Why you should be watching Krypton: “Pilot” Review

A prequel that’s not really a prequel

Krypton is a science fiction/comic book TV series from writers David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight, Man of Steel) and Damian Kindler (Stargate SG-1, Sanctuary). The series follows Superman’s grandfather, Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe), living as a young man and “rankless” outcast on the planet Krypton. When Seg is warned by time-traveler Adam Strange that Brainiac wants to destroy his world, he must protect his unborn grandson’s existence and avoid catastrophic consequences for the entire universe.

Cameron Cuffe as Seg-El in Krypton (2018). Image via SyFy.

If there’s one way to describe Krypton, call it all the weird, science fiction stuff you loved (but rarely saw) in Smallville, minus The CW Network’s limitations. However despite mostly positive responses from viewers, currently Krypton is only sitting at 59% on Rotten Tomatoes. That score is reasonably fair due to some mixed acting and dialogue, but we’re taking the chance to say this series is a must watch. It’s not uncommon for a series to have minor issues in its pilot, but I can’t stress enough all the evidence that suggests Krypton is going to blow everyone away. Think season 1 of The Flash style twists.

So without further ado, here’s a couple of reasons why we think you should be watching SyFy’s Krypton.

Why you should be watching Krypton

It’s not run by the CW or Netflix, it’s run by people who know sci-fi and comic books

David S. Goyer via dcmovies.wikia (left), Damian Kindler via sleepyhollow.wikia (right).

As aforementioned, the series comes from David S. Goyer and Damian Kindler, both writers with a lot of successful comic book and sci-fi experience. Having execs and writers familiar with the genre puts Krypton at an advantage over other current comic shows – similar to how The Flash benefited from Geoff Johns’s involvement in its first season. I also feel the need to mention that Krypton’s lead, Cameron Cuffe, is a giant-ass comic book and Superman nerd, so that’s got to count for something.

Krypton is also good news for anyone fed up with the soap opera-level drama that other Arrow, Flash and Supergirl comic book TV series have devolved into. The series has a smaller season order of 10 episodes as opposed to The CW’s 23 episode ones, which means writers are able to spend more time on getting everything right and developing story. Similarly, the pilot is fast-paced and action-packed, completely putting Marvel Netflix’s tedious, crawling pace to shame.

It’s not set on Earth

Brainiac in Krypton, via SyFy (left), artwork by Francis Manapul via DC Comics (right).

It’s frustrating when comic book shows don’t fully utilize the rich characters and worlds that exist in their comic canon. We’re in a day and age where no one wants to see characters in watered down, mundane worlds. We want to see small-screen Flash hanging out with his dudebro Green Lantern like he does in the comics. Even seeing Daredevil pop up in MCU films would be great – but with the poor communication and politics between most networks and studios, it’s not a reality.

It involves more of the mythology than I think people realize. A lot more. – David S. Goyer (2015)

Call me optimistic, but Krypton‘s looking to be quite unique in that regard. For one, David S. Goyer comes from a film background, and knows how to bridge those gaps between studio and network. Secondly, it’s set on another planet, not Earth. Immediately you’re likely to have more intergalactic characters and concepts, namely the previously teased Thanagarian and Justice League member, ‘Hawkwoman’. Krypton is also doing Geoff Johns’s acclaimed version of Brainiac (Superman: Brainiac) as well as time travel. If you believe all the hype, it’s only going to get weirder and better from there.

Worldbuilding

Cameron Cuffe and Georgina Campbell in Krypton. Img via SyFy (2018).

Being set on an alien planet has a lot of perks, too. Krypton‘s worldbuilding is immersive and compelling. The set and costume design in the series is reminiscent of Man of Steel‘s, with just a smidgen of Game of Thrones in there too. In the pilot, we also got some neat throw-forwards to Superman, with the Fortress of Solitude and John William’s classic Superman theme, scored by composer Pinar Toprak.

While Krypton’s worldbuilding is mostly great, I’m also obliged to point out my main criticism for the pilot. As I mentioned in my Mister Miracle #7 review, it was jarring to see a past civilization of Kryptonians using modern, English slang. Fatman on Batman co-host Marc Bernardin put it best when he tweeted“For as silly as some thought “frak” was, it’s better than Superman’s grandfather saying “shit”.

Not just a prequel

Cameron Cuffe, Elliot Cowan and Wallis Day in Krypton. Image via SyFy (2018).

We’ve seen our Smallvilles and our Gothams, following heroes up to the moment when they finally make the leap to becoming their famed comic book heroes. After ten years of “almost Superman” with Smallville, there was a concern that Krypton would be a repeat of the same thing. The show’s executive producers have been adamant in assuring that won’t be the case, and I’m inclined to believe them. Despite having its connections to Superman, Krypton appears to thus far be able to stand on its own, using DC mythology and characters without needing Clark Kent for now.

Although the Krypton pilot was a bit of a mixed bag, with some clunky first episode dialogue and acting, it’s also a promising, fast-paced watch. If you’re a sci-fi, comic book or even Game of Thrones fan, you’ll almost certainly find yourself getting invested.


For more from this reviewer, follow @officialoislane on Twitter.

TV Reviews

About Author

Kezia Holland

Kezia Holland is a Media Arts & Production student and a writer based in Sydney, Australia. She was indoctrinated into the movie, comic book and tv show world from a young age and has been stuck there ever since, unfortunately. You can follow her on Twitter here: @officialoislane

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