“ Genre: Television - A Town Called Eureka / Theatrical Release: 2007 / Suitable for 12 years and over / Actors: Colin Ferguson, Joe Morton, Greg Germann, Olivia D'Abo, Matt Frewer ... / DVD released 2008-08-18 at Universal Pictures UK / Features of the DVD: Box set, PAL „
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Being a fan of TV Science Fiction does not lead to an easy life. I can deal with the remarks from friends about personal hygiene and the need to get out more; it is something far more serious than this that keeps me awake at night - repetitiveness. Sci fi shows come and go at an alarming rate; they can range from intergalactic space operas to people on Earth with very human issues. No matter what, who, how or why the situation is, I find the same storylines come up again and again. The token invisible episode, clone episode, Groundhog Day episode etc. Even I, with my large appreciation for science fiction, can only watch the same thing so many times. Season 1 of 'A Town Called Eureka' had me wincing at the number of cliché episodes could 'Season 2' do better?
The second season of 'Eureka' opens soon after the devastating events of the season 1's conclusion. Jack Carter is still sheriff, but whilst he and best friend Henry remember an alternative future, the rest of the town are oblivious to what could have happened. Season 2 sees more sparks flying as opposing factions begin to make their move for a hidden artefact that could possess the power to control the very fabric of time and space. The different groups have different motives; greed, hate, fear. However, the most powerful emotion is love and losing a loved one can cause once good men to do bad things. Is everything about to change in a town called Eureka?
I imagine that many people have not even heard of 'Eureka', never mind watched any episodes. An American Sci Fi channel production it firmly places itself as a science fiction show with a modest budget. If you did manage to catch an episode of season 1 you may have thought the show a little po-faced for its set up - and I would agree. Therefore, it is great news that season 2 is far lighter in tone whilst also being more epic in nature. Gone is the idea of individual episodes with contained storylines; to be replaced with a season long theme that really cranks up the tension.
Season 2 of 'Eureka' is testament to what quality writing can do for a show. In essence it is exactly the same as before, but with better writing comes a better show. The relationships between the characters is far better realised, but the main improvement is with the storylines themselves. Each episode has far more riding on it than previously with a cast member being stricken down, of the town itself under threat. To be honest it did start to get a little ridiculous towards the end, but at least I felt invested in the story as I hoped that things turned out well.
With an improved script the cast have more to work with and this is particularly true of Colin Ferguson who plays the Sheriff. His character has developed from being just a straight man into something far better. The overall quality of acting is on the cheesy side with the cast apparently taken directly from soaps such as 'The Bold and the Beautiful'. However, this kooky casting does add a little to the appeal for me. It is the written script that has improved the characters as they are far funnier this season. I would not have thought it possible to raise 'Eureka' up from average, but they have managed it here.
Is 'Eureka: Season 2' worth your while? For the vast majority of people I am still going to have to say no; even with the vast improvements from the first season. This is a show that wears its science fiction loyalty on its sleeve which will be inviting for some, but alienating for many more. The cheesy storylines, OTT nature and geeky subplots will be like venom to many people. However, if you are a fan of sci fi then 'Eureka' has grown from being something that is perhaps worth watching, into something that I could recommend to fans of the lighter side of the genre.
Starring: Colin Ferguson et al.
Price: Amazon uk £17.98
The extras on the discs are not plentiful, but enough for me. A couple of featurettes on the show and a gag reel are about it.