Like the press release says, Wynonna Earp was inspired by the IDW comic of the same name and the new SyFy series will air 1 April on the network. The new series is a fiction based on a fiction. Where the nonexistent offspring of the legendary law man are cursed by demons, called revenants, and the town of Purgatory is the area the creatures are doomed to inhabit. At least until they can get hold of the fabled “Buntline Special” peacemaker.
This is agreeably entertaining hokum of the finest sort. A heroine who has more attitude than sense and enough moxie to put all 77 revenants back in the ground teams up with her only sister and a “black badge” carrying US Marshall. A funeral calls Wynonna Earp (Melanie Scrofano) back to Purgatory and on the way home she learns that demons have risen in the territory.
Earp wants to keep a low profile though as a family tragedy when she was 12 sent her on a self-destructive path that landed the then young girl in a juvenile correction facility. Years later she wants to keep out of trouble. After the funeral Wynonna teams up with Waverly Earp (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) to fight off the demon horde.
US Marshall Dolls (Shamier Anderson), or Agents Dolls, recruits a reluctant Wynonna to his team and as the two train together another element shows it’s hand, Doc Holiday (Tim Rozon). This new arrival appears to be neither fish nor fowl as he is not a demon. Nor is the old pal of Wyatt’s a family friend, apparently.
There is also a new sheriff in town, a deputy sheriff actually, who has the name of Nicole Haught (pronounced “hot”) played by Katherine Barrell who is “hot” it seems for the younger Earp sister. Just what her role in this revenant war is has not been made clear.
Purists, or fans of real western folklore will no doubt point out that Wyatt did not leave a family legacy to carry on the Earp name. And despite claims to the contrary from the great lawman’s widow, he did not prefer ice cream to liquor. Historians have even disproved the “Ned Buntline” tale of the specially made pistol that was given to Earp for services rendered as an old west hero.
Do any of these things matter? Of course not. Mainly because there is no league of 77 demons baying for Earp blood. (As good as Wyatt supposedly was, his body count was nowhere near this amount and besides, “it’s fiction.”)
Wynonna Earp is also good fun. Scrofano brings a bit of toughness to a naughty girl shaped by her family’s history rather than any real “internal” issues of badness. In terms of casting the actress (who has been working pretty steadily since 1999) looks like an Earp. More the offspring of the Kurt Russell ideal and not Kevin Costner.
Provost-Chalkley plays the more intellectual Earp great-great granddaughter and does so with the infectious enthusiasm of youth and the dogged determination to be involved with what ever sis is up to.
Anderson is excellent as the “classified” US Marshall, or agent, who knows of the demonic infestation and is good value for the viewer. Canadian actor Rozon is a curious mix of Olyphant and Kilmer in his channeling of the old dentist riddled with TB who was a cold blooded killer.
It should be noted that in real-life the two friends had a falling out after the O.K. Corral affair and after splitting up never interacted again. So Doc’s playing away, as it were, makes lot of sense.
Wynonna Earp looks to be great entertainment, based upon the two screeners seen by Mike’s Film Talk and if one takes the show in the spirit given, should be enjoyed by those who like a more modern western with a supernatural bent.
The series premieres 1 April this year and a few days prior, there will be a conference press affair which this site will be attending. Stay tuned for more information on the show, its makers and a few of its stars.
Wynonna Earp airs Fridays on Syfy.