A Town Called Eureka, which is also simply known as Eureka, is based in, naturally enough, the town of Eureka. This is a secret research and development town in the United States, described as a town full of geniuses, founded by Einstein following the Second World War. The town’s primary employer is Global Dynamics, essentially a defence and aerospace contractor to the US government.
The main character, Sheriff Jack Carter, a former US Marshall who becomes the sheriff at the request of the previous holder of the office, often seems more than a little out of his depth, as he has little understanding of the technology involved in the many, many problems he deals with regularly, is definitely nowhere near as smart as the rest of the town – even the business owners are found to have degrees in fields related to their work – yet he usually manages to get by and sort things out, even if his descriptions of the technology make a great deal of use of the word ‘thing.’ The level of technology in the town is substantially more advanced than anything that would normally be seen at that time, which is how this comes to be a science fiction programme. This isn’t your regular small town sheriff’s job, and Carter has to deal with situations that simply don’t occur in normal towns. Many of these situations result in the destruction of Carter’s Sheriff’s Jeep; by the end of the series he had gone through a lot of them.
The series has a number of what are essentially meta-plots; as well as the story particular to an episode, there is also another story going on – usually in the background, but it sometimes becomes the main story or takes a more major role – and sometimes two. Each meta-plot runs for quite a few episodes before being resolved, but there is one related to a character that runs off and on through the entire series, and is often connected to the current meta-plot. Despite the sometimes light hearted feel, and the use of humour, the show can be quite often fatal for cast members, in particular minor ones, but even major ones don’t always survive.
Eureka is set in the same fictional universe as some of the other Syfy Channel shows, namely Warehouse 13 and Alphas, and ran for five seasons, and had one Christmas special, with the fourth having a significantly greater number of episodes than the others. The series wasn’t renewed for a sixth season, due to it being very expensive to make, which is hardly surprising as it features things such as spaceflight and time travel as well as the constant presence of advanced technology.