Sci-Fi Series Inspired By Indiana Jones Is A Throwback To Television’s Best Era

By Jonathan Klotz | Updated

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the greatest movies in history, so taking inspiration from Harrison Ford’s world-traveling archeologist would be a no-brainer. Except that’s not what happened with this fun-loving SyFy series; instead, the very last shot of the film with the gigantic warehouse filled with recovered artifacts inspired Warehouse 13.

The series was infused with more pure 80s goodness by way of the Bruce Willis show Moonlighting, and even today, 15 years after it premiered, Warehouse 13 is the perfect guilty pleasure.

A Series About Where Artifacts Are Stored

When Warehouse 13 hit the air in 2009, sci-fi shows on television were getting darker and leaning into vast conspiracies, such as Lost, V, and Battlestar Galactica. SyFy went the opposite direction with the series, which, from the first episode to the last, is filled with hope, optimism, and characters trying to become better people, and it’s all the better for it.

Character Archetypes Done Perfectly

Warehouse 13 starts out with a pair of Secret Service agents, Peter (Eddie McClintock) and Myka (Joanne Kelly), being recruited as the new field agents for the Warehouse, located in South Dakota, under the supervision of Artie (Saul Rubinek), the knowledgable curator, and supported by Leena (Genelle Williams), an aura-reading bed and breakfast owner. At the start of Season 2, Claudia (Allison Scagllioti) joins as a permanent cast member, while ATF agent Jinks (Aaron Ashmore) starts appearing in Season 3.

Formulaic Television Carried By The Cast

While Warehouse 13 uses the standard procedural formula of having to solve an artifact-related issue each week, everyone on the cast and every guest star fully understood the assignment.

Pete is the rule-breaking agent who wants to be a sauve ladies’ man but is a puppy dog, while Myka is the book-smart rule follower, and so, of course, there’s chemistry between them. Artie steps in as a father figure for Claudia, but really, the series can take any pair of characters and work a whole episode around the different personalities bouncing off one another.

Sometimes, all a show needs to be a success is well-written characters and a willingness to lean into the inherent fun of science fiction instead of trying to prove how, this time, it’s different.

Wild Artifacts From Throughout History

The artifacts that the team collects are all normal items that have been infused with power, like a Christmas ornament from World War 1 that became empowered on the day that the soldiers stopped fighting and celebrated the Holiday together.

The binoculars used by the crew of the Enola Gay, which dropped one of the atomic bombs, is another artifact. No matter how random or obscure the trivia may get, Warehouse 13 somehow makes it interesting, even to the point of famous director Cecille B. Demille’s riding crop featuring in a few episodes.

No other show will turn an invasion of dancing girls from the musical 42nd Street into a harrowing experience.

Famous Guest Stars

Though the artifacts are fun, as you never know what may come up, the guest stars keep the good times going with a lot of Star Trek veterans making appearances, from Deep Space Nine’s Rene Auberjonois to Voyager’s Jeri Ryan and Kate Mulgrew (playing Pete’s mom), and the always game Brent Spiner. Warehouse 13 even confirmed the SyFy shared universe by crossing over with Eureka (after the dimension shift) and Alphas (which also had a Brent Spiner guest appearance).

Available Streaming Options


Science fiction shows don’t have to be all about examining the meaning of human existence; they can be fun, hopeful, and optimistic, too. Warehouse 13’s rapid-fire banter, fun use of history, and well-developed characters make it stand out for those looking for something different. The series is available on Amazon Prime and also video on demand through AppleTV and Vudu.