Diamonds in the Rough: Why You Should Watch Syfy's Killjoys
Killjoys is a space opera series about family featuring two brainwashed assassins and a boy and his pet ship. There’s political intrigue, covert ops, sacrifice, different facets of feminism, the dangers of classism and colonialism run amuck, a brewing revolution, mutually destructive flirtation, and questions of identity. It hits pretty much every button I have.
Killjoys or ‘reclamation agents’ are space bounty hunters who work the Quad — a far away planet and its three moons — as part of the Recovery and Acclimation Commission (RAC). The planet, Qresh, is where the Nine, royalty who run the government and the Company the killjoys answer to, live. The larger two moons house everyone else. The upper classes live on Leith with blue skies, bazaars, and vineyards; the lower classes live on Westerley with dark alleys, acid rain, and our heroes. The moon the Company first tried to colonize, Arkyn, is now a wasteland, and a mystery.
This is Dutch. She’s a mash up of Dark Angel‘s Max and the MCU’s Gamora with a splash of Firefly‘s Inara Serra. A level 5 killjoy who grew up in a boarding school for noble assassins but ran away and became (the best) gun for hire.
This is Johnny. He’s adorable. One part Luke Skywalker, one part the kid in Flight of the Navigator. A tech genius and level 3 killjoy, Dutch’s partner and Lucy’s favorite.
This is Lucy.
This is D’Avin. He’s Johnny’s big brother who joined the military and ended up a science experiment. Think Bucky Barnes or River Tam: damaged and dangerous.
They have friends: Bellus Haardy, the team’s hard nosed handler. Ilinore Pawter Simms, a pretty princess who grew up on Qresh but now works as the equivalent of Doctors Without Borders for Old Town on Westerley. Alvis Akari, a monk, leader in the Resistance against Qresh, and Dutch’s confidential informant. And Pree, the team’s very own Sam Malone.
They also have fr/enemies: Fancy Lee, a rival killjoy. Turin, a senior officer at the RAC with a chip on his shoulder over Dutch. Delle Seyah Kendry, one of the Nine who hires the team and falls for Dutch’s charms. And Khlyen, the man who raised Dutch to be a weapon for as yet undisclosed reasons.
The cast is racially diverse, with a woman of color at its center, and the series comes from Michelle Lovretta, the creator of Lost Girl, and Temple Street, the producers of Orphan Black, so there’s hope the queer subtext is leading to explicitly LGBTQ characters and/or relationships. If you’re a fan of those two series, Cowboy Bebop, Firefly, or Guardians of the Galaxy… Killjoys is calling.
Killjoys has been renewed for a second season (dance party!) and you can watch all 10 episodes of season one on Syfy (with a cable subscription; episodes are available for purchase on Amazon or iTunes).