3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Starts off walking, ends up running,
This review is from: Warehouse 13 - Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
What a strange, exciting little show this is. I was impressed, and I wasn't expecting to be.
I've read some very mediocre reviews of this series, and only picked it up because of the dearth of interesting TV DVD releases around at this time of year. I just got it for something to watch, and was steadily drawn in.
This show has been compared a lot to Sanctuary in terms of quality, and while I see the similarities, Warehouse 13 is better. It has better production values, more interesting characters and a much greater sense of fun.
The concept is easy to grasp, and very high-concept, apparently inspired by the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, where we see the Ark of the Covenant secured in a giant warehouse, hidden forever. Warehouse 13 is about the people who work for that warehouse.
Starting off with an intriguing, double-length first episode, we're given a number of standalones where the agents are sent after the Artefact of the Week, and then sometime around the mid-point the series really starts jogging with the introduction of James MacPherson, the former Warehouse agent who's turned to the dark side. From hereon there's a run of increasingly exciting episodes until the season finale, which is as ace as you could want, ending with a stunner of a cliffhanger.
The characters are all brilliant. Yes, this series wears its influences on its sleeve, but as far as I'm concerned it's what you do with them that counts. Myka and Peter make a great pairing with their funny, bickering, brother-sister relationship (And Joanne Kelly, who plays Myka, is gorgeous). Saul Rubinek is a standout as their seemingly avuncular boss Artie, by turns friendly, funny, irascible and cold.
My favourite character though has to be Claudia, the teenage whiz-kid. With her bouncing around, her sassy attitude, her teen-speak dialogue ("Rad, Dude"! Etc) and her strange, angular face, she's rather adorable.
Yes, I have criticisms. The nature of the artefacts the group collect is never really explained. Why do these things have magic powers? What caused them to be? It's brushed off in the first series, but I do hope we get some answers later on.
It's also a shame that MacPherson is such a mwa-ha-ha black-hat cliché, and of course he has to be English, doesn't he? What would a US series be without a British baddie? We should be thankful he isn't the head of an international oil company. That'll probably be next season.
Overall though, I'd mark this series as "promising". There are definite signs with the last few episodes and the growing mythology around the warehouse that it might become more than it is, really step up to the plate and prove itself in future seasons.
This isn't certain, but I hope it does, `cos I'd love to be along for that ride.