What better way to say farewell to the fan favorite Syfy series Eureka than by a special moderator panel and advanced screening at the Paley Center for Media. That was the case earlier this week – the same night as the airing of the penultimate episode (EVER!) of Eureka – when I had the great opportunity to participate in the panel that featured stars Colin Ferguson (Sheriff Jack Carter), Salli Richardson-Whitfield (Allison Blake), Neil Grayston (Douglas Fargo) and Joe Morton (Henry Deacon) as well as executive producer and co-series creator Jaime Paglia.
The evening started out with a rousing welcome from Paley Center Director of Programming Rene Reyes, whose first question to the excited audience was: “Do you remember where you were on July 18, 2006?”
If you are a fan of Eureka, like the audience that night at Paley, you will whole-heartedly answer “watching the debut of Eureka”, just like I did elicited at least a few laughs from those sitting close by me. Sorry, I love the show and tend to speak out loud my thoughts (wink!)
As in the words of Mr. Reyes, “Tonight, some almost six years to the day, and five incredible seasons later we are thrilled to join with all of you (to honor) a series that truly put Syfy on the map in terms of original programming a special part of our lives – the amazing Eureka!”
If the applause from that audience is any indication, the show is just as popular as ever and will be greatly missed by one and all. Among those lamenting the soon-to-be loss of this beloved series was the night’s moderator, Zap2It.com’s staffer Drusilla Morehouse, who, honestly, seemed near tears as she gave an impassioned speech about how much she loves the show and what an honor it was for her to be moderating the panel.
“For five seasons this show has transported me and millions of other fans to one of the happiest places on Earth: a quirky little town called Eureka. The high tech community is home to brilliant, eccentric scientific geniuses, emotional robots and one ordinary and one very brave Sheriff. Since he first arrived in Eureka six years ago, in our time line anyway, Sheriff Jack Carter saved the world more than all of The Avengers combined”, shared Morehouse before introducing to the podium the one and only Jaime Paglia, “the architect of all this epic fail”.
Taking that unique introduction in stride, Mr. Paglia joked that that one line would be on his tombstone; but soon enough he shared how honored he and the cast were to be invited to the Paley Center to share in the farewell “celebration” of a show that he wrote with co-creator Andrew Crosby “in a vacuum (having) no idea whether what we were doing was something that anyone else was going to enjoy or not.” He also shared that his young son was not even born when the genesis of the show took place and “he’s never known a time where he didn’t have Eureka in his life. Seven years and 77 episodes later, we wouldn’t be here without the amazing fan base”.
With all that said and done, the penultimate episode of Eureka was aired along with a special sneak peek at the first five minutes of the SERIES finale were screened, leaving the audience thrilled and melancholy about the impending ending of the popular series.
Once the lights were back on in the room and the cast and Mr. Paglia took the stage for the moderated portion of the panel, it was evident the cast members were glad to see each other [the cast filmed these final episodes last year] and were feeling the bittersweet emotions of the upcoming end of Eureka.
Of course, the biggest topic to discuss was how they all felt about the cancellation when the news came down one week after getting a rather premature season six pick-up of six episodes. Mr. Paglia shared that “obviously it was surprising and disappointing that we didn’t get to have that 6th season or those 6 episodes, which we had already mapped out”. It was then that Colin attempted to weasel some information out of Jamie on what would have happened, but he kept mum on the subject because “I don’t want to say just in case we do end up doing something later on”. That one little statement left fans with anticipation, but it should be noted that nothing is confirmed by the network, but there is certainly hope that something more of Eureka can happen in the future.
He did share that they had a big, giant dark cliffhanger planned, as seen on this past Monday’s episode; but with the cancellation they had to move fast to tie it all off when the network agreed to let Eureka have one final episode to provide resolution to the characters and all of the pending storylines. Remarkably, the creative team had very little time to complete the series finale. Mr. Paglia shared that “we started peeling off writers to start writing parts of the outline and then I had three days over the weekend to write the episodes; then we had three days to prep it and then we were shooting”
Needless to say, they combined as many of the ideas for the non-existent six episodes for which they had planned on doing into one episode, loading in all kinds of inside jokes – that made for an interesting table read according to the cast – and to provide as much closure to all of the inhabitants of Eureka as possible. The cast freely admitted they were pleased with the resolutions for their characters, but, of course, would not divulge anything scoops on what to expect.
They also shared what it was like to film that last episode because the sets were literally being dismantled as they would complete filming of each scene. It was certainly a bittersweet moment for all of them. They also joked about various souvenirs each of them took – or rather “requisitioned” – as that final episode was filmed; and shared how comfortable it could be to film in Vancouver (where the entire series was filmed) because of inclement weather and conditions. But it was obvious while they lamented those issues the experience was one none of them will forget.
Soon enough it was time for the audience to get a chance to ask some questions before the panel was brought to a close. The cast were also very sweet by sticking around for as long as they could to pose for pictures and give out autographs. It will definitely be a memorable night for all the fans in attendance.
Make sure you do not miss next week’s SERIES FINALE (airing on Monday, July 16)of Eureka on Syfy at 9/8c. It will be a night to remember!