Grand Designs is a series of Warehouse 13 webisodes on Syfy.com. It is presented by Toyota Prius C.
Link to the full series without the bonus chapter here.
Link to the bonus chapter here.
- Eddie McClintock as Pete Lattimer
- Joanne Kelly as Myka Bering
- Saul Rubinek as Artie Nielsen
- Allison Scagliotti as Claudia Donovan
- Genelle Williams as Leena
- Richard Epcar as Thomas Edison
- Todd Haberkorn as M.C. Escher
- Yuri Lowenthal as Nikola Tesla
- Aimee Carlson, Ian "Maddog" Maddox, Daniel Colman, J.P. Nickel, and Seagan Ngai as Early Regents
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The web series begins when, one rainy day, Pete and Trailer are playing football in the Warehouse. Pete manages to inadvertently throw a pass, which Trailer was supposed to have caught, but instead knocks over several artifacts including a vase. Pete goes to clean up the broken vase, but stops when Trailer gives him a piece of another artifact, a large metal box which, according to the label on the shelf, should not be activated. Pete inserts the key into the box, accidentally triggering the artifact—a model of Warehouse 13, created by Nikola Tesla, M.C. Escher, and Thomas Edison—which causes the entire Warehouse, and everyone inside, to turn into a diorama of the original Warehouse 13.
Pete and Trailer return to Leena, Claudia, Myka and Artie, who are waiting on the balcony outside Artie's office. Artie explains that they are now inside the first Warehouse 13, which burned down years before. The model is a concept representation of what the first Warehouse 13 looked like ("but more 3D," according to Artie) as created by Tesla, Escher, and Edison. The agents decide to find the model and neutralize it, which would return the Warehouse to normal, but the Warehouse suddenly experiences a powerful earthquake, and Artie reveals that the Warehouse was originally powered by three artifacts.
Artie explains that the first Warehouse 13 was powered by three different energy sources: hydroelectricity, wind power, and seismic force. Since there isn't enough time to deactivate the diorama, the agents decide to deactivate the original power sources. Leena, Claudia and Trailer take Claudia's Prius (which she had parked inside the Warehouse against Artie's wishes) to the Anubis Shrine, the seismic power source and which is housed inside the pyramid that also houses the Ancient Archives.
Leena and Trailer enter the Shrine, narrowly avoiding being flattened by pieces of falling ceiling. Rearranging the five molderite crystals that power the Shrine, Leena manages to deactivate the Shrine, which stops any further earthquakes from occurring. At the same time, the other two power sources - Michael de Cervantes' Windmill and the hydroelectric plant - come back on line.
Leena and Trailer go to find the artifact, while Claudia and Artie take the Prius to the Neutralizer Processing Center (the Gooery), which originally housed the hydroelectric generators. Pete, who stayed back at the office to read the Warehouse manual, and Myka use the zipline to try and reach the Windmill, but can't get close enough due to the gale-force winds generated by the Windmill.
On arrival at the Gooery, Claudia and Artie discover that the room is almost completely flooded with neutralizer. Claudia decides to use an old diving suit to open the drain valve that controlled the hydroelectric outflow, but in doing so is sucked into the former outflow. Artie attempts to save her by reversing the flow, but realises he can't do that without electricity. He then uses his Tesla to charge the controls, and reverses the flow to save Claudia.
Meanwhile, Pete and Myka attempt to reach the Windmill by crawling along. The strong winds however are now blowing artifacts off the shelves, making it harder for the two to get close to the Windmill. Pete announces he has an idea, and allows the wind to carry him away. Myka tries to carry on, but is blown away - only to be caught by Pete, who has found Angelo "Charles Atlas" Siciliano's Workout Trunks and is using his newly-altered density to approach the Windmill.
Pete discovers that his altered density won't allow him to get to the Windmill, and instead throws Myka through the door of the Windmill at her suggestion that the Trunks don't just increase density but also strength. Finding Don Quixote's Lance, Myka uses it to jam the mechanism of the Windmill, deactivating it, before going back out to help Pete remove the Trunks, which had pulled Pete to the floor of the Warehouse.
Meanwhile, Leena and Trailer continue to seek the diorama, but are stopped by a fire in the vicinity of aisle YYZ-2112, the home of the diorama. Leena calls Artie on her Farnsworth, and Artie tells her that the temperature controls of the Lehmann Fornax would have been deactivated, causing a fire to start in the Warehouse. Leena and Trailer try to put the fire out briefly, but are picked up by Artie, Claudia, Pete and Myka in the Prius.
As revealed in the bonus chapter and explained to the others by Artie en route to the Lehmann Fornax, the Regents of the original Warehouse 13 asked the era's three most creative men to design it: Thomas Alva Edison (the businessman), Nikola Tesla (the mad scientist), and M.C. Escher (the artist), but they never asked how well these men would work together. Tesla and Edison, the wounds of Tesla's recent win over Edison in the Battle of the Currents still open, could not cooperate. Edison wished to harness the artifacts and their power for the advantage of the Warehouse as the inventory of Warehouse 13 would arrive and the Regents wanted results quickly, and Tesla believed they were too uncontrollable and beyond their understanding, and believed the Warehouse needed a solid technological foundation. The only thing the two inventors could agree on was their mutual contempt for the eccentric Escher, who designed the Warehouse (and possibly the Escher Vault) with the ability to grow, as well as the Warehouse's ability to fold in on itself and even spin; after weeks without progress, Tesla and Edison also began to work independently, with Edison designing the power sources (at least Cervante's Windmill), and Tesla using two giant Tesla Coils. When the trio presented their final design, the diorama, the Regents of the time were skeptical, and the diorama malfunctioned and failed during the presentation. Because of their creative differences and inability to work as a team, the designers of the original Warehouse 13 not only doomed their creation to epic failure, they also turned their diorama into an artifact.
On arriving at the Lehmann Fornax, the agents discover that since the Fornax wasn't found until 1944 - after the original Warehouse 13 burned down - there's no way of getting into the Fornax. Artie sends Claudia, Pete and Myka to look for the Peppermill, which can break down solid matter. However, on finding it, the agents discover that the fire has destroyed the Peppermill.
In the process, Pete accidentally bumps another artifact, which activates the Lumière Brothers' Cinematograph. The camera projects the first film of a train onto a wall - but then projects the train into real life, knocking several shelves over as it slows down. On stopping the train flickers, and fades away, giving Pete an idea on how to get into the Fornax.
Pete brings the Cinematograph back to the non-existent door, and activates it on the space where the door was. The train crashes through the wall, giving the agents a chance to enter the Fornax. On discovering that the cooling pipes were disconnected, Pete and Myka are sent to reconnect them while Artie and Claudia power up the cooling fans. On completing this, the fans activate, putting out the fire.
On exiting the Fornax, the agents discover that the original Warehouse was designed to fold up for storage purposes, to which Pete says "I knew those guys were bug-nuts!" Claudia uses the Prius' onboard GPS to plot the quickest route to aisle YYZ-2112, involving a jump across two sections folding away from each other. Artie then deactivates the diorama, reverting the Warehouse to its normal state.
The others head back to the office, while Pete attempts to get back to where he left off... until Artie reminds him he isn't supposed to play ball inside, as evidenced by the broken vase. As the others drive off, Pete sighs and says "Worst rainy day, ever."
- Original Warehouse 13 Diorama: Transforms the warehouse into a two-dimensional version of the original version of itself. Located on aisle YYZ-2112, it can only be deactivated by inserting the key and turning it, much like a lock. Made into an artifact by the destruction of the original Warehouse 13 and inability of Edison, Tesla, and Escher to work as a team.
- Don Quixote's Lance: Properties unknown. Contained in Miguel de Cervantes' Windmill, it was used by Myka to shut the Windmill down by jamming the gears.
- Miguel de Cervantes' Windmill: Produces gale-force winds. Was one of three artifact power sources used to power the Warehouse in its original design.
- Anubis Shrine: Provides seismic force to power the original Warehouse 13. It is located on top of the pyramid and harnesses the vibrations of green molderite crystals. In order to function properly the crystals must be carefully balanced, if not, the Shrine can cause massive earthquakes.
- Peppermill: Has the power to disintegrate solid matter. Damaged during the fires that broke out in the Warehouse due to the Lehmann Fornax being rendered inoperable.
- Lehmann Fornax: Main heating System of the Warehouse. Not used in the original Warehouse 13, it was deactivated by the Warehouse 13 Diorama, causing fires to break out across the Warehouse. Reactivated by Pete, Myka, Artie and Claudia.
- Angelo Siciliano's Workout Trunks: Allows the wearer to manipulate their density at will. Used by Pete to get Myka into Miguel de Cervantes' Windmill after discovering the gusts generated by the Windmill were too strong to walk through.
- The Lumière Brothers' Cinematograph: Plays the first film made by the Lumiere Brothers of a train pulling into a station. However, the camera doesn't just project the image of the train onto the wall, but projects the actual train into real life. The train which damages anything it comes into contact with as it slows down, and on stopping remains solid for a short time before flickering and fading from view.
- Philip Van Doren Stern's Upholstery Brush: Transports user to an alternate timeline where they never existed. Effects described and identity guessed by Pete and Leena respectively when playing "I Spy" in the bonus chapter.
- Glass Jar from the Donner Party: Induces extreme hypothermia and hunger in whoever puts money into it. Effects described by Pete when playing "I Spy" in the bonus chapter.
- Tesla Targeting Coil: Used by agents for Tesla targeting practice. Seen next to Pete and Trailer while playing football.
- Neutralizer Scrubber: Used to neutralize psychically triggered artifacts by "getting down into" the pores. Passed by Trailer while bringing a football to Pete.
- John Henry's Sledgehammer: An artifact suggested by Pete to try and break the wall blocking access to the Lehmann Fornax after discovering the Disintegrating Peppermill had been been burnt to ash. John Henry is an African American folk hero said to have been tasked with hammering a steel drill into rock to make holes for explosives to blast the rock in constructing a railroad tunnel. According to legend, his prowess as a steel-driver was measured in a race against a steam-powered rock drilling machine, a race that he won only to die in victory with hammer in hand as his heart gave out from stress.
- Ancient Vase: Origin and effects unknown, broken by Pete's thrown football. Said by Artie to be the "ancient vase of-" before being cut off.
- Neutralizer Processing Center: Originally the location of the third power source of the original Warehouse 13, the hydroelectric plant. When the second Warehouse 13 was connected to the national grid, the space occupied by the hydroelectric plant was converted to house the neutralizer pumps.
- Fire Fighting Panniers: While the Warehouse Diorama was active, Trailer wore a set of fire-fighting panniers on his back. They were used when Trailer and Leena worked together to put out fires caused by the inactive Lehmann Fornax. It is not known whether they are controlled by the wearer or by an external operator.
- Green Power Ranger Helmet: Mounted on a helmet pedestal, seen flying by with other artifacts as the Windmill gained power. The helmet most likely belonged to the Americanized version of Super Sentai: Zyuranger, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and it's most famous actor who wore the helmet, Jason David Frank.
- Antique Lamp: A type of old lamp with a lightbulb seen blown away by the Windmill.
- Metal Leg: Presumably either prosthetic or a piece of armor. Seen blown away by the Windmill.
- Greek Vase: A large Grecian vase blown past Myka and Pete by the Windmill.
- Lightsaber: A green lightsaber blown past Myka and Pete by the Windmill. Assumed to belong to Luke Skywalker.
- 50s Television Set: Blown past Pete and Myka by the Windmill.
- Guitar: An acoustic guitar blown away by the Windmill.
- Pie: A large preserved pie that blew past Pete and Myka as they planned on how to stop the Windmill.
- Antique Projector: Assumed to be from around the 1800s. Blew past Pete and Myka as they planned to stop the Windmill.
- Bronze Globe: A Steampunk-esque globe that appears to only show continents, and any ocean is instead empty, showing inner mechanisms. Mounted an a large gear-shaped base. Blown past Pete and Myka.
- Goggles: Black goggles with golden-bronze eyepieces. At least one lens appears to be red. Blown past Pete and Myka.
- Steampunk Underground Explorer Helmet: Blown past Pete and Myka as they travelled to the Windmill. Bears a striking resemblance to the Steampunk Underground Explorer Helmet designed by Tom Banwell.
- Cow: Blown past Pete and Myka. Unknown if it is alive or simply a fake that moos.
- Acapulco Straw Bag: Origin and effects unknown, seen behind Pete after the Diorama was neutralized.
- "Grand Designs", "YYZ", and "2112" are all songs by the Canadian rock band Rush ("2112" being a song on an album of the same name).
- On the album Power Windows, the lyrics of its songs are focused primarily on various manifestations of power. For example, the song "Manhattan Project" explores the origins and consequences of the U.S. military's development of the atomic bomb, and "Territories" comments on nationalism around the world. "Grand Designs", a song on the album, was partly written to criticize mainstream music, which the group felt was too superficial. The song also echoes individualistic themes, such as non-conformism.
- YYZ is the IATA airport identification code of Toronto Pearson International Airport, near Rush's hometown. The band was introduced to the rhythm as Alex Lifeson flew them into the airport. A VHF omnidirectional range system at the airport broadcasts the YYZ identifier code in Morse code. Peart said in interviews later that the rhythm stuck with them.
- The original Warehouse 13's power sources of seismic force, wind power, and hydroelectricity may be a reference to the band Earth, Wind & Fire.
- Due to the presence of Trailer and the lack of Steve, this series takes place sometime between "The 40th Floor" and "Emily Lake". Also due to the mention of the Glass Jar from the Donner Party, this series takes place after "Insatiable."
- During the strong winds Windmill scene we can see the "City of Ghouls" comic from "Of Monsters and Men" webisodes.
- In Chapter 4, Artie mentions that there was a "Banana Mania that almost brought down the entire color (industry)" in 1979. However, Banana Mania was introduced in 1997 and named in 1998.
- This may have likely been a simple oversight by the script writers, a typo in Saul Rubinek's script, or Rubinek misspoke his line and it went uncorrected.