First Impressions: Killjoys
Killjoys are the guns and muscle of a futuristic Pinkerton agency set in a galaxy of corporate greed.
Our trio of well kitted killjoys have their secrets and a weekly mission in the Quad, a solar system of seething resentment under the crushing boot of a single ‘multiplanetary’ referred to simply as The Company. Each episode reveals a little more about the crew, and a little more about the rules and injustices of the worlds they visit.
The morality is murky, the politics are messy, the scenes crowded with people, the sets are dirty and lived in and don’t rub science fiction in your face. It’s not hard to draw some parallels with Firefly – single solar system, an old west look, an intrepid space ship crew, a caper every episode, corporate dictatorship – but it’s only the bones of the shows that are similar. There is humour between the crew, but not the warmth or the same level of wit. Perhaps that’s because pint sized Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen) who leads the crew and owns the ship has too many skeletons in her closet – she can’t be the open book that Malcolm Reynolds was, nor does she have his charisma or goofiness – though I can’t imagine any syfy fanboy is going to complain at having to watch her.
Her principal offsider is John (Aaron Ashmore), who has some Chris Pratt about his style and a long list of shows behind him including Veronica Mars, Smallville, Warehouse 13 and Lost Girl. Ashmore is the heart of the show and needs a solid, funny, empathic performance for us to to keep watching. Personally I think he’s doing his job well – Come to think of it, what if Malcolm Reynolds had only been #2 on the Firefly? Upsetting John’s applecart and keeping him firmly in the friend-zone with Dutch is his brother, war veteran D’Avin (Luke Macfarlane) who provides the male eye candy, brute force and assault weapons when Dutch’s seductive martial arts or John’s MacGyvers aren’t enough.
I like the weekly layers of world building, and the cast of secondary characters are fun to interact with. The episodes clip along at a good pace and the action is well choreographed. The soundtrack is hip and modern instead of attempting the future.
If you’re going to pick between Dark Matter and this one, Killjoys is the way to go.
The show is middling good in most departments and is avoiding classification issues so that it’s young teen friendly, but there are adult themes, suggestiveness and good writing to keep the rest of us entertained.
Where to watch it in Oz?: Foxtel seems to be playing with the schedule. Dark Matter and Killjoys are both airing in the US, but only Dark Matter is on the Syfy channel in Australia, probably because it’s not as good, and Foxtel will queue Killjoys after it ends. You can’t even get it on iTunes Australia, which I assume means Googleplay as well. I do not condone piracy, no sir, but if the networks want to stop it perhaps they should offer the content when the rest of the world gets it? Note to Australian TV programming executives – slow clap.
Popular and critical opinion on Killjoys
Seen it? What do you think? Leave a comment about the show or this article below.