Airs: Fridays on SyFy Network @ 9pm EDT
Review: Pilot Episode
I have to admit I may be a bit biased on this review. The premise for this show revolves around a group of intergalactic bounty hunters. I am writing a novel that has…intergalactic bounty hunters. Though I am not sure whether I will be biased for it (it’s my idea!), or against it (they stole my idea!).
The opening scene was predictable, but not unenjoyable. John Jaqobis (played by Aaron Ashmore – you might remember him from such shows as Smallville and Warehouse 13), is tied up by the bad guys. His partner, Dutch, is “captured.” If you knew it was all a part of the plan, give yourself a gold star, or maybe just a silver one, because it was so obvious. Still it was fun to watch them work together to bring down the bad guy.
Dutch is a strong female lead who can kick some ass, which is always good. She is definitely the most interesting character, with a dark, mysterious background. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about John – he isn’t very interesting. They didn’t drop any information about his background and I didn’t really want to find out more about him. His brother, D’avin, is more interesting than John is – he has PTSD from the war (what war?) Why did he lose contact with his family for eight years?
On the positive side, the show is set up for some tension within this team that they have created. Everything won’t be hunky dory between them and that can create some interesting episodes. Though, I think a stereotypical love triangle would be annoying, so I hope they don’t go in that direction.
One of the great difficulties in science fiction is immersing an audience in a different world, without over-explaining the world to that audience. I think the show did a decent job of building the world for us, but it was noticeable when they did it. I don’t know whether that is because it was sloppy or I am just hyper-aware of it because I am trying to do the same in my novel. However, I will say that despite being set in space in the “J Star Cluster; Quad Planet” there was a distinct lack of “alienness.” This episode contained exactly zero aliens, with zero mention of any aliens. They went to a different planet and raided a 20th century house. In short, I am not sure why this is taking place in space. This could easily just be set on Earth 10-15 years in the future.
The biggest red flag to me is that John knows absolutely nothing about Dutch, despite “doing everything together, but sleep together.” I found this to be incredibly unrealistic. When D’avin calls John on it, John deflects back on him about abandoning his family. Very poorly done and could be a sign of future writing problems.
Despite some of the flaws, I found it enjoyable. There were some lighthearted lines (not all dark and broody like so many of SyFy’s recent shows). The action scenes were solid and the toys were kinda cool. The show definitely has potential (of course it does, it was my idea!). But, it all depends upon which direction they take it –it can be a good mix of funny and suspenseful or the sloppy writing about the partners not knowing each other very well could take center stage. Also, John needs to be developed beyond one dimension.
WWYT Rating: 6.49 (Ratings legend)
Nielsen Ratings: 0.26. Low, but it is on cable on a Friday night and Syfy’s original programming is suffering.
Renewal Projection: 75%. The ratings are average for a SyFy show, but some flaws could plunge the ratings to near zero.