Magical undies anyone?
Every week on Warehouse 13, Pete, Myka, and Arty have to deal with the fall-out from some bizarre magical item loose in the world. The recent reveal that Sean Maher’s superhero-speedo was enchanted in the “Mild Mannered” episode was surely one of the show’s most hilariously inspired artifacts.
But this got us thinking: how do they keep coming up with ideas for fresh new artifacts?
“The staff and I sit around in a room for November, December, and January, and we just spitball ideas,” says the Warehouse 13’s showrunner and executive producer Jack Kenny. “Sometimes it starts with what’s an interesting artifact … and we build an episode around it.”
As an example of an episode that began with the idea for the artifact itself, Kenny cites an upcoming one featuring the telegraph from Telegraph Island, the source of the expression “around the bend.”
But, Kenny points out, “We don’t like to start with an artifact and build a story around that. We like to look at what’s going on in our [characters] lives and how can the story be informed by that. Make it more of an emotional fun ride for the viewer, rather than just an artifact. We want to make it personal.”
Often, he says, the setting for the episode precedes the artifact itself. “We set one episode in a college wrestling team,” he says, “because we thought it would be fun to send our girls there…. We sent Claudia and Myka to the team [in the episode "For the Team"], so they would deal with all these college wrestlers, guys in the lockerroom. So sometimes it starts with the place [and then we come up with the idea for the artifact].”
Other artifacts from the upcoming season include a cane that causes earthquakes when tapped against the ground; a statue of a griffin, which results in a body-switching episode for Pete and Myka; Mata Hari’s’ silk stockings, which cause men to do whatever the wearer tells them do; and the chains of Torquemada, the torturing priest from the Spanish Inquisition.
Pete and Myka may also have to deal with Artifact Zero — “The first artifact collected for the first warehouse, the most dangerous artifact, the most powerful that’s ever been and that started the idea of putting these things away,” Kenny says.
One artifact that might pop up in a future season is Hitler’s microphone.
“I’ve been pitching it for two seasons,” Kenny says. “You come up with a cool artifact, you just have to find the right story. In the future, I want to do a story where some talk-radio guy gets a hold of Hitler’s microphone.”