Monday, March 26, 2018

Krypton - Pilot

Created by David Goyer, the SyFy's new Superman-inspired TV-series cobbles together a version of Krypton from various sources (unfortunately Goyer's Man of Steel being one of them), to offer a look at the civilization that gave birth to the Man of Steel. Set during the lifetime of Superman's grandfather, the "Pilot" introduces us to Seg (Cameron Cuffe) whose family is disgraced in the show's opening scene, ending the House of El. Heroics 14 years later allow for the possibility of Seg regaining honor with another house, although a time-traveler named Adam Strange (Shaun Sipos) has other plans for the rebellious street rat who must fulfill his destiny to continue the El line.

As its villains Krypton offers the religious theocracy of Krypton that kill of Seg's grandfather (Ian McElhinney) for his ludicrous notions that Krypton isn't alone in the cosmos and that other worlds support life. We also see a strict caste system and seedy underbelly that is pretty far removed from the original Krypton glimpsed in comics. Modifying the fate of Krypton a bit as well, the show also teases the existence of Brainiac while suggesting the Collector of Worlds, and not the planet's own instability, will be the cause for Krypton's destruction in two generations time.

The show is awkward in places, such as the ridiculous idea that Superman's own great-great grandfather would have his own Fortress of Solitude (really? did he date a reporter named Lois, too?), but it's at least watchable and doesn't completely undercut what Superman stands for (which is more than I can say about Goyer's film). Honestly, I'm not sure there's enough to keep me here for the entire 10 episode season. The background politics look like they are going to be the focus of the show, while the idea of someone disrupting Superman's timeline by attempting to change the fate of his grandfather opens up possibilities for surprises along the way. All that said, Seg is no Superman. Sure, given the death of his entire family he's given plenty of motivation to fight the status quo and (somehow) reestablish the House of El, but other than rather simple street hustling we don't see any skills that would allow him to do this. I'm not sure how this character is going to change his world (which will be dead in a couple of generations anyway).

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