Warehouse 13, meet Warehouse 23
(UPDATE 10/26 2:55: See below.) There’s a new show from Universal slotted for the Sci Fi Channel written by Rockne S. O’Bannon (Farscape, Alien Nation, Seaquest) and Jane Epsenson (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica). The press release from SciFi.com – Warehouse 13 Green Lighted:
SCI FI Channel has given a green light to Warehouse 13, a two-hour pilot it describes as part The X-Files, part Raiders of the Lost Ark and part Moonlighting. The pilot for a one-hour drama comedy comes from Universal Media Studios and is slated to begin production in December, with an eye toward a summer 2008 premiere.
After saving the life of the president, two FBI agents find themselves abruptly "promoted" and relocated to windswept South Dakota, to a top-secret location called Warehouse 13: a massive, secret storage facility that houses every strange artifact, mysterious relic, fantastical object and supernatural souvenir ever collected by the U.S. government over the centuries. The duo search the country for several missing objects while monitoring for reports of supernatural and paranormal activity that could indicate the presence of other objects they must retrieve.
Now compare that with this description from Steve Jackson Games for their GURPS RPG supplement Warehouse 23, a book originally published in 1999 that gave SJ Games the name of their online shop, with a very popular basement:
The Ark of the Covenant rests in a crate next to the gold plates of Moroni and the dissected corpses of the Martian invaders. Frozen in ice you’ll find the Jersey Devil, a Yeti, and a bacteria that can eat any metal – it just can’t STOP. Growing in a hidden hydroponics facility is a plant with a fruit that tastes like steak, with enough nutrition in a single serving to sustain you for a week. The plates they serve it on in the cafeteria are made of a 100% biodegradable plastic that – while it’s still fresh – can absorb the kinetic energy of a tank shell without even spilling your drink. You don’t want to know what’s in the drink.
The global power balance teeters on the brink of chaos. We touch too much too soon. We discover things we were never meant to comprehend: Relics created by the whim of mad genius, or aliens, or gods – or godlike DEMONS . . . substances so potent that a handful could destroy our world, computers so subtle that no network is secure from their manipulation, sorceries dark enough to annihilate the purest soul.
Somewhere, those with true Power have built a facility to imprison these forces . . . for proper study. For our own good. To insure order. Until THEY decide to unleash them. They know WE aren’t yet ready for the contents of Warehouse 23. But are they?
Sounds like there’s some, ahh, overlap in these two concepts. And in these two names. Yet there’s no mention of Steve Jackson Games in Sci Fi’s release. Stand back and watch the fireworks.
It should be noted that Steve Jackson Games is notorious for having sued the federal government, winning damages of $50,000 and attorneys’ fees of $250,000 for a Secret Service raid that had been carelessly executed, illegal, and completely unjustified. Bruce Sterling discussed the case in his book The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier. The case also helped to prompt the formation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
UPDATE 10/26 2:55: Phil from the Marketing Department of Steve Jackson Games said that he couldn’t comment on the issue at this time.