'Krypton' Showrunner Explains Why the Show Matters to the DC Universe

When FOX announced Gotham, it seemed obvious where the show could go; like Smallville, it would follow the lives of heroes and villains familiar to comic book readers and fans of the character in movies and TV, ultimately building to an inspirational ending where Bruce first dons the cape and cowl as the Dark Knight.

For Krypton? Well... the ending everyone expects -- that moment when Superman's father sends his baby into space with a world dying around him -- is kind of a downer ending. What do you do with a story where the end is "Explosion -- everybody dies?" Well, according to showrunner Cameron Welsh, that is not the problem some fans are assuming it is.

"We haven't really seen much of this world before and it's just this open book and allows us to tell a story that hasn't been told," Welsh told reporters during a recent set visit. "There's still plenty more Superman stories to tell, but there's already been a ton of those and there will continue to be. Here's a fresh opportunity to tell this -- to explore a part of the DC universe which is super important, and it's relatively unexplored. It's less about not having Superman but more about it being a prequel is something that we've discussed as being a challenge that we face."

Even with a general interest in Krypton -- and the fan demand for more content set on the world following the release of Man of Steel, in which the Krypton material was some of the movie's best stuff -- Welsh is aware that some people will still be confused by the high concept.

"I don't know if it's necessarily the same with Gotham, but there's probably this notion that part of the audience goes, 'Krypton, I guess that's the show about the planet that Superman came from and that planet blows up so I kind of know how that story ends. Do I really need to watch this? I've lots of other things to do,'" Welsh joked. "So the way we've sought to address that challenge is that in story and this is where, when we talk about DC's involvement, not only in giving us access to everything we've got but Geoff Johns himself has been a part of the show and he's a brilliant mind and has some brilliant ideas and very early on we talked about exactly that problem, about the prequel concern. The way we've addressed it in story, we have Adam Strange comes from present day Earth, arrives on Krypton to deliver this warning to Seg to let him know that history as we know it is under threat and somebody is coming to try and change the course of history, change the timeline, and prevent Superman's birth. The show very quickly goes from being about this look into the past into a show that has stakes in the present day."

The idea that Brainiac could be launching a pre-emptive attack on Krypton in order to prevent Superman's birth means that, in the vein of most great time-travel stories, events taking place in the past can have a terrible butterfly effect into the present. If Superman wasn't there the first time Brainiac (or General Zod, or Mongul, or whomever) came to Earth, who's to say that the rest of DC's heroes could have repelled the threat without significant loss of life or worse?

Are you excited to see more of Superman's birth world? Chime in below to discuss your hopes, expectations, and reservations.

Krypton is coming to SYFY on March 21st.

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