The fight to save Superman’s home planet continues when Krypton returns Wednesday.
When the Syfy drama’s second season premieres, General Zod (Colin Salmon) is still ruling over Krypton with his mother, Lyta (Georgina Campbell), by his side. Meanwhile, Seg (Cameron Cuffe) is still trapped in the Phantom Zone with Brainiac. Although he eventually escapes from the prison world, Seg’s luck doesn’t change much because he’s unfortunate enough to cross paths with Lobo (Emmett J. Scanlan), DC Comics’ ruthless bounty hunter and the newest addition to Krypton.
Below, executive producer Cameron Welsh teases what’s ahead for Seg, Zod, and more in the sophomore season.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Where did you and the writers begin when you reunited to start breaking the story for season 2?
CAMERON WELSH: When we came together to start figuring out what this season would be, we put ourselves in the position of the characters and asked questions: What would the next logical step be? What would Zod do? What ultimately does Zod want to do? We just wanted to do dig deep into the hopes and dreams and desires of these characters and tried to pursue them to their logical conclusions.
What we find really fascinating and interesting about that is, in a lot of ways, Seg and Zod are two separate sides of the same coin. They both want to save Krypton, [but] they just have vastly different ideas on what it takes to achieve that goal. That’s what really set up the drama for the season. So it was approaching it from a character point of view, going, “What does Seg want? What does Zod want?” discovering that they really wanted the same thing, and then it was a matter of putting the pieces into place for them to pursue those goals, which naturally brought them into conflict.
What does Krypton look like under Zod’s rule when the new season begins?
That’s really the job of the first episode of season 2 in a lot of ways: to establish the new Krypton under Zod. On the surface, it’s improved immensely. It has this kind of shiny [exterior], but it really is just a mask that covers up the dark and insidious nature of Zod’s rule. For example, he has freed the rankless. The class structure that Krypton and Kandor City used to exist under is no longer in place, which on the surface looks great, but in reality what that means is that the rankless he has freed up have really just been conscripted into his military. He’s building up his military might. When he speaks of making Krypton safe and protecting it, he’s really talking about building up an intergalactic empire with Krypton as its [center].
Lyta was Zod’s right-hand woman at the end of season 1. How is she faring under the new regime?
Her story over the season, I think, is one of the most fascinating ones out of all of our characters because she did make that choice. She chose to side with her son instead of her mother [Jayna-Zod, played by Ann Ogbomo], and she has to live with the consequences of that choice. She’s confronted by that all the time, every minute of her waking day. In some ways, it motivates her more to make Zod’s vision come to fruition, in that she feels like, “Well, this is the horse I backed, so I need to make sure it wins.” She sort of doubles down on that. Naturally as things kind of progress throughout the season, we see her start to doubt that choice, and obviously the people that she loves and cares about are on the other side. So, she finds herself kind of torn between these two worlds.
Obviously, Seg eventually makes it out of the Phantom Zone. How does his time in the Phantom Zone affect him?
I took a bit of a deep dive into some of the earlier uses and appearances of the Phantom Zone in the comics and tracked it throughout its history. What you often see recurring in the comics in the way that Phantom Zone is depicted is that it’s like one of those two-way mirrors in a police station: You can see the lineup, but they can’t see you. We used it that way. Seg is able to glimpse aspects of the future of what’s happening elsewhere. When I say “glimpse aspects of the future,” it’s because it doesn’t really exist, because the [Phantom Zone] doesn’t obey the rules of time. He can see aspects of the past, present, and future, not necessarily being able to discern which is which. The things that he sees are shocking, and they really disturb him and motivate him to get out of there and try to hopefully correct them in time.
How did you decide to introduce Lobo this season?
Lobo was part of the original character deck that we got from DC right at the very start. We didn’t have a place for him in season 1. We were really trying to establish the world and the principal characters that make it up. But in season 2, we really wanted to expand the world, and we think that it was through DC and [DC Entertainment’s VP of creative affairs] Dan Evans, who said, “You know, you’ve got Lobo to use.” We thought, “Let’s go there.”
We found a nice organic way for him to come into the show. He’s such a fun character. In some ways, he’s such a broad character. He seems almost antithetical to the sort of more grounded nature of our show, but that’s kind of what made it exciting and interesting to throw him in there, because he’s so at odds tonally with a lot of what the show is about, which created an interesting dynamic with the characters. It’s just really fun to see him play off Seg and Adam Strange [Shaun Sipos] and Brainiac. Emmett Scanlan is the first actor to bring that character to live action, and I think it’s an astonishing performance. He’s so, so good in the role.
We know Seg and Adam end up crossing paths with Lobo. What does Lobo want with them?
Initially, he wants information. Lobo, as anyone who is familiar with the character knows, is a bounty hunter. So, he’s pursuing a bounty. That brings him into contact with Seg and Adam. Neither Seg nor Adam is the bounty Lobo is seeking, but they happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Lobo is not a hero, so it’s not good news for our heroes when they cross paths with him.
Doomsday is also a bigger part of the season. In the comics, Doomsday is often depicted as this unstoppable monster who rampages through everything but is never really a character. How do you go about incorporating something like that into a season-long story?
We were confronted with the same challenge when we sort of set about the season. What we did was to try and tackle that challenge head-on. We went deep into the backstory of Doomsday, and we tell his origin story. We learn how Doomsday became Doomsday and all the events that kind of led up to that. We get a much deeper understanding of the character and insight into what makes him tick and why he is the way he is. I think it’s pretty cool. I think it’s a story that hasn’t been told before, and I think that’s one of the best things about our show. It’s why our show is there really: It’s about the untold story of the Superman universe.
But ultimately, as much as we wanted to dig deeper into the character, we also need to honor who that character truly is, and that is an unstoppable force of nature. That part of the character is still in play for sure. Doomsday does his fair share of rampaging, and he is brutal, but there’s a war that’s taking place, essentially, for Krypton. He becomes an important strategic player in that role.
The last time we saw Adam, he was stuck inside of Detroit, which had been conquered by Zod and bottled up by Brainiac. How has that vision of the future changed his mission?
When he went back the first time, he and Seg fell out over Zod and him withholding information about the future of Krypton. When he comes back, he comes back more determined to correct those mistakes and heal that riff with Seg. He knows that the same fate that he almost callously accepted would befall Krypton, in that Kandor would be captured by Brainiac, [is awaiting Detroit]. When that happens to his hometown, I think it gives him a different perspective. It allows him to sort of understand why that was not an acceptable option for Seg, despite the ramifications to Superman’s existence.
Krypton premieres Wednesday, June 12, at 10 p.m. on Syfy.