We Recommend: Haven
You may not have heard of Haven, it only launched last year on the Syfy channel and, even though based on a Stephen King short story, it didn’t seem to gather the same kind of attention as other Syfy shows such as A Town Called Eureka, Warehouse 13 and Sanctuary. Set in a small town in Maine, Haven, the show follows the investigations of FBI Agent Audrey Parker into the ‘troubled’ people of the town.
Basically, there are odd and seemingly supernatural forces at play and every so often (around 20 years or so), a phenomenon called ‘The Troubles’ comes over the town, affecting only certain people and inflicting them with all kinds of woes – like not being able to feel anything, making food and drink decay purely by their presence, turn into shape-shifters. No-one seems to know what brings on the ‘troubles’ or why only certain people are affected, but the Haven Police Department has an established tradition of keeping any such stories under the radar and offering official explanations of mysterious happenings instead.
In the first season, FBI Agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) found herself in Haven on a case, and stayed – taking leave from the FBI and then becoming part of the Haven Police Department as the season unfolded. She appeared to be immune to the ‘troubles’ and thus could help troubled people deal with their problems and new abilities, while keeping other town-folk safe. Assisting her was Nathan Wuornos (Lucas Bryant), of the Haven Police Dept and his school-friend, petty criminal Duke Croker (Eric Balfour). Starting a little weakly, the show soon picked up as it embraced the mythology of Haven and explored characters more deeply and it ended on a particularly strong cliff-hanger, which I’m not going to spoil here.
The second season starts as the first finished, so don’t be put off if you’ve never seen an episode before. This is a charming show that develops its characters well and embraces its mythology. In fact, the first episode establishes all the characters again, making it a perfect point to jump into the show. With recurring guest stars of Jason Priestley (as an obnoxious marine biologist), Vinessa Antoine (as someone from Duke’s past) and Stephen McHattie (playing Rev Driscoll, who fears the troubled folk of Haven and preaches to the non-afflicted) the show expands and gets even more interesting than during the first season.
Haven may not be the most talked about show on TV, but it’s definitely a bit of a hidden gem for the Syfy channel and deserves to be given a chance in anyone’s schedule.
Haven returns for its second series on Syfy UK on 11th October at 9pm.