Krypton has returned to the SYFY network for its second season, and has made some positive improvements.
The story picks up six months after Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe) sacrificed himself to send him and Brainiac (Blake Ritson) into the Phantom Zone. In the time since then, time-travelling General Zod (Colin Salmon) has taken control of Kandor, and with his mother Lyta-Zod (Georgina Campbell) leading the Saggitauri, has expanded his control across the planet.
Val -El (Ian McElhinney), Jax-Ur (Hannah Waddingham), and Nyssa-Vex (Wallis Day) are now rebels, working to keep the lunar colony on Wegthor from falling under Zod’s thumb. Adam Strange (Shaun Sipos) makes another trip back into the past to help them, since in his time, Zod has also conquered the Earth, and eradicated the human population, making it suitable for Kryptonians to inhabit once their world gets destroyed.
Aside from his whole genocide thing, I would probably find myself on Zod’s side, for one other major change he has made to Kryptonian culture. It doesn’t get explicitly mentioned, but before Zod took control everyone on Krypton wore black, except for the religious guild, who wore white. Ok, sure, a lot of people wore shades of grey, but the monochromatic nature of the clothing was really getting on my nerves. Clearly it bothered Zod as well, since now Kryptonians are wearing pastel colours, sometimes as entire outfits, sometimes as highlights to their uniforms. He probably has the haberdashers of this planet firmly behind him.
On a more serious note, that is only one of the improvements that has been made to the series. Some of the characters have been dropped, such as the eminently annoying Kem, we no longer have to see the dissolving Superman cape, which always felt pandering, and the story seems a lot clearer and more focussed. There still are some odd elements, such as the confrontation between Brainiac and Seg-El, which seems to resolve itself far too quickly. But I am hoping that the abrupt edit in that scene was an indicator that more is going on than we are privy to.
Cuffe has grown a big beard and moustache during his time in the Zone, which really changes his face. He no longer has any boyish quality, which I suppose better suits the character. It’s left to Sipon as Adam Strange to provide the charming incompetence of youth, which he does very well.
The story still does play like a lot of SYFY shows, emphasizing soap opera style relationships, but the move from Serbia to Belfast for shooting allows for some great outdoor locations. It almost feels like a Vancouver show now.
Last, but far from least, I have to mention Emmett J Scanlan, who has joined the series as Lobo. I was shocked to read that Lobo has already been given a spin-off, before the first episode of the new season aired, but once he came on the screen the reason behind this was obvious. He absolutely rocks the show. I had never expected Lobo to have an Irish accent, but in a bizarre way it really works. Probably because he so embraces the character, who is well written in his introduction. I find myself looking more forward to seeing him in the next episode than to seeing any of the other characters.
Overall, this was a solid start to the season, one that made me feel that I will enjoy the rest of it more than the first.