We’re two episodes out from the Killjoys Season 3 finale, so it seemed like a good time to chat with showrunner Michelle Lovretta about our wickedly awesome season so far. She graciously agreed to an e-mail Q&A where we talked about handling production curveballs, the Murder Twins love story, and what exactly is up with Dutch.
We’ve covered a little bit here the production things that threw the Season 3 plotting a different way than initially intended–Stephanie Leonidas wasn’t available to return as Clara, so Ollie was born, and Mayko Nguyen‘s real-life pregnancy was written into Delle Seyah’s arc. Lovretta says a well-oiled team made both of those hurdles deliciously surmountable.
“Oh man, we had a really wonderful and super simpatico writing team this year so we had broken quite a significant chunk of the season before we started shooting. We were so proud, so naÃ¯ve, ha! For production reasons we started by shooting episode 304–so in practical terms of a ten-episode season, that meant we had nearly half of our season pretty fully written before cameras started rolling. And then stuff changed,” she says.
“Unexpected gifts definitely came from our unplanned changes, yeah: replacing Clara (whom we love) was fast, tough work, but thanks to Aaron [Ashmore], Tommie-Amber [Pirie], and directors Stefan Pleszynski and Andy Mikita all being fearless badasses, I think we pulled off something really great, with the added bonus of adding an amazing new character like Ollie to the Killjoys pantheon whom we never would have met.”
“Same goes for the Kendry Baby. We had our big Aneela arc loosely plotted out until, oh, say about episode 8 before we knew weâ€™d have to change things, so everything up until episode 306 plays out as planned. Delle Seyah was always intended to partner up strategically and romantically with Aneela on the armada; Aneela was always going to be revealed to be a prisoner in episode 306 as Gander turned on Delle Seyah. The difference is we suddenly had a pregnant actress playing a character who, canonically, could not get pregnant.”
“We joked in the writers room a lot, ‘maybe Kendry just takes a lot of green baths?’ but at a certain point we knew that just â€˜hidingâ€ it all season wasnâ€™t possible–unlike some sitcom where Mayko could hold a purse all year as a charming lark, having the audience intuit that a Hullen character was real-life pregnant in a season where we literally have to talk about how the Hullen CANâ€™T procreate would break the fourth wall in a distracting way I didnâ€™t like.”
“So, we leaned into it, asked Mayko if she was cool with us writing it in, and rebroke some arc stuff. Honestly, once I let go of my writer terror it brought me so much joy and gave the back half of the season more meat and better surprises and super complicated our relationship dynamics in an amazing way. I love these last eps and a lot of that–the pathos, the comedy, the twists–comes from this development. No regrets.”
The Dutch origin reveal was one hell of a whopper, and Lovretta says it was a mix of knowing from the beginning and evolving as she got to know the characters. “Probably a bit of both, as most of these things are. Itâ€™s hard for me to remember with full clarity sometimes! Most of the big pieces of the Khlyen-Dutch-the Lady story are the same (we even dropped a few hints about the Lady in SeasonÂ 1 & 2) but this is also a storyline that has pleasantly mutated over the years as we added layers and incorporated new ideas from other writers,” she explains.
“Thatâ€™s my favorite part about working in television, at least with the great rooms weâ€™ve had on this show. Although Khlyen always had a daughter that looked identical to Dutch Iâ€™m not sure I originally planned to introduce her on camera, but Iâ€™m thrilled to have met Aneela and watch what great work Hannah John-Kamen has done with her.”
Killjoys is a glorious melting pot of friends who’ve becoming family, a happy side effect of walk-on, one-off parts who become more falling in line beside recurring characters who were pre-planned. “Oh it’s a complete and unpredictable mix, which frankly keeps it interesting for me. Character creation and development is one of my favorite parts of this job,” Lovretta explains.
“Some have a specific arc and ending plotted as soon as I conceive of them–Pawter [Sarah Power] was like that, she was always my Westerlyn Joan of Arc, although originally I expected her to martyr herself for the cause. And some–like Turin [Patrick Garrow]Â and Gared [Gavin Fox]–were originally meant for one episode and become continuing characters strictly on the strength of those actors lighting a fire in my imagination when I see what they do with the role and how they play off the rest of our cast.”
“What we have been outrageously fortunate enough to avoid on this show are those characters who you plan big arcs for, but then cut it short because you didnâ€™t get the casting right. God bless our casting agents at Buchan-Knight for that.”
Lovretta is fully invested in Dutch’s story, and Dutch being the architect of that story. Like you, I assume no way in Hell is Dutch really going to die. “Nope, spoiler, Dutch totally dies,” she teases. “Kidding aside though…donâ€™t be so sure that there isnâ€™t some big end or change in store for Dutch. Sheâ€™s not telling John [the truth] because sheâ€™s not ready to face him and say goodbye–but she will. And with some caveats, the boys will accept that. Because they should.”
“Look, I know this is fiction, but it would still be pretty gross of me to tell a story where ‘this one womanâ€™s safety is worth risking everybody elseâ€™s just because I love her and my love is Very Important,’ so Iâ€™m not going to do that. Iâ€™m 100% on board with the Jaqobis risking their own lives for Dutch, but they canâ€™t risk everyone elseâ€™s and still be my concept of heroes.”
“Thatâ€™s the tension. They need to be clever, and if they canâ€™t think of a better plan, then they need to enable hers. So, no, no one talks Dutch out of her plan, because you canâ€™t talk sense into someone who is being legitimately if horribly sensible, and I would never insult my lead lady like that anyway. Sheâ€™s my girl, and Iâ€™m running things–so I promise, no one will decide what Dutchâ€™s final move is this year but Dutch. And thatâ€™s why itâ€™s so damn epic.”
KilljoysÂ airs Fridays at 8/7c on Syfy in the US and Space in Canada.Â Come back later tonight for my preview of “Reckoning Ball.” Click here if youâ€™ve missed my case for Season 4 or any of our exclusive Season 3 interviews.
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