re renting DVDs of shows that we’ve never had a chance to watch.

And kind of getting to go back to the beginning. And you know I think that – I think one of the things that I’ve enjoyed the most has been Rescue Me which is just a fantastic show.

And I think what Charlie was working on, Arrested Development and Dexter, both of which I think were two of my favorite shows of all times.

So yeah, there are a lot of – you know The Office and 30 Rock and there are so many good shows out there right now.

Colin, you were in Fear Itself, the NBC show last summer and I really – I thought it was one of the best episodes because it projected the darker side if you will of your character in Fear Itself. I really enjoyed that show a lot, hopefully you did too, you know? And I was wondering if you’re doing other projects like that horror films in your downtime. And I was wondering if both you and Jaime, if you’ve ever considered playing – having the sheriff be a darker character for at least one episode, the device malfunctions and – well a lot of the characters are dark. And I was wondering if you were going to explore that possibility in Eureka.

Jaime Paglia: You’ve been in our writer’s room and you’re sworn to secrecy, and don’t talk about that, that’s an upcoming episode. No, yeah, we’ve definitely talked about that from a story standpoint.

You know Colin I imagine that that would be tough for you to play.

Colin Ferguson: No, it would be absolutely fantastic, but I enjoy playing that – I got offered a bunch of stuff after I did that episode which I turned down although strangely.

But yeah, I do get to do that stuff and I tend to gravitate towards it, especially after Eureka because you know you play this nice guy, this character for 57 months, it’s nice to go the other way.

I think what I want to do now is do a little more sort of overt comedy, so that’s sort of what I’m looking for now.

I tore up a bunch of tendons in my arm at the tail end of the shoot so I actually am just now back in the pink and allowed to sort of get hired again.

So I leave on Wednesday for a couple months, but those are sort of more standard – the one I’m acting in is just a standard you know lead hero type thing and then directing obviously which is going to be fun.

They keep showing the one episode that you did with the Ghost Hunters team on Sci-Fi and I was impressed with that episode.
Tell me Colin, do you – does that episode really – or that experience really convince you of the paranormal and for both you and Jaime, are you considering because they – a lot of shows have done that, Ghost Hunters had a take where they actually do a reality program on the show that’s hunting ghosts. And I was wondering if maybe that was in the cards too if you were ever going to do a reality show like Ghost Hunters for an episode.

Colin Ferguson: I know doing that was awesome and that (Jay) and Grant who are fantastic guys at Sci Fi then and we just sort of talk and by the punch bowl stop by, well that’s a great idea, why don’t I – you know I’ll come and do yours, you’ll come and do ours.

And we actually offered them a role I believe on ours, I was told we offered the role anyway, they were offered a role and they couldn’t do it because of their shooting schedule.

And – but it was a great adventure. I would say my mind is open to that sort of stuff, but yeah, that was definitely as overt as it get on that night.

And there was so much more that went down that didn’t make the cut, so it’s interesting to see what they actually ultimately cut together. Because that’s I guess you’d call it an active shoot.

But we have an episode coming up about ghosts and I’m sure Jaime…

Jaime Paglia: We did end up doing a ghost episode and we have been exploring the possibility of having the Ghost Hunters come and do a cameo on our show.

But yeah, as I recall when we were in the exploratory phases, we just couldn’t get the schedules to work out.

But it has been something that we’ve actually talked about.

Colin Ferguson: And as far as the re – sorry.

Jaime Paglia: Yeah, you know as we do with our show we’ve tried to sort of explore I think you know familiar (unintelligible) scope and give them our sort of Eureka twists and so in the episode that actually introduces the Tess Fontana character, Jamie Ray Newman’s character to the show, it is a paranormal ghost episode.

Colin Ferguson: And to address the style aspect of your question, I don’t think that we’ll ever get clearance to do a completely stylized episode like a reality show as the network really has their thumb on that – like the show is shot a certain way.

Would you agree Jaime?

Jaime Paglia: I think that it would be a challenge. Maybe under the right circumstances we – you know we could – it’s I think that especially going in to the potential now of you know Season 4 which looks promising that it would be really nice to sort of play a bit more.

You know we have the chance now to sort of I think hit our stride in a way and try new things with an audience that is – has been very loyal.

So I would love to do something like that.

Colin Ferguson: Oh that’s great, no, cool.

Is Nathan Stark coming back?

Jaime Paglia: I knew the question was coming. I don’t want to tease fans and disappoint them, he will not be back on these back ten episodes.

Colin Ferguson: I mean the future is open, you know I’d love to Ed back in some capacity you know at any point during the future.

So there’s that possibility, but you know not (unintelligible).

Just to follow up a little bit on Your Face or Mine was it important that they construct that story to minimize Carter’s involvement as an actor?

Colin Ferguson: That – all those discussions sort of happened before I was even there. I know it was important, I was really grateful because I wanted to have a full experience as a director and not sort of – I mean when you’re on camera it’s fine.

But you really are leaning on everyone around you, I mean you’re not watching, you’re not watching the screen, you’re not watching what went down.

So it was important to – so in a sense, yeah, it was important to me but that didn’t happen before I got there and I was grateful that it did.

On the other side you get to direct two Ericas.
Colin Ferguson: Absolutely. So that was fantastic. And you what, she just kicked the hell out of that scene without the – I’m not sure what form of editing it’s in now.

I know that the stories, the act break change and that used to be the act break right there and sort of moving it to the scene afterwards they had to move some stuff.

But – and I hope it’s still reflects it, she did a great job in that scene.

Jaime Paglia: She did, and from the writer’s room standpoint we – you know this was actually the first episode that we shot of these back ten specifically so that Colin would have the chance to prep his episode as a director without having to be worried about acting in the previous episode.

So you know this is the first time that I didn’t write a season communal, it was left in the capable hands of Bruce Miller who did a fantastic job with Sheriff Andy so that I was able to actually focus on writing an episode that would be specifically harder lights and would be able to shoot before the season premier.

And that presented some interesting challenges obviously for the writers that we really welcomed where you know it allowed us – you know didn’t have to be an episode where it was you know Carter driven in every scene.

But he was absolutely a presence in the show throughout. He – it got to be a fun comedic runner for you know Colin to play without having to you know be ferried from one set to another which would really impact his work time as a director.

And be more of a challenge in the kind of time that it would take him to shoot them as an actor. And you know I think it really worked. I think you know it shows that we’ve got a great supporting cast who we can put in the center of an episode and have it absolutely feel like our show.

And actually I think in many ways our feels the most like our show.

Colin Ferguson: I guess I’ve got to thank everybody who was involved, you know the – it was nice to be the cause that everyone rallied behind, you know making sure I didn’t screw up my episode.

And so you know everyone from Alexandra to (Rick) to Lou who are the script advisors, the director of photography and the first camera who really pulled together.

And it was brilliant to work with them, I’d love to work with them again. And Matt Hastings, who’s sort of a – whenever I was on screen, it was Matt and Alexandra who I would go do and say okay, that felt right, did we get it.

And you know those guys, I mean I couldn’t have done it without them, so.

And you said we might see Sheriff Andy again?

Jaime Paglia: I would like to have Sheriff Andy make a return here to the show. And I – we actually – he very nearly did in the season finale, but I was definitely say that you know looking forward, optimistically to Season 4 I think that he would be – it would be great to have him come back on at least some kind of you know recurring basis.

The special effects in that episode between him and other things were pretty impressive. You know what did that add to the effects they already do so well?

Jaime Paglia: You know there is probably the most challenging episode that we did for this back ten episode.

And there is a sort of constant you know push pull that goes on when you’re you know making show like ours because you’re obviously tied to a certain budget.

And you do everything you can for that budget and (Matt Boling Zelick) and everybody over there, (Kevin Little), the guys that put the show together on that aspect, on that side of it, you know they kill themselves to give us more than you know we’re even paying for.

I mean they really extend themselves. But you get to a point where you know almost inevitably in post production you’re looking at the final what you have and you say you know what? It’s just not quite good enough.

And I think those guys are actually the most critical of any of us, when they say you know if we just did it with one more thing it would be better. And you know like that final action sequence when you know they’re in the barn.

And you see what’s happening, I think probably about you know two thirds of those shots were not originally budgeted.

But you know creatively everybody agreed that it really needed to be there, and the networks and the studio you know came through with you know extra money and the guys you know killed themselves to get it done.

So yeah, they always elevate the show.

One of the things I always look forward to in Eureka are like the whimsical robots and gadgets and things that are like oh, I never thought of that. Are there any things that you could tease us with that are going to come out that you’re like oh we’ve got this great new robot, or…?

Colin Ferguson: Oh wow, it’s so hard to remember which ten these are. I mean we’ve got (Pea Brain), is there anything in that?

Jaime Paglia: I don’t know, I’m thinking – I think that some my favorite gadgets are actually an episode that’s on your St. John road of – that has to do with Eureka-fied baby shower for Allison’s character.

And some of the things that the scientists create, I mean what does a super absorbent diaper or a baby bottle or you know a bib look like when it’s been created at Global Dynamics.

You know what does a maternity dress or shirt look like when it’s come from the greatest minds in science technology?

I think that those are some of my very favorite ideas and in particular there’s an aspect of that show that ultimately it was very important, that ties into the emotional true line of the episode for Carter and Allison in a way that is the backbone of the episode.

But it again it’s a device that I think – I wish it exists, I think it would be great.

Well Colin, do you have any?

Colin Ferguson: I’ve been driving my – honestly I’ve been sitting here going like okay, there was (Steel’s) episode and what did we do in that episode and I was sort of going through every episode that we’ve done.

I’m coming up blank on sort of those, Jaime hit it on the head, that baby shower, there was some great stuff and it’s just like item after item after item as people sort of present their gifts.

And those are really, really funny.

So Season 4, when will you get the final word on it’s a go?

Jaime Paglia: August 14.

Earl Dittman: August 14, well we’ll keep our fingers crossed.

Jaime Paglia: I’m hoping and subtly and not so subtly pushing for them to give it to us sooner than later. I think that that is our – the drop dead line.

Colin, you mentioned Bulgaria, what’s going on there for you?

Colin Ferguson: You know those movies they do on Saturday night on Sci Fi? Yeah, I’m acting in one of those and directing one of those.

What’s it called?

Colin Ferguson: I’m acting in Lake Placid 3.

Yeah, and actually you know the script, I didn’t actually care for Lake Placid 2, I saw it and I was like it’s not that – but the script for 3 is actually backable and there’s some fun stuff

So I mean you know I know what it is, I know what I’m making, so – but that will be fun, and the one I’m directing I believe the working title is Fossil.

Fossil, that sounds like a lot of fun. And is this True Blood mentioned here just recently?

Colin Ferguson: Yeah, Ed’s doing a bunch of episodes of True Blood.

Jaime Paglia: Ed Quinn’s got a new gig at Empire which I think couldn’t be more appropriate for the guy who plays that.

Colin you know you’ve done comedy and you know Detroit, Second City and you also did in Montreal. Is there a distinct difference in US and Canadian humor? And even British?

Colin Ferguson: No, not many people – if it’s funny, it’s funny. I mean that’s the great thing about comedy is that it’s – I mean it’s not like you just do one thing right and sort of take a bunch so you’re always hitting and you’re always finding where your audience is.

I would find there’s more of a difference between Friday night second show and Saturday night than there is between countries.

Did directing give you a whole new perspective about the show? I mean did it really kind of light up something in you going wow, I never knew that about the show I’ve been on forever?

Colin Ferguson: It really highlighted that it’s something that I wanted to do because you know as an actor you – all the battles that you fight, everything, it’s really eleventh hour. You know it’s on set when you’re about to shoot it is when you get to have your discussion with everybody.

What I loved as a director and what I was really amazed in a great way to find is how unbelievably accommodating everyone is prior to that moment.

You know as a director you get the script seven days in advance and you have a week of breath and so all the conversations you have over the course of that week, everyone’s so open and so – oh great, yeah, we’ll try that and oh that’s good, oh no, we’re doing this because of this.

And you get to have these wonderful conversations and it makes it – it really sort of highlights – what I liked about it so much is how collaborative it is and sort of how hard it is to be as collaborative as an actor simply because of time.

You show up on set, you have to have this thing shot in an hour, you just do. So there’s only so much discussion you can have.

And people are a little more frightened when the actor has a question or an idea because they know this can’t be a long discussion. You know you just have to get it in the can so I enjoyed the time that you get as a director.

Jaime and Colin, is there any planned season stoppage? I mean after Season 5 do you think it will be in store, Season 10? I mean is there any plans into the story or is it – could it go on forever?

Jaime Paglia: If it goes on forever Colin will die. I don’t want to – you know I actually do like him, I don’t want to kill him, so you know at some point it will probably have to come to an end.

You know I think when we originally started off, we had sort of built in this sort of idea of a five year run and you know if we’re fortunate to go that long or longer, you know that would be amazing.

But I’m at this point sort of – you know where we I think approach it with a longer arc idea of where we want the characters to end up and when – and how they get to that point is sort of a moving target as we you know bring in new ideas and you know whether that’s another season or two or four we’ll have to see.

All this talk about Global Dynamics it occurred to me, what did you think when Fringe came on with Active Dynamic?

Colin Ferguson: I mean I thought personally when a bunch of these shows, I mean we’ve been on the air for a couple years at that point, and maybe this is self congratulatory, but I thought it was you know flattering for you guys, for Jaime and the writers and all that.

That the concept of the show, the business model of the show was seen as so viable that you know other places were sort of like you know oh we can try a version of that.

You know like my buddy Jay is in Better Off Ted, and that’s not dissimilar in concept as well.

Jaime Paglia: No, I was surprised when I saw that show too, I was like oh, that’s very – that’s also a very familiar you know…

Colin Ferguson: Yeah, like how cool is that? So I mean you know best of luck to them and hey, let’s hope they don’t kill us, that would be good.

Jaime Paglia: Yeah, that would be good.

In Lake Placid 3, what killer alligator questions are still left unanswered from Lake Placid 1 and 2?

Colin Ferguson: Well let me tell you, what I actually thought was interesting about the (unintelligible) is they’ve got the massive croc, and then they’ve got like little raptor crocs that can sort of like run in doorways and everything.

So they’ve sort of got you like the massive one and the little guys working in unison.

So it’s a little Jurassic Park, it’s velociraptors and (unintelligible).

Colin Ferguson: Yep, a little bit.

When’s that coming on?

Colin Ferguson: Who knows? I don’t know what their turn around is. It could be anywhere from like two months to like six.

And the one you’re directing, what is that for?

Colin Ferguson: That’s also for the same company, for the same sort of Sci Fi channel Saturday, those movies. For me it’s great to have a long form movie and a director so I’ll have you know the television format and the long form.

Yeah, I believe that’s flying tyrannosaurus rex’s attacking Oregon. Yeah, not many questions on that, huh?

Have you had any development on the effects of that? Because that can be tough to do on a TV budget.

Colin Ferguson: Yeah, I mean I’ve sort of washed my hands of the effects, I mean they take – I’m going to have to shoot it sort of in an air tight way, you know that I can get around what I need to get around.

From my experience with those shows, watching them, the effects are what they are and you just have to sort of accept it, to try to get around it is very difficult.

And there’s sort of a – the interesting thing I think is the mandate, you must see the monster in the first act. That’s sort of very counter-intuitive, but it’s like oh, okay, so that’s what we’re making.

And you know hopefully I’ll be able to do a good job hopefully.

It’s sort of the anti-Jaws theory.

Colin Ferguson: Yeah, exactly, it’s like oh okay, so show the monster then, all right.

What your favorite episode was of Eureka so far and what you might consider your most challenging episode to date of Eureka?

Colin Ferguson: Wow. Well I know my favorite is probably the seasons finale coming up that Matt Hastings directed. It has so much fun, you know we had you know water and we had fire and I got to do some really emotional scenes with other actors.

And so it was a really well rounded episode for me.

Jaime Paglia: And that was for me as a writer that was probably one of the most you know gratifying to write. It was a really big challenge I think from the story standpoint.

But once we sort of wrapped our heads around what that was and then you know knowing what the character story lines were going to be, those are the great ones.

I mean like getting the right – I think once in a lifetime which is a Season 1 finale may still be one of my very favorites, again because it was so emotionally centered on our characters.

But I really like this one coming up too. You know I think that one of – you know I loved the writer’s range from you know Season 2, I really loved – or acapella Season 1, I loved the Stark’s final you know episode.

This last in this first you know ten I think those were also really great episodes because they allowed us, we like for example with that episode which you know Thania St. John wrote, we had the chance to do a Groundhog’s Day episode.

And we know that was one of those concepts that we had had you know up on our board since Season 1 that like okay, someday we’re going to find the right scenario where that’s going to work dramatically for us.

And then the idea of Carter’s worst day ever being having to watch Allison walk down the aisle to marry Stark and having to relive that over and over again, you know that’s your episode, you just know it’s going to work.

So those would be some of my favorites. I think from the most challenging perspective it was probably episode 8 this last episode that we had before we premier these back ten.

And that was largely just because of the realities of production and getting down to the wire and you know having last minute changes being you know made and you know differences in opinion about what the story should be.

And you know it allowed – it put us in a place where I think everybody had to bring their best work and work as a team, otherwise it never would have gotten done.

And you know – and the fact that it did get done is a minor miracle.

Anyway, so you know Colin, what about you?

Colin Ferguson: Yeah, I mean my favorite – the most difficult ones are always the ones where it’s you know square peg, round hole.

Yeah, there are a lot of difficult episodes for different reasons to express but if it was really easy I’d be bored out of my mind, so it’s really hard to you know throw one up on top of the other.

Are you going to be getting any Battlestar actors as guest stars?

Jaime Paglia: Warehouse has taken some of our actors too actually, we’ve got at least two or three people who are going over to do guest episodes on that show. Yeah, I would love to have some of them on our show.

We’ve talked about it, we – you know there’s the concept that we’ve had for a really long time about – that focuses on our smart house S.A.R.A.H and her you know sort of desire to not be just literally a housewife to Carter but to you know get out and get a job and you know experience the world.

You know there was an episode in Season 2, Duck, Duck, Goose where she got to be you know downloaded into a car, a smart car for a while where she was actually able to get out and feel the wind in her hair so to speak.

And – but where she hasn’t managed to become personified and I have an idea who I would like to play that character if we ever get the chance to do it.

And I’ll just say that they happen to be on Battlestar Galactica.

Interview By: Emma Loggins

Eureka Official Site

Emma Loggins Emma Loggins is the Editor in Chief of FanBolt. She updates daily on the latest entertainment news, her opinions on current happenings in the media, screening/filming opportunities, inside scoops and more.  She’s been writing on the world of geekdom and pop culture since 2002!

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