Killjoys Makes Intergalactic Bounty Hunting Sexy (Summer Preview)

Steve Wilkie/Syfy

The future, as seen in Killjoys, is a dark, hopeless, frightening mess. But it’s also pretty damn funny. The new 10-episode series, from Lost Girl creator Michelle Lovretta, follows three sexy, smartass bounty hunters—a lady boss and a pair of brothers—as they chase intergalactic baddies in the Quad, a star system that’s on the verge of a deadly class war. Consider it Simon & Simon (plus one) in space, with more wisecracks.

“In science fiction these days, you can toss a quarter and hit something dystopian,” Lovretta says. “Where’s the joy in the genre? It always frustrates me when I watch futuristic material and it’s always so f—ing grim and self-serious. Everyone’s patting themselves on the back because they’re showing the characters in so much pain.”

Not on Killjoys, which finds the adorably flirty but lethal Dutch (British stage star Hannah John-Kamen) teaming with her best pal, John (Warehouse 13‘s Aaron Ashmore), a sweetheart pacifist, and his soldier-boy sibling, D’avin (Brothers and Sisters‘ Luke Macfarlane), who thrives on hand-to-hand combat. Their job is to collect or, if necessary, kill their targets, yet they must remain emotionally and politically impartial at all times. Their reward is “joy,” the name for currency.

“Sometimes this trio wins, sometimes they lose, and they’re always screwing up each other’s lives like any other dysfunctional family,” says Lovretta. But there’s no sexual tension between Dutch and the men. Not yet anyway.

“Michelle has some really fascinating ideas about sexuality and how we’ll come to understand it in the future,” Macfarlane says. “It’s so rare on TV to see an attractive male and attractive female be best friends, like Dutch and John are, without that constant hint of potential romance. In fact, it’s so rare it’s radical.” Gender equality is also “a nonissue,” the actor notes. “D’avin has a hard-core military background, but he recognizes Dutch’s skill and defers to her.”

The series comes from Temple Street Productions, which gave us Orphan Black, and execs there were determined to find the perfect Dutch or pull the plug on the project. “Gorgeous looks, goofball charm, and extreme physicality are not a common combo,” says Lovretta. “Temple Street struck gold with Tatiana Maslany, and they didn’t want us to commit to someone just because the clock was ticking. They allowed us time to find the fabulous Hannah John-Kamen—and that meant we could proceed with unshakable confidence.”

Killjoys. Premieres Friday, June 19, 9/8c, Syfy