In a nutshell, Killjoys is bounty hunters go space and dystopian fiction. In this case the bounty hunters are the very capable and mysterious Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen), her sidekick John and his brother D'Avin. They go around in an interactive ship named Lucy. The bounty hunters are called Killjoys and their warrants allow them to move freely between a planet named Qresh and its three moons. Killjoys work for a parajurisdictional outfit called the RAC. This Canadian production premieres June 19th at 9:00 on Space.
It takes a bit of concentration to get into Killjoys. This is partly because there is a lot of situational information presented at the same time as the backstory and the opening episode's plot. Some of that information is a bit hard to figure out, partly because Dutch speaks really quickly and the info is complex. I was lucky enough to have the screener version of this Space series which featured some background information but I am not sure viewers will get everything the first time around. That is why I've added it at the bottom of this review
This is perhaps why Killjoys relies (a bit too much) on expository dialogue to repeat what we have just been told like “So we have to find the guy the company really wants in exchange for sparing my brother and all this is less than the eighteen hours before our warrant expires and without getting killed?”
There is also a lot of mystery surrounding two of the three major characters that is hinted at in flashbacks. One has nightmares about time in the army, another about her childhood.
The show features a few of the more common dystopian fiction tropes such as a mysterious controlling force behind a monopolistic government, punk-looking bad guys, and weird religious figures. As always, weapons belonging to the baddies are better at shooting sparks off walls than actually hitting anybody.
Production values are top notch and green screen effects are perfect. The show does not overly rely on CGI so it is that much more enjoyable. Those familiar with the hit Orphan Black will recognize the visual style in this series as it shares the same producer.
I am a bit curious as to whether this series has enough of an environment to make it last more than a couple of seasons before the novelty wears off.
There are five Killjoy levels. One is retrieving lost goods, two is transferring someone between hostile areas, three is executing warrants where the target must be brought back alive, four is living or dead, while five is death warrants where the killjoy is to kill the target. You can only execute warrants up to the level you are authorized to. John is a level three, Dutch is a level five.
There are four planets. Qresh is the original homeworld. Now the only people who live on Qresh are the elite. They all have a share in what is called the Company. Westerley is one of the three Qresh satellites. It is a Company town planet with a post-industrial look. This is where most live. Arkyn is the second satellite and nothing is known about it. Leith is the suburb planet for the middle class. People who live on Leith are mostly farmers and merchants and some commute to Westerley.