In the US: Wednesday, 10/9c, Syfy
In the UK: Not yet acquired
“Every family has a story, every story has a beginning,” trumpeted Smallville when it first hit our screens. You’d have thought 10 seasons of the once longest-running US TV sci-fi series – as well as Man of Steel – would have been enough to tell the story of the beginnings of both Superman and his family but now we have Krypton, another Superman prequel.
Given that Man of Steel told us more or less all we needed to know about Daddy Superman, Jor-El (Russell Crowe), and why he sent his only son Kal-El to the Earth, Krypton takes the slightly odd decision of moving the action back a generation to Granddaddy Superman when Seg-El is young and played by Cameron Cuffe (The Halcyon) – odd because we know that Krypton ain’t exploding for a good few decades yet, so what exactly is the story going to be and where’s the peril coming from?
Game of Capes
Krypton is the brain-child of Man of Steel writer David S Goyer so don’t be too surprised that everything you saw in Man of Steel is both canon and the basis of Krypton‘s plot.
Here, the house of El is down on luck because Seg-El’s granddad (Ian McElhinney) decided to side with terrorists against the ‘Voice of Rao’, the planet’s new tyrannical religious leader (Rao being Kryptonians’ God). After his death, they lose their house status, leaving Seg to lead a drifter’s life among the house-less, fighting for money. Meanwhile, his dad (Sherlock‘s Rupert Graves) and mum Paula Malcomson (Caprica, Sons of Anarchy, Ray Donovan) are making ends meet by pouring wine for the high-born.
However, soon Seg is on the up and betrothed to someone from House Vex through the generosity of chief magistrate Elliot Cowan (Lost in Austen, The Fixer), even though he’s really in love with Georgina Campbell (Broadchurch) of House Zod (yes, Zod).
Do we care? Not really, and episode one is really just an introduction to all of this, rather than anything obviously designed to make us give a monkey’s about quasi-space feudalism.
Instead, interspersed among all of this is the occasional appearance of Shaun Sipos (Shark, Life Unexpected), an American from the future who’s come back to warn Seg-El that someone else (spoiler alert: Brainiac) has come back from the future to destroy Krypton before the universe’s greatest hero, Superman, is even a glint in the glint of someone’s eye. Back to the Future-style, Seg has to find McElhinney’s Fortress of Solitude and save the planet before the red cape in his hand disintegrates.
Well, save it for a generation, at least…