Tag Archives: Killjoys

Interview: Killjoys creator talks game-changing episode

Well, D’Avin got his wish, but at what cost? Friday’s episode of Killjoys saw our heroic trio hunt down the ever-elusive Grayson Hicks (played by Republic of Doyle‘s Mark O’Brien), who in turn lead them to Dr. Jaeger (Amanda Tapping).

But “Kiss Kiss, Bye Bye” didn’t stop there. Rather than shut down the memory blockers per D’Avin’s request, Jaeger turned on his “kill” mode, directing him to dispatch his team. That lead to some truly shocking scenes where Dutch and Johnny felt the full force of a career military man and good soldier. Where does the team go from here? How can Dutch and Johnny trust D’Avin?

We got Killjoys creator Michelle Lovretta on the phone to discuss such matters.

We finally got to see Dr. Jaeger! How did you go about snagging Amanda Tapping for the role? Did you always have her in mind?
Michelle Lovretta: We haven’t made a big deal in the first season of trying to do anything in the vein of stunt casting and thinking of who would bring eyeballs. Instead, we tried thinking of who would have the right feel for the role and the presence for it. I basically thought of Amanda because of the past work that she’s done. I think in the future I’d like to do that again, to bring in people who have more of a science fiction legacy because it’s fun and of what it can add to the show.

What was it like working with her? 
She came into the office and we had a really great chat about where life had taken her and the show and some of the other projects she was working on. She’s just a really, really, lovely woman and I really enjoyed my time with her. On set they had a hell of good time as well.

It’s been really interesting to see her journey from being in front of the camera as a lead to behind it as a director.
One of the reasons she came to mind in the role is because we had an opening to get her as a director and the schedules didn’t mesh. But she’s fun and full of life and I really hope we can get her back in some capacity.

The last we saw of Jaeger, she was being hooked up to have her memory erased. Will she be back this season?
No. By the time we get to Episode 7, part of what we were trying to do was give us some closure with D’Avin with a hell of a bang and push us forward into the last third of the season so that we can concentrate on Dutch’s dilemma and the broader mysteries of The Quad and the RAC.


This was a really big episode for Luke Macfarlane. He ran the gamut of emotions with Dutch, first being intimate with her and then being programmed to kill her. Did you talk to him about the content beforehand? That was some pretty scary physical stuff.
We certainly had an open policy with the actors throughout where they’d come to us about where the characters were going. One of the first things Aaron asked me early on was whether Johnny was headed somewhere romantically with Dutch and I said no. We’ve talked about some of the larger turns.

I think, in the end, what’s interesting to me about the fight scene … I don’t pay lip service to Dutch’s physical prowess. There is never a moment when I doubt that. She’s almost infallible. When I wrote those scenes in the hallway on paper, I never felt afraid for her. The heartbreaking moment in that hallway for her is she’s lost that ability to control the situation and to protect the two of them from whatever the hell is going on. When you watch the scene it’s no longer the character, it’s this young woman and a physically larger male and it brings all of the additional gender violence to it. It was hard to watch because, again, on the page there were no worries for Dutch. It’s been an interesting process and I don’t know that Luke or Hannah felt the weight of that in the moment either because they were in character. But I’m sure when they do see it they’ll have the same reaction that we did, which is to hide your eyes and say, ‘Oh shit! I’m worried about her.’

One of the things going through my mind when I was writing it was something along the lines of, ‘If you wondered who would win if Dutch and D’Avin threw down, you’re about to find out.’ With someone who has such a history of killing, I guess you do need something shocking to, for a moment, feel as though there is jeopardy for that character. I really credit the cast and our director, Paolo Barzman, for the performances in this episode.

‘If you wondered who would win if Dutch and D’Avin threw down, you’re about to find out.’

By the end of the episode, this team is no longer the same. Where do they go from here? Jump ahead two years?
[Laughs.] Excellent idea! We’ll pull an Alias! When the show began, one of the things Johnny was worried about D’Avin was that he was going to fuck everything up for them. Now, Johnny was worried it was about sex and romance, but it was actually about his brother becoming an automaton killer monster beast. That scene with Johnny, when he’s telling Pree that he’s not jealous, he’s worried about his brother and sister. That scene was, before we were ordered to series, used as a way to illustrate to those who were going to work with us that’s the moment where we put to bed the worry that Johnny was lusting after Dutch.

Now after all of this blows up we also have to deal with the fact that D’Avin’s not culpable. It’s a weird, very uncomfortable position to put the team in because they can’t hate him, they can’t blame him but there are some things that they can’t immediately forgive. It’s not about logic, it’s about a feeling of trust. What this whole story allows us to do is put the team together in a stronger way, reminding and renewing the bond between John and Dutch because John very clearly chooses Dutch. Previously, we had a partnership that had a new person, but what this does is add history and sharing and trauma as a new way of bonding that now involves D’Avin. As we go forward, I think there’s a lot more depth between them.

There are just a few more episodes before the season finale. What can we expect?
There is a drum beating. There is an escalation of secrets and intentions and we’re building towards a bit of a showdown and some surprising reveals that make it impossible for our characters to exist in this world the way they existed in it before. They can’t be naive anymore and assume they have this legacy of, ‘bang bang, grab the bad guy.’ There is something else, and greater, afoot.

Killjoys airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Space.


Review: Secrets revealed on Killjoys

“I like fixing things, remember?” And with that, Johnny and D’Avin have begun to talk, really talk to each other. Sure, it came as a result of the latter being tortured by an interrogation computer on the fritz, but still.

“A Glitch in the System,” written by Adam Barken, was dark, creepy and violent, hearkening back to sci-fi thrillers like Event Horizon and 2001: A Space Odyssey. What appeared to be a routine mission to a derelict space ship to strip it of anything valuable turned deadly when Lucy detected danger and retracted from the old ship, trapping D’Avin, Dutch and Johnny inside. Of course, Lucy’s scan that revealed no life on board the craft was an error; there were two men on board and one jettisoned himself out of the air lock and into space. Why? To escape the clutches of fellow shipmate Hogan (Richard Clarkin), who had gone a tad nuts. Turns out the ship was a Black Ops interrogation ship using technology that put nanites inside people to erode—and rebuild—folks depending on how they answered questions.

Torture is a powerful instrument, and D’Avin revealed to Hogan (and Dutch and Johnny via monitor) that he had killed his entire squad, but didn’t know why. That information is being kept from him by three memory blockers placed in his brain. But who is keeping that information hidden from D’Avin and why?

With just a handful of episodes to go, Killjoys has really hit its stride. D’Avin and Johnny have emerged as a sarcastic one-two punch with Dutch throwing in her verbal two cents when she’s not kicking some serious butt. Or facing off with Khlyen, which she had to do in Friday’s closing moments. He says she’s grown weak because of her relationship with Johnny and needs an attitude adjustment. What does that mean? I can only surmise at this point, but I’m guessing it doesn’t include hot chocolate and hugs.

Notes and quotes

  • The CGI on Killjoys is amazing and those space suits are super-sexy.
  • “Let’s go find the treasure and blow shit up.” — Johnny
  • “How is that in any way loving me?!” — D’Avin, after Johnny shoots him in the leg to keep the nanites busy

Killjoys airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Space.


Interview: Killjoys creator recaps the season so far

What is Dutch’s relationship with mystery man Khylen? Is Johnny worried D’Avin is going to put the moves on Dutch? Speaking of D’Avin … is he human? Those were just three of the many questions we had for Killjoys creator Michelle Lovretta after Friday’s newest episode, “The Harvest.”

Dutch, Johnny and D’Avin’s warrant to snag a missing migrant worker on Leith wasn’t as easy as the trio assumed (when is it ever?), testing the group’s loyalty and opening the door to questions.

In our first of several planned chats with Lovretta, we got the scoop on Killjoys‘ genesis, a possible love triangle, upcoming episodes and why D’Avin doesn’t want anyone looking into his eyes.

I really like the humour, the action and the retro feel of Killjoys so far. It reminds me of Star Wars, Aliens and a bit of Blade Runner too. Is that what you were going for?
Michelle Loretta: Chris Grismer, our consulting director, and Michael Marshall, our director of photography, kind of helped us figure out the overall look and how we would differentiate the worlds. But back when it was just my baby and on the page, there are certain movies and shows that you love and your reference. For me it was Aliens and Outland. You definitely get a feel for the Blade Runner stuff as well, but in terms of the retro aspect for me, it wasn’t even about the look, it was about the set-up and me being an 80s kid. Yes, there is clearly some Star Wars in there but I loved Simon & Simon and Riptide and Airwolf. People with a love of their work, catching bad guys.

It has a retro sensibility to it because it’s something I have a nostalgia for. Just from the first scene set-up there is a twist on that, but it’s something at the heart of the show.

Did Killjoys come about while you were still working on Lost Girl? When did you first come up with it?
Development is such a long process. I know that I was in L.A. at the time but I was still consulted for a season or two of Lost Girl. I think I had fully left Lost Girl by then. I was just trying to come up with some ideas for things I was looking for on the air and not finding—a vibe and something I’d enjoy seeing—and then creating something that would answer that for me.

Bell MediaKilljoys, Defiance and Dark Matter are all on the air this summer. It must be rewarding to know this genre continues to have legs.
It’s particularly rewarding given my track record. Genre isn’t something I jump into because it’s saleable at the moment or the hot thing. It’s just something that I’ve always done. When I pitched this, it was so long ago, I really didn’t think that anyone would say yes, that we could go into space. I also didn’t believe that anyone would say yes, you can have a succubus! [Laughs.] I believe that you should be ready to actually do it because somebody might actually call your bluff.

I’ve spoken to several showrunners lately who have told be they couldn’t believe it when their idea was given the OK.
It’s very often the thing that is in your heart is not what they’re going to buy because it’s not a fad at the time and no one is ready to back it.

My inner geek is gobsmacked that this is happening now, and with shows like ours and Dark Matter, I hope that fans receive them well and it encourages networks to support them and to keep bringing in other shows as well.

Let’s get into these characters. Hannah is fantastic as Dutch. What was the journey to landing her?
The thing with Hannah that I have come to appreciate as the season has gone on is—you don’t really know how a character will pull together on an effects-heavy show like this until you get into post—and Hannah is such a lovely, funny, effervescent young actress and we were very hopeful she’d come across with a degree of authority, confidence and swagger and she absolutely does it. She’s very bonded with this character. When we were first auditioning, that was a problem because we had all these actresses who had a physicality to them and/or beauty or talent, but couldn’t be funny or approachable. You need a character who is a killer but who you empathize with and worry over and like. It’s a lot to ask for and she more than delivered. But it was a long, long, long look. We looked in Germany and the UK and kept going back and back. Once we found her and brought her in it was incredible because we were at that stage where you don’t want to say yes just to say yes and keep the show going. We were about to do that. We were almost at the 11th hour, which was scary, but that’s often when the magic happens.

We’re getting a little back story into Dutch. She has this father figure in Khlyen and the assassination she was supposed to carry out. Can you talk about the relationship between those two?
Khlyen is probably the most, other than Johnny, the most formative relationship that she’s had. He is somebody that she has known since she was a child. One of the struggles and the journey she is on this season is trying to—now that he was inserted himself into her life—try to understand the mystery of why. What is it about her that he has a particular interest in and why won’t he let her go? There is a bit of a dance and a push and pull between them. As time goes on we’ll get to see other sides of Khlyen. He has more texture to him, so he’s not just good dad/bad dad.

Bell MediaYou mentioned Johnny. He’s been showing a little bit of jealousy with regard to D’Avin becoming a Level 4 Killjoy and being teamed with Dutch last week. Is that jealousy going to become a love triangle or did you shelve that with Dutch’s comment last night?
There is a rivalry between the brothers based on the fact that they’re estranged. It’s not a fight for, or over, Dutch. We’ve seen hints of that in the first three episodes because that’s the natural assumption of people. D’Avin isn’t interested in Dutch that way. He is interested in being respected by her and feeling that the time he has put into this relationship has paid off. And I think he’s offended that Johnny assumes that D’Avin is going to come in and Alpha the shit out of it and be better. More than his relationship with D’Avin, Johnny values his relationship with Dutch.

It’s not a love triangle.

Lucy is great. How did having the voice of the space ship come about?
In the early days she had another name that we couldn’t to clear but she’s always been the same concept. If we get more seasons, we may expand on that slightly, but basically there was Dutch and Johnny and Lucy. They met when Johnny was trying to steal Lucy.

What do writer/producers like Adam Barken, Emily Andras and Aaron Martin bring to the table when you’re putting together a show like this?
They bring a lot of wonderful ideas and camaraderie and fun. I’m really good friends with all of them now and had previously worked with all of them except for Barken. Another person I’ve worked with before and on this is Jeremy Boxen. Boxen and Emily have worked with me as far back as Lost Girl and I’ve hired Emily on everything I’ve run. They are people that I have a long-standing comfort level with and they hit the ground running. Adam has a really exciting episode coming up in five and Jeremy in eight and Emily’s in four.

D’Avin didn’t want the doctor to look into his eyes. I can’t help but wonder if he’s not human or some kind of tech is back there. Am I on the right track?
Yeah, I’m certainly comfortable with that being the direction of assumption. D’Avin is hiding from his past—that much is clear—what is unclear is how much he knows about his past and whether or not that is accurate. A large part of his journey this season is figuring that out. All of which will be clearly explained by the end of this season.

Does the season finale leave us with questions unanswered?
Yes. What we appreciated being able to do with our warrants is our first three to four episodes used warrants as an adventure throughout The Quad and visit these places. By the end of Episode 4 we also introduce the last of our secondary characters. From there on we start to increase the serialization and get more into what the mysteries are. By the time we get to the end of the season there are quite a few new mysteries that are raised, but we will put some firm answers to some of the earlier ones.

Killjoys airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Space.


Review: Building relationships on Killjoys

Compared to last week’s debut, Friday’s second episode of Killjoys was a bit of a step back. Not in action or excitement, mind you—there was plenty of both—but time was taken to build and establish relationships on two major fronts.

“The Sugar Point Run,” written by Jeremy Boxen, forced Dutch and D’avin to team up when Lucy was shot down in hostile territory on Westerley. While Johnny stayed behind to fix the damaged ship, those two set off to track down Simon (Michael Therriault), who was being delivered to his sister, Ryo (Irene Poole), in exchange for the Mayor’s daughter, whom she’d captured. But Ryo wasn’t interested in reuniting with Simon because she missed him. She wanted the round memory chip he’d hidden in his guts; it held the launch codes to a missile she’d stolen and aimed at The Company’s headquarters in Old Town.

As expected, D’avin impressed Dutch with his hand-to-hand fighting and deadly accuracy with weapons (he was a soldier, after all) so much so she offered him a Killjoys gig provided he passed the test. I’m guessing he passes the test; the show is called Killjoys and not Two Killjoys and a Flunkie. Did anyone else catch that little narrowing of the eyes from Johnny when Dutch offered his bro the job? Who else thinks the Brothers Jacobis may be battling for her affections before the season is done?

Of course, Johnny has a lady of his own, sort of. It was clear from this episode that he and Lucy have a pretty intense bond, one usually reserved for people. The fact Johnny knows Lucy’s most intimate parts and software hints at a long-term relationship between them and a loyalty that has bridged the gap between spaceship and homo sapiens.



Notes and quotes

  • That red box means Dutch is supposed to dispatch someone in the next week. But who? And why?
  • “She’s my partner. Boss. My partner-boss.” — Johnny
  • Is it wrong that I thought Dutch was sexy as heck wriggling out of the scavenger’s straps?
  • Lucy’s light sarcasm is fantastic.

Killjoys airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Space.


Killjoys stars live the dream playing intergalactic bounty hunters

Luke Macfarlane and Aaron Ashmore are living the dream. The pair, along with Hannah John-Kamen, play a trio of bounty hunters in Space’s newest series Killjoys, zipping around a small star system grabbing those wanted by the law and claiming the monetary spoils. To star in a sci-fi series is cool enough, but one thing took it over the top: carrying intergalactic weaponry.

“At the beginning, the crew would take my gun after a take, but after awhile I was like, ‘No, this is my gun!’ It’s part of my tool kit as a Killjoy,” Ashmore says with a laugh.

Debuting Friday on Space, Killjoys is a rollicking thrill ride, full of fist fights, gun battles and an overall feeling of the not-so-serious. Dutch (John-Kamen) is a tough-as-nails Reclamation Agent—nicknamed Killjoy—with Johnny Jacobis (Ashmore) as her long-time partner. The first instalment, “Bangarang,” introduces a third member to the team: Johnny’s brother D’avin (Macfarlane), an expert at hand-to-hand combat thanks to time in the military. The trio uses Lucy (Tamsen McDonough) as their mode of transport, a space ship with its own voice and distinct personality. Created by Michelle Lovretta (Lost Girl), Killjoys looks and feels a little 1970s cheese, hearkening back to Star Wars in the fact some settings look dusty and dirty, and outfits look worn. There’s a nostalgia to Killjoys that longtime fans of the genre will recognize and embrace.

But beside the fisticuffs and phasers, Killjoys is also about family. Johnny and D’avin are estranged, and Friday’s early peek into Dutch’s backstory reveals a mysterious man whose influence reaches back to her childhood.

“As the season goes on, we learn more about Johnny and D’avin’s childhood,” Macfarlane hints. “We learn how you can address something in two totally different ways and as a result become very different people. These two brothers could not be more different even though they both grew up with the same crappy dad.” Questions about what family is and what it means to be in a family are addressed too.

“These characters are so out there in the world and what draws them together is that they don’t have anything else,” Ashmore says. “This world and this lifestyle that they are is incredibly unstable and they’re drawn together—and sometimes torn apart—by that.”


Killjoys primer
Here’s a quick peek into the world viewers step into on Friday night.

Reclamation Agents: A.k.a. Killjoys, these folks a licensed by the Reclamation Apprehension Coalition (RAC) to pursue warrants throughout the galaxy.

Warrants: There are five levels—Reclamation (recovering lost of stolen goods), Transfer (someone is being transported somewhere and needs protection), Live (a warrant must be captured still breathing), Living or Dead (breathing isn’t necessary) and Death (assassinations).

The Quad: The four-worlds the Killjoys inhabit, made up by a planet called Qresh and its three moons.

Qresh: On the brink of destroying its ecosystem, politicians and companies looked to its moons to get rid of trash and mine more resources. Qresh is home to The Quad’s elite and most powerful.

Westerley: Dutch and Johnny have lived on Westerley for the last two years. The moon is owned by The Company.

Arkyn: No one goes to this mysterious world.

Leith: The farmers and blue collar folks live on Leith, a lush moon where prostitution, drug use are illegal and guns are frowned upon.

Killjoys airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Space.