TV Review: Krypton S1E1 Pilot

Superman’s grandfather, Seg-El, learns Krypton is in danger of being destroyed so that his future grandson will never be born.

The history of Superman’s family is explored in Krypton, the new series from SyFy. A cross between the comic series and Game of Thrones, the series focuses on Superman’s grandfather Seg-El and a time travel conspiracy to erase Superman from existence.

The debut is an interesting one taking us deep into the Kryptonian society as they’re take over by the Church of Rao, the quasi-cult like Church that’s been mentioned in Superman and Supergirl’s history but not explored too much.

What we learn is a fanatical sect has taken control over Krypton and rejected science. It’s an interesting concept and one that’s a solid reflection on today’s world as anti-science individuals have invaded our government and rejected logic. Enter the House of El who believes there’s an alien threat that will soon attack Krypton. Replace alien with climate change, and you have a series that’s a loose allegory for today’s ills and one that could soar if it really focused on that.

The series though is about the family drama as the House of El is shamed and the House of Zod rules. It’s more Game of Thrones than Superman comics and that’s quite ok as it makes the series a step above sci-fi adventure.

The characters are interesting but no one stands out. They all feel second tier in their own special way. Only Adam Strange, a time traveller to help save the future, is interesting and makes things a bit more entertaining.

What does stand out is the set design, costumes, and world which has so much detail. The show looks amazing. While it’s drab in color and a bit depressing, it still looks fantastic. Particularly impressive is our brief glimpse of Braniac, the big bad that’s coming, whose make-up and design is heads and above what we’ve seen on live action comic adaptations.

The debut episode isn’t bad, it’s also not amazing either. It’s a good start that has me wanting to see where it all goes. There’s potential here and if any of the characters stand out going forward will be key because right now, there’s no “star” to make the series really stand out. There’s “heart” that’s missing here. The motions are being gone through without the emotional depth and connection that’s needed. No matter what though, it’ll be fantastic to look at.

Overall Rating: 7.0