Jaime Paglia Reminisces About A Town Called Eureka

Unfortunately, it’s time to say good-by to Eureka – well, not really yet, but the uniquely innovative Syfy series is now more than halfway through its fifth and final season. Jaime Paglia, co-creator, writer and executive producer, talks to PCZ about all of the crazies, whoops geniuses, who inhabit the strangest small town in the entire USA, Eureka.

QUESTION: Were there any scientific experiments or something you wish you could have done for an episode?

JAIME PAGLIA: We tried to do it before but timing wise we could never make it work before, but we always wanted to do a musical episode. I got to do the Claymation episode. I got to do my Jurassic Park episode and my period piece episode. I got to do so many things so I’m very grateful for that. But that’s the one I wanted to do and it would have happened in Season 6. But the one way I got to satisfy some of my musical urge is with Bear McCreary, who is our composer; he and I wrote a song for the finale. (“You Are My Home” for “Just Another Day”, Episode 5.14)

QUESTION: How many sheriffs’ cars were destroyed during the show?

PAGLIA: I’m not going to tell you, because I’m actually going to have a contest on-line this season to see who can figure it out. I’ll give them a signed script or something fun. There will be a little special homage on the Season 5 DVDs. We’re going to do an Ode to Carl, The Jeep. It’s basically a montage of everything The Jeep has gone through through the years.

QUESTION: In what you can talk about — I’m not asking for spoilers — but what are your favorite episodes or scenes or story points that you have gotten to do?

PAGLIA: My directorial debut in “Jack of All Trades” (Episode 5.5) there is a body swap [in it] and that was the most fun. I got to write and direct everybody. We had such an amazing team of writers and directors, and I actually had the time to go and do that. We hadn’t had that in previous seasons, and I had the best time doing that and working with these guys [the cast] in that capacity was really fun. Everybody was so supportive, and we sort of had an attitude about trying to promote from within in all of our departments. Colin (Ferguson) has directed and Salli (Richardson-Whitfield) and Joe (Morton) and our script supervisor Alexandra La Roche directed two of our favorite episodes.

Honestly, I think it’s the strongest season that we’ve had, and everybody in all departments, our visual effects guys, our cast, everybody just sort of raised the bar. And I think that after season four which we obviously took a big risk with the reset and… Well, obviously you just never know whether you’re coming back or not, so you want to just keep swinging for the fences and take risks, and I think we kind of proved with the support of you guys [the press] and our amazing fan base that they would go along with us for the ride.

This is a season where I think once again what you’re seeing now is something that’s going to resonate for the rest of the season. Not in terms of we’re going to be stuck in this alternate reality matrix thing, but in terms of what’s happening with the characters. It just makes for really rich, interesting stories, and there’s a lot of hilarious stuff that’s coming up, too. It’s not just the overwrought emotional stuff that we’re going to subject you to. It’s a good place to put you guys through that experience with our characters.

QUESTION: Going all the way back to the beginning of this adventure, how did you originally pitch this to Syfy?

PAGLIA: Basically we told them this was going to be a sci-fi dramedy about a small town with a Northern Exposure kind of sensibility. But actually, it’s a secret town that houses the greatest minds of science and technology and our eyes into this world is the sheriff, who is sort of the Everyman who gets thrust into this intellectual utopia. That’s how we framed it that every episode is about him trying to keep a lid on Pandora’s Box.

QUESTION: You talk about the fan base. What is it like to get that rock star treatment when you go to Comic-Con?

PAGLIA: It’s amazing. Let me put it this way, the actors are used to being recognized. That’s the only place that I get recognized. And the sci-fi fan base is the best audience that you could ever ask for.

You have the opportunity to actually go there and be there with fans and to hear their questions which are amazingly insightful. And they sort of hold us to a higher standard that we try to keep ourselves to a higher standard and make sure we don’t let anybody down. That experience of being in a room with between 4- and 5,000 people and having them all be there because they want to share, that is very kind of surreal. To have an idea, over nine years ago now, over lunch for a T.V. show and then you’re there and it sort of becomes a thing that everybody sort of has some ownership of and takes a part in, and it’s about the best thing you can ask for.

I would love to have a final [visit] because I think Comic-Con is the weekend before our finale, so that would be great. (Last episode Monday July 16, 2012 – Comic Con San Diego July 12 – 15, 2012)

EUREKA airs Monday at 9:00 PM on Syfy