Adapted from the IDW comic created by Beau Smith, Wynonna Earp is Syfy’s latest entry into their diverse genre programming. Earp centers around the descendants of Wyatt Earp, cursed for generations to rid the earth of revenants. If an Earp is killed, the supernatural abilities required to eliminate demons are inherited by the next of kin. Over a century later, the latest in a long line of Earps returns home to reacquaint herself with her contentious family while unearthing Peacemaker, Wyatt’s Colt .45 and the sole weapon that can send the fiends back to hell.
What can be expected, according to lead Melanie Scrofano? “You can expect a lot of badassery. You can expect a lot of humor. You can expect a lot of heart. You can expect a lot of very dynamic characters, who are very complex.”
“[Earp] is so personal, because it’s a girl who’s fighting, well ALL of us, people fighting their own demons. Yeah, there are actual demons there but they are literally and figuratively fighting their demons. I think we can all relate to that and Emily [Andras, showrunner] is all heart.”
Shamier Anderson, cast as Agent Xavier Dolls, added another essential quality in Earp. “A lot of action. A lot a lot of action! A lot of cool fighting. I think the most important thing is they’ll be a lot of heart behind all the demons, all the sci fi supernatural stuff. There’s going to be people you can relate to, characters that you’re going to grow with. There’s a real humanity to the show, and Melanie Scrofano definitely leads the show with that. And it trickles down to our amazing line-up. Waverly, played by Dominique [Provost-Chalkey], and Doc Holliday played by Tim Rozon. So you guys are in for a treat!”
As mentioned by Anderson, the lead cast is rounded out by Tim Rozon (“Schitt’s Creek”), portraying the secretive and somehow still alive (yet always dapper) Doc Holliday; Michael Eklund (“Continuum”, “Bates Motel”) is Bobo Del Ray, leader of the revenants, and Dominique Provost-Chalkey (“Avengers: Age of Ultron”) who thrusts herself in the middle of the conflict between good and evil as Waverly Earp, younger sister of the titular character. Speaking of good and evil, while describing what little info could be revealed about their respective characters, Eklund and Rozon espoused on the layered dynamics of Wynonna Earp.
While it’s clear the demons in the town of Purgatory are a true bane to the fair citizens of the town, the battle lines – and allegiances – are not exactly cut and dry. “Is there really a bad guy and good guy on this show? Ekland ponders. “Everybody is a shade of grey, everyone is up to no good in some capacity.” Rozon agreed with his cast mate. “There’s not really a good or bad, per se. Even Mel [Scrofano] who’s our protagonist, she’s got her own demons and I mean not just the ones she has to kill to survive! There’s different demons going on.”
The connections between the townsfolk and the revenant may be more profound than either realize. What is assumed to be the correct path for some – as in the case of Waverly Earp – may not be the right path. “When you find Waverly in the show, she’s at a place in her life where she’s been following the rules, Provost-Chalkey shared. “She’s fitting in the way that she thinks she should. Through the series, she finds who she wants to be. So there’s a huge journey.”
At this point, Provost-Chalkey’s co-stars make fun of her for describing Waverly as “sweet” and “bubbly” when she’s supposedly as dangerous and sneaky as Bobo and Holliday. Their light-hearted banter during interviews was infectious and brightened what is typically an arduous process. If their performances are equal to their genial nature and passionate recounting of their roles, then we’re in for an thoroughly entertaining show.
For showrunner Emily Andras, taking on the reins of a new show has become old hat of sorts. Her enthusiasm and passion for providing quality storytelling rich with diversity remains unyielding, as evidenced by her excitement for viewers to finally witness Wynonna in action. “I’ve been lucky enough to kind of find my niche, which is showrunning genre shows with really strong female protagonists. I was on a show called Lost Girl for a really long time, I worked on a show called Killjoys which is about bounty hunters in space and the captain is a woman. So IDW were looking, because it’s such an extraordinary female character, for a female showrunner. And I’m telling you, when they brought it to me I thought “If you had cooked something up in the lab that checked off every one of my boxes, it would be Wynonna Earp.” It was just so awesome! First of all, she’s so witty and funny and such a mess and gets away with so much.”
“I really was attracted to the idea of a supernatural western, Andras continued. “I feel like it was due for a revival in a way that was really fun and Robert Rodriguez meets Buffy meets Frozen because of the sister’s relationship… it was the life and tone of the comic. It’s just so fun and unapologetic.”
While Smith and Andras have discovered a harmony between creator and producer that seldom occurs in such ventures, fans of the comic shouldn’t expect a panel-for-panel adaptation in the series. In fact, the series adds a greater dimension by going back to the beginning of Wynonna’s employment with the Black Badge Division.
For Beau Smith, to see his vision come to life before his eyes is an experience he’d never take for granted. “It’s been fun! Fun in the fact that I stated before that I’ve always written Wynonna Earp thirty-five to forty years old, in the prime of her Black Badge career. Emily [Andras] has opened up this wonderful world of basically the origin of Wynonna Earp. How she went from a mess to the best. I could not have written it better myself! I really couldn’t have, but I sure wish I could. And I will lie one day and say I did.”
Wynonna Earp premieres Friday April 1 at 10/9c on Syfy!
If you like what you’ve read and seen so far, check on Project Fandom soon for an advance review on the first episode, “Purgatory”!