By Jamie Ruby
Recently Syfy premiered the fifth season of its hit series, Eureka
. Unfortunately, it is to be the last; however, both fans, and the series lead, Colin Ferguson, are hopeful that it will be back in some capacity. The actor recently talked to Jamie Ruby of SciFi Vision in an exclusive interview about the upcoming season and his hopes for the future.
The first three episodes of Eureka
this season have been quite intense, and dark, yet fans have responded positively. "I think what I like most about the episode [last] Monday is that it's the conclusion of the three-parter beginning. It's not officially a three-parter beginning but in my head, and I think for a lot of you, it's a three-parter beginning. There's a lot of stuff that carries from week to week over those three. But in this finale, if you call it that, we go funnier again. There's a lot more humor, which is nice. It becomes lighter, which is great because it's had a pretty serious tone for a couple weeks, so it's exciting to get back to that. I was nervous that people were going to freak out and leave over the first couple, but I guess what happened was the opposite. Our viewership is up I guess 11% in 18-49 from first week to second week, so it's going well."
According to Ferguson, what happened in the first three episodes will carry over into the rest of the season. "As much as I can say, "don't worry," this great beginning isn't the sort of thing that gets swept under the rug. It isn't the sort of beginning where like, "Wow, amazing!" and then everything's back to normal. There are ramifications and repercussions that are experienced all the way through the rest of the season. Not in a profound week-to-week thing; it's not a soap opera where every week there's "Dun dun dun!" and some other craziness happens. But definitely it's not all done."
The actor commented on the death of the character Dr. Holly Marten (Felicia Day). "We don't lose a main character and never reference it again. And gosh, Fargo goes through it unbelievably because that was his love, so he deals with that for a long time."
There are of course other great returning guest stars this season. "Matt Frewer is coming back, James Callis, Wallace Shawn is coming back, so we have some really fun guys."
After the intensity at the beginning of the season, there are still more great plot twists on the way. "There's some big stuff coming. I can't really tell you what it is, obviously, but we're not done. The season doesn't limp to a conclusion; I'll put it that way."Eureka
has now been running for five seasons, yet Ferguson admits to being a pessimist and did not realize it was a hit until far into Syfy picking up the series. "It was years into the process. It wasn't season one, it wasn't season two, it wasn't season three. It was probably, maybe when the first half of season four aired that I was like, "Okay, this feels closer to the bone." I had less fear of being canceled at that point, I really felt like we knew what we were doing...But it's also my job to second-guess. If I got self-satisfied out of the gate, I don't think we'd have, or I don't think my performance would have, been as good. I hope I got pieces of it."
Ferguson added that there are things as an actor he may have done differently, but the last two seasons are the way they want them to be. "Lots of things [I'd do differently], I'm an actor. Why did they use that take? Why did they cut it like that? All sorts of discussions in my head when I watch episodes. More in the past than the future.
"But it was a really great run. It was not always what we wanted to make. You know, we had to work our way through certain television climates to survive on the air. So it was really in the last, season four and season five we got to make the show that we wanted and we're unbelievably grateful to have gotten to a place where we could do it."
The actor does not feel like there have been big storylines missing that he would like to see. "They've surpassed everything I thought we were going to do. You now, there's lots of fun things that we'd do differently. I step into the process on execution, not on creative, so I more deal with what they create and how to execute it. And I was constantly impressed with what they were creating and the unbelievable range and diversity inside of it."
There are many moments Ferguson is proud of throughout the series. "There's an episode called "Up in the Air," where the bank gets robbed, or stolen. And that was Alexandra, our script supervisor's first episode she directed with us. It was probably the funniest episode we've done and definitely gets one of the biggest responses. And part of that was because was Alex, who lived on set with me fourteen hours a day, for six years, or four years at that point, she knows me inside and out. The script supervisor's job is to watch all the actors – me – and say "Okay, you did that, make sure you do it again, we need it to cut. Oh the script says this, you're doing that, are you sure you want to do that?" That sort of thing.
"So she watches so closely, and in the preproduction process for that episode she was able to say "I know he's going to do great on this, let me beef this piece up. You know, if we have to beef this up, let's truncate it here." So she was able to shape it, she provided such an amazing forum and environment to say "I know you can do something here, go!" And then came up with a bunch of lines on her own. So that was one of the best examples of collaboration that we had and yielded a really funny result.
"And then two coming up this season,"Jack of All Trades," which is Jaime Paglia's directorial debut. It's a body-swapping episode, and he was great for the same reason; I loved the hell out of that. And "Smarter Carter," which is actually Alex's second episode, equally really, really funny. So I enjoyed those a lot."
Ferguson was able to reveal a bit about the body-swapping episode. "Lots of people body-swap. Fargo's in on it, Alison's in on it, I'm in on it. I think Zane's in on it. Who else? Yeah, a lot of it's going on."
The cast enjoyed getting to imitate each other, but it was a different experience. "We all enjoyed different parts of it. For me it had to do with all sorts of different things. I [did] a lot of sitting when I was Alison, so that was harder because you can't use your body as much, because you're sitting. I really enjoyed being Fargo. Zane was harder, because he and I are the same height and we're not dissimilar, so it was harder to find differences between the two of us.
"...Being on the show where you're completely comfortable, yet being another character? What a fish-out of-water experience! Whereas you haven't felt as insecure as that in many years. Where you're sort of like, "Was that...? Am I...? Is this OK?" Because you're using all sorts of intonations and strange things that you've just never done before, "And everyone's going. "Yes, it's going okay." So yes, it was a fun one. And a lot of people get to be me, so that's really fun."
The actor has many great memories from the series. "[There's] not any one memory that is significantly above the others. I remember Erica [Cerra]'s first episode, that I directed, that she was the lead in, and that is really dear to me because she stepped up in a way that we needed her to. Like, the show really needed her to because it was the first time anybody had been a lead of an episode besides me. So if that went really badly, it boded poorly for everybody else. Why would they give anyone else really big episodes?
"And she stepped up and knocked it out of the park and it was a fan favorite for a second or two, and that allowed us to do a lot more of that in the future. And because it was Erica who was the one who was tested and because of how well she did, I have a really warm feeling about that.
"And mostly just the laughs back by the chairs. You know, "Take four!" and everyone's like, "Oh, come on, let's get this." It's that united purpose and the smiles on everyone's faces that warm my heart when I think back."
It may be hard for Ferguson to choose a favorite memory, but it's not difficult for him to choose a favorite invention from the series. "The one on the show has to be teleportation; it's a game-changer in so many ways. So it has to be teleportation. There's no other one that comes close to that level of insanity for me."
Ferguson is still hopeful for more Eureka
after this season, though nothing has been decided. "It's just that I'm hoping, and I know that the Stargate
movies have done well for them. We've done a Christmas episode, maybe we'll do another Christmas episode, who knows?
"But more has to do with the ratings with Syfy than anything else. If we do unbelievably well right to the end, there's a much greater chance. If we struggle across the finish line and don't do well at the end of the season, there's probably less of a chance. But it depends on how well their other shows are doing [as well]...But this is all conjecture on my part."
Part of it of course would also depend on Ferguson's filming schedule in the future and if his series Like Father
is picked up by FOX. "[It's] done, completed, shot, edited, and I believe it's been delivered to FOX...so we'll find out very shortly."
According to Ferguson, Eureka
will probably not, at least officially, continue in another medium, like the books and comics there have been in the past. "I know that all that stuff was very slow to get going and didn't really have enough of a following to warrant – although we were incredibly flattered that people attempted books and magazines and all sorts of stuff. I really enjoy what goes on online. I think that's really, really fun, where people have taken characters and made Facebook accounts and Twitter accounts and they all interact with each other, and there's the fanfic. And I think that's the coolest thing about a series, at a certain point it just takes on its own life, a more active, unpredictable life than any of us could have predicted. So that's definitely alive and well, and it really tickles me that that goes on. But nothing, I think official is happening now."
The actor added that he likes the idea of fanfiction. "It's just cool to me. It's amazing; it's a launching point. I was inspired by other shows and other people's performances to do what I do, and I continue to be. I'll see something that's really good and it'll fire me up to go out and do stuff. So that fact that I can be, in my way, associated with somebody else getting fired up and wanting to do something is amazing. I feel like the torch is being passed and I'm a part of some sort of continuum of creativity, which is great. I love that people have grabbed the show; their interpretation of the show, their interpretation of the characters, and just sort of run with it. I think that's really, really fun."
Ferguson himself was inspired by a lot of people in the past. "Lots of people I grew up on – like anyone my age, grew up on Family Ties
. Those were really big sitcoms that I loved and watched and learned from through the years, as well as all the major movies around in those times. So I think comedically, definitely those guys. I love what they did. Both of those shows did go dramatic when they needed to and come out of it."
The actor is happy with where he is at now. "I'm not a big regret guy. I think everything's supposed to be the way it's supposed to be. And I've done really well for me, by the show and that stuff. So I just think that everything I did led me to this point. You know, I hope I learned as much as I could have, from the experiences that I have had. Do I wish I had done anything differently? Maybe in weird sort of off moments I might, but for the most part I would hope that everybody would know that I was trying my best and give me some benefit of the doubt for that maybe."
Ferguson does not have any definite plans for the future at the moment. "My plans are to see what comes and what happens. I'm probably going to start writing something again. I wrote something I'm going to maybe dust off and shop around town and see if anybody likes it. And if Like Father
doesn't go I might just do that."
In the meantime, the actors schedule is also partially filled by conventions. "[In May] I'm doing Detroit, then...the weekend of the 18th, 19th, and 20th I'm in Detroit, and then the following weekend, the 25th, 26th, 27th I'm in Phoenix...I'm also doing DragonCon this spring." Ferguson will also be appearing with the rest of the Eureka
cast at Comicon this summer.
For now, you can catch Ferguson every Monday on Eureka