Book Club

Noah Wyle’s back as The Li­brar­ian, and he’s en­listed some fresh re­cruits

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red alert -

The Li­brar­i­ans are back with a 10- part se­ries, and added Mys­tique.

Ten years ago, flynn Car­son ( Noah Wyle) took up the man­tle of the Li­brar­ian – mild man­nered book­worm turned saviour of hu­man­ity – in a trio of TV movies. Now Car­son is re­turn­ing in a 10- episode Li­brar­i­ans TV se­ries, and, ac­cord­ing to showrun­ner John Rogers, Wyle was in­stru­men­tal in en­sur­ing the doors to the li­brary stayed open.

“Noah loves this character beyond all rea­son,” Rogers tells Red Alert. “He, Dean [ Devlin, co- cre­ator] and Michael White, the for­mer head of TNT, were the guys who brought this back be­cause no one else loves this character and this show as much.”

With Wyle busy fight­ing alien in­vaders on Fall­ing Skies, Car­son will play fifth fid­dle to a quar­tet of new re­cruits in The Li­brar­i­ans’s first sea­son. “Flynn’s a bit mad, a bit spacey by the time we meet him be­cause he’s been do­ing this alone for a decade,” says Rogers. “So he finds four re­cruits, in­structs them and then he goes off to solve the big prob­lem that’s hap­pen­ing.”

Among the fresh faces Flynn en­lists are Re­becca Romijn’s no- non­sense prag­ma­tist Colonel Eve Baird, Christian Kane’s se­cretly smart his­to­rian Jake Stone, Lindy Booth’s maths whizz Cas­san­dra Cil­lian and John Kim’s un­re­pen­tant master crim­i­nal Ezekiel Jones. “They’re the kind of peo­ple you need when you’re telling pulp sto­ries. It’s very Doc Sav­age in its mod­els,” Rogers ex­plains. “They’re given, in the­ory, the ‘ train­ing wheels’ mis­sions. But when magic’s com­ing back to the world any one of those mis­sions can kill you.”

A team track­ing down mag­i­cal arte­facts? So far, so Ware­house 13, but Rogers brushes off

“We have an episode with Bruce Camp­bell as a cranky Santa Claus”

sur­face level sim­i­lar­i­ties to the Syfy show in favour of a genre clas­sic. “One of our touch­stones was the great, funny X- Files episodes, the episodes where you didn’t know what was go­ing to hap­pen. This is a mag­i­cal world that has a sur­face of nor­mal­ity, but be­cause of events in the first two episodes magic is start­ing to come back re­ally strong.”

And much like early X- Files, The Li­brar­i­ans will mix se­ri­alised and episodic sto­ry­telling in or­der to ap­peal to ded­i­cated and ca­sual fans. “We have a haunted house episode, one with Bruce Camp­bell as a cranky Santa Claus and another where the dragons are com­ing back,” says Rogers. “Each one is a stand­alone pulp tale linked to the big pay­off.”

The world of The Li­brar­i­ans may be a dan­ger­ous one, but it’s far from adults- only view­ing. “A lot of genre shows stray to­wards dark­ness be­cause they’re strain­ing for cred­i­bil­ity. There’s value to be had in a show I can watch with my kids and not be bored,” Rogers says. “Dean and I are gi­ant Doc­tor Who fans and when we were de­vel­op­ing this he said, ‘ Amer­ica doesn’t have its Doc­tor Who. It doesn’t have its dif­fer­ent-themed- episode-ev­ery- week show.’ Now that’s a very high bar and I’m not go­ing to say we hit it, but I hope when peo­ple watch it they’ll know it was in­formed by that sen­si­bil­ity.”

The Li­brar­i­ans starts on Syfy this De­cem­ber.

“Just put the thing in the thing, see?”

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