Syfy’s second new SF series in a week (after Dark Matter, which debuted last week) is Killjoys, a fun high-energy action show that I think draws some comparisons to Firefly if only if it has the same elements that made Firefly a fan favorite.
Killjoys stars Aaron Ashmore (Warehouse 13) as John Jaqobis, a Level 3 Reclamation Agent who works alongside the flirty Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen, The Hour), a Level 5 who has a hidden past. They then pick up D’avin (Luke Macfarlane, Brothers & Sisters), John’s brother, who John hasn’t seen for 8 years, after John sees a “Level 5 warrant” – a kill order – for D’avin. And the fourth member of the team is Lucy – the ships computer.
The Reclamation Agents – nicknamed Killjoys, related to the slang term of “joy” for money – work for the Reclamation Apprehension Coalition (RAC). This organization runs independently from “The Company”, the mysterious corporation that essentially runs the Quad, the planetary cluster where Killjoys takes place. The Company is RAC’s biggest customer, however…
The agents carry out warrants – warrants can be given for a variety of reasons, including somebody with enough money and power simply wanting you dead. A Level 4 warrant is “dead or alive”, while a Level 5 warrant wants you dead, period. Agents don’t take sides. “The warrant is all.” But if an agent takes on a Level 5 warrant and then fails to carry it out, the warrant transfers to them until they rectify it – or are killed by another agent.
The Quad consists of a dwarf planet and 3 moons which is part of the “J Cluster”, a large planetary system. The Quad has a decidedly caste system between the inhabitants.
Qresh is the planet and originally the only one capable of supporting life, and is at the top caste – the Company is based there, and it is controlled by the Nine – the nine families that act as royalty and control the Company. But eventually Qresh had trouble supporting the thriving population, and the tensions between the Nine have them on the edge of war…
Westerley, the largest moon, became both a raw resource and a trash dump for Qresh. It built a worker class, where life was rough and tough and the only law was what the Company said. And if workers got out of hand, the Company doesn’t negotiate – it razes.
Leith was colonized next, with emigrants too “good” for Westerley, but not connected or close enough to the Nine to remain on Qresh. And although those who live on Leith might dream of returning to Qresh, they are very humble and enjoy their life in general. Quite the opposite of Westerley, crime is rare and respect is the norm.
Arkyn is the smallest moon, and the biggest mystery. The Company tried to colonize it before Westerley, but something went wrong and not much is known. I suspect we may learn more down the road…
Meet the Killjoys:
Killjoys definitely ramps up the fun factor with rapid wit and humor. I was happy to see Ashmore again and I think he’s spot on in the role. John-Kamen also fits in an interesting role…she’s tough but has an amazing moral compass for someone at her level – but at the same time has a a past that might break that compass. Macfarlane’s D’avin is former army with what appears to be PTSD, playing the tough but troubled guy who has trouble fitting in so he doesn’t stick around anywhere for long.
Visually we get treated to spaceships, planets, and environments varying from lush high living to toxic wastes and crumbling buildings. We may not get epic space battles, but we do get a bit of ship-on-ship tug’o’war…
Again, I think comparisons against Firefly are inevitable – roguish characters on a ship, the humor, the frontier-ish planetary system, etc… Are they trying to be Firefly? No, I don’t think so, but I think they are trying to be a show that will attract viewers – and Firefly had the same qualities. And so far, I like what I’ve seen. Give it time to settle in.
Welcome to the World of Killjoys: