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Colin Ferguson Makes Himself at Home in ‘Eureka’

[IMG:L]Brainy kids who don’t fit in probably dream of a place like Eureka, a town somewhere in the Pacific Northwest where curiosity is actually rewarded. Eureka is the ultimate revenge of the nerds.

And a town where the nations greatest thinkers work on the next era of scientific achievement is the last place U.S. Marshall Jack Carter, played by Colin Ferguson, thought he would end up. But when his car breaks down, Jack is thrown into a chain of events that soon lead to him becoming the town’s new sheriff. But raising his 15-year-old, Zoe, in a town of geniuses doesn’t make fatherhood any easier. And after facing dilemmas involving time travel, death rays and extreme metabolism boosters, Jack now has to deal with the unpredictability of global warming, weather prediction–and his ex-wife.

While filming in Vancouver, Ferguson took some time off to talk to Hollywood.com about the successful Sci Fi Channel show that taps into every geek’s fantasy.

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Hollywood.com: What were your expectations when Eureka initially aired?
Colin Ferguson: We make the show in a void and, even though we’re all converts and doing the best we can, you really have no clue how it’s going to premiere and what it’s going to do. So when it came back as favorably as it came back, it was a huge sigh of relief for everybody. I think we’re all really grateful for it.

HW: Have you had a Eureka moment?
CF: For me, it’s programming the VCR–but that’s probably not what you mean! In an increasingly more technological society we’re all constantly exposed to new technology and figuring stuff out, integrating into the Internet or the cell phone world. I think that’s one of the appeals of the show. People see you’re constantly having moments of “I can do it.”

HW: In the first season, we saw time travel and more. What kind of stuff can we look forward to in the new season?
CF: We had a panel last week and these things were mentioned so I know I’m allowed [to say]: Cryogenics, invisibility, alchemy, video games and the local science fair.

HW: What are you doing with the conspiracy against Eureka plot?
CF: That plot gets all the more complicated in the first episode back, and I can’t say what it is, but if you watch it, you’ll see. At the end of the last season, Kim was killed, so that’s from my perspective the key into that whole plot line. There’s a really long road to unravel, which we start right off the bat with.

HW: Would you like to see more of your past?
CF: Yeah, as long as it fits into the plot of what we’re doing now. It would be interesting on a character level just to see what his past used to be, but he’s leaving his past behind. We met [with the writers] off-season and talked about if we want to do a second season with Carter still whining and not wanting to be there and we agreed that it would be more interesting if he really attempts to embrace this town, embrace his daughter, and step up as a father. So in that sense, he sort of goes from the guy you see the town through to an actual character in the town.

HW: What will be going on with some of the other characters?
CF: There’s tons of stuff going on. Lupo starts experimenting with maybe, actually, potentially starting to date somebody, which is a new revelation for her character. You have my daughter, who’s 16 now and dealing with boys, and the ramifications that has on my character. My ex-wife comes to town. What a monkey wrench that is! It really turns everything on its ear. Allison is pursuing Stark and making sure that relationship stays on track or maybe gives it a shot.

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HW: Is the show taking on a bit of a darker tone this year?
CF: I did an interview last week where there was someone on set and they said, “Is the show going to be darker this year?” and I said, “I think it’s actually going to be lighter this year.” He starts laughing and says “I just finished an interview with Ed Quinn and he said it’s going darker.” It’s one of those shows that has so many different tones to it. There’s definitely more humor in it this year, so it’s hard to quantify.

HW: What is the experience of acting with your house like?
CF: Oh it sucks! I mean, who are we kidding? You have no one to look at and odds are someone’s outside the house yelling over a wall. It’s hard. Fortunately we’ve figured it out now, we know how to make it work, but the first season it was challenging. What is fun about it is that there is no cut away, you know that everything you do has got to work, so it’s more like a fun exercise. It becomes more of a game to get through a scene and make it interesting to watch. S.A.R.A.H is a fantastic character, and I love working with the character, but the actual technical aspect of doing that part of the show is sometimes a little trying.

HW: How do you keep the stories grounded with all the gadgets?
CF: We’re sort of lucky because all the actors and all the writers seem to have the same sensibility about where the comedy has to come from. You go on some shows and people go so broad that there’s just nothing to hold on to anymore and we all first and foremost want a true situation that has its own drama before we go to the comedy. I think we’ve been lucky that we land in that arena.

HW: What is the inspiration behind some of the scientific gadgets?
CF: That’s the great thing about working on this show, you have a cast and creative people and everyone and their brother has an idea. “You gotta do a show about this! You gotta do a show about exploding cows!” It’s really fun. It’s a very fertile environment.

HW: Which crazy invention would you like to use?
CF: I think there are two of them, and I think this speaks volumes about how self-centered I am. I go back to “Blink.” Maybe it keys into the 10-year-old boy inside of me, but if I could run really fast and be like the Flash, that would be the coolest thing. And the hover board. They’re such incidental inventions, as far as the show goes, because you have all these grandiose inventions, but I’m a sucker for a good toy.

HW: What does Eureka have that other shows don’t have?
CF: I was watching one of the episodes with my sister the other day when she was in town. I turned to her for a fresh perspective and she said she liked the characters and the interaction of the characters within a plot. I think that’s what works. They wrote some great, great characters that have great relationships between them and they put together a group of people that work really, really well together and have a similar work ethic and morality. I’d love to sit back and say they did it on purpose, but it’s luck. The guys have done a great job this season writing a serial line through stand-alone episodes, so you can tune in to just see one but if you actually tune into every one of them there is another story being told, which is fantastically fun to act, and I think that’s what makes the show special.

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