SYFY’s Deadly Class won’t shy away from its depiction of violence, but according to co-showurnner Miles Orion Feldsott, it’s also interested in exploring the consequences of that violence. Movies and television series based on comic books typically deal with violence in one way or another, but Deadly Class makes the idea of violence central to its storyline, as the entire series revolves around a secret school for assassins. With that in mind, the series isn’t aiming to be a bloody free-for-all, but instead it plans to explore the fallout of violent actions, particularly on those committing them.
The series has already seen the series premiere screened at New York Comic Con, and SYFY made it available to everyone else when it released the first episode just before the Christmas holiday. With that in mind, most people who have an interest in seeing how the adaptation of the comic book from co-creators Rick Remender and Wesley Craig approaches the idea of kids learning to be stone-cold killers. And from what’s shown in ‘Reagan Youth,’ it’s clear the show is interested in more than just meaningless bloodletting.
During a recent visit to the set of Deadly Class, Feldsott discussed the depiction of violence and how it will play as the series evolves and moves through its first season. He said the idea was to handle it with care, and not depict violence as edginess for the sake of being edgy. Feldsott said:
“I think there's two ways to look at art, and it's certainly a question there Rick and I ask ourselves not only when we put violence in this project but in ... if we put homophobia or racism or sexism or any kind of ugliness of the world. When we put it into a project, you have to ask yourself, why is it there? I think it's there to hold up a lens, a mirror, to society. And there's certainly the other way to go, which is more aspirational art. But there are dark things in our society that we want to examine through art, and I don't think we're really interested, necessarily, in, "Oh, violence is cool and it's edgy." It's more about, what are the consequences of that?
If you watch the pilot, I don't think we're ever glorifying violence. If you watch the second episode, it's all about, what's the aftermath of that? What are these kids dealing with on a day-to-day basis? The way that we look at the school is really a metaphor for all of the institutions and systems and the relationship dynamics that push basically good kids towards a darker side or towards an ugliness in the world.
I think as artists now, it's just we have to always be aware of what ... Why are we doing this? What are we saying about the world? And be responsible about it. And in that way, we make sure that we heighten the world, that there's no guns in school ... There's none of that. We make sure that the world feels very heightened and different from ours, and in that way, we can explore these themes without making people feel too uncomfortable about the current state of the world.”
Whether or not fans agree with the show’s approach to its depiction of violence remains to be seen, but perhaps as the series moves deeper into the first season, there’ll be more opportunities for discussion around the topic.
The Deadly Class series premiere is currently available online or on the SYFY app. The series officially premieres Wednesday, January 16, 2019 on SYFY.