Dominion: Season 1
The Bible has always been a source of material for the motion picture industry, particularly well versed that it such a large portion of the audience unfamiliar with the content. Frequently, the material present in the canon is augmented either by the imagination of the scriptwriter popular ecclesiastic mythology or Apocrypha sources. I have always prefaced films with the tagline ‘based on actual events’ with the admonition to avoid putting too much credence into the factual basis of the story. The same advice is prudent, albeit strengthened by several orders of magnitude, been dealing with any story with scriptural connections. Without warning label affixed to this consideration, it bears stating that a lack of factual foundation or, inconsistencies with scriptural beliefs, doesn’t preclude the material from being entertaining. One of the main purposes of storytelling is to entertain. Teaching falls under a far more stringently delineated set of guidelines. The SyFy network may have started out with just three runs of all television series and movies that were genre related, but ever since their juggernaut of a hit, ‘Battle Star Galactica,' they have been considered one of the primary sources for quality television. One of the latest offerings, ‘Dominion,' can be considered another post-apocalyptic story, but the differences that extend down to its foundation makes all the difference in its ability to set itself both the rest of this type of story.
‘Dominion’ is based on the 2010 film ‘Legion’ that was about the Archangel Michael coming to earth on a mission to save humanity. God’s had enough that help humanity is spoiling the planet and how far they have plunged into evil. A war on earth breaks out the ticket number of humans, possessed by lesser angels taking up most of the battle. Eventually, another Archangel, Gabriel, descends to the earth to make sure humanity is eradicated. Michael is certain that a pregnant woman he is protecting is carrying an unborn baby will become humanity salvation. As the film ends, Michael is now the champion for the small remnant of humanity survives, or Gabriel continues to lead angelic forces to finish the job. ‘Dominion,' accept the general gist of the story. 25 years later. The civilization that mankind has created is in ruins, and only small pockets of the strongest have banded together and heavily defended cities. One of the most powerful and prosperous the city-states are Vega, built on the ruins of Las Vegas, Nevada. A defensive wall now surrounds the city with highly trained guards protecting it. The city run by a Council, headed by the person referred to as ‘Lord of the City,' Edward Riesen (Alan Dale), patriarch of the powerful House of Riesen. His daughter, Claire (Roxanne McKee), is renowned for her kindness and generosity, especially towards the lower caste. When Michael (Tom Wisdom), decided to reside in Vega the ‘The V–System’ was established based on the designated importance a person has to the community. The Archangel also established a military force, ‘The Angel Corps, which acts as both the military to deal with external threats and a police force than the walls.
Whenever a power structure. Invest a considerable amount of control to a person with the title ‘Lord,' there is certain to be contention for such a lofty position. Inactive contention for this position is, Consul David Whele (Anthony Head), head of House While. As a former televangelist, While is exceptionally well versed in indoctrinating his message to the people in swaying the opinions of those in power. His son, William (Luke Allen-Gale) is a high-ranking member of the forbidden cult referred to as Savories, placing their faith in the prophesied Chosen One. The one who was given that title in utero during the movie is now a grown man, Sgt. Alex Lannon (Christopher Egan), a member of the Angel Corp that happens to be on protection detail for House Riesen. He has secretly been lovers with Claire for some years. One of the more earthbound conflicts that arise occurs when William and Claire are betrothed to seal an agreement between the two most powerful houses in Vega. Much of the city has been taken over and retrofitted to suit the new caste system. The regular citizens, referred to as-1s, live wherever shelter can be found in the streets turned into a marketplace. Those of high positions get to live in one of these posh suites in the former grand hotels. The opulent façades show the ravages of the war, but still managed to convey "" the powerful live here." The city is run by a nuclear power plant which is highly coveted by all the city-states.
The event that sparks the action for the season occurs when Alex is reunited with his father, who was covered with cryptic tattoos. Upon his death, those tattoos are transferred to Alex, proof that he is The Chosen One. The markings are unintelligible to everyone, including Michael but at certain times of stress. They reveal themselves to Alex. Michael begins an arduous training program encompassing physical and psychological training, to hone his effectiveness for his prophesied position. The people possessed by the lesser angels become almost feral, animalistic three obsessed with lashing out and killing. They are generally under the command of Gabriel and the Angels that have sided with him. There are a few angels who refused to take sides and try to be neutral, but over the course of the season circumstances become such neutrality is becoming an impossible luxury. They hope that ‘The Father’, will forgive all of them in return. During his 25 years absence, a group of angels has had their jealousy of mankind reignited; hating us from being God’s favorite.
It requires a rich tapestry to properly convey the story so dependent on such a myriad of details. Thankfully, the showrunner, Vaun Wilmott, may be fairly new to such a position, but he is undeniably talented and its execution. In a series such as this that is so dependent on the preponderance of exposition. It is easy for the episodes, particularly the early ones, to collapse under their weight. This was expertly avoided by a technique long used in soap operas. The characters speak about important things in the past, or how the situation is currently set casually, speaking to someone who knows what is going on. This not only provides for a more natural sounding dialogue and relatable dynamic, but it doesn’t speak down to the audience. There was no attempt here to spoon-feed the information. The audience is required to pay close attention and gradually piece things together for themselves. Some may find this tedious, but ultimately it makes for a much better storytelling experience. There is understandably a considerable amount of supernatural elements infused in the story, but they never overshadow its character-driven nature. The higher angels can deploy their wings in the fraction of a second and took them back equal speed and ease. I have to admit I thought the use of the wings was rather cool and how it was done. For example, Michael may be high in the sky moving down towards the earth. And since his speak touch the ground he walks forward as he brings just fall back, disappearing. Is the attention to details in small CGI matters such as this is extended to the production in its entirety? The wings can be folded in front of the angel, forming a bulletproof shield, but the Angels are very much capable of sustaining an injury and even death. Their preferred weapon our swords fortune very special and blessed metal.
If you have to pick one overriding genre to describe this series, it would have to be political. Among the humans, the machinations to seize power of very much again to the ancient Romans, including having a lion, left over from a magic act, use the dispatch enemies of the state. Assassinations, conspiracies, and backroom deals do more to control the political landscape than any façades of legality. This is near it on a grander scale between brother Archangel and former friends, Michael and Gabriel, each one certain that their course of action is correct and work towards bringing ‘Father’ back to them. There is plenty of action throughout the series that balances all the Machiavellian intrigue and romantic power plays. The casting here is impeccable, which each character perfectly matched to the performer assigned. The juxtaposition of the post-apocalyptic setting with strong influences of ancient empires and the in need to accumulate power, whether man or Angel, makes for series that will keep you watching and wondering what’s going to happen next. Thankfully, another season has been started and should start to broadcast in the summer.
Posted 12/20/2014 10/30\2017