For a few weeks now the SyFy Channel has been showing flashes of clips heralding a new project called, Haven. Strangely enough, the previews haven’t interested me in the project as much as confused, especially about whether this was one of SyFy’s infamous made-for-TV movies or an actual show – though I have now established this will be a new Friday night series. But one face I saw in the clips was familiar, and that was of Eric Balfour, early Whedon alum and short-lived Buffy the Vampire Slayer presence. So, in true Whedon-fan fashion, I set out to discover more!
Truth is, I can’t find Balfour listed for any other episode but the premier, though the few sites that mention the series list him as part of the cast alongside star Emily Rose as FBI agent Audrey Parker and Lucas Bryant as Nathan Wuornos. Balfour is set to play, get this, Duke Crocker. Where do they come up with these names? Just the absurdity of it has to mean there will be comedic elements to this show.
Anyway, Haven is based on Stephen King’s novella “The Colorado Kid,” and is set in the small town of Haven, Maine. Parker comes to Haven to solve the murder of an ex-con and, according to the SyFy Channel description, “before long her natural curiosity lands her in the epicenter of activity in this curious enclave, which turns out to be a longtime refuge for people that are affected by a range of supernatural afflictions.” Sounds like everyone is jumping on that departing Heroes train, doesn’t it? And all passengers have Whedon alumni on board: Julie Benz in ABC’s No Ordinary Family and Summer Glau in NBC’s The Cape.
Though it appears the series will depart significantly from the King story, the seeds for the show’s premise are still hidden in his literary depths. The Colorado Kid was published in 2005 and revolves around three characters; Vince and Dave, two local kids who in 1980 find a dead man sitting on a bench, and their audience member of one. The corpse has no identification and immediately sparks curiosity, for what looks like a possible suicide has some curious irregularities. Without any leads, the case becomes nothing but dead-ends. The two-man staff of the Maine newspaper maintain a longstanding fascination with the case, and twenty-five years later use the mysterious tale to ply the friendship and test the investigative mettle of a post-grad intern rookie reporter. Hence, a mystery is born and was apparently been deemed intriguing enough around which to build a series.
Stephen King’s works have done well on the small screen before, with USA’s original series The Dead Zone, and the successful mini-series, The Stand. In fact, The Dead Zone showrunner Scott Shepherd is one of Haven’s creative team, so is it surprising that SyFy has given the concept a 13-episode pick up? I hope Balfour will continue on as part of the cast.
Haven debuts on Friday July 9, 2010 @ 9 PM ET/PT.