McClintok and Kelly do storage security in Warehouse 13.
Photograph: Philippe Bosse/Sci FiMcClintok and Kelly do storage security in Warehouse 13.
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Warehouse 13

3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

That government warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark was cool, wasn’t it? And again when it popped up inthe fourth Indy flick? Hope you’re still fascinated, because this thriller is more or less That Warehouse: The Series. The show debuts with a two-hour premiere on Syfy—that would be the Sci Fi channel’s new moniker, not an extraterrestrial STD.

Stealing liberally from Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters, Fringe and The X-Files, Warehouse 13 follows the exploits of Secret Service agents Myka (Joanne Kelly) and Pete (Eddie McClintock), assigned to protect the contents of a supernatural storage facility. Why the Secret Service has this duty is as yet unclear; apparently taking a bullet for the president shares a skill set with tracking down top-secret doodads. The pair works for a few cryptic bosses (played by television pros Saul Rubinek and CCH Pounder), using fantastical vintage technology from Philo Farnsworth and Nikola Tesla in place of cell phones and guns.

Billed as a mystery drama, Warehouse 13 actually leans toward comic adventure—more Stargate: Atlantis than Battlestar Galactica. But the titular shed, situated in South Dakota and acres deep, is a veritable fun house of enchanted teakettles and supernatural curios. If the show’s tone and special effects have kinks, its plot framework is refreshingly defined for a science-fiction show: Magical MacGuffins need storing, so these guys go fetch ’em. To their credit, the two leads have nailed down the now-familiar Mulder-and-Scully (or Booth-and-Bones) rapport. If only we didn’t have to hear a character actually say to Myka, “He’s scattershot, you’re meticulous. You look, he leaps!” Toss that cliche in a box and store it next to the Ark of the Covenant, show.

Warehouse 13 premieres July 7 at 9pm on Syfy.

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