Interview: ‘Eureka’s Neil Grayston Talks Giant Robot Spiders & Hover Bikes

In a world of constantly evolving tech, SyFy’s Eureka stays ahead of the game. The writers seem to have an unending amount of innovations up their sleeves. Between the giant robot spiders, A.I. in the house of tomorrow, and cloud sculpting devices, the scientists at Global Dynamics are kept pretty busy.

That makes double for their new director, Douglas Fargo, played with an affable, geeky charm by Neil Grayston. Just like Fargo, Neil is curiouser than a cat when it comes to gadgets.

The Flickcast: What do you think of the future technology on Eureka that has actually come to pass?

Neil Grayston: I’m always blown away. Sometimes it’s funny if you look back at the first season, some of our “high-tech gadgets” have already been surpassed in the real world a billion times over. It’s like we were really on top of that, someone was really thinking back there. I like looking back and seeing what we maybe thought of before hand and then what the real world was actually leaps and bounds (developing). It’s kinda cool knowing what real scientists are doing and what they’re actually making up.

FC: Do you ever have trouble with the highly scientific, technical lines on the show?

NG: Those are the lines that I usually will…like sometimes I’m going to admit, I cheat, I have my little sides and I cut out just the little technical lines and I make them as small as possible and I hide them in my wardrobe so that you won’t see anything. And then just before a take I’ll just look them over.

I’m fine with the dialogue and the back and forth, but am I going to say a pulsating ionsphere photostar or is it a photographic pulsar ionsphere? You know it’s those little things that I can look up on Wikipedia forever and forever. Fortunately, the Wikipedia entries are written by people who know what those things mean.

FC: How much of the technology on the show is created practically and how much is CGI?

NG: The hero gadgets- the big things like the Tiny’s or the Martha’s are generally visual effects, green screen, but sometimes it’s a mixture of both (practical and visual effects). But, for the most part the little communicators, we’ve got a couple that light up, some don’t (are practical).

There’s a lot of bizarre things, I often find myself just poking around the set, saying, oh, what’s this thing? I can press a button and it’ll actually light up, and these things work on it. It’s more like the world is mostly practical, and the really fancy stuff are visual effects.

FC: What’s your favorite gadget you’d like to see in real life?

NG: Actually the episode, “The Story of O2”, Zane has this vehicle (Sky Cruiser), it’s sort of a hover bike, and it looks so cool. That would just be awesome to be able to (revs engine, makes zipping sound and flight pattern with hands) go really fast.

Also, “Tiny”, that was the big robot in episode 2, (as well as in episode 6). I just think that thing would be awesome to have, just to ride around on with a spear. And be like, “Yeah, that’s me! I’m on a giant robot spider!”

Unfortunately, Douglas Fargo has to get back to work running the government’s most advanced research facility, Global Dynamics.  Luckily, he can skip traffic by riding his new shiny, giant robot spider.

We may have leaked all the important case facts from Fargo’s file, but there’s still much to reveal in the personnel file of Eureka’s finest doctor, Salli Richardson-Whitfield. Keep checking The Flickcast as we talk to residents of the America’s smartest little town.

  • Anonymous
    August 27, 2010 at 7:26 am

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