Krypton’s Pilot Promises a Season of Strange Adventure and Epic Drama
Kal-El, my future grandson, this is the story of the House of El. Our ending is yet to be written but this is how we began. Ours is a story of sacrifice and triumph, how the House of El led a revolution against tyranny. The story of your family isn’t how we died, but how we lived.
And with these words, addressed to his future (which is sort of our present), Seg-El, Superman’s grandfather, launches a new player into the comic book-television world.
It’s an alien world with a rigorous bureaucracy and a rigid hierarchy. Sure, everyone is human-looking and super hot and fit but who’s complaining?
As a prologue to Superman’s life, it starts even farther back in the timeline with a flashback to Seg-El’s grandfather, Val-El (Ian McElhinney, Game of Thrones). He is a renowned scientist whose findings contradict the government’s official stance on the matter of an encroaching planet-absorbing entity which threatens Krypton’s existance.
When Seg-El is nine, Val-El is tried and found guilty of treason for his research into this imminent danger and for his refusal to toe the government line. As punishment, he is executed and his entire family is stripped of name and guild and forced into the slums of the Rankless, considered without honor or status.
Fourteen years later, Seg is running betting schemes with fellow Rankless buddy, Kem (Rasmus Hardiker, Floogals) and getting the stupid end of blasters pointed at him a lot. His father, Ter-El (Rupert Graves, Sherlock), is working as a menial at the Guild of Lawmakers.
When Seg comes by the Guild of Lawmakers to get his dad some medication, he jumps in to foil a terrorist suicide bomber. As a reward for his service, Daron-Vex (Elliot Cowan, Da Vinci’s Demons) the same magistrate who pronounced his grandfather’s sentence and literally stripped his family crest from his chest as a boy, offers him the chance to be reinstated with rank (but as a part of the House of Vex, not the House of El) and be bound to his youngest daughter, Nyssa-Vex (Wallis Day, The Royals).
Keeping up so far? Yeah, buckle up. There’s been a guy in a Detroit Tigers baseball cap lurking around and suddenly he grabs Seg, tells him that he’s a time and space traveler named Adam StrangeÂ (Shaun Sipos, Dark Matter) and he’s here to warn Seg that enemies are coming to kill him in order to prevent the birth of Superman.
He gives Seg a sunstone with the crest of the House of El engraved in one end, tells him to “find the fortress”, and then disintegrates. Seg takes it home to his parents who act all shifty when he mentions “the fortress” so he reacquires the stone from his dad’s satchel and heads out to the Genesis Chamber to combine his DNA with Nyssa. So romantic.
Because no show these days is complete without a love triangle, Seg’s already got a love interest in Lyta-Zod (Georgina Campbell, Broadchurch), daughter and subordinate of the head of the Military Guild, Jayna-Zod (Ann Ogbomo, Wonder Woman).
Seg spends a lot of time in the slums running from the Sagittarian Guards, it seems. After yet another unfortunate encounter, he’s swept up by his mother, Charys (Paula Malcomson, Caprica) in a “borrowed” skimmer and she flies him to his late grandfather’s Fortress of Solitude (honestly, there should’ve been trumpets when she said those words) and his sunstone opens the Fortress up.
When they return home, the guards raid the home. Charys forces Seg to hide and gives herself up to the guards, invoking the “Black Zero”, knowing that that’ll get her taken in alive for interrogation.
Seg visits his mother in her cell trying to convince her to let him give the Lawmakers the sunstone and the location of the Fortress in return for mercy. She reiterates that he must continue his grandfather’s work and save their world.
Jayna enters and throws Seg out. She and Charys have a mother-to-mother stare down before Charys is taken in for trial. Jayna tries to force Charys into admitting that Seg was with her in the stolen skimmer but, instead, Ter confesses and when Seg tries to stop him, Jayna kills Ter. Charys rushes to her husband’s side and deliberately reaches for a weapon. Jayna kills her too.
Lyta tries to console Seg but, when he connects her to her mother’s deeds, he walks away from her. Kem provides him with a skimmer and he heads straight to the Fortress to grieve. Adam Strange finds him there and, after taking a hit for inadvertently causing his parents’ deaths, he presents him with Superman’s cape which is disintegrating slowly (sort of like Marty’s photo of his family in Back to the Future) and warns him again that he must survive.
Not only is there something from his future coming to try to prevent the birth of Superman, he must also contend with the entity known as Brainiac which absorbs whole planets, “the Collector of Worlds” which will eventually destroy Krypton and then the rest of the universe as well.
Right, so no pressure, eh?
All in all, this was a solidly impressive pilot/premiere. Yes, lots of exposition but that’s always a necessary evil with a new series. The performances, especially by the more mature cast, were exceptionally well-done.
The overall feel is something of a cross between Smallville and Caprica, the former probably because of the youth-centred action and the Superman connection and the latter because of it’s Dynasty-in-Space vibe and the always amazing Paula Malcomson.
Not sure we need the Adam Strange time-traveling meddling but I guess it was the simplest (?) way of getting Seg the sunstone.
Krypton airs Wednesday nights at 10pm ET/PT on SYFY.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Catching Up with Ted Lasso and Previewing Season 2
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] The not so dirty little secret about how I approach a new series is that I sometimes make a call based on the headspace I’m in at the time. It’s been a minute since I’ve picked up a show after the first season and then binge…
Interview: Henri Esteve on Grown-ish Season 3
An interview with Henri Esteve, who plays Javi on Freeform’s Grown-ish. He talks about his season three experience.
For All Mankind Season 2: Talking with Wrenn Schmidt, Krys Marshall, Jodi Balfour, and Sonya Walger [Exclusive]
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] One of the hooks of For All Mankind is that it’s very much a story about the women of NASA. In Season 2, we explore the journeys of the women in the program, either through their own service or through their family affiliations. Four of those…
Rosy McEwen Talks The Alienist: Angel of Darkness Season Finale [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers for the season finale episodes.] How’s everyone after that finale? I will freely admit I got a little misty in episode eight as John told Sara why he loved her, and later that he wanted her despite what he might forfeit, and then at the end when he…
Rosy McEwen Talks The Alienist: Angel of Darkness [Exclusive]
Hands down, one of the best surprises of The Alienist: Angel of Darkness is that the serial killer this season has been front and center alongside the cast as a fully-formed character. We’ve watched Libby Hatch devolve from a prim, mild-mannered nurse to a woman in a rage hell-bent on…
The Alienist: Angel of Darkness Relationship Recap: John and Sara
[Warning: Spoilers for “Belly of the Beast” and “Memento Mori”] If you’ve read me for a while (thank you!), you know two things — I lean way, way in on the characters I adore and I loathe love geometry arcs. So, I’m torn about where we are and where we…
Louriza Tronco Talks The Order Season 2 [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers ahead for Season 2.] The Order’s second season is dark yet delightful entertainment on many levels, and one of its biggest sources of joy and snark is the sassy Gabrielle Dupres. Last season, she was assertive and deadly and fairly annoyed with the world. This season, she’s been…
Previewing Netflix’s Virgin River
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] Full disclosure: I have a Netflix account for my Mom, but I’m not a regular viewer. If I get a heads up on something, I’ll go look for it, but I don’t have a wander across its offerings, which, as I understand it, is how most…
Final Thoughts From the Killjoys Team [Exclusive]
This is the day of the week I’d normally hit you up with a Killjoys preview, but now that we’ve put the series to bed and released Team Awesome Force into the wild, I have one more treat for you–some final thoughts excerpted from my conversations with the Killjoys folks….
Michelle Lovretta Talks Wrapping Up Killjoys [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers for the series finale.] To quote Miss Jackson, “That’s the end?” Yes, friends, it is. And like I promised you, everything would be, was, and is alright. I went to the Killjoys source, series creator Michelle Lovretta, who wrote the last episode, to break down that delicious finale….
What They Said: Three Revealing Conversations from Survivor’s Remorse “Closure”
WARNING: Spoilers for Survivor’s Remorse “Closure” The latest episode of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse featured conversations that showed characters really digging deep into their thoughts, emotions and motivations.
Two Takes: The Catch “The Knock-Off”
Who can you trust? If this episode of The Catch was any indication, the answer is just about nobody. Betrayal was running rampant as Felicity (Shivani Ghai) arose from the dead to seduce-con Margot, Gretchen (Maria Thayer, Gotham, The Mindy Project) played gold-hearted Alice 2.0 before swindling Ethan, Tessa jumped…
What They Said: Top 3 Quotable Moments from Preacher “El Valero”
Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Supergirl “Worlds Finest”
Oh, Supergirl. That ending was cold. But I can’t hate on you because the latest episode has quickly become one of my favorites.
What They Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Black Sails “XXIII”
The dialogue in “XXIII” is phenomenal. It’s always a fun ride when Black Sails carries its viewers along without giving them the chance to catch their breath. When an episode moves at this unforgiving pace, there is no chance for a breather nor is there a respite from the information…
What Lucifer Said: Favorite quotes from Supernatural “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Supernatural episodes are almost always funny but thanks to the dialogue and a certain man speaking said dialogue, I laughed a lot during “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” You know, when I wasn’t busy fearing for Sam’s life or wondering what in the world was going on with Dean and…
What They Said: The Flash, “Legends Of Today” and Arrow, “Legends Of Yesterday”
Two nights of Arrow +Â The Flash = what more could we ask for?! I don’t know what it is about blending these shows, but I canâ€™t help but feel that every time they come together, they somehow become greater than the sum of their parts. And thatâ€™s saying a lot…
What they Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Graceland “Little Bo Bleep”
Shoot outs. Fake outs. And long-awaited revelations. “Little Bo Bleep” was a jam-packed episode that wrapped up some loose ends and totally frayed others. Â It finally gave us one Sarkissian in jail and pulled back the curtain on Briggs’ master plan, but it also set up Jakes for a world…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Poldark “Part 4”
â€œWhat have I told you, I don’t require my wife to crochet and sip tea, but I do require her to remember she’s not a beast of burden.â€ No, Iâ€™m not talking about The Rolling Stones! I have to admit though, just for a second, the lyrics popped into my…
3 Moments of Goodness from Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Johnny and Dora”
The most satisfying part of this season’s finale has to the Jake and Amy kiss. Well, they kiss three times but the last one is the best one — and it means something. The Charles and Rosa dynamic was also great. I love how she’s convinced he doesn’t know anything…