The Syfy network has taken a patient approach to developing Krypton. The show has been in development since at least 2014. Does the “Pilot” episode prove that the show was worth the wait?
Overall, Syfy has delivered a strong start to build a promising series. This isn’t your typical superhero show. It pulls from multiple genres and is an intersection between space opera, political fantasy, and superhero drama.
The strength of the show rests on the planet of Krypton itself and the characters that inhabit it. In just 1 episode, we are introduced that is entirely unique yet, below the surface, feels familiar.
Recognizing the similarities and differences between modern Earth and past Krypton were a personal highlight for me. Krypton is a somewhat dystopian and futuristic planet.
The world feels very lived in and we quickly learn about the different classes, guilds and way of doing things on the planet. It is fascinating to see the development of this planet.
The characters are at the core of Krypton and will be key to the long-term success. Many of the characters, like Kem and Nyssa, seem intriguing, but we don’t get much time to spend with them.
Cameron Cuffe as Seg-El, future grandfather to Kal-El, proves capable of leading the series. He has enough charm and dramatic acting chops to quickly become a likeable and sympathetic character.
Of the supporting characters, Ann Ogbomo’s (Wonder Woman) Jayna Zod is the clear standout. She is introduced as a stereotypical military leader, but eventually reveals she is a much more complex character.
Krypton does suffer from some typical debut episode hiccups. Many important story points an character beats are rushed through. Seg-El’s character goes through years of big stories in just a few scenes and isn’t given time to reflect on it.
This is done because so much story needs to fit in just over 40 minutes. Hopefully, this will smooth out in the remaining episodes of Season 1.
Visually, the show looks excellent overall. On a Syfy budget, the show does have to pick and choose when to create full CG scenes. This look solid, but the visual highlight to Krypton is the sets.
Krypton appears to have developed many full sets to feature the Alien world. These are locations that feel familiar – pubs, apartments, and courthouses – yet distinctively alien. The attention to detail in these sets help to build the world and will certainly come in handy for future episodes when the budget isn’t as big as the pilot.
Nothing with the action in the series wowed me, but it didn’t stand out as a negative either. If you are expecting plenty of superhero action scenes like the DC Comics shows on The CW, you are in for a disappointment.
All of the action in the pilot is done for dramatic purposes, and not pure spectacle. There is tension from the main characters and major reveals done through the fight scenes.
Overall, Syfy’s Krypton Pilot sets the stage for a potentially fascinating universe. The freedom of being able to pull from DC’s deep mythology, while still involving characters without established lore is balanced well. This creates a world that I want to return to every week.