Third-episode verdict: Killjoys (Canada: Space; US: Syfy)

The BarrometerA Barrometer rating of 5

In Canada: Fridays, some time or other, Space
In the US: Fridays, 9/8c, Syfy
In the UK: Not yet acquired

I said on Friday that I was quitting Killjoys but I had some spare time on Saturday so I thought I’d give it one last chance. I really should have followed my own advice, since although episode three was marginally better than its predecessors, that still didn’t lift the show into the heady realms of ‘average’, let alone ‘good’.

The show is about as generic as it comes, seeing three ‘killjoys’ (bounty hunters) who work for the RAC (ha ha ha!) having to chase after criminals in outer space, usually with some shooting or fighting involved. The first episode introduced us to the three killjoys – well, technically two killjoys at that point (Hannah John-Kaman and Aaron Ashmore) who are joined by Ashmore’s soldier-boy brother with PTSD Luke Macfarlane. Episode two then gave us a bonding exercise between the three that ended with Mafarlane being recruited to the killjoys in lieu of a proper job, with episode three being his first ‘mission’.

All the time, they bicker and squabble with each other, either suggestively or like siblings, depending on the pairings.

And that’s about it. John-Kaman has ‘raised from birth to be an assassin’ secrets she’s keeping from the others; Macfarlane has ‘I was in a secret war’ secrets he’s keeping from the others; Ashmore just wishes people would take him seriously.

To its credit, Killjoys tries very hard to world-build and create an SF society on the four worlds in its solar system. Trouble is it’s still very, very boring and its action sequences are hopelessly generic. Although they all have a certain je ne sais quoi, the leads take it in turn to pass round the acting talent between episodes, yet it’s never quite enough to fill any of them up to the brim.

By the end of it, you probably won’t care what anyone’s secrets are and you might as well just watch Guardians of the Galaxy instead.

Barrometer rating: 5
TMINE prediction: Cancelled by the end of the season at the latest

Author

  • I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.