The series premiere of Killjoys on Syfy channel was appropriately named Bangarang, because it started out with a bang. The show, which is set in a slightly futuristic version of a universe with a dark side, similar to that of Firefly, captivated viewers very quickly. The show’s hour long premiere truly flew by and left its newly minted fans asking for more.
SPOILER WARNING - THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS
New Blood for Syfy Channel
Killjoys is set in a galaxy called The Quad, which is ruled over by a “mega-corp” known simply as The Company. The Company controls everything and has immense power over everything from land rites to mining. It also handles it’s internal security on all of the planets of The Quad. The only autonomous entity in The Quad is the RAC, or Reclamation Apprehension Coalition, which has the code among its members of “The Warrant is All”. Essentially, they are bounty hunters. They get a warrant, claim it, deliver the person(s) in the form in which they are requested… dead or alive. It is apparent that there are some strange things happening within the RAC, The Company and among our main characters: Johnny, Dutch and D’Avin. This episode was exactly what a series premiere should be; it didn’t treat us like we were stupid but still did enough explaining to get us hooked and develop a decent storyline in less than sixty minutes.
Syfy Channel seems to be on the right track recently, with the development of many new shows that bring all of us back to the roots of some great science fiction. This show is no different. It gives us action, conflict, a mystery and a little comedy. There are some aesthetic similarities to the short-lived cult-favorite, series, Firefly (not Syfy). This will draw a lot of people in. It also has some smoothness to it’s storyline, so far, similar to that of Warehouse 13 and other hit Syfy shows. Speaking of Warehouse 13, I am very happy to see Aaron Ashmore continue on Syfy Channel. He had a great character on Warehouse 13 and his new character, Johnny, seems just as dynamic and interesting, if not more.
While much of the episode was focused on setting up the various storylines for our main characters and the other dynamics of The Quad, the episode did have a captivating storyline. The focus of this episode was on the reuniting of Johnny (Ashmore) and his brother D’Avin (Luke Macfarlane). These two have a major disconnect within their family. We learn that it has been eight years since they have seen each other and now D’Avin has a kill warrant against him. That is where Johnny and Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen) come in. They are Killjoys for the RAC, or bounty hunters. Dutch out-ranks Johnny and is authorized for kill warrants, though she chooses to not take them on. Johnny takes on the warrant for D’Avin by pretending Dutch is okay with it, which she, of course, isn’t happy about.
We find out that D’Avin is being targeted by a warrant from The Company, but that he is not their goal. Their goal is a resistance fighter/monk who stole a data chip from them. In order for Johnny and Dutch to clear D’Avin they must find the monk and get the chip and/or him to The Company. In the process, we find out that Dutch has a troublesome past with regard to training to kill as a young child. We also see more of The Quad; from the dark mines and city to the colorful and bright wealth. There is a clear class separation within The Quad, which is apparently perpetuated by The Company. D’Avin and Johnny are able to recover the chip from the monk, after D’Avin shoots him in the head, and pass it along to The Company.
Overall this episode was really great, especially for a series premiere. At one point, I completely forgot it was a series premiere and felt like I not only knew the characters but was comfortable with all of the dynamics within the show’s universe. There was a lot of character development and we begin to think: “I want to know what the red box is.” or “What happened to D’Avin in the war.”. It is very good when a show is so quickly captivating and you can become to invested in the characters and their relationships. There is something nostalgic and, perhaps, a bit comforting about a series like this. It provides the escape many sci-fi fans look for and the pure entertainment that takes you out of reality and into a world where you can fully invest yourself for an hour a week, or more. I look forward to seeing if the series can keep this going and become an important part of the Syfy Channel line-up.
Thanks for reading!
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© Sabrina Klein and Zone Zero Geek, 2014-2015
(photos from Killjoys Twitter account)