Seg learns his planet is in danger of being destroyed so that his future grandson will never be born.
This review of “Krypton” contains spoilers. You have been warned.
When it was announced that SyFy was going to carry a show based on the origins of Superman and his home planet of Krypton, I was a little concerned. I saw Caprica. I hated Caprica. Caprica was a prequel to Battlestar Galactica that, like Krypton, followed the rise of prominent families within that universe. For me, Caprica had long, drawn out dialogue and aimless storylines along with subpar performances. If the pilot episode of Krypton is any indication of what is to come, Krypton is no Caprica.
Krypton tells the story of Superman’s grandfather, Seg-El. When Seg was a child, his family, the House of El, was stripped of their rank and family name after Seg’s grandfather, Val-El, refuses to pledge allegiance to the a masked ruler calling himself the Voice of Rao. Religious fanaticism has seemingly taken over the city of Kandor. I am not too familiar with the Superman mythos, so I’m not sure if Kandor is a capital or if other city-states are also subject to religious fanaticism in their government, but all I know for now is that Kandor seems to be taken over by theocratic rule. I’m fulling anticipating exploration of other city states on Krypton later in the season. Perhaps we will get introduced to Argo City, which is where Supergirl is from.
Seg grows up in a society where his family is disgraced. In order for him to be a contributor to the family, he is left to running scams with his friend, Kem, in order to make ends meet. When Ter, Seg’s father, forgets his medicine, Seg goes to the Guild to take it to him. There, Seg spots a suicide bomber and takes him out. This captures the attention of Daron-Vex, the chief magistrate of Kandor and the man who exiled Val-El. As a reward, Daron invites him into the family and pledges his daughter, Nyssa, to him. Seg has two issues with this proposal – He would be forced to take on the Vex name and he’s already in love with Lyta-Zod. A Zod and an El in love. Hell of a surprise to me.
Adam Strange is sent from Earth, centuries in the future, to warn Seg about Brainiac. He tells him of his grandson, Kal-El, and the hero he becomes. He gives him the key to his grandfather’s Fortress of Solitude where Val-El held his scientific research. The Brainiac he is warning him about is from the future. Apparently, there are a bunch of different versions of Brainiac. Heck, there’s Brainiac 5 in Supergirl who is a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes and saved Mon-El from the Phantom Zone. Brainiac is trying to prevent Superman from coming to be by destroying Krypton well before he will be born. He’s already been destroying worlds throughout the universe and he’s making his way to Krypton. Strange gives Seg a cape that serves like an hour-glass… think of the fading picture in Back to the Future. Once it’s disappeared completely, all hope is lost and it’s too late for Krypton and the universe.
Krypton was a pleasant surprise to me. It was not without its flaws. There are some holes in logic that we are just forced to overlook. In Krytpon, we’re supposed to think Kryptonians don’t believe there is life beyond their planet. If Kryptonians and Daxamites are supposed to be sister planets, how do they become so close in such a short amount of time? It usually takes centuries for countries, let alone planets, to trust one another.
I found the pilot to move rather quickly, almost too quickly. It is difficult to overlook the lack of superhuman ability, but you’re so amazed by the Game of Thrones-esque world they are building, it almost doesn’t need it. I love the Terminator franchise and feel like The Sarah Connor Chronicles was embarrassingly underrated. This time travel, Terminator-type story is right up my alley.
What did you think of the pilot? Let me know in the comments below.
Krypton airs on Wednesdays at 10:00PM ET on SyFy.