Walking through the sets of Syfy’s space opera Killjoys, it really does feel like being transported off world. Potholed alleys of Westerley lie adjacent to the gleaming white interiors of the Armada ship embedding the atmosphere with a feeling of mystery, drama and parallels worlds – all things fans have come to enjoy from the hit TV series. Perhaps the most mysterious character on the show is Fancy Lee, a reserved RAC officer with a penchant for deadly gadgets, played by Canadian/South Korean actor Sean Baek.
“Welcome to our set!’ Sean says with genuine warmth for the surroundings that have become a second home to him since the pilot, and he has a hard time choosing his favourite. “Lucy is pretty cool, Westerley is pretty cool because it’s grungy and spacey-looking and the crew have put a lot of work into it. Also the Armada because it’s very different from Westerley. I like that it’s clean and clinical-looking. When I walk onto the Westerley set I’m la-la-la and care-free,” he laughs. “But when I’m on the Armada I get a little more careful and I’m watching where I stamp!”
Treading lightly is a trait of Fancy’s. As the soft-spoken assassin he often shoots from the shadows, though he is never afraid to get involved in a fight. He has some fantastic action scenes that make use of Sean’s abilities as a seasoned martial artist but it was a bit of a surprise to see him take the fight into space as a pilot in a Black Root ship. “It’s just one of Fancy’s hidden skills!” says Sean. “Because we don’t know that much about Fancy I have to tap into my own imagination about what his past must’ve been like. I think he’s gone through a lot in his life, even before he became a Killjoy. I just chalk it up to the fact he went through something tragic in his life.”
It makes sense, given Fancy’s perpetual gravitas and ability to shake off the deaths of most of his cleansed counterparts. It’s not surprising Sean can bring the drama given his training in classical theatre at Birmingham Conservatory and a strong background in performing Shakespeare at the Stratford Festival of Canada.
So will we finally get some of his backstory explained? “No, not really, because the story arc has to move forward with the Lady and the ‘Invasion’. You’ll see a different side to Fancy here and there. Maybe someone will write a spin-off?!”
A spin-off definitely has potential, and Sean would like it to start with an origin story. “I think there’s an abundance of stories to tell about this character, and that’s what’s so great about this beautiful world that Michelle Loretta created, with such rich characters. And even as a supporting character I never feel like I’m on the periphery you know, sometimes I’m thrown into the main storyline, sometimes I go off and do other things that tangentially affect the main storyline.”
It’s been hard to know what side Fancy is on as Sean expertly meanders the grey zone of morality portraying his character, culminating in a stand-off with Turin, the sour-faced RAC boss turned rebel leader, played by Patrick Garrow.”
The relationship between Fancy and Turin has been interesting since the middle of season three when Fancy felt betrayed by Turin and D’avin brings him back – sort of. From the get-go I feel there’s always been a push/ pull relationship between Fancy Lee and the RAC because he’s the self-described designated asshole who gets his job done. Even with John, Dutch and D’avin they have to rely on Fancy, and they work together, but at the same time they’re like ‘Ah we should keep a certain distance’, and Fancy feels the same way too.”
Perhaps Fancy has more influence than he realises, as going solo appears to be a theme this season. Most of his Killjoys family are taking a leaf out of Fancy’s book and sneaking out on their own individual missions whilst Fancy is stepping up in the war council as leader of the Cleansed. Sean describes Fancy’s journey as ‘vast and deep’.
“He’s been known to be this lone wolf in season one, then he was with Khlyen and level six in season two and I want to call it kidnapped to become Hullen, and then cleansed. As the leader of the Cleansed he went through another experience. So it’s certainly been interesting.”
So will the advent of Johnny’s cleansing bring them closer? “I would think so if there are any opportunities for them to have any kind of interactions. So far with the story that is yet to happen but we’ll see. I would say Fancy’s viewed and taken more as a family member of Team Awesome Force. There are things he does in season four where he goes off, but the war calls for it.”
In the midst of a war it’s unlikely Fancy will find romance but it’s something Sean would love to see happen. I’m sure the writers had some ideas, and I certainly joked around saying ‘you know, what about his love interest ?’ That would be amazing, but given the number of seasons and number of episodes that we have and the stories we need to tell, I think that had to be put on the back burner, but again – spin-off! Like he just finds somebody in space, or he rescues somebody…or he gets rescued by some woman!”
Romance may not be on the horizon but there’s definitely a bromance brewing, as we see in episode five when Fancy teams up with Pree’s husband Gared, and It may extend off-screen . “I love working with Gavin, he’s a lot of fun, goodhearted – like everyone on the show. They’re a talented bunch and it’s always fun. Gavin plays those goofy moments really well and having those comedic moments, a cop-like stake-out, was really fun.”
As the fun comes to an end Sean is hoping Fancy gets his happily ever after – presumably with that heroic woman in his own spin-off.
Killjoys season 4 currently airs on Syfy channel in the UK and Space channel in Canada.
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