If you caught the last series of SyFy’s Warehouse 13, you’ll know it went out with a bang (literally). The warehouse has been destroyed, Mrs Frederic, HG Wells and Steve Jinks are dead… where do we go from here? Well, we’re about to find out, because Warehouse 13 returns to the UK on the 6th of September. One of the stars of the show, Eddie McClintock (aka Agent Pete Lattimer) was kind enough to spend some time on the phone with me to talk about the show in general, and what we can expect from this season.
One of the reasons people enjoy Warehouse 13 is the sense of fun that’s interweaved throughout it. I’ve often wondered how much of Pete Lattimer is actually your personality, just being able to play around. So how much of you is in Pete?
After four years, working, playing Pete for fifteen, sixteen hours a day, five days a week, I feel that it would be incredibly difficult for me to try and be something else. If it were maybe a smaller part or a bit part I could try and play a character but I think the audiences are sophisticated enough now that they know when an actor is lying. There’s a lot of me in there. I have a particularly sophomoric sense of humour so the writers use that and they give me the words, we blend them together and it just seems to work out. People come up and say, “We think you’re so funny, you have such a great sense of humour” and I’m just like, “Well, you should thank the exec producer Jack Kenny because I’m basically just a meat puppet and they give me all the funny stuff”.
I think you’re right, you can tell when an actor is “acting” for want of a better word, or when they’re putting something of themselves into the part. I think that comes across.
Right, I love what I do – Pete loves what he does. You know, I get to run around, save the world and carry a ray gun. How can that not be fun? It’s the best job.
We haven’t seen season 4 in the UK yet [it starts Sept 6th], but I understand it’s already running in the US?
Yeah, I think we’re about halfway through here.
OK, we’re still at the point where the warehouse is gone and three of the characters are dead so we’re all kind of hanging on waiting to see what’s going to happen. I’m curious to know whether it was hard to film the end of series 3. It was quite hard to watch in some ways, was it hard to be a part of?
No – not hard, it was just rewarding – that would be a better way to explain it. When I finally saw the finished product, especially the episode Emily Lake where we discover Jinks’ body after he’s been murdered and, I tell you, I don’t care if it’s SyFy or what channel you’re watching, that was some good TV. That was poignant TV; you felt so much, even me watching Allison [Scagliotti] mourn the death of her friend, Pete being shocked that this new friend was gone, and the fact that you cared so much for the death of Jinks spoke a lot about what Aaron Ashmore was able to do with the character. He made Jinks so likeable that you, as a viewer, really mourned his death and you felt for those characters because we’d been lucky enough, through the writing and through the show to be able to develop characters that people have grown to care about. You always hurt when you see people that you care about hurting. I think it was really well done, I’m incredibly proud of that moment, and I don’t think it was as hard to do as it was rewarding.
From some of the trailers and previews we’ve seen here in the UK, we can gather that there’s going to be some heavy use of artifacts to try and get the warehouse back, but we also know there will be consequences to that and that the writers will kill characters off if necessary. Is it fair to say we’re going to see a darker tone to the series this time around?
What we don’t want to do on the show, obviously, is make it predictable. We don’t want the viewers to be able to go, “Oh, it’s Warehouse 13, it’s sci-fi, they’ll just use an artifact that will turn back time, bring everyone back to life and everybody’s going to be fine”. I think, obviously, the show is not called, “A big hole in the ground filled with dead people”, it’s called Warehouse 13 so, chances are, we’re going to figure out a way to bring the warehouse back. We may see other characters who’ve died come back, but we want there to be consequences and we need those consequences to be severe. Will there be a tonal shift in the show? I don’t think so; I think Pete will continue to be Pete, he’ll continue to have fun. As Joanne [Kelly] said, and I think she put it really well, we’ll continue to paint with the same colours we’ve always painted with but we will be adding a darker tone. So we aren’t taking out any of the other things, we’re adding a new tone to the show. That tone will be reflected in the consequences that we find occur after the warehouse is returned.
It’s really cool; Brent Spiner who played Data on [Star Trek] The Next Gen raises his head to become kind of the new nemesis, so that was amazing to be able to work with Brent because he’s kind of an icon and he does an amazing job. There’s a bit of a dark undertone that carries through this season, and I like it. It doesn’t change the show tonally, but it gives you that sense of impending doom, which I think is kind of cool. You need to up the stakes from season to season or else the show’s over.
With you saying Brent Spiner will be making an appearance, it almost seems like there’s been a roll call of Star Trek actors coming to the show. You’ve had Kate Mulgrew, who turned out to be your mum, and Rene Auberjonous in a previous season…
Jeri Ryan, who played Seven of Nine… how cool is that? My ex-wife is the hottest Borg in the universe and my mom is a Starfleet Captain!
Have you ever found, when you’ve been filming the show, that you’ve wished a particular artifact actually worked and you could take it home?
I’ve always said that if there was one artifact that I could take home and have be real it would be Janis Joplin’s backstage pass from Woodstock, and that whoever held that backstage pass could travel to any concert that’s ever been. That way I could go and see Black Sabbath and the Doors and all the bands that came before me that my dad turned me on to as a kid but I never had the opportunity to see live.
Finally, if you could describe the new series of Warehouse 13 in one word, what would it be?
A huge thanks to Eddie McClintock, and to SyFy for arranging the interview – I have to say it was a genuine pleasure and Eddie was great fun just to chat with.
Keep an eye out for Warehouse 13 season 4 on SyFy. It starts on September the 6th, at 9pm. Check out the SyFy Warehouse 13 microsite for more information and some trailers. You can also connect with Eddie on Twitter.
As ever, feel free leave a comment as well. Are you looking forward to the show? Are you a fan and want to tell us why you enjoy watching? You know what to do…