With the recent announcement from SyFy confirming that Killjoys is back for the Summer of 2016, I decided it was time we talked about this series that has really tickled me. My father originally recommended that I watched it when I was visiting home for Xmas. He called it “Firefly’s little sister”. And as a commended browncoat that I am, I decided I needed to test this myself. So I hooked up the TV and…
…A few hours and days later, Killjoys was My Kinda Series.
Now, I won’t ruin it all for you and make spoilers, for the 10 episodes that are out so far are really worth while. So I’ll give you a waltz through, see what you think.
The series follows a team of I guess you can call them space bounty hunters. We meet John and Dutch first, then D’Avin comes along. Dutch is the team leader for this squad of Killjoys that works for the RAC – an independent organisation that takes care of business for whoever will pay, always remaining neutral. Dutch is a badass, practical, strong and decisive woman, with a pretty disturbing past, that accounts for a lot of her amazing assassin like moves and skills. She is a fantastic diplomat too and a con artist when needed. And then we have John. John is awesome, everyone loves John. He is daring, reckless, kind and charming. He is both the pilot, engineer, technician and unlikely daredevil of the team – more often than not. Shortly into the first episode, Dutch and John, get hold of D’Avin who is John’s older brother, and who has been missing for several years. The emotional tensions and family issues will take over most of the relationship between the two brothers, and the team in general. And for that reason, D’Avin must prove himself to Dutch. Dutch and John have bonded almost like siblings, and the space amazon is too protective of her own to just let anyone in. But D’Avin is truly a good guy. He used to be in the military – then things and stuff happened…and he wasn’t in the military anymore! – so he is a great addition to the ranks of the RAC. He is a soldier in every way. A hero, put perhaps a broken one.
Together as a squad of Killjoys, these three will travel through space with the help of Lucy to fulfill their warrants. Actually, let me tell you about Lucy – because Lucy is cool. She is the ship and she is sentient. Very much like every Firefly fan loves Serenity as a vessel and part of the team, Lucy is the same – or even more I dare say for she has a voice and performs actions of her own accord – particularly if it’s for the sake of saving John’s life. Adventures in your usual dystopian future planets take place, and some amazing action in the way. Some episodes have more “wow” and “ouch” moments, while others have more plot driven, but in general the story has a good pace – no abuse of cliffhangers, funny but not incredibly cheesy. Killjoys is not reinventing the wheel, but it is fitting very nicely in the new sci-fi narratives of the 21st century.
This is really something that becomes more apparent through the eyes of the recurrent secondary characters: Pree the ambiguous bartender where the squad gathers to lie down, Alvis – the mysterious social rebel who is part of this obscure religious cult, and Dr Simms – a gone rogue high-class girl who patches up the team after their missions. The deeper motives of the plot transform into reality with the different planets and places they visit – Leith being particularly prominent for being full of “second best” land owners, smugglers and general dubious stuff – very strong environmental, social and political messages coming there.
I think the bit I like most of the series is how familiar it feels. It’s a cosy watch. The characters and story have plenty of depth but its lightheartedness and direct approach to the reality of events doesn’t make it feel crude or unreal – It Is Relatable. Dutch, John and D’Avin are complex but not to overwhelming brooding degrees. Killjoys is not one of those series like Black Sails when everything that happens is super tense and you’re amazed but drained by the end of the episode. Killjoys wants you to enjoy the ride while questioning things at your own pace.
So if you have a spare moment and miss laser guns being fired by some cool, awesome people, that ultimately are just bonkers, in a loving way, then Tune In and join the fun. Then we can meet for season 2 all together 🙂