Peril on the Screen

Since I’m still not quite ready for Peril the Third, I’ll instead make an attempt at Peril on the Screen.

Some of you may be familiar with a show called Haven on the SyFy network. If you are, then you can go ahead and skip to the wild speculation section. If not…

Haven is a show loosely based on a short story by Stephen King, called “The Colorado Kid.” I’ve never read it myself, but the impression I get is that the events in that story took place in the town of Haven some decades ago.

The town of Haven will feel very familiar to King readers. It is friendly enough on the surface, but the folks are all troubled by dark secrets. Literally. It seems that every few decades, something called The Troubles return. The nature of The Troubles has yet to be revealed, but their effect is that the townsfolk develop supernatural powers.

When I watched the first episode of Haven, I expected little more than a knock off of The X-Files. One of the main characters is even an FBI agent. But while The X-Files had weirdness happen for its own sake, Haven’s weirdness is (almost) always linked to someone who’s upset over something. This means that the stories are less of the kill-the-monster or quick-invent-some-technobabble sorts, which is mildly refreshing.

Audrey Parker and Nathan Wuornos
Audrey Parker and Nathan Wuornos

As for the main characters, Audrey Parker is an FBI agent who came to the town of Haven to capture a fugitive, if I recall correctly. She discovered a mystery there: a woman in an old newspaper clipping looks exactly like her. Parker is also unaffected by some of the Troubles, including that which affects Nathan Wuornos, a local police officer.

Nathan’s trouble is numbness: he is unable to feel pain or any other physical sensation— except for Audrey. Another main character is Nathan’s old friend, Duke Crocker, who isn’t Troubled, but is still a scoundrel. He’s also the focus of a prophecy which involves a tattooed assassin, and quite probably other nasty things as well.

Two minor characters that I wanted to mention were Vince and Dave Teague, who operate the town’s newspaper, and are therefore the show’s historians. At first, I assumed they were husbands, which I thought was kind of cute. The show has, since then, stated that they are actually brothers.

Now, for my possibly misguided analysis and my probably insane speculations.

I think it’s pretty clear that Audrey represents a healing influence, and Nathan represents Haven itself. My feeling is that there is some sort of cosmic imbalance centered on the town. Periodically, its negative effects build up, and the Troubles happen. In reaction, the universe creates an avatar and sends her off to reset the imbalance. This time around, that avatar is known as Audrey Parker.

Mmm, hmm.

I could, of course, be completely wrong. The Troubles could turn out to be caused by witches, or cursed amulets, or a government conspiracy, or whatever else.

Now for the insane part. A couple of the other shows on SyFy are meant to be in the same continuity. Warehouse 13 and Eureka are obviously connected. Another show, Alphas is rumored to be connected as well: Lindsay Wagner played the same character on both Alphas and Warehouse 13.

I would rather have seen Alphas be connected with Haven instead. The themes are similar. Alphas is also about people who develop unusual abilities, though these abilities are always due to genetics and the brain. This could still have fit in nicely with the cosmic imbalance idea. The Alphas might arise as a sort of “immune response” to the Troubled. It could also have been that Parker’s old FBI boss was involved with Binghampton, a mental institution where rogue Alphas are sent. (An evil version of Professor Xavier’s School, perhaps.)

My guesses are probably nowhere near close, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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One thought on “Peril on the Screen”

  1. We have been watching this show off and on because it is filmed in Nova Scotia, where I live. At some point I would like to watch the entire first season, though, because I don’t think I have seen enough to make a real opinion.

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