Scott D. Pierce: Syfy creates a 'Haven' on its Friday schedule

Published: Thursday, July 8 2010 3:04 p.m. MDT

Eric Balfour, left, Lucas Bryant and Emily Rose in "Haven."

Eric Ogden, Syfy

Stephen King has had considerable success when it comes to TV movies or miniseries.

Everything from "Salem's Lot" to "Tommyknockers," "The Langoliers" to "The Stand." Just to name a few.

But King has had considerably less success with weekly series. Remember "Golden Years"? Or "Kingdom Hospital"? Or "Nightmares and Dreamscapes"?

Probably not. None of them were around for long enough to make much of an impression. (They lasted eight, 13 and eight episodes, respectively.)

The only King-inspired TV series that lasted more than a handful of episodes was "The Dead Zone," which produced 80 hours over six seasons,

The new series "Haven" stands a chance of being more akin to "Dead Zone" than its three predecessors. For four different reasons.

First, it's on Syfy, which is a better fit for something Stephen King-ish than CBS, ABC or TNT (the homes of the three failed shows).

Second, it's from the producers of "Dead Zone."

Fourth, it's quite loosely based on the King book. Which tends to work better than productions slavish to his original work.

And, fourth, it's not bad. It's actually sort of promising.

Based on King's mystery novel "The Colorado Kid," "Haven" revolves around FBI agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose). She's sent to the small town of Haven, Maine, to look for an escaped killer. And he turns out to be dead.

The circumstances of his death are odd. As is the town.

Weird stuff happens in Haven. Like big cracks suddenly appearing in the roads. And avoiding one of those nearly sends Audrey over a cliff.

That's just the beginning.

Audrey teams up with local cop Nathan Wuornos (Lucas Bryant). And the two very different, very likable characters quickly fall into a rhythm.

"I like the truck," Audrey says of Nathan's ride.

"Thanks. Had it since I was 19," he replies.

"How do you keep a car that long?" she asks.

"I don't drive off cliffs," he deadpans.

Nathan, it turns out, can't feel pain. Which can come in handy.

And then there's the mysterious Duke Crocker (Eric Balfour), who's hiding something.

As Audrey investigates the death, weird weather hits. Really weird weather.

"That fog was strange, right?" Audrey asks.

"Yeah, well, welcome to Haven," says one of the townsfolk.

It seems that "Haven" is a haven for folks with supernatural abilities. Weirder still, Audrey — an orphan — has a tie to the town she never imagined.

It's intriguing enough to bring you back for another look. And we'll see how the series plays out.

And whether there's appetite for two series about strange towns with strange people airing back-to-back — "Haven" and "Eureka."

Maybe.

If so, then "Haven" just might work.

If you watch:

What: The new series "Haven"

When: Friday at 7 and 9 p.m.

Channel: Syfy

The bottom line: Unlike a lot of Syfy's more over-the-top series, this one is somewhat low key. Well, as low key as you can get when you have characters with supernatural powers.

e-mail: pierce@desnews.com

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