RogerBW's Blog

Killjoys season 1 22 February 2016

2015, 10 episodes. Space bounty hunters discover that being apolitical is really hard work if you have even the vestiges of a conscience.

If there is generic sci-fi in the same way that there is generic fantasy, this is the sort of thing it has in it. Spaceships, an indentured underclass, oppressive corporations, tiny robot weapons, secret projects that mess with people's minds and bodies, high-tech knives, and gunfights.

The show was created by Michelle Lovretta, who's also known for Lost Girl – which I rather liked, particularly in its first season, though I wouldn't call it great TV. (Review coming when I've finished the final season.) And this isn't either, but it is that rare thing, consistently pretty good TV, with no wasted episodes. The plots are recycled, sure, but all plots are recycled to some extent. The tech base is basically undefined: it's background magic that allows us to have grungy spaceships where nobody ever needs to worry about how much fuel they have left. Character complexity takes a while to kick off and never goes terribly deep, though it's frankly more than I'd expected.

The leads are appealing, particularly Aaron Ashmore, rather less bland than he was in Warehouse 13, as the techie; Hannah-John Kamen as the ass-kicking boss can be great but is very patchy. After all, if you're not going to employ an actual martial artist to play your martial artist, a dancer who knows a bunch of different styles is probably the next-best option; the problems come when she plays "sexy" rather than "competent" and ends up being relatively unconvincing. Aaron Ashmore doesn't reach the same heights, but is rather more consistently good. Luke Macfarlane as a space grunt with a Troubled Past is probably the most clichéd, but even he manages moments of interest.

So yes, it's skiffy spackle, but it's pretty decent skiffy spackle with some sensible things to say about economic oppression. The series has been renewed for another season.

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  1. Posted by Ashley R Pollard at 07:18pm on 06 March 2016

    So any chance of a summary to compare and contrast with Dark Matter? As in which you would buy?

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