TVOD: Warehouse 13 and the Phoenix



I've yet to really explore this series, but based on this episode the writers seem to know their symbolism, which is refreshing particularly for a SyFy show. It's yet another in the endless string of X-Files knockoffs, but more importantly it's also a big-time knockoff of my beloved Friday the 13th: The Series, now out on DVD. Same concept- a M/F team and their crotchety old sidekick have to recover magical items and lock them away. Warehouse 13 has slicker production values and the now-requisite ensemble cast, but F13 was there first (it also ran into a lot of trouble with censors and media watchdog groups as well).

But as with F13, I get the feeling that these W13 people have either done their homework or possibly approach the material from a neopag/wiccan POV. I'll be digging into the whole series and will report back on what exactly is being manifested at a later date. I still need to dig into F13 here, especially for you younger readers. The missus and I watched that religiously - Saturday nights we'd get cheap beer and Chinese takeout and watch F13, War of the Worlds and Star Trek: TNG. We didn't have cable and yet were perfectly content to watch what was on Fox or in syndication. The more channels you get in your fibre optic cable, it seems the less there is actually to watch. Or maybe our standards were lower then...



Bonus sync: My chiropractor at the time looked exactly like F13's Louise Robey.

Bonus factoid: W13 features XF/Millennium alum CCH Pounder, doing a role quite similar to her Amanda Waller character from Justice League.

UM, AN UPDATE: I tried watching another episode and couldn't make it past 15 minutes. I really don't dig jokey sci-fi- I'm old school like that. I'll stick with F13 for now.

14 comments:

  1. Ah, F13. I was an inch above being a tyke when it moved to syndication via lazy, Saturday afternoons on PHL 17. But I thought the opening was cool (as was the exta awesome Tales From The Darkside) and would watch it either alone or if my step-dad was in the room. Then SyFy began showing it so I had to spent one morning it was marathoning getting re-acquainted. It was as cool as I remember and I'm glad they brought it out of the vault for us.

    Warehouse 13 is new news to me. I'll try to fit it in to my schedule to see what's what.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good thing you posted something phoenix-related today... In an electronics store circular today, I saw an album cover for something called Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Considering the significance of the phoenix, as well as Mozart's involvement with Freemasonry, I'm sure that this is just more than just a novel juxtaposition of two seemingly different music genres.

    Jason

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Chris, this is admittedly off-topic but I didn't know how else to best contact you. I think I first found you through Freeman or RedIce, but I've been reading through your stuff for a few months now and really digging what you do. We may also share some contacts in the comics industry and a geographic location, if I'm not mistaken.
    Anyway, I'd love for you to come check out my new site and if you're in nyc perhaps join me for a beer some time.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yeah Jason that band is getting lots of airtime. They were on Jimmy Fallon earlier tonight. Their song is called "Lisztomania" also plays on a current Cadillac commercial. It is named after:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Liszt

    "After 1842 "Lisztomania" swept across Europe. The reception Liszt enjoyed as a result can only be described as hysterical. Women fought over his silk handkerchiefs and velvet gloves, which they ripped to shreds as souvenirs. Helping fuel this atmosphere was the artist's mesmeric personality and stage presence. Many witnesses later testified that Liszt's playing raised the mood of audiences to a level of mystical ecstasy."

    ReplyDelete
  5. Liszt's daughter Cosima was pretty wild as well, at least in her youth. Cheating on her husband with Richard Wagner, whom she eventually married. She went on to become high priestess of the Bayreuth Festival. Around the time of Cosima's passing, the Nazis were becoming more powerful, and certain members of the Wagner family (especially Wagner's daughter-in-law Winifred) lent their support to the party. The extent of it remains unknown, but it's as compelling a family mystery as "The X-Files" (with Wagner's great-grandson Gottfried in the role of Fox Mulder).

    Then there's the film Lisztomania, directed by Ken Russell, whose work has been discussed here before.

    Jason

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love the historical gossip- keep it coming!

    ReplyDelete
  7. For more on the descendants of Liszt and Wagner, especially Gottfried, here are some interesting perspectives: A book review from The Boston Phoenix, as well as a piece in the Australia/Israel Review. Very different takes on Gottfried's work.

    I actually saw him speak at the University of North Texas in 2004. The circumstances are unfortunate, but it was interesting to hear him give his persepctive on the internal politics at Bayreuth. Gottfried's father is 90, so a number of siblings have been trying to succeed him. It has been a huge mess for years, worthy of a Wagner opera itself.

    If some of you aren't familiar with the term Gesamtkunstwerk, please take note of it. Cinematic films and virtual reality are manifestations of this idea of a "total work of art."

    Jason

    ReplyDelete
  8. Okay... Gottfried's father is more like leader emeritus as of last year. The Bayreuth succession war has been going on for a very long time, though.

    Jason

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Chris,

    I know that you're not too interested in what the main stream media "feeds" us but I've been perplexed by the politics of the community group ACORN and why it's dominated the news.

    Then I saw their logo (symbolism) today for the first time here:

    http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/sep/18/caught-on-tape/?feat=home_headlines

    The acorn on their flag reminded me of a "bell". I remembered a few things here and searched your blog for "bell". I came up with several of your posts from Grissom's Liberty Bell to the Mithras post on Crowley and Bell labs.

    It was very interesting to re-read those posts yet I'm still foggy on what all the ACORN business and Congress means.

    Thanks Chris, for this post and others!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Here in the UK we are 2 or 3 episodes in and on the evidence so far I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to see any more. It was being trailed as the X-Files meets Moonlighting but it feels more like the latter.

    They might have done their research and it is woven in at a cunning and deep level that, latter in the series they reveal the vast, mad infrastructure they have built and we will all wilt in awe. Unfortunately, at the moment they seem to be throwing in some Big Names (Tesla is always a good one and sprinkle in Edison and Escher) and then plucking the previous owner of the Weird Object of the Week (the only wow I've yet got out of it) from Wikipedia.

    I'm wondering how long I can hang in on this and I've spoken to some folks on the other side of the Pond who are further ahead and usually interested in Fortean media and it doesn't seem to get better.

    It seems a wasted opportunity as they have clearly got decent actors on the team (although I remain to be convinced by the leads but can't work out if it is the script or not) and a good budget for CGI that is good enough it doesn't make you wince (although thinking about it the most recent story I saw involved a hypnotic chair which required an old chair and a bucket of purple goo so perhaps it isn't that good). I am genuinely surprised it has got renewed for a second series. I'm a big sci-fi nerd but I'm struggling to hang on in there and the pitch of "you know the warehouse at the of Indiana Jones? Well imagine if Mulder/Scully or Bones/Booth or whatever/the/two/in/Moonlighting/were/called collected spooky old crap to stuff in it?" should be an easy sell to me. Luckily the Sci-Fi Channel (or whatever the silly name is they changed it to) seems to be repeating it so often I'm liable to stumble across it at some point - it is how I came to... "appreciate" The Invisible Man (one episode had him kidnapped by a giant invisible Bigfoot and finding out his powers stem from having a female Bigfoots invisibility gland in his head, and the large male Bigfoot is getting horny!!).

    On a sidenote - why is the woman in the wacky, mismatched couples always the "straight" one? I always found the straitlaced guy funnier - like Frank Burns in M*A*S*H.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Interesting, Chris, if this is worth anything, I am causal friends with the supervising Producer, Drew Greenberg, we went to high school together, we've been trading friendly messages about the show, and have been in touch for the last year which has been interesting to say the least. This might be personal bias, but I'm a little more hopeful this could be a cut above such fare as "Fringe, Supernatural", Now if I could persuade him to recruit Darin Morgan, or Vince Gilligan, away from the shows they are attached to, I'd be a happy camper.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Matt, it has a ways to go to be a cut above either of those shows. But I haven't given up on it- if nothing else that little steampunk sweetie is enough to keep me interested. And the series finale kicked ass on the pilot, which is always encouraging. I don't think your friend should hold his breath waiting for Darin or Vince, though.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I was a big Robey worshiper back in the day...that must have made all those adjustments worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yes, I referred to her as "my beautiful Mexican chiropractor" to my friends.

    ReplyDelete