I’ll admit, the only reason I gave this show a chance, at least initially, is because it had Aaron Ashmore on it. I thought he made a great Iceman in the early X-Men movies, I loved him on Warehouse 13, so anything he’s in that’s anywhere in the realm of superheroes or sci-fi, I’m up for. But there’s more to a great sci-fi show than just liking one of the actors and so, I have to judge it by all of its merits and therefore, here I go, taking on the first season of Killjoys, a Syfy original (that they stole from Canada) about bounty hunters in a dangerous land.
Killjoys is a Canadian sci-fi series that follows the adventures of three bounty hunters, or in Killjoys parlance, operatives for the Reclamation Apprehension Coalition, that move cargo, track down criminals and seek their fortunes in the Quad, a single planet with three habitable moons. They face off against the Company, a corporation that plays the big bad throughout most of the season. Dutch, the leader with the mysterious past, John, the tech geek and his brother, D’Avin, former soldier seeking answers, will get the job done.
It is a fun show because the cast is great, I found myself mostly identifying with Aaron Ashmore’s character John and I think that’s what they wanted. Dutch and D’avin are too mysterious, at least at the beginning of the season, to identify with, we just know Dutch has a dark past where she was trained as an assassin and D’Avin is a former soldier with PTSD that is seeking out a doctor that can help him recover. John is your every-man, the guy who isn’t trying to get into bed with Dutch and isn’t trying to kill everyone like D’avin. Frankly, he has the only really redeeming characteristics on the show. They tried at the end of the season to make Dutch and D’avin better, but in the end, I really only cared about John.
Unfortunately, while the gritty environment reminds me a little, very little, of the well used universe of Star Wars, it’s far closer to that of the Syfy reboot of Battlestar Galactica, which I really hated, not for it’s grit but for it’s implementation. And honestly, while the world is dirty, the characters just are not and that’s a problem. Everyone, from John and D’avin to gay bartender Pree, all of them just look too good to live in the environment they inhabit. Make up your mind, dirty or clean, you can’t have clean people living in a dirty world.
We also never found out nearly enough about the Company, at the end when they are bombing Old Town on Westerly, we know there’s a conspiracy among the higher families, we know that there’s a mysterious Level Six at the RAC, seemingly run by Dutch’s old adoptive father, Khlyen, but trying to put the whole picture together into anything meaningful is really difficult, nigh impossible, given what we know, or more accurately, don’t know. So while they leave the season on a big cliffhanger, while we’re supposed to think that some of our cast is in danger, we don’t know enough of the big picture to really get a sense of the scale involved.
Killjoys is definitely a fun show, especially Aaron Ashmore who seems to have all of the great lines. He’s the glue that keeps the team together, without him, they’d tear each other apart, and in fact, tried. It started off low on my “must see” list, but as the season went on, I started to look forward to it more and more, so it has the potential to be really good, even if it hasn’t gotten there yet. Unlike some other shows this summer season, I’m really hoping this one gets renewed. Go look it up!