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Brilliant final six episodes, shamefully let down by Syfy
on 10 August 2014
When Syfy bumped A Town Called Eureka up to a full Season (4) I was pleased someone had finally been dosed with common sense; especially when the DVD release had extended episodes instead of the insane and maddening standard of sticking "deleted scenes" in the special features forcing people to jump back and forth - all DVD boxsets should have "editor's cut" full episodes with all the scenes chopped for toothpaste or hemorrhoid cream ads reinserted as part of the story flow. I should have known - Syfy promptly cancelled the series albeit with a proper 13-episode (half) Season 5 which allowed the show to wrap up properly and go out on a high - and that is exactly what should have happened to Season 5 of Warehouse 13, except it didn't.
When W13 got a full Season 4 my heart sank because I knew what was coming, but I was sure that the media reports of a 6-episode Season 5 would be increased to a proper 13-episode half-season. Except it wasn't - that is why Season 5 is brilliant in content, but dreadful in how it was shamefully let down by Syfy.
Each episode is excellent in of itself, but weak in that the show couldn't service the characters and plot properly. In Season 4 we had huge talents - Kate Mulgrew, Anthony Stewart Head, James Marsters and Mark A. Sheppard - and we had Paracelsus as a real threat, yet because of the ridiculous limit of 6-episodes, Paracelsus went from Big Bad of Season 4 cliffhanger to Season 5 damp squib, removed in one 'single bound and he was free' cliche because the show couldn't take that storyline forward properly - Mark A. Sheppard, as an alternate universe bad version of the heroic Regent Valda got a total of 5 minutes' airtime if that. Artie's secret illegitimate son got about a minute and a half and could have been a major storyline if given opportunity.
Yes you had the nod to W14 - since each Warehouse is hosted by the predominant world power of that era, many would assume China as the next Warehouse - although that is in doubt because India is surging ahead as an economic powerhouse. Regrettably I don't think the show had any choice but to fudge the "endless wonder" ending with Claudia as the caretaker in the far future and no reveal of what happened in the end to Artie, Myka and Pete (allowing fans to create their own preferred ending in fan fiction) but it is such a shame that the show was so badly let down by Syfy when they could easily have stumped up for another 7 episodes to make it 13. They managed to do it for Eureka, and they have done it for what presumably will be the final Season of Haven, which is getting a 26 episode Season 5 in 2014-2015.
On an individual level, the Telenovella episode stands out as a standalone for specific brilliance in concept, execution and shameless hamming it up by everyone clearly having huge fun.
£12.50 works out at £2.08 per episode, and I am sure that the DVD will have interviews and etc., stuffed in as a sop to the fans, but it would have been much better if Syfy had done Season 5 properly instead of trying to placate fans on the cheap after the fact with a "snazzy" DVD.