08th Oct2018

‘Wynonna Earp: Season One’ Blu-ray Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Melanie Scrofano, Tim Rozon, Shamier Anderson, Dominique Provost-Chalkley | Created by Emily Andras

wynonna-earp-s1-blu

The Wild West has been a long-held fascination in American culture, with hundreds of movies, books and TV shows produced around the subject. There has even been crossover with science-fiction before, with the beloved (yet short-lived) Joss Whedon show Firefly and the more recent Westworld. Well now comes another Wild West fantasy series in the shape of Wynnona Earp – which is based on Beau Smith’s IDW comic of the same name and follows Wyatt Earp’s great great-granddaughter as she battles demons and other creatures. Think of this as another example of cracking female-led fantasy a la Buffy.

The first season of Wynnona Earp set up the story quiet succinctly: After a troubled adolescence spent in and out of juvie, following the death of her father and the disappearance of her older sister Willa, Wynonna Earp reluctantly returns to her hometown of Purgatory for the funeral of her uncle, which sets in motion a series of events that sees Wynonna claim her birthright – inheriting Wyatt Earp’s mythic abilities and his famous gun – a Colt .45 pistol with a 12-inch barrel – along with his legendary old West enemies… 77 revenant demons! However, as is per the wont of television series, Wynonna is not alone in her quest. Not only is she deputised as a special agent in the Black Badge Division (a top secret sector of the U.S. Marshals), but she also has her own Scooby gang (told you this was very much like Buffy) in the shape of her new “boss” Agent Xavier Dolls (Anderson) and her younger sister Waverly (Provost-Chalkley) who, it turns out, is the foremost authority on Earp and the men he killed.

If there’s one thing you can say about shows produced for the Syfy channel, it’s that the don’t waste any time in telling their stories. Many shows will spend multiple episodes building their world and their core cast of characters – especially now, given American TVs obsession with long-form storytelling (whatever happened to just having a “monster of the week”?). But not Syfy. A mere 2 episodes into Wynonna Earp‘s first season and the audience knows everything they need to enjoy the show and how the story will progress. Though I’m sure the showrunner Emily Andras will have a few surprises up her sleeve – after all, Andras previously worked on Lost Girl which, under her watch, turned into a fantastic – if underrated – fantasy series.

It’s not that the storytelling is simple however. There are numerous plot threads that I’m sure will be expanded on a the series continues – and there’s at least two that really held my interest here: namely what Doc Holliday’s long-term plan is; and just what role Waverly has to play in all this. Yes she’s a “consultant” with the Black Badge Division thanks to her knowledge but that’s not the only connection she has to the revenant demons, the death of her father and the disappearance of Willa Earp.

With a cast that are unifomally fantastic across the board, with particular props to Dominique Provost-Chalkley, whose comic-relief is some of the goofiest and most charming I’ve seen in a LONG time, Wynonna Earp is definitely a TV show you need to add to your must-see list.

Wynonna Earp: Season 1 is out now on DVD and Blu-ray from Spirit Entertainment, along with Season 2 which is being released simultaneously with the first series.

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