When he visits Australia for the first time later this week, US actor Eddie McClintock is hoping to squeeze in a few very Aussie activities.
“Is there any chance I may get a Vegemite sandwich?” he asks.
“And what’s that band, Men at Work? Is there any chance I will see some men at work? And I want to go diving with a great white shark.”
McClintock, who stars as Secret Service agent Peter Lattimer on Warehouse 13 will appear at the fan-event A Warehouse in Eureka in Sydney and Melbourne.
“On my Twitter feed I get messages from Australian fans saying ‘We can’t wait for you to come down.’ I think it will be great. We’re going to walk to the top of the bridge in Sydney. I hear it’s pretty cool,” he says.
“If Oprah did it then I’ve got to do it.”
McClintock grew up loving Godzilla, Johnny Socko, Ultraman, Lost in Space, and early sci-fi films like The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Earth vs. The Flying Saucers. On Warehouse 13, he is joined by Joanne Kelly as Secret Service Agent Myka Bering, assigned to the government’s secret warehouse for supernatural and historic artifacts.
“At the end of Indiana Jones they put the ark of the covenant in a warehouse, and that’s kind of what the warehouse is. It’s a depository for all the things that we’ve discovered over the centuries that are better kept out of the hands of the ordinary person or the bad guy,” he explains.
“The (fictional) warehouse has been in the US since the 40s. It was in the UK before that, and there was one in Rome, and it almost went to Germany in ’42. It’s been in the centre of man’s power of the time. Whoever is best equipped to take care of the warehouse is where it ends up.
“The writers come up with some of the greatest stuff. They asked me what my favourite artifact is and I said Abe Lincoln’s hat because Pete put on Abe Lincoln’s hat and had an uncontrollable urge to ‘free’ (warehouse director) Mrs. Frederic.
“I thought it was brilliant and the sci-fi fans loved it.”
The warehouse provides an endless array of story ideas, but the show is also about the chemistry between the key characters.
“In Season Two we travelled in time on H.G. Wells’ Time Machine. We’re able to travel forward in time, backward in time. The plotline can go anywhere. We’ve been picked up for Season Four and I’m excited to see where we’re going to go.
“But the warehouse and the artifacts are just plot devices to get to what the show really is and that’s a story about a family. A land of misfit toys put together under mysterious circumstances.
“Pete tends to be silly at times but what I like about him and the show is that they can be funny and lighthearted one moment and the next moment they can be incredibly touching and heartfelt. I think that’s why the viewers have held onto it so strongly because they never know what to expect.”
Joining him for the Australian fan events are Eureka cast members Colin Ferguson, Neil Grayston and Niall Matter.
“The two shows exist in the same universe and the same universe as Alphas. Lindsay Wagner who was on our show went to Alphas as the same character she played on our show. So that was a cool crossover,” McClintock says.
The former Bionic Woman was just one of several guest stars, along with Star Trek: Voyager’s Jeri Ryan and Kate Mulgrew. But not all the guest star appearances have gone so smoothly.
“Kate Jackson was on our show, but she didn’t make it to air. But I might get in trouble…” he says with some hesitation.
“All I can say is it didn’t go so well. She worked for one day, so I got to meet one of the Angels and then said goodbye.
“But the show’s come a long way since Season One. They always say it takes a show a full season to hit its stride and that’s based on a 22 episode model. Since we only do 12 episodes we’re really just only into our ‘second season’ now.”
In Australia the show airs on the Sci-Fi Channel which resisted the move in the US to switch channel names to Syfy. The US decision outraged loyal viewers. But McClintock sees sense in the shift given it was too heavily aligned with aliens and space.
“Sci-fi is a genre, it’s not a brand. It’s like Coca-Cola just putting Soda on their cans, so I get it. I get both sides,” he concedes.
“Everybody says it’s ‘Siffy’ but I hope they (Australian fans) will forgive me for working on the new version of Syfy in the States.”
A Warehouse in Eureka takes place on Saturday in Sydney and Sunday in Melbourne.