Jack Kenny and his dog RG
A few weeks ago, I spoke to Warehouse 13 executive producer Jack Kenny about the new season of the show, his philosophy of writing, and how he makes the characters come to life four and a half seasons in.
The Backlot: Jack! Great to talk to you again. So Warehouse 13 premieres April 29th, right?
Jack Kenny: April 29th, at 10PM, right after the third airing of Defiance.
The Backlot: You’re following up on SyFy’s newest gigantic multimedia project.
Jack Kenny: We are, behind the behemoth. We’re still the same show, action adventure thrillomedy. I haven’t seen Defiance yet. I’m sure we’ll cross demographics quite a bit. I just hope people know we’re on, because we normally return in July at 9PM, and now we’re back early at 10PM. I just hope people know we’re on and watch it within three days of the first airing.
The Backlot: So we’re coming in at the 4.5 season. Where does the story pick up?
Jack Kenny: We pick up right after Artie has been stabbed to get the evil out of him with a dagger that belonged to a Jesuit priest who used it for exorcisms, and Claudia figures it out in a moment, and stabs Artie and tears the evil out of him. But of course, the cliffhanger was that we don’t know if Artie lives or dies, so we’ll find out when we come back.
The other thing that happens of course is that a plague gets released into the world, so we’re cleaning up a lot of that, make that disappear, and bring Artie back. But even bringing Artie back physically, the difficulty is what he’s done. He killed Leena. We spend several episodes trying to come to terms with that. Yes, he was under the thrall of an artifact, it wasn’t his hands that did it, but it was his hands. And he has to deal with that, it’s the worst thing he’s ever had to deal with. The family pulls together in some really cool ways, Claudia especially. They really rally around Artie, and he and Claudia have some really nice missions running around picking up artifacts trying to help him deal with what he’s done.
The theme for the last two seasons has been mortality. We’ve established our family now, and they all know each other, they love each other. It’s a family show where everyone also happens to run around and chase artifacts, but it’s really about this family and how they help each other through their lives. Every family has to deal with mortality one way or another. Some sort of loss, some sort of devastation, and this is our family dealing with it.
Artie killed a member of the Warehouse family this year
The Backlot: We rely on this show for the relationships and the humor. But you haven’t gone too dark with Leena’s death and a plague on the earth, have you?
Jack Kenny: Absolutely not. I think we actually lighten up with the last ten episodes than we did with the first ten episodes. The first ten, especially with Artie being the Big Bad for the season. I don’t think we ever get as dark as killing Leena. We still have humor, we still have lighthearted romps, just like all of life’s tragedies, there’s humor to help you get through them. So it will still be the same show. Pete will still be farting and eating everything he sees and Myka will still be rolling her eyes and trying to make him behave as something other than the twelve year old he is.