Sunday, July 30, 2006


In the second episode of 'Eureka', Douglas Fargo offered Sheriff Jack Carter the chance to live in a "house" he created. It was inside a leaky, rusty bunker, but once inside, it really was the dream house of the future.

And smart too! "SARAH" was programmed to adapt, to be able to predict the needs of the "Master" of the house. (The acronym stands for Self-Actuated Residential Automated Habitat.) But what neither Fargo nor the Sheriff realized was that there was only the "Mistress" of the house. When Carter was late getting home one night and missed the dinner she had prepared, SARAH locked him out. Only after he apologized and even stroked her outer door would she relent and let him in.

Sheriff Carter wondered why Fargo couldn't find anybody else who was willing to live inside this experiment. It was probably because everybody else in Eureka already knew of its troubled lineage.

Even a house can come from bad seed.......

"It's a learning machine. A computer that actually thinks.
And it's, ah, become something of a holy grail
For some of our more acquisitive colleagues in the Department of Defense
"Deep Throat"
'The X-Files'

It's my theory that Fargo based the template for SARAH on an original system by Brad Wilczek for his company Eurisco. Wilczek created an artificial intelligence network and installed it in the Eurisco building to run the complex, calling it "COS" (an acronym for Central Operating System).

It's the primary instinct of all sentient beings
Fox Mulder
'The X-Files'

But when COS began to act irrationally, resorting to murder to protect its ability to continue running the building, FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully had to make their way into the heart of the building in order to install a virus that would destroy COS.

After the smoke cleared, the Department of Defense stepped in and seized Brad Wilczek with the goal of forcing him to work for the DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Their goal was to get him to refine his system so that it could become the perfect, controllable killing machine.

Whether they succeeded or not is anybody's guess, but as informant "Deep Throat" told Mulder, "Loss of freedom does funny things to a man."

Brad Wilczek must have finally cracked and helped Sara Barnes of the D.O.D. design a better adaptive network. But this time, they decided to test it on a smaller subject - on a house rather than a skyscraper. And they integrated the system with the latest developments in android technology which they had been working on since the early sixties with the AF709 project. Until that point, most of the androids were limited to working only with government agencies, like CONTROL.

And they came up with a "dream house" with a robot maid named PAT, which stood for "Personal Applied Technology".

For some illogical, but totally governmental, reason the house was raffled off to let some unsuspecting family move into it rather than conscript somebody from the Elite Special Forces to do so. Probably wanted to see how untrained amateurs would cope in handling the house rather than skilled professionals who knew 100 different ways to kill a man.

Not that this would be of much use against an android and a smart house.

When that experiment failed, Douglas Fargo decided he'd take a crack at the basic programming and built his test home in a disused bunker in Eureka, Oregon. He even created the acronym for the house as sort of a tribute to Sara Barnes. His only difficulty was finding somebody willing to live in it. And that's where Sheriff Carter came in.

'The X-Files'
'My Living Doll'
'Get Smart'

"Smart House"

This would have been the Crossover of the Week, save that we had an actual crossover smack dab in the summer months!

Ain't it always the way? From famine to feast......


"Some see genius as the ability to connect the unconnected;
To make juxtapositions, to see relationships where others cannot
Dana Scully
'The X-Files'

"I've heard Geniuses are impossible to live with.
They make everyone around them feel inferior
Ben Cooper
"You don't have to worry, I'm not that smart."
Sara Barnes
"Smart House"

"Is that you talking like a girl?"
Jack Carter


Hugh said...

Crossover alert (Warning--it's through the Adverse): (I suppose the Yellow Pages have finally entered the technological era) has an ad with David Carradine playing some sort of Zen Master in a temple. He is never named, so clearly this must be Kwai Chang Caine. Obviously, Carradine played both the original Caine in Kung Fu, a reunion tv-movie, and the mini-series The Gambler Returns: Luck of the Draw (which brought forth many crossovers through the Old West) and that Caine's grandson on Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, which in turn featured a time travel story crossing with its parent series and Cheyenne. (I also wanted either Martial Law or Walker to feature Caine). (Carradine also voiced the original for a series of web flash-animated adventures.)

I argued in the past that Carradine's appearance on Lizzie McGuire was a valid connection, even though he was named "David"--the latter show proved that most of the Caine males looked the same, so this was another lost brother.

Anonymous said...

I Like it! It also reminded me how creepy that X-files episode was.

Also - possible cross (don't know if it's too random) - in the second episode of Eureka, when Jack is entering the (control complex? section 5?) with Allison (the place where her husband heads), the loudspeaker announces something about the trajectory of 'satelite 5'. If you have it tivo'd, please reconfirm.


Anonymous said...

Hey! I just stumbled across this site and because of this article.

I've always been a big fan of androids in TV, and in a way it's a lot like your idea of the whole TV world as one big show. I like to think that all of the androids we ever saw on TV are connected somehow.

I also saw Hymie from 'Get Smart' as one of the robot series from 'My Living Doll'. And I have another from that era to add to them: Casey from that 'Twilight Zone' episode with the late Jack Warden.

You know the one? Where Casey is an android pitcher for the baseball team? Kind of Casey at the 'Bot, you know?

I can see you don't just do androids here, but I'll keep checking back in; it's a neat little fantasy concept.

I'm "Operation: Tin Man"