KRYPTON “The Rankless Initiative” review

Krypton (SyFy/Warner Bros)

Krypton stars Cameron Cuffe as Seg-El, Georgina Campbell as Lyta Zod, Ian McElhinney as Val-El, Elliot Cowan as Daron-Vex, Ann Ogbomo as Alura Zod, Rasmus Hardiker as Kem, Wallis Day as Nyssa-Vex and Aaron Pierre as Dev-Em.

The series airs on E4 here in the UK and on SyFy in North America.

Synopsis

During a military crackdown on Seg’s home district, Seg and Adam Strange race to find a deadly Sentry.

Review

Well this show just keeps getting better. I said in my review of episode 2 (here) that Krypton isn’t taking prisoners when it comes to its storytelling. This episode is no different.

“The Rankless Initiative” actually goes to great lengths to take the alien landscape of Krypton and make it parallel our own issues here on Earth. Whilst the Braniac story is still at the forefront of the series there’s a whole other set of problems to be dealt with.

As Lyta-Zod and the Sagitari take centre stage for much of this episode so do the class issues which have infected the Kryptonian civilisation. Some of the most “human” moments in “The Rankless Initiative” are seeing the soldiers entering the neighbourhood where Seg-El and his family lived in order to hunt for Black Zero’s base of operations.

Strip out the sci-fi tropes, the costumes and the outlandish set design and you have a simple story of class division. The poor are living in the underbelly of the city whilst the wealthy rise above it all and turn a blind eye.

This kind of world building really sets Krpyton apart from other representations of the Man Of Steel’s home planet. This is no shiny crystalline utopia.

Placing the cast system aside the series takes a huge narrative leap forwards in this issue. The Brainiac arc is some long form storytelling at its finest.

We start out by flashing back to how the Brainiac Sentry came to be on Krypton in the first place. We quickly learn it was picked up by a scientific team and is already on the loose amongst the populous. To neatly tie the stories of this episode together the sentry ends up in Rhom, one of Seg-El’s neighbours in the under siege district of Kandor.

Writer Steve Shill is able to balance the stories in perfect harmony. There’s enough of the first season world building to keep the show fresh. Whilst the action with Brainiac will have comic book fans on the edge of their seats.

By the end of the episode its clear that Brainiac is a force to be reckoned with. It seemingly won’t be long until he arrives so I’m intrigued to see how it plays out over the remaining seven episodes.

All of this action is accompanied by more excellent visuals for the show. It maintains the cinematic quality we’ve seen in previous episodes and the CGI continues to impress. I seriously can’t get over the production quality of this show.

One aspect of Krypton I haven’t picked up on yet is its score. It’s something I’m going to try and focus on more in future episodes as this is the kind of show which deserves a great score.

Verdict

“The Rankless Initiative” is a kick in to high-gear for Krypton. It expands on the Kryptonian society which we have only glimpsed so far in the series whilst forwarding the Brainiac story brilliantly.

This show is rapidly becoming an absolute must watch!

7/10

In the next episode…


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About Neil Vagg 2528 Articles
Neil is the GYCO Editorial Chief. He has a BA in Film & Tv and an MA in Scriptwriting; he currently works 9-5 as an office manager and 5-9 as a reviewer/web designer. He has been subscribing to comics for around nine years but has been reading them as long as he can remember. Favourite comics: Batman; Nightwing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and All New X-Men Favourite films: Batman (any apart from & Robin); Star Trek Generations, Underworld, Beetlejuice Favourite TV shows: Fringe; Buffy, Arrow, TBBT, Being Human UK and Star Trek TNG