If fans weren't in love with "Warehouse 13" before this past week's episode, "Mild Mannered," they are now.
A comic-book/superhero-themed episode put Pete (Eddie McClintock) and Myka (Joanne Kelly) in fanboy (and fangirl) heaven. And if that weren't enough, Tuesday's episode also featured a special guest appearance by Jewel Staite and Sean Maher from "Firefly" fame.
The two writers who developed the concept and wrote the script are two people who just a year ago had their first television episode ever screened ("Warehouse 13's" "Duped"). "Mild Mannered" may be the only episode we see this year from Deric A. Hughes and Benjamin Raab, but it looks like later seasons could be far busier for them.
"We being two of several comic book nerds [on the 'Warehouse 13' writing staff], how could we do a Warehouse spin on a superhero," Raab said during an appearance on Alpha Waves Radio that premieres July 15. "It was something the studio and the network were interested in seeing, and we took it from there."
Although Staite and Maher were the original draw to the episode, the writers typically try not to build episodes around actors, but instead concentrate on the stories and what the core group would be doing. It's more "what Pete and Myka, and what Claudia and Artie are doing," Hughes said.
It's also about the artifact, which in this case was something that many superheroes wear (for some reason, outside their clothes).
Although "Warehouse 13" focuses on standalone episodes, there are longer term story threads weaved in, and "Mild Mannered" was no different. The explosive season premiere still had some after effects to talk about, and neither Hughes nor Raab were interested in ignoring it.
"There are ripples that are left from the season premiere that we would be doing our audience and characters a disservice if we let them drop," Raab said. "We had to find a way to incorporate these changes that happened in their lives and then tell stories that help move those lives forward."
The creative process behind "Warehouse 13" is led by showrunner Jack Kenny, but then becomes a huge collaborative process among the writers sitting around a table thousands of miles from where the Syfy series films in Toronto. Other writers helped mesh out "Mild Mannered," and both Hughes and Raab had some involvement in other episodes as well.
"We are very fortunate to be working with a very talented group of people," Hughes said. "I'm not just blowing smoke or anything like that. It's from the top down. We have some really good people, and really good writers.
"Once things begin to click, it's a lot of fun to be in the room, especially in a show like this where anything is possible. You can just take a story idea and say, 'Let's try this and see where it goes.'"
And unlike many network television shows, being on cable and running a shorter episode order allows the writers to take the time they need to fully flesh out ideas.
"We had enough time when we first came back for the second season to really think where our characters are going to go this season," Hughes said.
And that could mean an even stronger season now that "Warehouse 13" has become a television sophomore.
"The wind is at our back this year," Raab said. "Season 1 was a huge success for the show and the network. We started at a point of strength and we found the things that make this show tick. How do we do new versions of this, or different versions of that.
"We are pushing some cool envelopes this year."
"Warehouse 13" returned last week with 2.96 million viewers for its premiere, almost 100,000 more viewers than its Season 1 average which shattered records for Syfy.
Deric A. Hughes and Benjamin Raab stop by as special guests on Alpha Waves Radio which streams July 15 beginning at 8 p.m. ET at AlpaWavesRadio.com. Immediately following the podcast version of the show, Sci-Fi Talk host Tony Tellado hosts Alpha Waves Rewind, a live call-in show starring the listeners, who can call in at (646) 200-3642 on the BlogTalkRadio system.
For those who can't join other listeners for the live stream and chatroom discussion, the show will be available in its entirety for free after 10:30 p.m. ET Thursday at AlphaWavesRadio.com or beginning July 16 at Apple's iTunes Store.
A busy month of July continues for Alpha Waves Radio. On July 22, beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, a team of writers from Airlock Alpha, Rabid Doll and Inside Blip will report live from San Diego Comic-Con in California. Get your first insight on what's happening at the convention, some of the news from the first day, and what to expect over the weekend.
"Warehouse 13" airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Syfy.
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