'Eureka' returns for beginning of end

In the timeless words of Boyz II Men (and by timeless, we mean the early '90s - and it was really George Curtis Cameron's words anyhow), "it's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday."

That's the feeling we're pretty much having over here at PPC as the fifth and final season of Eureka kicks off tonight at 9 p.m. on Syfy. For about six years since it's July 2006 premiere, the show about a town in Oregon filled with geniuses has been a quirky ride.

In fact, a series with a sense of humor and an overall optimistic outlook, Eureka has always felt a little like the American cousin to Doctor Who (the excellent Christmas specials even further forced that comparison). Instead of becoming an overly dark sci-fi show, Eureka maintained a "gee-whiz" attitude and frequently goofed on itself - all while building a world with continuity through developed characters and ongoing story arcs. Further cementing its place as a solid show dismissed before its time, Eureka really "got" the genre by neither over relying on irony nor by treating the sci-fi as too sacrosanct. And woo boy did they know how to cast guest stars that fans were ecstatic to see (talking to you, Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day, Matt Frewer, James Callis).

In short, Eureka has been science-fun-fiction, and its absence removes a little too much sci-fi from Syfy.