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Krypton: The Complete First Season Blu-Ray Review

March 5, 2019 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Krypton - Pilot
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Krypton: The Complete First Season Blu-Ray Review  

DC Entertainment presents a new look at the mythology of Superman and his lineage with Krypton. The show’s complete first season is now available on Blu-ray. Already renewed for a second season, Krypton explores the lives of Superman’s ancestors on a planet that seems to be doomed for destruction.

Author’s Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray for review. The opinions I share are my own.

The Series:

Premiering on the SyFy Network in March 2018, DC’s Krypton was a new take on the Superman mythology exploring the mainstay hero’s early ancestry but with a bit of a twist. Similar to Gotham for Batman, fans see the events on planet Krypton before the planet’s destruction and the life of the House of El before the birth of the future Superman, aka Clark Kent, in Kal-El. However, things get a wrench thrown into the mix with time travel elements.

Set 200 years before Superman’s birth, Krypton begins with the disgrace and embarrassment for House El. Krypton is an isolated planet in its galaxy, run by a tyrannical theocracy, headed up by a religious figure head, The Voice of Rao. The great grandfather of Superman, Val-El, was seen as a traitor and heretic for presenting his findings to the Kryptonian government and is sentenced to execution, making the rest of his family lose their rank, title and nobility.

14 years later, and Val-El’s grandson, Seg-El, and his parents are scraping by a meager living among the destitute “Rankless” population of Krypton. However, with the scheming Gilded nobility, the dissident rebellion that is Black Zero, Krypton is a powder keg that is on the verge of blowing up. Also, there’s the knowledge of a threat from the future in the malevolent super-computer Braniac and a space-faring time traveler who calls himself Adam Strange. Thanks to Adam Strange’s help, Seg-El learns his grandfather was right about the oncoming threat about Braniac, who seeks to wipe out life on Krypton to prevent the birth of Superman, which could have grave consequences for the fate of Earth and the rest of the universe when you think about it.

The series definitely makes the most out of its premise. It definitely makes the most out of exploring the mythology and lore around Krypton. It’s not a subject matter that really gets covered a lot in film and TV.

It definitely appears the writers throw in a few twists with the time travel aspect. Due to the time travel, it creates more doubt around what will take place or what is supposed to take place. Case in point, Adam Strange has traveled back in time with Superman’s cape.

Also, another major DC and Superman rogue is present in the story from the future in the from of Dru-Zod, played by Colin Salmon. Salmon is an incredibly underrated talent, and he definitely brings something interest to the table as Zod. It definitely plays up the more pragmatic side of Zod, while an enemy of Superman, someone who is desperate to save its home world and prevent its destruction. It actually presents an interesting dilemma when this comes to light in the story. What would some benevolent Kryptonians do when confronted with the reality of Krypton’s fate? Strange is there to save Superman. But what if saving Krypton means preventing the birth of Superman? What if the only way to make Superman born is to condemn Krypton and the lives of millions of innocents to its fate? Those are the more interesting conflicts and aspects for the first season of the show.

The romances for the show are a little on the melodramatic side. In the world of the show, Krypton is a very organized society, where it seems the government decides everything for you in terms of your rank, social status, and even who you marry and start a family with. People are not allowed to choose who they essentially wed. Having a child is also as simple as getting your DNA sampled out of your fingertip in a lab. But Seg-El has a forbidden romance with his longtime love, Lyta-Zod. So yeah, the show takes the conflict of the Zod and Superman relationship a few steps further by making their ancestors star-crossed lovers.

While I definitely have some doubts about how long Krypton can maintain its story through its run with all the time travel elements, the show has been compelling enough to keep me wanting to tune in for more and see what will ultimately befall Superman’s ancestors.

The show does offer a lot of intrigue regarding the current state of Krypton. It appears the planet is already in bad shape at the start of the series. It’s stopped rotating, making it quite chaotic. The humanoid population is forced to live in underground compounds or domed cities. It appears at the start of the show, Krypton is very much a world in decline, so its doomed fate seems inevitable.

Blu-Ray Info: The Blu-ray/Digital Copy release for Krypton: The Complete First Season is a two-disc version. The first half of the season and some extras are on disc 1. The second half and additional extras are on disc 2. It’s packaged in a standard Blu-ray clamshell case with translucent blue plastic. There’s a slip cover for the Blu-ray case. Besides two Blu-ray discs, there’s also an insert with a download code for the digital HD version of the show.

Video Info: The blu-ray for the first season is presented in a 1080p HD format and a 1.78.1 aspect ratio. The image for the Blu-ray set looks very crisp and clear. However, some of the visuals and sets look a bit more on the cheap side. Granted, the main setting of the show is Kandor, and in these domed enclosures. However, the sets just lack a stronger sense of scale and realism.

Audio Info: The Blu-ray set has a DTS-HDMA primarary sound track. There are optional subtitles in English and French. The show actually features a cool techno music score composed by Pinar Toprak that definitely fits the mood and setting of the show very well.

Special Features: There’s a decent helping of special features on each disc for the first season that most of the fans will appreciate. There aren’t a ton of extras, but there are definitely some that fans of the show will appreciate. That being said, some audio commentary tracks really would’ve rounded out the extra features for the set.

Krypton: 2017 Comic-Con Panel: The cast for the show meet and greet fans at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con. This feature runs about 22 minutes, and it’s nice to see some robust convention material for the show.

Deleted Scenes: There’s a good chunk of Deleted Scenes for the first season throughout each disc. They can be viewed individually or all together. Not all the scenes are finished. Some are longer versions of existed scenes. So far, none of the deleted scenes appear to be too revealing or interesting. So, the show didn’t lose a whole lot by cutting them out. Still, they are a welcome addition.

Featurettes: There are two behind-the-scenes featurettes that are included on the making of the series. They showcase the production side of the world of Krypton and bringing a new vision of Superman’s home world to the screen.

Gag Reel: Finally, there’s your usual gag reel of the actors goofing up during production.

The final score: review Good
The 411
I would mainly recommend Krypton for fans of heavy sci-fi or fans of DC Comics and Superman. For fans of sci-fi, it's a heavy drama set on an alien planet that appears to be on its last legs, with a fascistic, totalitarian theocracy at its head. There are some interesting class warfare aspects that explored throughout the show. This is more about a world-building and mythology type show than a comic book superhero type show. Unfortunately, we don't get to really see Adam Strange use his trademark costume. Maybe, that can happen in season 2. The drawbacks for the show are some of the rather melodramatic soap opera plot developments and romances. The standout performers are easily Colin Salmon as Zod and Ian McElhinney as Val-El. One good thing about the first season is that its only 10 episodes, so the show isn't a huge commitment and there isn't a ton of filler. The Blu-ray set nicely features a digital copy of the season and some decent extras. However, there could've been a little more in terms of special features, such as audio commentary, to give the set a bit more punch.