Here's the full text of this week's feature story on the Syfy series premiering tonight ...
Acclaimed novelist Stephen King is known for stories set in his native Maine that feature supernatural elements.
The latest adaptation of his work is indeed set in Maine, but had to have the supernatural elements added in - which might be a first.
On Friday, July 9, Syfy debuts "Haven," a new one-hour drama loosely based on a 2005 King novella called "The Colorado Kid," which dealt with the mystery of a body found on a small island off the coast of Maine.
In the TV show, Emily Rose (above, "John From Cincinnati," "Jericho") stars as FBI Agent Audrey Parker, who arrives in little Haven, Maine, to solve the murder of a local ex-con.
Before long, she discovers the town is a refuge for people with supernatural abilities - and it may hold a clue to the orphaned Audrey's own mysterious past.
Lucas Bryant (center, in photo below) stars as local police officer Nathan Wuornos, who becomes Audrey's investigative partner; and Eric Balfour (at left in photo below) as charming local Duke Crocker.
A few years ago, longtime pals and writing partners Jim Dunn and Sam Ernst were handed "The Colorado Kid" by producers Shawn Piller, Lloyd Segan and Scott Shepherd, whose previous credits include the long-running USA series version of King's "The Dead Zone."
The original story is long on mystery but short on answers.
"With 'The Colorado Kid,'" says Dunn, "Stephen King set up a template for a place and a few characters in the novella. King really doesn't touch on the supernatural much, and everyone agreed that we needed to bring the supernatural element (to the TV adaptation), which is largely what Sam and I brought.
"It's one of the reasons we held our breath when we sent our stuff to Stephen King, because we were adding a major element to what he had put in place in the novella."
Recalls Ernst, "We sparked to the novella and came up with a bunch of ideas, and over time eventually sent them all to Stephen King in a big document of everything we wanted to do. Then we held our breath.
"He sent us an email back that said, 'Sounds like a blast.' That's a quote. We finally let go of our held breath and started writing."
Nova Scotia, Canada, stands in for Maine in "Haven." The two places are not that far apart geographically, but shooting in the beautiful but rustic location is proving a challenge.
"As we speak," says Rose, calling in from the "Haven" set, "I am standing under a blue rain tent in front of a propane heater, because I'm just so cold."
But the blond-haired, blue-eyed Rose is thrilled to not just be playing someone's girlfriend orHaven_Eric_Balfour_Lucas_Bryant_Emily_Rose.jpg wife, but a tough career woman.
"I was just really excited to be able to play an FBI agent," she says. "It's great to be able to play a real serious role, a cool, sassy, smart, independent, funny but really deep character. It's such a treat when it comes along - especially when they're written really well also."
King is known for creating complex characters, and it looks like Ernst and Dunn have done the same for Audrey.
"The detail about her that I absolutely love," Rose says, "is the fact that she's an orphan. She's been thrown around from place to place until she was 18. Now she's an FBI agent. By nature, she's definitely driven and aiming to be a good investigator, partially, I'm sure, because she can't figure out that mystery of herself.
"She's running along on her hamster wheel, with her little driven self and nature, and all of a sudden, somebody stops that wheel. (In Haven), she is thrown out of it for a second, because there's a clue that just lands right in her fact that says, 'You might be connected to this place.'
"For the first time in her life, she resonates with that and has to stop her life for a minute. I think how she's adjusting to Haven is, sometimes when people don't want to deal with things, they wind up digging right back into their work. I think Haven offers a lot of that, because there are so many mysteries and things that are happening around this quirky area that she has to look into.
"But she still does have that constant panging of, 'Am I connected here? Was my family from here? Was my mother from here?' There are all these looming identity questions that she has to face and deal with."
All of this also raises the question of just how Audrey wound up investigating in a place that may be linked to her past.
"But is it bad?" says Rose. "Is it people in the FBI or the town of Haven? Has Haven drawn other characters to it? We don't know yet. She, for sure, doesn't know that yet."
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