Seg El (Cameron Cuffe) learns from Earthly time-traveller Adam Strange (Shaun Sipos) that his home planet of KRYPTON has been targeted by the world-consuming alien Brainiac so that his future grandson - Superman - will never be born.
Superman is a cultural icon who has been around for more than eighty years. His presence has been felt in almost every medium from comic books to television to the big screen. One medium that has always embraced Superman is television. From the 1950s to the 2000s, Superman has always had some sort of presence on the small screen.
Recently, however, the object seems to be to avoid any appearance by DC’s Trinity of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. Superman has had more appearances than the other two members of the “Big Three” - guest starring in Supergirl, the TV series following the adventures of Superman’s cousin.
Krypton, unlike the other DC TV series doesn’t focus on a specific character, this series instead tells the story of Superman’s grandfather, some 200 years before the birth of Earth’s greatest hero. In many ways, this makes the programme have an edge that is lacking from other DC titles that often feel too constrained by having to follow the standard already set for them.
As such this gives it more freedom to create new characters and move beyond the world of the comics which other DC programmes may have felt more tied to. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Krypton succeeds in what it set out to do however. If anything, the show is banking on viewers tuning in because they recognise the name Krypton and the various references to Superman and his arch enemy Brainiac - and then hoping to keep them with the series characters and story.
This is partially successful as the plot of Krypton is enough to gain interest from viewers. Krypton tells the story of Seg El attempting to restore his family’s honour after his grandfather is forced into the Phantom Zone for attempting to stop Krypton being taken over by a military dictator. Seg’s journey involves him accidentally saving Krypton’s dictator and thus ensuring his return to the upper ranks of Kryptonian society. Though the plot is a tad cod Game of Thrones, it is enjoyable enough.
The acting is good with Cameron Cuffe presenting a charismatic and engaging lead. Shaun Sipos’ Adam Strange is also an interesting enough depiction of the character and it is nice to see Strange get his first live action outing. Rupert Graves and Paula Malcomson are good as Seg’s parents though their potential does feel somewhat wasted.
Overall the cast are engaging with Cuffe and Sipos being particularly strong in their performances and are both charismatic enough leads to ensure the continued interest from the audience.
In conclusion, Krypton is a show that has a lot of potential that should be realised and hopefully will in forthcoming episodes. A second season has already been commissioned so it looks like the studio has a certain amount of faith in it – hopefully this will be repaid by the Great British viewing public.
- Watched on E4. 19/08/2018