Killjoys Review: “Bangarang”

It’s been awhile since we’ve had explodey SF action-adventure on TV but, with the success of Guardians of the Galaxy, it was only a matter of time.

Will Killjoys‘ blend of tropes, trends, and disparate tones find its audience?

Title: “Bangarang”

Directed by Chris Grismer
Written by Michelle Lovretta

Hannah John-Kamen as Dutch
Aaron Ashmore as John Jaqobis
Luke Macfarlane as D’Avin Jaqobis
Thom Allison as Pree
Morgan Kelly as Alvis
Sean Baek as Fancy Lee
Nora McLellan asBellus Haardy
Rob Stewart as Khlyen
Ava Laferriere as Yalena (Dutch 8 years)
Tamsen McDonough as voice of Lucy

Full cast and crew information may be found at the imdb


Interstellar warrant officers/bounty hunters Dutch and John race against another team in order to take their latest quarry: John’s estranged brother.

High Points

IA ships that pilot themselves aren’t new to written SF, but they’ve been surprisingly rare in media SF. Killjoys treats the ship as another character, and I’m interested in seeing how they explore Lucy’s interaction with the small crew. The human crew, meanwhile, show potential.

Low Point

I shouldn’t complain too much about the show’s world; near-future-seeming technology coexisting with quick interstellar flight and a few token attempts to show racial diversity are pretty much the standard for SF adventure television. Nevertheless, I wish media-SF would try a little harder. They’ve assembled this show from used furniture.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 We have Guardians of the Galaxy without the budget, Firefly without the Whedon wit, and Cowboy Bebop without the characters, filtered through recent fantasy tv and set in a YA Novel Dystopia.

Effects: 5/6 The CGI varies. Backgrounds and ships work reasonably well; planets seem curiously artificial. It is the first ep, however, and, not to be a killjoy, I’ll give the the show points for the clever repurposing, cannibalizing, and recontextualizing of available technology and set pieces.

Acting: 5/6 The acting is professional, and the core cast demonstrate some chemistry.

Story: 4/6 The story proves formulaic, but the world reveals its potential. The pilot hints at numerous arcs to be explored later.

Emotional Response: 4/6 Killjoys features some decent action sequences, but I’m hoping for more. They may or may not deliver– and their audience may or may not care if they do.

Production: 5/6

Overall: 4/6 The show needs to find its tone, but pilots can be rough going. Killjoys breaks no new ground, but it may find an audience hungry for escapist adventure.

In total, “Bangarang” receives 29/42