Is this really happening? Eureka is back for its fifth and final season Monday (9/8c, Syfy) with a humdinger of an episode that has the starship Astraeus landing safely on Earth after its unplanned launch. But the crew members weren't in outer space for only a few hours like they thought — they were out there for four years! Naturally, the folks back home have moved on with their lives. Kids have grown up. New romances have blossomed. And sinister forces are now in charge of Global Dynamics. TV Guide Magazine spoke with Colin Ferguson — aka Sheriff Jack Carter — about these wild developments, the show's surprise demise, and what's in store for the series finale.
TV Guide Magazine: What a way to start your last season. This sounds crazy.
Ferguson: It is crazy! We find out what really happened to the Astraeus and the story steamrolls from there. We've got an unexpected villain, scenarios that are real and not real, people existing or not existing. It's all about the trick of being human in a world where you can replicate everything. And on top of that we've got a badass dragon coming! I think the season premiere is the best episode we've ever done. We went a million dollars over budget on that hour — it's that gorgeous — then we all had to suffer for it during the remaining episodes. [Laughs] But it was worth the pain.
TV Guide Magazine: Were you shocked Syfy chose not to keep Eureka? It's still a hit!
Ferguson: The cast contracts were all coming to an end so we knew there was a good chance the show was ending, too. But it was still a surprise because we never had better ratings than we did last season and we're as strong as we've ever been, creatively speaking. I was incredibly grateful we got the word [about the cancellation] three weeks before we stopped shooting. We all had a chance to say goodbye, not just to each other but to the sets, too. When we wrapped our last scene at Café Diem there were huge waterworks. Chris Gauthier, who plays Vincent, just melted. Then Neil Grayston, who plays Fargo, said, "This suddenly got real." And that made us all fall apart. Then, for me, it happened again when I went back to my trailer on the final night of shooting. I'm thinking, "This is the last time I will ever take this walk. This is the last time I will ever see my name on this trailer door." I took a picture of it. [Sighs] I don't mean to be maudlin.
TV Guide Magazine: Hey, maudlin's good.
Ferguson: [Laughs] We earned it! It's so strange. For everyone else it's a TV show. For us...well, it really changed our lives. And I really miss the people. Neil Grayston and Niall Matter [Zane] just became roommates in LA. so I see them every couple of days. I still see Jordan Hinson [Zoe] a fair bit. I've known her since she was 13. She's my girl.
TV Guide Magazine: Looking ahead to the last episode, is there much closure?
Ferguson: My death scene is amazing! [Laughs] Juuust kidding. Actually, there's not a major sense of finality. Finales can really suck when you try to do too much. It's by no means low-key or just another day at the office. Big things happen. Big story arcs are closed. But it's not done in a cataclysmic, the world-is-gonna-end sort of way. They've left it open so they could do a spinoff if they want, though it feels like [the upcoming Syfy series] Bob From Corporate is already a spinoff in a way. It's about a group of people who take care of science gone wrong. I'd love to do a Eureka movie for Syfy. Our sets are gone but our characters could move to Chicago to handle an urgent problem. [Laughs] Only with us, it would probably be more like Bakersfield or Stockton.
TV Guide Magazine: How do you think the fans will feel about the finale?
Ferguson: It'll be pretty bittersweet for them. Our audience is already so sad that the show is going away. I get tweets all the time. We're a very intergenerational show, one that a lot of people watch with their kids, and they're like, "Nooooo! This can't be happening!" But nothing goes on forever. The best we can do is wrap it up in an honorable way. And it's best not to stay a season too long. We've all seen those shows. Better to go out on top.
TV Guide Magazine: So no regrets? Lucky you.
Ferguson: It's funny because when we started Eureka, I wanted us to be edgy and hard but when it turned into this family show and I saw what it does for people I realized it's much more important to be valued and appreciated. Anybody can be edgy. And I love the journey my character has taken. He started out the series as a bad father, a bad husband and a lifetime workaholic. Now Carter is a much better dad, a good partner and a real part of his community. He has embraced his community. He's gone from outsider to insider, from jerk to hero. It's an arc I've been very pleased and proud to play.