The tables are turned now as I interview our own contributing writer Robert Beasley on the SyFy show Killjoys. Robert has been covering the show since it began airing. Here he discusses Killjoys and some of the highlights of the show.
Killjoys is an extremely visual show. How much of the sets are built and how much is CGI?
“While I’m unsure of the exact numbers here, Killjoys utilizes both physical sets and CGI in a way that blends the two formats seamlessly, providing the viewer with locations and set pieces of epic proportions. Killjoys keeps the locations localized to The Quad which means that while the audience will see certain sets multiple times (like Pree’s Bar, the Killjoys hangout) they’ll also see other areas of the same venue, helping flesh out the Killjoys universe.”
The main cast of Killjoys is relatively small, with a larger supporting cast. How does this compare, as a viewing experience, to a larger space crew like Star Trek or even Farscape–shows that have more crew members to their ships?
“The team is small enough to allow viewers to focus on each character’s development. This allows for careful attention to the little nuances that make each character who they are. It lets a viewer see how each member of the team operates both separately and together without getting things too muddled by jumping back and forth between separate characters viewpoints. It really allows for a deeper connection with the characters in the show, but I also feel that we can’t stop there.
“Because of Killjoys localized areas, you’re also going to see a lot of the same supporting cast. People like Thom Allison’s Pree to Sean Baek’s Fancy Lee all help flesh out an ever-expanding universe of awesomeness.”
Aside from Johnny Jaqobis, the other two members of Lucy’s crew (Dutch and D’avin) both have the stereotypical fairly-decent-person-trying-to-atone-for-a-troubled-past/badass-with-a-heart-of-gold persona. What are your opinions on this? Do you feel it adds or detracts from the depth of the show?
“I feel that there’s so much more to these characters than an archetype of TV Tropes. While it’s true that they both fit into those categories, both Dutch and D’avin feel like real people who are constantly evolving as situations unfold around them. It certainly adds to the depth of the show. I believe deeply that any series that gives the kind of depth to their characters that Michelle Lovretta does to the Killjoys crew is going to be a huge success.”
Speaking of Lucy, tell us a little more about her and her technology.
“Lucy is your standard AI-operated starship in the vein of Rommie from Andromeda. She has personality that doesn’t seem as programmed as some shows and Tamsen McDonough who voices Lucy manages to make the ship feel like more of a character than just another starship.”
Is there any other futuristic tech on Killjoys that stands out to you compared to other sci-fi shows?
“There’s so much future tech in the show, it’d be hard to name it all. While it may not all be unique to the series, the fun and badass ways in which the show presents the tech more than makes up for the occasional unoriginality. Items like Fancy Lee’s bloodhound drone or his directional darts coupled with the upbeat dialogue of the show’s writing make scenes involving this tech more immersive than it might otherwise be.”
Killjoys definitely is intended for the older (translation: mature) audience. Do you think this helps or hinders the show as far as viewership, and do you think SyFy runs the risk of a younger crowd flipping stations at the wrong time?
“Yes, the show contains suggestive themes. It contains guns. It contains violence, sex, swear words, and alcohol. But hasn’t science-fiction always seemed to be tailored for the more mature audience. Whether it was William Shatner’s Captain Kirk back or Nathan Fillion’s Malcolm Reynolds, sci-fi has always had that edge and I don’t feel as if Syfy is doing anything that other stations themselves haven’t already done. In addition, Killjoys rests comfortably in a time slot where the youngest viewers are likely already in bed and unlikely to glaze over those themes I mentioned earlier.”
Let’s talk about the writing content of the show. What is it that you like best about the writing on the show?
“The dialogue. Hands-down the dialogue makes the show. The RAC pack could be in the middle of the tensest situation they’ve ever been in with me sweating it out right there alongside them and a single witty one-liner can defuse that tension and lead straight into the coolest fight scene of the series. At the same time, if the situation is meant to be tense, the writers let it be. No one-liners. No wit. No guile. Just real talk.”
Is there a lesson you think the writers are trying to tell with the show, or is it really all just sex and danger?
“A lot of the show seems to revolve around friendship and redemption. The sex and danger is there, but it’s used as a storytelling device to help move the plot at the appropriate times. Redemption – that no matter what you do, it’s possible to change. It’s possible to turn it around and be a better person.”
Is there a particular lesson that you have learned by watching the show?
“Reality. Trust. Friendship and redemption like I said in the previous question. But for me, it’s that sometimes you have to be the one to make the tough call and it won’t be easy and it’ll probably eat at you. A scene comes to mind with Sean Baek’s Fancy Lee talking about every organization having it’s designated a-hole. At this point, you feel almost sorry that he feels he has to be the loner everyone kind of hates, and then later on, in a particularly intense moment, he steps up and fulfills that role admirably. He makes the hard decision so that no one else has to. So that no one else has to feel that pain or live with the decision they made. In this scene, Fancy doesn’t say much at all, but Sean Baek’s expressions sell Fancy as quite possibly my favorite. He doesn’t say anything but you just know somehow what’s going through his mind as he saunters off. Things like that really help sell the series.”
Well, well…Thanks, Robert, for showing me that Killjoys is just as good as Dark Matter in its own way. Both shows have excellent casts, stellar scenery (pun intended), and dramatic themes.