Small town, big secrets

2010-10-16 10:10

Heroes, Lost, Flash Forward, The Event. These are just some of the addictive TV shows that have ­become a global obsession.

Haven is the new kid on the quickly shrinking sci-fi block, piquing the interest of viewers with its tagline, “small town, big secrets”. It’s just enough to cause a buzz. The show seems to have all the trappings. It’s based on Stephen King’s ­novella, The Colorado Kid, and is set in a small town called Haven.

Filmed on the island of Nova Scotia, Canada, the ­ambience of the place fits the series perfectly – foggy, creepy weather that can turn into hail or a burst of sunshine all in a few minutes.

Of course, the fact that the trio of actors who make up the obligatory love triangle – Emily Rose (Brothers and Sisters), Eric Balfour (24 and Six Feet Under) and Lucas Bryant – are easy on the eye guarantees lots of paparazzi attention, cover stories and column inches for the series.

Rose is a big-city detective, Audrey Parker, sent to Haven to solve the murder of a mysterious man. She uses wit and smarts to put up walls, and has an ambiguous past that adds enigma.

The blue-eyed blonde describes her character as a strong female lead. “I could never play a glitzy Gossip Girl type. I like to be kick-ass.”

Rose says she enjoys characters with layers. “There are many facets to the story despite it ­going unsolved. That’s the same feeling you get with Audrey – her being an orphan already brings up so many questions. She is a workaholic defined by her job, and is defensive. But you see her become a friend to Nathan (Bryant) and so the layers are peeled back.

“Audrey is most comfortable when weird things are happening; that’s her comfort zone,” says the former ER actress.

This, however, doesn’t really set the series apart from others in the genre. Heroes and Lost, for example, followed a similar premise of delving
into the unknown.

Bryant, who plays detective Nathan Wournos and Parker’s love ­interest, is quick to throw cold water on this theory. “The thing about ­Haven is that the idea of having power is something suggestive. Many people who live in the town don’t even realise they can or are causing things to happen. The premise of using power for good or evil is explored a lot more, and there is a larger mythology surrounding that.”

Bryant’s character also has secrets of his own and finds it difficult to relate to people.

He describes the series’ qualities as the rabbit-hole effect. “We can’t ignore the effect of these kind of shows; they pull people in, surprise, ­mystify and finally pull the rug out from under everyone. People will come back because, as some questions get answered, more arise.”

The third lead is played by Eric Balfour, the ­local bad boy. Heroes had Sylar while Lost had a whole bunch of maniacs. Balfour plays Duke, the swashbuckling bad boy who lives on a boat in the fishing town. This forces Audrey into the classic female conundrum of choosing between two love interests.

Balfour describes his character as a pirate who lives by his own rules. “He is an uncompromising man, but still easy to like. There is no ­negotiations when it comes to him, but at the same time he will do anything to protect the people he loves. Duke holds the key to Audrey’s past, but he is a snake in the grass so she finds it difficult to trust him. He is a Machiavelli.”

Balfour, who considers himself a “struggling musician”, adds his take on sci-fi appeal. “These kind of shows exist in their own realm; they could never exist in the real world. They are not necessarily about the mystery but the people ­behind the character.”

The final episode aired last week in the US, but the show has been picked up for a second season.

  • Haven premiers tonight with a double episode on ­Universal Channel at 8pm

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