When you’re diving into a fast-paced adventure that leaps from planet to planet, in a system teetering on the brink of a revolution, with plenty of plot twists, fight scenes and secrets from the past, you can bet that the deep space drama equivalent of Murphy’s Law will kick in. And so it is with Killjoys.
The moment you nip to the kitchen to grab a drink, get interrupted by the phone or jumped on by your dog / cat / child will, of course, be one of those moments when you find out what the RAC is, why seeing a red box is not a good thing, and whether a killjoy actually kills.
To help you keep up with all the action that surrounds our bounty-hunting trio, here’s what you might find mighty handy.
Who’s bringing us joy?
Killjoys takes us on a wild ride with three interplanetary bounty hunters, aka killjoys: Dutch (Hannah John-Karmen, also seen in Game of Thrones and Brave New World); Johnny (Aaron Ashmore, Veronica Mars, Cardinal); and D’Avin (Luke Macfarlane, Brothers & Sisters). Killjoys are reclamation agents working for the RAC – sounds like rack, stands for Reclamation Apprehension Coalition. Warrants can be for captures or kills, and for a killjoy, the warrant is everything. Join the RAC and you’re sworn to neutrality. Well, in theory. Not so easy if it’s a warrant for your brother, eh Johnny?
Who else should I know about as things get going?
Fancy Lee (Sean Beak) is another RAC agent. Clever. Bit of a loner. Khylen (Rob Stewart). Can’t tell you much about him without diving into spoilers, so we won’t. Pawter Simms (Sarah Power) is a doc on Westerley. Alvis Akai (Morgan Kelly) is a monk/resistance fighter. And then there’s Bellus Hardy (Nora McLellan), a former active killjoy who runs a booth at the Leith Bazaar (where’s Leith, you might ask? Read on).
So, where are we?
We’re in the Quad (one planet, Qresh, and three moons), a little corner of the universe where a class war is bubbling away not far beneath the surface. Qresh is where the elite live; as their population and ambitions outgrew their little planet, they expanded to the moons. Home base for our trio, Westerley was plundered for its resources, used and abused. It’s dark, gritty and dangerous. Next, Leith, which provided land for Qresh’s overspill – those not connected enough to be on Qresh. It’s cleaner and calmer than Westerley but it’s not all happiness here either. Finally, there’s the smallest moon, Arkyn. It’s a bit of a mystery but it has a role to play as the show unfolds.
The power in the Quad lies with the Nine – wealthy families who control the Company, a mega-corp that runs almost everything. All Qreshi citizens get shares in the company, and to be a citizen you must own land on Qresh. More land, more shares, more power. The families own a lot of land.
Westerley sounds dangerous
Yep, between the acid rain that can kill you if you get caught in it and a population peppered with killers, police, addicts and the like, it’s a tough place to live. But there’s always something happening here. A regular haunt for our trio is a bar in Westerley’s Old Town. It’s run by striking, stylish Pree (Thom Allison). The doc runs her practice upstairs.
And what about Dutch? Also dangerous?
Oh yeah! She’s a level-five agent, which is way up the ladder (level-five agents are authorised to kill). But her skill when it comes to fighting her way out of (or into!) trouble reflects a dark past. Without giving too much away, let’s just say that she had a far from normal childhood, and if she’s given a red box, she’s got a hard choice to make.
Anything else I should know?
Let’s finish up with some fun facts: Killjoys comes to us from creator Michelle Lovretta (Lost Girl) and was made in Canada. Aaron Ashmore has an identical twin brother, fellow actor Shawn Ashmore; Macfarlane is also a twin. Sci-fi fans get an ‘oh look it’s her’ moment in season 1 with a guest appearance from Amanda Tapping (Stargate SG-1, Sanctuary). And ‘Lucy’ is a very cool spaceship. You’ll see why.
Seasons 1-3 of Killjoys are streaming now at SBS On Demand. Season 4 will also be available from 19 November. Start here with episode 1: