We’re closing in on the home stretch of the fourth season of Killjoys, and tonight’s hour opened up some old and recent wounds so the gang could heal and get ready to face The Lady. This week, I jumped on the phone to talk with writer Derek Robertson, who banks his first television script credit with the episode.
Robertson worked his way up through the world of TV production as a PA, VFX coordinator, and then script coordinator, which is how he arrived at Killjoys, before moving into the writers room at the beginning of the fourth season. “My dream has been to write for TV since I was 10 years old. After college, I got into the industry working whatever jobs I could to try to meet writers and learn everything I could about writing. I started as a PA, and one of my first jobs was as a PA on Flashpoint. Having [Stephanie Morgenstern] direct [my episode] was pretty cool,” he shares.
“I started on Season 2 as a script coordinator and early in Season 3, I got promoted to story editor [while also working as] story coordinator, so I got to be involved in developing stories and pitching ideas. We found out [about the renewal] on the day of our Season 3 finale and Adam [Barken] told me they really wanted me back and the goal was to give me an episode to write. It was pretty amazing,”
“It Takes a Pillage” was always intended to be a meeting of the minds for the Jaqobis brothers, but it took a turn from the original concept that had the episode instead focusing on the aftermath of “Johnny Dangerously.” “Before we started the development, I knew I would end up with episode number 8 in Season 4. We were talking about the direction we wanted the season to go. We knew it would be an episode about John and D’av and thought it would be more about the fallout from when John was Hullenized, but we realized that story wrapped itself up earlier,” he says.
“Since being here in Season 2, when we had a taste of Tellen and Marris, I’d always been intrigued to learn more about him. I knew coming out of Episode 406 and the fallout of the D’av and Dutch conversation, that would be something that needed to be [resolved] in 408 because [it wouldn’t in 407].”
“[The idea came from] something my grandfather said to me once. He had an alcoholic father. He never got too deep into it but he told me once that his most important job was to be a better father to his kids than his dad was and my dad’s job was to be better than him, and if I ever had kids, I should be better than him, and then one day maybe some generation will have it all figured out.”
“I thought it would be interesting to see D’av on that journey as a new father and with his past that’s been hanging over him. The other thing we talked about as we build for the finale and Season 5 is we want to have our characters looking forward to the future and not back toward their past. It seemed like this was the perfect time to dive into what happened on the day that D’av ran away and that was a Michelle [Lovretta] backstory she had for a long time. It was exciting to be the one to reveal that to the audience.”
“There’s so much going on with Johnny. This is the first time he’s seen his dad since he left home, and Charlie…As John heads through this season and into next, there’s this idea of what comes after this, and that’s something we want to explore with him. Where does he go, and what did he give up to go down this path? Did he miss out by not staying on Tellen and having a family and normal life, and the answer is clearly delivered to him.”
“Part of the subtext of D’av calling Dutch out is his own background, and in that moment, when he saw Dutch repeating some of the stuff Khylen did to her with Jaq, not only did it make him protective of Jaq, I think D’av carries this fear that he could repeat the cycle of his father and he’s suddenly a father to a teenager in the most rapid way possible. By facing his past and his father, it becomes clear to him that you’re not a slave to your past and doomed to repeat it, or your own mistakes.”
Robertson loved the strange trippy anti-Bechdel test nature of Dutch and Zeph’s interactions in the episode. “They were a ton of fun to write. When I first pitched the idea to Adam about basically using a sun as a giant subterfuge, he got really excited that it could be our sort of warped send up of the clichéd girls night. Instead of a sleepover, manicure, whatever those super tropey horrible clichés are, our characters would be doing a kickass science mission,” he laughs.
“Instead of having ‘boy trouble,’ their trouble is that one of them is dealing with a spider in the brain and the other is dealing with teaching a teenager Assassin 101. From that jumping off point, you have two characters who, in a million years, would never want to sit around talking about their feelings, but they have a lot going on and need to, [even though] they would rather be talking about anything else. All those elements created a pretty fun world to play around with.â€
Robertson sat on the Killjoys writers panel at Fan Expo last Friday and loved the experience. “We’re reminded every week and every Friday of how amazing our fans are, but getting to be face-to-face with a bunch of people who love the show…afterward, we talked about how lucky we are to be part of a show that really resonates with people. It’s a pretty amazing experience,” he says. “A lot of the time, you’re writing so far ahead of when it airs, or you’re in the writers room or on the set, so it was a pretty special day getting to meet some of the people who really appreciate the show.”
Robertson is part of the crew that’s closing out the series, which had its last table read ever today. “I’m here until the last day of filming. The days are flying by really fast and I think I’m kind of in denial that we’re at the end,” he explains. “For four seasons, this has been my world and this writing room is the most amazing second family you could ask for. It’s going to be bittersweet over the next couple of weeks.”
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…