Mark Sheppard is becoming the self-titled Jack Cassidy of scifi, and we're perfectly fine with that. We talked to Sheppard about his Warehouse 13 role, and schemed ways to cast him as Dr. Smith in a Lost In Space reboot.
So you're turning up on Warehouse 13 tonight. Is this going to be a recurring character?
That you'll have to see. But yeah, I think the character could return, just based on the nature of his job. [It] sort of hints at that idea that there is more to come.
What can you tell our readers about your character?
Well we've always known that there was something called the Regents. We've always heard of the Regents. We've always thought of Mrs. Frederic as being in the know as to how things are run at the Warehouse. So it could be fascinating on what is above and around Mrs. Frederic.
So what is going on with The Regents? Are they trying to help society or is there something more dubious going on behind the scene?
That, I can't tell you, 'cause I'd have to kill you. Let me explain... In my house I have a collection of chair backs and when we were shooting the end of Battlestar Galactica I had my third chair back, I kept getting a chair back for every episode. My last chair back actually said Mr. President. That chair back stayed hidden from my friends and everybody else for little over a year. So chances of me revealing the plot for Warehouse 13 is very very slim.
I think the great thing about Warehouse 13 is that the show runners have a very good idea of where they are going to go with it, which is what makes the show so good and there is so much more to be revealed as we continue. I think the show has gotten even better and better as it goes forward. I think the second season is just going to be fascinating.
What can you tell us about Benedict Valda?
I can tell you that my character will be appearing in the next episode of Warehouse 13, I can tell you that my character is the mouth piece for the Regents at this point. And you will be introduced to the Regents whom Mrs. Frederic has been dealing with.
You're playing the boss, or the guy with the connections to the boss, what's it like playing someone who appears to have all the authority over your past characters that kind of snuck up on you or shook things up?
Well I think President of the Colonies has a bit of authority.
Yes but that wasn't until the very end of the season, we're talking about throughout the season.
I thought I was running the show. It's all a matter of perspective. Everything in good writing and drama is about perspective...I think there are two great characters you can get to play in this kind of work. One of them is very definitely the last sane man in the universe. You either want to play the guy that has sold out the Universe before you even start, the sort of Dr. Smith from Lost In Space, or you want to play the last sane man, the Eddie Albert in Green Acres. I find both of those characters to be the most fun to do. I think if you really look at what I've been doing, as I slowly turn into the Jack Cassidy of modern television...but as I meander through this stuff, I see that the fans are demanding more and more from television. And I think scifi in particular has evolved. It's no longer just space ships and monster suits.
How has Warehouse 13 helped that evolutionary process of scifi TV?
I don't think you could get Warehouse 13 made six years ago. I don't think anyone was interested. I think the audience is smart and funny, the premise is really good and the casting is fantastic... They are taking a lot of risks and gambles and that's how you make television a lot better... When you look at Warehouse 13, it's easy to dismiss fun television, as somehow having less weight than The Wire. I think we're just as demanding of these kinds of shows as we are of our drama.
Right now there is a reboot trend spreading from Syfy to the networks, as a member of a great reboot, is there another scifi show you'd like to reboot, and who would you play?
I got lots of favorites. I'd like to see Lost In Space. At one point, I thought I was born to play Doctor Zachary Smith.
You heard it here first — make it happen everyone. We should start a "Lampkin for Dr. Smith" campaign right here right now! But until that dream comes true tune into the Syfy channel tonight at 9 PM to find out what Benedict Valda knows about the Regents.