In the universe of “Warehouse 13” — a government facility in South Dakota stuffed with objects from history that have often-dangerous supernatural powers — Wells is the sister and inspiration for her brother, Charles Wells, who wrote the famed H.G. Wells stories.
Recruited as an agent by an earlier incarnation of the Warehouse in the late 19th century, Wells let her grief over her daughter’s murder get the best of her and was “bronzed” and imprisoned. Released in the 21st century, her destructive acts put her back into captivity.
But it’s tough to leave a good character in cold storage.
Says Jack Kenny, the executive producer and showrunner of “Warehouse 13,” “Myself and one of the other writers, Bob Goodman, went in to talk to Syfy about spinning off H.G. and basically doing a series with her as an action hero/Sherlock Holmes in 1893 England.
“They really loved it. They loved the character. They love that whole world of steampunk. We’re developing it now. We had one meeting. We pitched it to them; they loved the idea. They told us to come back and pitch some more specifics and stuff.
“Then, all of a sudden, it’s in the press, and we’re doing it. I’m like, ‘Whoa, guys, wait!’ I was getting calls from the ministry in Toronto, saying, ‘Will you shoot it up here?’ ‘Shoot it? We haven’t even finished pitching it!'”
Among the issues to be worked out is how to film a period series on a cable budget.
“I don’t know how we do all that,” Kenny says. “My guess is it would be harder to do that as a location shoot. We’d have to have some big stages and build some sets that could be modular and put together for various parts of London and England and things like that.”
But it’s early days, and Kenny might change his mind.
“I don’t know necessarily that it would happen in London,” he says. “We could have her come to New York and work there, because I’ve been reading books about that period, and it’s fascinating and wonderful. We can play with history, anyway, so why not?”
Kenny says a final decision could come fairly soon.
“No decision can be ever be made until the script’s in, and they see it,” he says. “We’re probably meeting with Syfy at the end of this month to have what they call a ‘creative commencement’ meeting, where we seriously talk about episode ideas, pilot ideas, the arc of the series, the characters.
“We’ve pitched sketches of all those things to get them interested, but now we’re in the deal-making process and then in the commencement process. By the end of the summer, we should know pretty much what’s what. We wrap [on ‘Warehouse 13’] July 25, and then Bob and I are both free to write our little hearts out.”
As for how he would work on two series at once, Kenny says, “Oh, I don’t know. My heart is in ‘Warehouse 13,’ so I’d find a way to do both.”