Killjoys: Season Two Premiere Dutch and the Real Girl (Preview) [Update]

 Killjoys - Season 2

[UPDATE] The actress playing Clara in this episode is Stephanie Leonidas and not Allie MacDonald, who was a different Clara from Season one. Mike’s Film Talk apologizes to Stephanie (who kicked arse in the role) and we have changed the information to reflect the correct performer.

Killjoys are back on 1 July and the season premiere “Dutch and the Real Girl,” has the team still split up. Last season saw the bombing of Old Town and while Pree, Johnny and Dutch got out Pawter did not.  D’Av is being “tested” by Khlyen while his brother and fellow killjoy work to find him. Pree is along for the ride.

The players return moving through the first episode at an adrenaline fueled pace.   D’Avin learns a quite a bit about Khlyen, including why the Level Six wants him to join the ranks.  Pree turns out to have a rather checkered past, something that helps Dutch and Johnny in their search for D’Av.

We also learn more about Level Six’s and this enhances their already impressive mythology.  Dutch, Johnny and Pree make a good team. The trio  are funny, especially the bartender/bar owner. Pree is funny and very entertaining in the quest to free the third killjoy.

Along the way another ally is picked up. A very special young woman who, after a moment of debate, joins the trio to help them find D’Av. London actress Stephanie Leonidas  is Clara, a strong character with an assist or two that makes her very formidable. 

On top of the Level Six threat there is, apparently, another more deadly group.  Red 17 (first encountered in season one) is still there and this is where the killjoys must go to find D’Avin.

All the humor from season one is still there as is the close bond between our heroes.  Without giving anything away, the first two episodes of season two reveals that Pree has been hiding his light under a basket. Past “skills” (or skeletons according to Pree) are many and this new information  seems  to quantify the feeling that there was always more to the bar owner than met the eye.

There is a touch of romance or,  at the very least, a mutual appreciation society of two (three counting Lucy) and  Dutch knows when D’Av lies to her.

The opening episode reveals a lot in terms of who the bad guy really is.

John-Kamen still is still one of the strongest female role models on television and Ashmore, along with Macfarlane continue to work well as her “cohorts in crime.” Thom Allison is still delightful as Pree and Rob Stewart continues to be mysterious and not a little scary as Khlyen.

This Canadian export, along with Dark Matter has returned to SyFy to make Friday nights fun again.  Killjoys has a good bit of subterfuge going on along with a lot of action.  Dutch is a tough leader who is not afraid to take on the giant in the room.

Show creator Michelle Lovretta (who also created Lost Girl ) has the series looking great and the characters acting as we expect.  The “bounty hunters” are still excellent entertainment value. Although it has to be said that Johnny is a little less flippant this go around. 

Killjoys airs Fridays on SyFy. Tune in tomorrow and get your fix. We will see you there.


Designated Survivor: Kiefer Sutherland & the White House

Kiefer Sutherland

“Designated Survivor,” a title that evokes a reality based show with swimsuit clad 20 somethings competing to live on a deserted island, stars Kiefer Sutherland, aka Jack Bauer, as recently fired cabinet member Tom Kirkman. Brit actress Natascha McElhone (SolarisCalifornication) plays Tom’s wife Jessica and the pilot features Maggie Q and Kal Penn

The show solemnly informs that viewer that during any State of the Union speech a cabinet member is placed in a secret and safe place in case of a catastrophic event or a successful  attack against the president. This is known as the “Designated Survivor” program, where the “survivor” is picked at random and ensconced in a bunker or similar blast proof device.

Tom Kirkman is the survivor (possibly picked as an exercise in bad taste since the president just fired him that morning) who is shockingly thrust into the limelight as the new commander-in-chief of the United States.  Things move so quickly that his swearing in ceremony is captured on a Blackberry.

“Designated Survivor” is an interesting concept for a number of reasons.  For starters, the idea is pretty fascinating; picking a volunteer to take charge if anything happens to the proper “chain of command” and then there is the fighting off of military generals who are more than ready to “take over” in case of an emergency.

(It seems that the role model for the aggressive general who braces the new president may be based upon Gen. Alexander Haig and his Reagan assassination attempt faux pas.)

The timing for this series could not be better, it starts this fall, and there cannot be many who do not see the irony in this show appearing on American television this year.

Watching the pilot episode one feels there was a real push to keep Sutherland’s character as far away from his “24” persona as possible.   Kiefer can act, however, and there are moments that leap off the screen where the look in his eyes convey emotional ranges that impress and make the viewer forget all about Jack Bauer.

It will be interesting to see where the series goes.  The idea of a low-level politico who has no real experience wading the stinking waters of the capital suddenly being made president opens up all sorts of possibilities.

The program is real (the Designated Survivor/Successor) and this is a fascinating look at just what could happen if the entire upper echelon were wiped out via a bomb or nuclear device.

Regardless of where the show heads or how long it will last, it is nice to see Kiefer Sutherland back on our small screens.  This actor consistently knocks it out of the park in what ever project he works on.

With an impressive supporting cast, this should be one to watch, although it could be seen as pretty tame stuff compared to “24.” Until the show airs, have a look at the trailer below and see what you think.

Guilt: Freeform Murder Amanda Knox Style – Preview

Daisy Head

Freeform distributes some pretty excellent television ‘Stitchers’ and ‘Shadowhunters’ to name but two. Now they are bringing out a murder mystery, titled ‘Guilt,’ in the style of real life murder suspect Amanda Knox. Knox was the American student caught up in a turgid sex tinged murder case in Italy back in 2007.

Knox, who was convicted twice and whose convictions were overturned twice, had a good friend murdered and Amanda and her Italian boyfriend were the main suspects.  The case made headline news as recently as 2015.

‘Guilt’ is set in London rather than Italy and the American student’s boyfriend is French rather than Italian.  Anthony Head plays Grace Atwood’s  stepfather James (Grace is portrayed by  Head’s  real-life daughter Daisy).   He is a ruthless business man who travels the globe for his business and prefers his lovers to be the same age as his student stepchild.

Emily Tremaine plays big sister Natalie who is an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney who hates   James. Billy Zane  is the ex-pat lawyer who James hires to keep Daisy out of prison. New Scotland Yard are investigating and Daisy is her own worst enemy in terms of publicity.  

Zane is egotistical, eccentric and fun as the flamboyant lawyer who costs big bucks to hire and his character is destined to be disliked by Natalie on sight.

‘Guilt’ looks interesting. (How can it not with the obvious Amanda Knox influence?) The only issue with the series thus far is that it is an Americanized “watered-down” version of England.  For example, in one scene, the police officer  “on-scene”  tells the DSI that one of the suspects is a foreigner (French) and the other is American. This would not be the case. In reality both would be classed as foreign and Head’s character referred to as a “Yank.”

Unlike the Netflix series ‘River‘ which was English as afternoon tea and scones, ‘Guilt’ is set in an England that  the rest of the world sees. There is a royal family connection, a prince with a made up name,  a sex club and  prostitution.  Like many other productions set in the country made by foreigners, there are far too many red phone boxes.  (They were discontinued/retired with only a few left in “historical” areas for the tourists.)

This show is not doing anything different from other shows based in England (‘Guilt’ is shot in the UK actually) it seems that producers fear that  without the iconic phone boxes the viewer will never really believe that the show is set in England.

Being set overseas  the mystery of who killed Molly will be dealing with a “foreign” legal system (One that does not have the death penalty for a start.) with procedures and rules that are slightly different from the US. (And in some ways wildly different, check out their version of Miranda rights.)

There are a number of familiar English actors in the show: Anthony Head and Daisy Head, Robbie Gee, Naomi Ryan, Cristian Solimeno and Irish actor Kevin Ryan. The American contingent consists of Zane and Tremaine. The acting is top notch.

The clubbing scene in London  is presented quite well and the set design is pretty impressive as well. At the start each wall in the shared flat has wallpaper on it.  The slang is also pretty spot on: Tossers and bugger all, being just two examples that represent how real people talk in England.

There is a “50 Shades” thing going on with a BDSM club for those with a full bank account, or the fictional prince, or even James the stepdad.  The action is  centered in London and features some events that are clearly fictionalized (the public speaking ceremony at the memorial of Molly rings rather false).

Watching the two episodes on offer at the moment, the story grabs you and keeps the interest up.  Something to look forward to in June when it airs on Freeform, ‘Guilt’ may not be as down and dirty as ‘River’ but it does promise to deliver in terms of entertainment and mystery.

Worth a look, or two (that second episode cliff-hanger ending is to die for) so mark it on the calendar, June 13 on Freeform.


Hunters: Alien Terrorists on SyFy – Preview

Hunters - Season 1

Gale Anne Hurd and Natalie Chaidez have brought Hunters to SyFy and it is a series about alien terrorists who are being fought by a secret organization. It is also tells the story of  one FBI agent whose wife has been kidnapped by one of the aliens.

Starring Julian McMahon as McCarthy; the mad (as a hatter) terrorist leader, Nathan Phillips as FBI Agent Flynn Carroll, Britne Oldford as the anti-terrorist officer Regan; who has a secret. 

Lewis Fitz-Gerald is the leader to the ECU anti-terrorist group and Laura Gordon plays Abby Carroll, the kidnapped wife of Flynn. The FBI agent looks after his deceased partner’s daughter Emma (Shannon Berry) who has Aspergers.

The series is based on the Whitely Strieber novel “The Hunters.” Strieber wrote a number of alien novels including “Communion” and is an alleged alien abductee.

Flynn (Phillips) is an Afghanistan veteran who has issues and is under investigation at the FBI.  His abducted wife is a piano teacher that the hunters want for some reason. McCarthy is a DJ who plays music with messages hidden in the songs.

In many ways this science fiction offering feels like a cross between Predator, the 1960s TV series The Invaders and Alien NationThe noise made by the aliens sounds a little like the  bogeymen in the video game The Last of Us.  The ones called “Clickers” (fungus infected humans who have lost their sight and make the clicking noises to navigate) sound not too dissimilar to the aliens in Hunters.

Suffice to say these clicking noises are disconcerting and not a little frightening.

The aliens in the new SyFy series are “hidden in plain” sight and are considered, in the show’s verse, to be worse than ISIS.  Flynn is drawn into the anti-terrorist organization after his wife Abby,a piano teacher, is taken by McCarthy.

Flynn is skeptical about the reality of aliens.  McCarthy is scary as the leader and there are some aliens who cannot “hide” easily and these hooded creatures are also frightening.

Hunters - Season 1
Julian McMahon

Hunters is a dark and quite somber presentation. There is little to no  humor or respite from the serious manner of delivery, making the new series feel very intense with an edge of danger.

The special FX are impressive, even in the “rough” screeners, and the actors all deliver brilliantly as the storyline progresses.

Nathan Phillips, who most recently was a regular on The Bridge, is convincing as the FBI agent with flashbacks to Afghanistan who tries to follow clues himself to find his missing wife.

The theme of Hunters a, familiar one to those who haver read Strieber’s work in the past, reveals another behind the scenes copy can! l  A  feeling of discomfort and the certain knowledge that aliens are indeed here and working/living right next to us.

It is somewhat fitting that this series brings terrorists  from another world, although no one knows where these creatures have come from. The fact that the aliens sound more insect than mammal also unsettles and upsets the viewer.

The special alien anti terrorist branch has agents from all over the world and they not only want to catch McCarthy but want to know where Abby is and why she was taken.

Hunters - Season 1
Britne Oldford, Mark Coles Smith

Hunters premieres on SyFy April 11. Prepare to be impressed at just how good McMahon is at being the villain. This looks to be just the far side of creepy and disturbing.  Tune in on Monday, 11 April and see what you think.

Wynonna Earp: Purgatory and Revenants on SyFy (Preview)

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.

Wynonna Earp - Season 1

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. 

Wynonna Earp - Season 1
Tim Rozon is Doc Holiday

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.

 Wynonna Earp - Season 1
Katherine Barrel and Shamier Anderson

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.

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