Killjoys Showrunner Michelle Lovretta: ‘Give Me Sexy and Give Me Funny’

The creator of Killjoys teases details of characters and relationships that will be explored in the second half of season 3.

Michelle Lovretta is a world builder, and nowhere has she been more successful in this task than with Killjoys, a SYFY show that started out great and has only improved with each season. Now, as season 3 enters its second half, Lovretta speaks about her hopes for a season 4 renewal and where she wants to take Killjoys, having successfully created the story of the Quad and now broadened the scope to include the entire J star cluster and the approaching alien threat.

Lovretta is no stranger to creating successful shows. She helmed Showcase’s Lost Girl, which also aired on Syfy in the U.S., before turning showrunner duties over to Emily Andras, who now heads Killjoys’ Friday companion, Wynonna Earp. “I admit I am somebody who likes to set up worlds and look for moments when I can try to pull back a little bit just because showrunning is really a beast, honestly,” Lovretta admits. “It is amazing, it is a privilege to be able to do it; it’s something I don’t want to ever fully give up from my career, but the longer I spend in the day-to-day meetings, the less time I have to be able to slay new dragons and come up with new worlds.”

Don’t worry, though, Killjoys fans; Lovretta isn’t headed anywhere any time soon. “In Killjoys, I’m very invested in what we’re doing with the relationships in that world as well as what we’re doing with the themes of it, so I feel like there’s still a lot of stuff I want to poke at,” she says, hinting that it might not always be so: “At some point I think I probably will slowly dial back a little bit on that as well. It’s just kind of my nature, but I never want to fully leave.”

Lovretta apparently enjoys the challenge of creating a world that viewers want to spend time in on the shoestring budget that restricts most genre fare. “When I pitched or was talking about Lost Girl and when I was talking early development of Killjoys, in both cases I said, ‘Listen, if you can’t give me ten hundred million dollars, give me sexy and give me funny.’ And that is something that wasn’t always an easy sell,” Lovretta explains. “They didn’t want you to be too sexy, and god forbid you actually have a cheeky sense of humor because you should be full up nerd on it.

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“My philosophy has generally been, ‘Fuck that! Follow the fun; follow the goddamn fun!’” Lovretta effuses. “That is not contingent on budget. It’s what I love about any season of Doctor Who.”

Following the fun has certainly been the hallmark of Killjoys season 3, as the dynamics between characters have become deeper and richer than ever before, including with lead characters, Dutch and Johnny, played by Hannah John-Kamen and Aaron Ashmore. “You will get to see Dutch and Johnny’s back story in episode 7,” promises Lovretta, “because here’s the thing: I don’t like putting everything forward… in season 1. That’s too soon. But as you start getting into season 3 onwards, you have the ability to do these little gems where you’re like, ‘Okay, that’s something I always wanted to fit in, and how do we do it?’”

The platonic relationship between the two has always been an important dynamic in the show, but that doesn’t mean the show is devoid of romance. “Those two are always going to stay platonic,” Lovretta says of Dutch and Johnny. “The people around them? Sometimes there will be romance! Pawter happened just because they sparked… and then the same with Pree and Gared. Their love story that you’ve seen in the beginning of this season sparked because when Pree stabbed Gared in the hand last year, they just seemed to have a little chemistry… If the actors bring something out, we’ll follow it, but we don’t create stuff around that.”

Then there’s the show’s dark side, which has manifested itself nicely in the rising star character of Delle Seyah Kendry, played by Mayko Nguyen. “I freaking love her!” Lovretta confesses. “You are going to find out more about that character this season. I think she’s going to do a lot of things that will surprise you, but what I think is most important about her is the ways that she helps us peel back the layers of Aneela.”

In some ways Delle Seyah has evolved in parallel with the show since revealing her role in the major conspiracy that was at the core of earlier seasons of Killjoys. “She was raised, much like Dutch was, in a way that stepped upon her capacity for empathy. Khlyen did that intentionally with Dutch… but with Delle Seyah, it was done because her ancestors and therefore her parents knew [that they were] going to have to make good on this deal… Being able to leave the Quad and leave those strictures behind oddly has humanized Delle Seyah a little bit, even as she has lost her humanity by being Hullen. It’s really an odd but interesting dynamic.”

Speaking of odd but interesting dynamics, viewers have often associated Killjoys with its neighboring Friday space drama, Dark Matter, and the question of a crossover has been raised more than once. “I love [Dark Matter executive producer, Joseph Mallozzi], and we’re usually emailing each other, and we’ve certainly poked at the thought of it,” Lovretta admits. “I think that’s really contingent upon us first of all getting season 4 renewals, both of us… and then if we both get season 4’s, it then comes down to scheduling… if we were able to figure out enough in advance where we could have a credible crossover, I would totally be doing that, yeah.”

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In the meantime, fans are doing their part to ensure that Killjoys season 4 will happen. “Bless the fans for everything they’re doing,” praises Lovretta. “Our numbers are going up every week, which is really, really hard in a season 3, so thank you. Keep that up!” In the meantime, Killjoys season 3 continues its second half on Fridays at 8pm ET on SYFY.

The full audio of this interview will be available on the next episode of our Sci Fi Fidelity podcast: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Soundcloud