These awesome HQ's supply that tactile feeling mentally, like you know exactly what it would feel like to be there. What the lighting is, what the acoustics are, where everything is located, how the mood of the building impacts the activities within...
It's hard to remember that these aren't real places. They don't really exist. Due to the demands of filming a TV show, they need to be sets - and not even always contiguous ones either. One floor might be on one soundstage while the secret basement may have been created at another location all together. And the exteriors are 'second unit', filmed elsewhere in the city sometimes.
Occasionally a show is lucky enough to commandeer a real-life building for its purposes, but even then it can be, in actuality, located in a different city than portrayed on the show, and it still isn't going to be somewhere you can visit and find crime-fighters or superheroes hard at work.
However, once these HQ's - these focal points of where our favorite characters plot and plan and grow close - are seamlessly placed within the episode, they come alive in our minds and become a reality, a place that we can consider from all angles and fill in the gaps and shadows. What fan doesn't try to imagine what's behind closed doors in the background, or what rooms and corridors are in between the entrance shot and the interior shots, or what items are in the drawers and on the shelves.
And now, in no particular order except for year order, are four of my favorite awesome HQ's:
Humanidyne: H.I.T. Lab
Dr. Billy Hayes
Dr. Elvin Lincoln
Humanidyne is a large government complex and the Human Investigation Team lab is in the basement. (I wonder what work the rest of Humanidyne is doing all the time the Misfits are engaged in their shenanigans?) It's filled with complicated equipment of all shapes and sizes, and who knows what's in the walk-in freezer at present.
This is a lab, yes, but it's also a doctor's office - waiting room, receptionist, and all. I can just imagine being a test subject or a volunteer there, surrounded by the kookiness that's present at all hours. However, amid that is a purveying sense of fun and joy of life and the desire to find advancements in science to better the human condition.
Who wouldn't want to join in one of Billy and El's experiments or do some test work with Johnny B and Glo? Even getting chewed out by administrator Dick Stetmeyer for not providing the test results on time would be great. The lab is always crammed with toys and science-y gadgets, so enticing for someone who loves to play around with that sort of stuff. Oh what fun it would be to grab a visitor's pass and hang out with the Misfits of Science for a while.
Entry for H.I.T. at 'Science of Misfits'.
Dr. Harrison Blackwood
Dr. Suzanne McCullough
The Cottage is a top secret government facility tricked out with the highest-end equipment and technology, with the sole purpose of providing a means for the Blackwood Team to protect the planet against the threat of invading Mor-Tax. Norton looooves his supercomputer, Suzanne is at home in her personal microbiology lab, Ironhorse has a gym and shooting range, and Harrison's office is an exact recreation of his old one at the college. The basement command central has all the feel of being inside the inner workings of a computer combined with a federal agency task force war room.
The Cottage is located in beautiful countryside, secured with the best in anti-intruder devices (Ironhorse knows this well, since he had to infiltrate their own security once). There's a horse paddock, a pond with swans, and tree-covered hills that lead to the water. Quite a picturesque contrast to the dark sick twisted gritty side of fighting aliens.
With its rich furnishings, the interior of the main house is right out of some Better Homes magazine and Mrs. Pennyworth and Kensington lend to the air of a rich home as well. But for all the stateliness the Cottage exudes, it can feel as homey as any family living room. One of my favorite scenes has got to be when the newly thrown-together individuals are spending their first evening around the fireplace and Ironhorse is telling Debi a story of his Indian ancestor.
SQ is housed in part of an unassuming brownstone, a building that feels as mysterious and overlooked as the paranormal cases that the SQ gang investigates. Evie brings her son Matty to work with her, and while she, Paul, and Keel are researching cases and solving the odd haunting, he plays in the office rooms. What a spooky environment for a little boy to let his imagination run in. It reminds me of attics and hidden secret places that call out to be discovered.
What supernatural-related things are lurking among the jostles of office items? What sort of artifacts does Keel have stashed there? This place promises mysteries galore, like the floor that's not really there, so the rain leaks through to the floor below like it was the roof. Makes me just want to explore every dark corner and see what lies there.
It can only be reached by the alley entrance in the rear, making it feel like a place you have to search for to find. The way it has no walls and is just a lot of dark space trying to be filled up makes it feel haunted, like Paul himself. But at the same time it also feels inviting, because you know that its occupants are ready and willing to do all it will take to solve a client's problems.
An old library owned by Finch, but in financial limbo and therefore off the record. Perfect for clandestine vigilantism. It has so much area that is 'broken down' - a metaphor for our heroes, no? It also has a dignified magnificence that befits an abode for these two world-experienced men. I can't help wondering though, we've been shown the apartment Finch gifts Reese, but where does Finch sleep? Surely not in the Library all the time.
The Library comes well-stocked with a horde of books, something that turns out to be more important to the work Reese and Finch do than just a nice collection. And the center round table (does that make them Dark Knights of the Round Table? ;P ) with Finch's five monitors of geeky coolness is a great central hub.
Versatility is something this place doesn't lack, seeing as it's been used as a nursery, a doghouse, and a safe haven/detention cell for Leon. I like how things are used for unintended purposes; the damaged pane of glass in place of a whiteboard, books for baby Leila's playpen, a filing drawer holding not files but firearms... Speaking of, I wonder just how many weapons Reese has squirreled away inside the Library?
Entry for the Library at 'Pedia of Interest'