KILLJOYS – Season 1 Episode 1 – SPOILERS
LUCY: Approaching intake. Docking procedures initiated.
You’re cutting it a little close, aren’t you John?
JOHN: Easy, Lucy.
LUCY: I nag because I care.
Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen) is KILLJOYS main character, and she speaks with a British accent. That’s fairly unusual for a North American science-fiction show, and is possibly meant to suggest that her place of origin is different from that of the other characters. Dutch bounty hunts for the RAC, an agency that is independent of all governments in The Quad, which consists of three colonized moons circling one planet in a star system far far away.
The first episode starts on Westerley, the moon where RAC is headquartered. Westerley orbits Qresh, a blue planet with white clouds that looks like earth except that it has three moons. Qresh is half covered in water and the tides must be extremely complex to predict. Its moons are apparently where most of the economic activity in the system occurs. The Company (these writers are not repeating CONTINUUM’s mistake of getting too specific with the name) is owned by the residents of Qresh. The more Qresh land one owns, the greater ones stake in The Company. For the most part, lunar residents work for The Company.
There must be plenty of inhabited star systems in the KILLJOYS universe, though no others have yet been described. D’avin (Luke McFarlane) was tracked down on a slaver ship headed to far off places. He had booked passage on the ship as an indentured fighter. The more he fought, the farther he could travel. It may be significant that the slaver ship is named Arcturus. That rather large orange star is located in what is very possibly the remnant of a star cluster located outside of the galactic plane less than 40 light years from Earth. KILLJOYS identifies the area of space where The Quad orbits a yellow sun as the “J Star Cluster”.
Specific technologies shown in this episode that do not currently exist are dermal regenerators (used to heal bloody knuckles), Artificial Intelligence (Lucy), and miniature octopod robots akin to those in the 2nd episode of the 2005 Dr. Who reboot. (Dutch uses these to subdue gunmen on Qresh.)
Part of the episode happens on Qresh, which is pictured as lush and green, and largely populated by rich folk and their servants. The biggest puzzle is the gravity. Everyone moves as though they are in ‘normal’ gravity (whatever that is for them) whether they are on Westerley or on Qresh. From the opening view of The Quad, it is easy to see that all three of the moons are much smaller than the planet. Dutch showed D’avin charts of the sytem and Westerley has the largest diameter and the orbit with the greatest eccentricity.
At least three supporting characters are worth noting. The bartender Pree (Thom Allison) is exceptionally charming. Dutch’s friend, Bellus Haardy, played by Nora McLellan, is a warrant broker and wise woman who probably has an interesting back story which we will find out about when (inevitably) an episode is based on Dutch helping her out of a jam. Dutch’s ship Lucy (Tamsen McDonough) didn’t get to say much in episode one, but she could easily develop into the non-humanoid equivalent of DARK MATTER’s android.
We know that D’avin is John’s brother, and that he is a combat veteran. (He has nightmares.) Who is at war with whom? Where and why are they fighting? These things are still unknown. We also know that D’avin looks great shirtless. His brother John has been working with Dutch for a while,
ever since she caught him trying to steal Lucy.
We have yet to learn much about the other two moons, Leith and Arkyn. Arkyn has rings. Leith means “damp” so one might speculate it is a reference to the weather on that satellite. Dutch meets with Bellus Haardy there, and at least the area of Leith where that happened is densely forested.
Near episode’s end, we are treated to a Westerley folk song sung by Emma Pederson. The person accompanying her on a white accordion is uncredited.
On top of all that, Dutch has been trained as an assassin (or something similar) since she was very young. Her mentor was a gray haired dude named Khlyen (Rob Stewart). Both of them work for some mysterious organization. When Dutch receives a red box it’s sort of like when the MISSION IMPOSSIBLE crew gets a cassette tape, only the box does not self-destruct, and she does not have the option of rejecting the mission.
Hannah John-Kamen (Dutch) is Violet in 2 episodes of the British TV series CUCUMBER, created by Russel T. Davies, about modern gay life in Manchester. She appeared as the same character in the companion series BANANA. Both series began airing on Channel 4 in the UK last January.
Emma Pederson (singing tavern girl) will be Morris’s Secretary in LIFE, a film about a photographer assigned to take photos of James Dean for LIFE Magazine. Kristian Bruun (ORPHAN BLACK) is also in that film, which is due to be released in France, the UK, and Germany in September.
Nora McLellan (Bellus Haardy) is Alexandra in the short film VIRTUAL HITMAN, the tale of a Chinese father who, disapproving of her activities as a professional gamer, hires an online ‘assassin’ to kill his daughter’s avatar. The film, which premiered last March at the Reel World Film Festival in Toronto, may have been based on actual events in 2013, when A Chinese man did a similar thing to his gaming-addicted son. McLellan’s first TV appearance (1993) was as Jane Morris in Season 1 Episode 6 of THE X-FILES.