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Syfy's 'Killjoys': Fun in a new world

The Syfy channel’s original programming – scripted series, creative reality competitions and those crazy movies – have never been known for their restraint. The network’s newest original series, “Killjoys,” premiering at 9 p.m. Friday, never got that memo and in this case, it’s a good thing.

In a planetary system called the Quad (a planet with three moons), the Killjoys are interplanetary bounty hunters who track fugitives. The show has three main characters: Killjoy partners Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen) and John (Aaron Ashmore), plus John’s estranged brother D’avin (Luke Macfarlane). The Killjoys follow a simple code: they don't take sides and the “warrant is all” - once they take a warrant, they have to finish it. That sets the plot in motion for Friday's premiere after John sees a "kill warrant" for his brother and sets out on a rescue mission that puts them all in jeopardy.

On paper, we’re familiar with this trio of characters: The tough chick, the nerdy guy-next-door pal and the handsome, but troubled soldier. On screen, though, the restraint in the writing and acting make these three characters likable and even relatable. D’avin is prone to wisecracks, but they’re low-key, not pretentious.

There’s fighting, but no ridiculous stunts or dazzling parkour. When John is surrounded by a crew of bad guys, he uses his brain instead of his guns to get out of the situation. The lovely Dutch uses her sexuality minimally, instead using her intelligence and even her compassion for others in dealing with people and dangerous situations. These three may live in another world, but they are pretty down-to-earth.

There's more to like. By having a planet and three moons, there are a multitude of landscapes and looks for the show including brightly colored bazaars, washed-out settings and a dark noirish backdrop. The first four episodes have a central plot - like rescuing a kidnapped girl - with a conclusion to give a sense of closure while continuing running story lines to keep anticipation up for the next episode. Who is the mysterious man who has control over Dutch? What is it with the red boxes? What is D’avin not telling the others?

Plus there’s cool stuff like a gun that bolts doors shut and literally a killer wardrobe for Dutch that includes necklace beads that break into metal robotic creatures that explode.

The 10-episode series is part of Syfy's new Friday night lineup with "Defiance" at 8 p.m., "Killjoys" at 9 p.m. and "Dark Matter" at 10 p.m.

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