TV review: Wynonna Earp, Spike (3 stars)

TV review: Wynonna Earp, Spike

Melanie Scrofano stars in this supernatural western based on Beau Smith's comic

Ever since Deadwood died there's been a dearth of cowboy content on television. Justified and Sons of Anarchy both tapped into Western ideology and now Wynonna Earp gives the format a supernatural twist. Based on the IDW comic by Beau Smith, Melanie Scrofano takes the title role as legendary lawman Wyatt Earp's great granddaughter who, after the death of her uncle, returns home to Purgatory. A small dead end town in the desert 'where nothing lives but cattle and cowboys.'

Unfortunately that's not quite true as the outlaws killed by Wynonna's ancestors have returned from the dead seeking revenge. Now squatting on the edge of town in a trailer park crawling with demons. And due to a family curse only Earp's legendary firearm, 'the Peacemaker', can put them down permanently.

There's a lot of info to cram into the pilot with a bundle of exposition packed into some hasty flashbacks. Once the backstory is out of the way it seems to find its rhythm in episode two. Wynonna teaming up with deputy marshal Agent Dolls (Shamier Anderson) and her kid sister Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) to tackle the series big bad: Bobo Del Rey (a pleasingly grim and menacing Michael Eklund).

There's a nice mix in our heroic trio. Scrofano provides the tough gal smart mouth sardonic put downs, Anderson is meticulous and no nonsense whereas Provost-Chalkley adds some light relief as they face a whole heap of bad blood and shoot outs.

Spike has become the home for high profile reruns on Freeview (with Walking Dead, Breaking Bad and X-Files) but haven't had much luck bringing fresh shows to the UK. Wynonna Earp is still finding its footing but this is a promising start that should appeal to Supernatural and Buffy fans.

Wynonna Earp starts on Spike, Fri 29 Jul, 9pm.

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