For those in the know, the standout new show of last year was Killjoys. Still under most people’s radar, Killjoys is a brand new ass kicking space show from Michelle Lovretta (she of Lost Girl fame), Space Channel (Canada) and Syfy. It’s quirky, quip heavy and features a large dose of fun, something far too often missing from a lot of genre shows. Season one has featured sarky spaceships, exploding spider necklaces, nuns with guns, government conspiracies, genetically enhanced bad-asses and space rats
Season two starts on 2 August in the UK on SyFy. Here’s what you need to know to get up to speed before it starts (or you could of course just go and watch season one yourself…).
What in the world are Killjoys?
Killjoys is set in the Quad, where money is known as Joy. Killjoys are bounty hunters, and they kill for money… geddit? Killjoys take warrants (assignments or missions) and for a Killjoy, the warrant is all. Warrants start at level one (eg, find a missing cat), and go up to level five for a kill order. Killjoys themselves have their own level of clearance, and a Killjoy can only take warrants up to their own clearance level.
Where in the world are Killjoys?
The Quad, as you’d expect, is made up of four inhabitable planets (well one planet, two moons and a mystery wasteland).
- Qresh – the main planet in the system is the place to be. Home to The Nine Families, between them they own the majority of land in the system, and therefore have control over it. People dream of a life on Qresh.
- Leith – one of Qresh’s moons, a life here is the next best thing to living on Qresh. The inhabitants are made up of respectable agricultural families looking for a quiet life, and the odd drug dealer.
- Westerley – another moon of Qresh, people here dream of a life on Leith. Almost destroyed by intense geo-resourcing, Westerley is generally a bit of a dive. Naturally it’s where our trio of Killjoys live.
- Arkyn – Qresh’s smallest moon, an experiment in terra-forming gone wrong, little is known about Arkyn.
Let’s go, Dutch!
Dutch is a Killjoy, played by Hannah John-Kamen: this is her outfit, her ship and her show. Like any good sci-fi lead, she has a murky mysterious past, snippets of which have been revealed during season one. One thing we do know is, she used to kill people; well, more people than she does now (Dutch isn’t keen on going after level five warrants). We also know that she was mentored in the art of assassination by Khlyen, and raised in some kind of royal harem. She’s trying to set out on her own and forget her past, but it would seem Khlyen isn’t that keen on letting her go.
The brothers Jaqobis
Dutch’s best friend and fellow Killjoy is John Jaqobis, played by Aaron Ashmore. They’ve been partnered as Killjoys for years, although apparently the first time they met they didn’t get on so well and John wound up getting shot. Johnny is a tech wiz, and can fix anything that flashes or bleeps. He’s everyone’s friend and usually ends up as a confidante more often than a lover. He’s definitely Lucy’s (Dutch’s ship, see below) favourite.
His moody older brother, D’avin, played by Luke Macfarlane, is more of a ladies man, however. He’s a lover and a fighter. Ex-military with a past just as murky as Dutch, he knows how to handle himself in a fight (but is out-classed by Dutch in that area). D’avin is the bad boy of the piece: he’s already had a fling with his Doctor, and the sexual tension between he and Dutch has been palpable since they met. Things came to a head in episode seven, the aptly named “Kiss, Kiss, Bye Bye”, with Dutch and D’avin finally getting it on. Unfortunately for them both, D’avin was still susceptible to some mind control, and ended up going all Angelus and attacking Dutch.
The asshole, the villain and the doctor
It’s not all about our trio of intrepid bounty hunters, though. A show wouldn’t be anything without a strong supporting cast, and Killjoys has that, in abundance. Here’s a round-up of some of the more colourful inhabitants of The Quad.
- Fancy Lee (Sean Baek) – The self-proclaimed asshole of the group, named for his use of fancy gadgets.
- Khlyen (Rob Stewart) – Dutch’s mentor and general badass, he has no compunction in removing anything that gets in his way; in fact he seems to rather enjoy it.
- Lucy (voiced by Tamsen McDonough) – Dutch’s smart-mouthed spaceship. Johnny Jaqobis is her favourite, even though she’s a computer and doesn’t have favourites.
- Dr Pawter (Sarah Power) – The pretty pretty princess with a Jakk habit; of highborn descent but disowned by her parents after getting caught operating while under the influence as a student doctor.
- Dr Pim Jaeger (Amanda Tapping) – Co-ordinator of Project Chrysalis, a government initiative to create super soldiers with no conscience and erasable memory.
- Alvis (Morgan Kelly) – the Penitent, born of rats; a Scarback monk with one eye on a revolution.
- Pree (Thom Allison) – everyone’s listening post and former owner of every Killjoys’ favourite watering hole, The Royal in Old Town.
- Delle Seyah Kendry (Mayko Nguyen) – …of the Nine; a high-born land-owner, she seems to have taken more than a passing interest in Dutch.
We build Worlds
Aside from the strong cast of characters, one of the other great things about Killjoys is the excellent world building. Michelle Lovretta has crafted a show set in a universe with intricate attention to detail. Here are some of the people, places and paraphernalia you might find in the world of Killjoys.
- The Company – the huge corporation that rules over the Quad, with an iron fist.
- The RAC – The Recovery and Apprehension Coalition, Dutch’s employers, operating outside company jurisdiction, supposedly independently.
- The Nine – the landed gentry and ruling upper class, too posh to push, they outsource childbirth to wholesome farmers daughters on Leith.
- Old Town – Principal settlement on Westerley, Old Town is home to a host of unsavoury types. It was more or less destroyed by the company in a bombing raid at the end of season one.
- The Royal – Pree’s bar, destroyed in the Old Town bombing raid; along with some of its regulars.
- Jakk – Drug of choice in the Quad, highly addictive and highly flammable.
- Hok – Refined drink for those that can afford it, distilled from Hok plants, harvested on Leith.
- Black Rain – acid rain caused by the over zealous resource farming of Westerley.
- Staked in the rain – the Company’s favoured execution method: convicts are staked out in a Black Rain storm and left to the (highly corrosive) elements.
- Space Rats – the stuff of nightmares.
- Level Six – Killjoys go up to level five, so level six is just an urban legend, isn’t it? Apparently not. Khlyen has now confessed to being level six. It involves some kind of genetic manipulation.
- Red 17 – Mysterious facility where Level six Killjoys are created, located on Arkyn moon.
- Genetic Bomb – a device which can vaporise an entire bloodline in an instant.
A (very) brief recap of season one’s salient points
- Dutch and John Jaqobi take on a level five kill warrant, the target is John’s brother D’avin.
- D’avin’s past is as mysterious as Dutch’s, only he doesn’t remember it. He’s looking for a Dr Jaeger, in the meantime he teams up with Dutch and John as a Killjoy.
- Dr Pawter agrees to help D’avin with his memory issues.
- D’avin remembers killing his entire squad, but not why, seems he’s part of some government project called Chrysalis.
- The Company has a genetic bomb; it can wipe out an entire bloodline in an instant.
Dutch and crew find Dr Jaeger.
After Dutch and D’avin sleep together, Dr Jaeger manages to turn D’avin back into an autonomous super soldier; he attacks Dutch, and stabs his brother.
Dutch’s former mentor, Khlyen, is a level six Killjoy – formerly only a myth.
- Khlyen wants Dutch for the Red-17 program; Level 6 Killjoy induction.
- The Company bombs and destroys Old Town.
- Pawter and Alvis stay behind in bomb shelters under Old Town.
- Dutch, Johnny, Pree and some others escape the destruction in Lucy.
- D’avin is taken by Khlyen to the Red-17 facility on Arkyn moon (where we also see Fancy Lee hooked up to all kinds of medical machinery).
What can you expect from season 2?
Hopefully more of the same things that made season one so great! More space ships, more shooting and more blowing stuff up! Season one left us with quite a few unanswered questions and cliffhangers though.
- Will D’avin become an unstoppable Level Six Killjoy?
- Will Fancy Lee become an unstoppable Level Six Killjoy?
- Will Dutch finally catch up with Khlyen?
- Will we learn more about Dutch’s past?
- Will we learn more about D’avin’s part?
- Will there be more Space Rats?
- Will we see the re-appearance of Dr Jaeger?
- Where will Pree set up shop now his bar has been destroyed?
The only way to find out is to watch season two! Starting 2 August in the UK on SyFy Channel.