Krypton—Season 1

krypton season 1 poster review guide list
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 6/10

Potential, like some of the special-effects

Story needs more meat and generic sets

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Welcome to a world without Superman

The world of Krypton is a world of classes, houses, and division.  When a man named Adam Strange (Shaun Sipos) seeks out Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe), Seg-El learns that his grandson could be a beacon of hope for the entire universe…if he is ever born!  Adam warns Seg-El that a being called Brainiac (Blake Ritson) is coming for Krypton, and Argo City is his target.  Reality is falling apart and unless time is fixed Superman will never live!

Krypton—Season 1 is a DC Comics science-fiction series which aired on Syfy from March 21, 2018 to May 23, 2018.  Created by David S. Goyer, the series was met with mixed to positive reviews.

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You’re the Big S’s only hope

Krypton was one of those titles that made sense, but I had a hard time getting behind.  Like its FOX Batman counterpart Gotham, the series is kind of a “prequel” to the modern day Superman mythos.  Airing on Syfy and without cable, I didn’t really have access to Krypton…I sat down with mid-to-low expectations and was about right in my predictions.

The story for Krypton has a kind of unique hook.  I like Adam Strange as kind of the spark which triggers everything, and I like the idea that saving Superman means dooming Krypton.  What makes the show not as spectacular is that it kind of plods.  This has always been a problem with the CW Arrowverse shows, but Krypton shouldn’t plod with only a ten episode season.  There was a point near the end where everything seemed to be moving at hyper speed…but the basic plot was stop Brainiac which they almost did multiple times.  It got kind of old.

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Don’t bug out

Another aspect of the series is that no one really has any powers.  Brainiac and Doomsday are introduced as the only superpowered people and Doomsday never is an active piece in this season.  The story must rely on drama, tension, and romance, and it doesn’t do a very good job developing any of these storylines into anything truly compelling.  With a show like Gotham, you have a lot of characters with character…the people of Krypton are rather flat.

With no real fault of their own, the cast suffers as a result.  Cameron Cuffe leads the cast as Superman’s grandfather, but I never get a real feel on him.  He has a love triangle brewing that doesn’t feel very much of a love triangle since through the course of the season, we learn the results of the triangle.  The other pieces of the triangle Georgina Campbell and Wallis Day are ok, but not great.  Campbell has some depth, but Day feels really generic with her family’s plotting.  Shaun Sipos’s Adam Strange has some fun, but it feels like the character has little direction until later in the season.  The character with the seemingly most potential is Ann Ogbomo’s Jayna-Zod who does have a lot going on in the season, and Colin Salmon’s Zod who needs to move beyond a Smallville Lex Luthor’s “whose side is he on” scripting (plus, his previous role on Arrow makes him odd to see here).

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Kneel before Zod!

The show also suffers from visual problems.  I like the special effects of Krypton, but I hate the basic sets which feel so generic.  The show spends most of the time in bland tunnels, a tiny snowglobe set, a dingy street set, and nicer hallways.  It doesn’t really inspire much.  It feels like the budget is spent on the effects (which can be pretty good), but it needs to balance it more with the rest of the show.

Krypton feels like it is going for a Shakespearian type plot, but it doesn’t have the writing to pull it off.  With more focus on drama than on superheroes, the series really needs a strong core story similar to something like Dune that keeps you locked, loaded, and compelled.  I don’t hate the show, but it feels like just a show.  It is better than some of the generic superhero dredge, but it has a ways to go to be good.  Maybe kneeling before Zod is the spark that Krypton needs.

Krypton—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

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1.1       Pilot Airdate:  03/21/18

Two hundred years before the birth of Kal-El, the House of Krypton is stripped of honor by Daron-Vex (Elliot Cowan) for treason and Val-El (Ian McElhinney) is executed. Val-El’s grandson Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe) saves Daron-Vex’s life, and Seg finds a means to restore his families honor by marrying Daron-Vex’s daughter Nyssa-Vex (Wallis Day).  When a man named Adam Strange (Shaun Sipos) appears to Val-El with a story of a grandson who can save the universe, a key to Val-El’s hidden fortress could be the means for saving Krypton and from an approaching threat…but Seg-El’s parents Charys-El (Paula Malcomson) and Ter-El (Rupert Graves) could be forced to make a sacrifice to see that it happens.

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“House of El”

1.2       House of El Airdate:  03/28/18

Adam Strange tries to convince Seg-El of his story and warning of Brainiac’s plans for Krypton.  Seg questions how to avenge his family against Daron and learns from Daron that Strange’s warning might not be an exaggeration.  Plans to go after Black Zero terrorists in the slums forces Lyta-Zod (Georgina Campbell) to take a deadly stand against her commander Quex-UI (Gordon Alexander) against the warning of her mother Jayne-Zod (Anna Ogbomo).  Adam Strange and Seg’s friend Kem (Rasmus Hardiker) journey into dangerous territory to prove Strange’s story as Seg finds the Voice of Rao (Blake Ritson) could intervene in his plans for Daron-Vex.

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“The Rankless Initiative”

1.3       The Rankless Initiative Airdate:  04/04/18

The demands for Black Zero to be shut down forces Lyta to lead her troops into the slums of Kandor, but an incident involving Kol-Da (Andrea Vasiliou) could put Lyta’s life and career in jeopardy.  Adam and Seg discover that Brainiac’s probe has been activated, and Rhom (Alexis Raben) and her daughter Ona (Tipper Seifert-Clevelan) could be in danger as a result.

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“The Word of Rao”

1.4       The Word of Rao Airdate:  04/11/18

Lyta is brought up on charges that she is working with the Black Zero as Adam and Seg’s hologram of Val-El try to save Rhom’s life from Brainiac’s infection.  Seg is captured by “the Commander” (Colin Salmon) who reveals he knows about Brainiac.  Jayne tries to get her daughter to quit covering for Seg and works to save her life with Nyssa.  It is Rhom and Ona hopes to see the Voice of Rao to honor her mother…but it could threaten the planet.

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“House of Zod”

1.5       House of Zod Airdate:  04/18/18

Lyta faces execution for her actions, and a potential deal between Nyssa and Jayna could force Daron to make a decision.  As Adam searches for Seg, Seg finds himself trying to escape the Commander and his men with another prisoner named Raika (Sonita Henry) who has her own secret past.

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“Civil Wars”

1.6       Civil Wars Airdate:  04/25/18

Revealed as Dru-Zod from the future, the Commander casts doubt on Adam Strange’s mission and reveals the fate of Krypton.  Adam finds himself in the position of deciding who the threat to Krypton is and trying to convince Seg and Lyta that Zod is dangerous.  Ona finds herself a pupil of the Voice of Rao, and Brainiac finds that he is learning from Ona.  The Voice of Rao is targeted by the Jayne as part of the Vex plans and Jayna recruits Dev-Em to her side.  When plans for framing the Black Circle become threatened, Brainiac could reveal himself!

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1.7       Transformation Airdate:  05/02/18

Daron’s coup against the Voice of Rao has failed as Brainiac takes over the attacking force.  Jayna finds herself on the run and wanted with her daughter Lyta by the authorities.  Nyssa finds herself under arrest by orders of her father who has sided with Brainiac.  Adam debates giving up on his quest to save Superman since he has lost the favor of Seg.  Lyta, Jayne, and Dev escape the city, but Dev reveals what becomes of those enslaved by Brainiac.  A plan to expose the Voice of Rao is hatched…and a public display of power could change everything.

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“Savage Night”

1.8       Savage Night Airdate:  05/09/18

The Voice of Rao has claimed he has transcended and regaining the following of the people who he has promised eternal life to.  Seg searches for a way to eliminate Brainiac and learns of a potential weakness.  Dev-Em has survived outside the dome and could become an important key in the attack on Brainiac.  With a plan, Jayna and Zod meet with Jax-Ur (Hannah Waddingham) of the Black Zero, but Jax-Ur has a requirement to agree to work with the rebels.  Kem worries about Ona’s ties to the Voice of Rao and tries to warn her, but the Voice of Rao has other plans for Ona.  Adam makes his move and discovers something he didn’t expect.

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1.9       Hope Airdate:  05/16/18

Nyssa leaves her father to the Black Zero, and Jax-Ur reveals she knows of his treachery toward her.  Seg and Jayna learn that Zod and Lyta are planning to unleash Doomsday to find and stop the weakened Voice of El, but Seg learns a secret about Zod’s origin…leading to a potentially deadly showdown between Jayna and her grandson.  The followers of Cythonna discover that the containment of Doomsday might be impossible as Brainiac grows closer to Krypton.

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“The Phantom Zone”

1.10     The Phantom Zone Airdate:  05/23/18

Brainiac (Blake Ritson) has come to Krypton and dropped the shield around Kandor to begin to take it for his collection.  Seg finds himself faced with a decision on what to do about Brainiac and learns from his revived grandfather that defeating Brainiac is impossible through his searches of multiple realities.  Nyssa meets with Jax-Ur and learns the secrets about her past.  Zod decides that Krypton’s salvation is the outcome that he cares about…leading to a deal with Brainiac that could cost Seg everything.

Related Links:

Krypton—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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