Eureka: city of science

Eureka (2006)

Eureka (2006) © IMDB

In the secret heart of the United States, near a certain Lake Archimedes, a charming town lives placidly. Its inhabitants are not what we would call “ordinary people”. Between equations, out-of-control robots, teleportation, talking houses, and disasters capable of creating a new sun, there is always time for breakfast at Cafè Diem, before stamping the card at Global Dynamics.

Friends, welcome to Eureka!

Sheriff Carter

Eureka (2006)
Eureka (2006) © IMDB

In a city like Eureka, a center of scientific avant-garde, there are all sorts of genius minds. Sheriff Jack Carter, well, he’s not one of those minds. A simple, practical, and intuitive man, he arrives in Eureka due to an unfortunate accident with his daughter Zoe. His leap from Federal Marshal to Sheriff of this extraordinary town is short, intense, and unexpected.

The figure of Sheriff Carter, played by Colin Ferguson, is the glue that holds together Eureka’s slightly crazy pieces, always managing to solve the bizarre cases in which he is involved, accompanied by the beautiful and brilliant agent Jo Lupo. A sign that even in a world of brilliant scientists there is always a need for a little normality to relax everyone’s nerves.

Static mediocrity is the strong point of this character who, thanks to his instinct and unique irony, finally manages to win the heart of the director of Global Dynamics, Allison Blake.

Jump in time

Eureka was born in 2006, ready to attract attention with its science fiction vein. A precursor to Warehouse 13, it anticipates the wonderful sci-fi world of Fringe by two years.

The first two seasons help us become familiar with the quirks of this city. Some robots develop a conscience, and people slip into inappropriate body swaps. There are men with green skin and irresistible hormones that drive women crazy. Cannibal insects are emerging from a centuries-old tomb, and there is a mysterious core of energy in area 5 of the Global Dynamics that hides the secrets of the Universe.

From the third season, things change. A step back in time will forever change the present of the main characters: Carter, Jo, Allison, Henry Deacon, and Douglas Fargo. The new reality confuses and destabilizes them, but there is no way to fix things and they will have to learn to deal with this new present.

Joe Morton and Salli Richardson-Whitfield in Eureka (2006)
Joe Morton and Salli Richardson-Whitfield in Eureka (2006) © IMDB

During the fourth season, a new project distorts the daily work of the scientific giant Global Dynamics. A feat that no one has ever attempted before: a space mission to Titan. But things go downhill due to the intervention of Beverly Barlowe, an enemy who has been acting in the shadows since the first season. And so the minds of some of the world’s greatest scientists are trapped in virtual reality. How is Sheriff Carter going to save them?

Jo and Zane

In any self-respecting show, there is always at least one relationship with the “bad boy” on duty. This is the situation of Jo Lupo who falls in love with the hacker Zane Donovan.

Theirs is a relationship of ups and downs, of estrangements and fiery encounters. Zane dangerously touches the stereotype: cold and detached, womanizer and arrogant, handsome and full of himself. Jo, on the other hand, differs from the damsel who sighs for her lover: she is an intertwining of strength and fragility who needs to find her way and does not allow herself to be duped too easily by Zane.

The inclusion of this couple was an attempt to make the waters a little spicier and awaken the attention of the public, giving more depth to the characters. A half-successful attempt, which perhaps needed more emotional thrust, and ends with Zane’s predictable change of course: from bad boy to good boy.

Whenever Fargo…

Douglas Fargo: shy and awkward, one of Eureka’s worst troublemakers. His forte is artificial intelligence, he is the creator of S.A.R.A. (smart house), robot deputy Andy and Tabitha (car driving software). His intelligence goes hand in hand with the foolish need to press any button that comes in front of him.

He is the main culprit of some disasters that shake the city, even if, it must be admitted, sometimes it is his ideas to remedy the mess that overwhelms Eureka. Fargo, played by Neil Grayston, is that slightly clumsy character to identify with: we have all been clumsy and troublemakers at least once in our lives. Every time Fargo has chosen to push a button, Eureka has found herself on the verge of catastrophe.

Eureka (2006)
Eureka (2006) © IMDB

However, as the seasons’ progress, we see a kind of maturity taking hold in him. A more serious side of his character comes to the surface, along with his feelings for Dr. Holly Marten. This new Fargo, a mix of clumsy troublemaker and man ready to make serious commitments, is a better version of himself, who remains confined to who he was, but at the same time remembers that there is always room for improvement.

Eureka! What an idea!

With its bizarre scientific innovations, Eureka has made millions of viewers dream of a different world. It was easy to imagine living in a talking house, which prepares breakfast and keeps everything in order; just as it was easy to think of smart robots and cars passing through the streets. The utopian reign of Eureka lulls the audience with the promise that any problem can be solved, that in the end things always return to normal.

Eureka brings the public closer to science, avoiding considering it as something dangerous, a difficult and distant taboo, but integrating it into everyday life; considering all its beneficial potential and underlining the importance of knowledge, however, remembering that there can always be some risk.

Although the critics of the time gave a negative judgment to this TV series, evaluating it too sweet compared to the more renowned Stargate SG-1 and Battlestar Galactica, Eureka was able to surprise the public. It is true, perhaps it did not offer spaceships and large explosions, but it was able to give a sci-fi panorama closer to us, colored by the witty irony of Sheriff Carter, by the brilliant competence of Henry Deacon, by the extravagant delicacies of Cafè Diem, and by the Fargo’s inevitable pies.

For this new approach to science that it has been able to offer, Eureka enters the Old But Gold column. Science can support us in everyday life and reveal the fascinating mysteries of the Universe, without necessarily being synonymous with weapons, chemical viruses, and explosions.

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