How do you handle knowing that in order to save the universe your entire world must die? That is the struggle that Superman’s grandfather, Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe) must deal with when his own grandfather, Val-El (Ian McElhinney, who is dressed more like Captain Marvel) is disgraced, loses rank and faces execution for not kneeling to a principality who claims to be the representative of their deity, Rao…and that’s just all in the first 10 minutes of the pilot!
Now, Seg-El does what every former rich kid with a chip on his shoulder does, gets drunk and pick fights. All thing change when Adam Strange (Shaun Sipos) shows up informing Seg of his grandson’s destiny. Now, the House of El has a new mission, to return to its former glory in order to protect the future rather than to just survive.
Complications persist when Seg has some rather interesting encounters with Lyta-Zod (Georgina Campbell) who is of the warrior class and a descendant of General Dru-Zod, one of Superman’s greatest enemies that, as all the dedicated fanboys and fangirls know, ended up in the Phantom Zone.
There are quite a few interesting characters like Nyssa-Vex (Wallis Day), the chosen bride of Seg-El, which allows him rank in the Science Guild. Along with Alura-Zod (Ann Ogbomo) the mother of Lyta and the current general of Krypton’s military., there is also Kem (Rasmus Hardicker), the Iolaus to Seg-El’s Hercules.
Krypton‘s set designs are gorgeous, a reminder of Frtiz Lang’s Metropolis, especially with the story of the haves and have-nots. They are subtle in most of their references to the coming of Superman, including Seg-El throwing a Superman punch at one of the authorities. Unfortunately, the ultimate superhero cliche has to happen as Superman’s great grandparents are taken captive, executed and must be avenged. I also like the idea that General Zod had the potential of being Superman’s uncle in this incarnation,
Unfortunately, American filmmakers have a major hard-on for an English accent, thinking it sounds regal rather than what it actually is, genocidal. I get it, they are aliens so a foreign accent is fitting, but I am beyond tired of their nasally sounding voices.
Krypton has a tremendous amount of potential, especially with Seg-El being kind of a jerk, the way Superman was in the 1970s. Even the big reveal of one of Superman’s enemies that has never shown up in a single film adds to everything we have ever wanted to see from the Man of Steel on the big screen. Also, a little John Williams never hurts anyone.
Krypton premiers tonight on SyFy at 10 p.m ET/PT