If you're bursting in here ready to challenge me on the title, please don't kill me, I think I may be on to something!
I know nothing can ever truly compare to the greatest saga that never was, but I think that Killjoys has a few of the aspects that made Firefly great and applied them to something entirely new, yet somehow still managed to tickle my nostalgia organ in a peculiar way.
Uh... *ahem*... Right...
Killjoys is a scifi series created and run by the Canadian 'Space' channel and co-produced by everyone's favourite low-budget movie vendor, Syfy. In some indeterminate future setting we follow a trio of bounty hunters, known colloquially as 'Killjoys' (get it?), working for an agency known as the Recovery and Apprehension Coalition (RAC), which operates outside of political boundaries to remain impartial.
The entirety of the series takes place in and around a planetary system of a planet and three moons known imaginatively as 'The Quad' and follows our courageous heroes' exploits as they go on wacky adventures in their spaceship called Lucy. By 'wacky adventures' I mean get shot, stabbed, beaten up. embroiled in top-secret conspiracies, and then do the occasional warrant if they still have time.
Terrible jokes aside, the series does manage to put the crew through a series of dangerous and sometimes downright unsettling situations without letting the tone become too grim, chiefly by allowing a few moments of levity from people who firmly understand the need to have a bit of fun on their downtime.
Yes, the people. As far as characters go (let's go left to right on that above photo), John Jaqobis is the talented mechanic with a compassionate streak, 'Dutch' (real name gets revealed in the show) is the leader and most badass fighter of the team with a no-nonsense attitude when it comes to chasing warrants, and D'Avin Jaqobis is the ex-soldier older brother of John plagued by the shadow of something that happened during his time in the service.
They all seem like typical scifi cliches, and in some ways they are, but the cast manages to bring them to life in such a very human way that they achieve a depth that goes beyond that, making you actually give half a damn about this bunch of rogues.
Sound great, but what about the fourth member of the team? Oh yes there is.
This pretty lady is 'Lucy', the ship owned by Dutch and used by the team as a home and base of operations. When I say she's a member of the team, I'm not talking in a vague way like Serenity is in Firefly, because Lucy has a fully-voiced AI unit that frequently interacts with the crew.
On the surface Lucy seems like just an elaborate voice-command user interface but during events in the show it quickly becomes apparent that she has a personality, in her own way, and even goes as far as playing favourites with the crew.
Furthermore, the series actually manages to make Lucy feel very much real by constructing the entire interior set (hold, bridge, bedrooms and all) to really emphasise the feeling that the gang live, work, and sometimes play on that ship. Kinda like a different scifi series I may have mentioned.
In my opinion, the greatest achievement of Killjoy's is the world building. Within the first episode the show manages to get across to you the basic state of affairs in the Quad without relying on jarring exposition sequences, and subsequently reveals more snippets over the course of the series, backing it up by nice location and set design.
You understand quickly that the Quad is pretty much owned by a powerful corporation known as the... uh... Company and that they run things from the planet Qresh which is now mostly underwater and only members of the nine ruling families of The Company are permitted to live on the scarce land nowadays.
It's quickly made clear that the moon of Arkyn is a barren terraforming failure, Leith is a verdant moon where the Quad's middle class live and a most crops are produced, and Westerley is an industrialised hole where the population is oppressed by The Company and forced to live cramped and polluted conditions for the rest of their lives.
The role of Westerley also brings an interesting concept of race and religion to the show, but not in the way that you're thinking. In Killjoys your race is the planet you were born on, leading Leithians to resent outsiders using their land and everyone giving grief to anyone who they so much as think is a Westerlan. The only people who seem to look after the dispossessed of Westerley are the resistance movement and an order of flagellant monks (often one of the same) known as 'Scarbacks' that worship an as-yet-unidentified higher power. All of this comes to play in a big way later on, which is why I mention it as important.
Looking at how well received the first season is, we can find a respectable rating of 7.1/10 on IMDB, a pretty good 79% on both the 'Tomatometer' and 'Audience Score' of Rotten Tomatoes, and a decent 'User Score' of 7.6 on Metacritic. Not bad, eh?
I for one think that the series has a lot of potential to be truly great, but even as it is I'm waiting with baited breath for the confirmation of a Season 2 premier date, so I would definitely recommend you all go and watch it right now. Now, I said. Go!
And remember, Killjoys: The Warrant is all.