As Sheriff Jack Carter on the Sci Fi — sorry, I meant Syfy — series Eureka, Colin Ferguson has to suppress wide-eyed wonder in favor of pragmatism as his everyman character oversees law and order in the titular town full of scientific geniuses working for the U.S. government. The second half of Season Three begins tonight at 9 PM EST and promises plenty of drama, with Carter being fired, his daughter possibly going off to college and his close friend/could have been lover Allison Blake being pregnant with her deceased spouse’s baby. The sheriff will also be getting a new love interest, which shall complicate things further as it is one of Allison’s friends.
When I caught up with Ferguson at the Syfy Upfront party in March for a quick chat, he was jovial, modest and contemplative about the creative approach to the show.
With a series that has so many bizarre things going on, do you ever want the producers to wind it down rather than amp it up?
Yeah. There’s a lot of domestic plotlines this year, but not in a serial [way]. We still have our standalone aspect to the show. I got to direct one episode this year. It’s probably the best episode anyone’s ever directed, for sure! [laughs] One of the greatest things that the show has provided is allowing me to move into directing. That’s been fantastic.
What would you like to see happen on the show that hasn’t?
I’m always pushing for more character stuff. I’m always pushing for smaller dramas, smaller stakes, where one person’s life is going to be affected as opposed to the world’s going down. I enjoy those much more, so that’s my mantra.
Less is more?
Sometimes [with] the template of the world ending, you’re like, “Really?”
It’s like, what can they do with any future Indiana Jones movie? Especially after the last one?
Exactly. It’s fun because having a lower budget’s better. You can’t do the special effects all the time, so you have to lean on character. You have to lean on comedy.
So you prefer having limited budgets?
Yeah, it means we do smaller shoots, seven-day shoots. We have to move on for [new] scenes. That’s where the comedy came from. It wasn’t an initial concept of the show. It’s the stuff that we would throw in when it wasn’t working, so then it became, “This is sort of funny,” and we started to get in that direction. Because it was free. Jokes are free.