Trailer Thoughts: Dominion

A few days ago I came by a post on io9 which showed the new trailer for one of SyFy’s upcoming shows this summer, an angelic post-apocalyptic drama called Dominion. Based on 2010 movie LegionDominion is set 25 years after an army of Angels descends on the world and wipes out most of humanity in what is called the Extinction War. The show itself deals with a splinter community of survivors based out of Las Vegas (now known as Vega), one of the last remaining bastions of Mankind. Aided by the Archangel Michael, the people of Vega are right at the frontlines of the war.

When I saw Legion in 2011, I was equal parts bored and fascinated by it. Being a Paul Bettany fan, the movie was kind of a must-watch for me at the time, especially since you can also depend on Kevin Durand to turn in a nice enough performance. Add in Adrianne Palicki, Dennis Quaid and Tyrese Gibson and you have the makings of a good movie. The story however didn’t inspire until right towards the end, which was a great climax. Now, we have a television series based on the show and I see that as an incredible risky investment by SyFy. Good if it works, and I hope it does, because the concept for prime-time television is quite a bold one.

The show seems to have quite the cast, drawn from some big movies and television shows. We have Christopher Egan (Resident Evil: Extinction), Tom Wisdom (300), Roxanne McKee (Game of Thrones), Alan Dale (Lost), Anthony Stewart Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Merlin) and Luke Allen-Gale (The Borgias).

Of all of them, I’m most familiar with Anthony, since he was one of the mainstays of Buffy during the show’s entire run and his character Giles is still one of the biggest characters of the entire setting. And he also played King Uther Pendragon in Merlin, which was another great show. Plus Anthony is an excellent actor as well. He plays a very different sort of character in this new show, and I’m very intrigued by all that I’ve read him, that he is a political animal and vying for the top power spot in Vega. That’s gonna be fun.

Roxanne McKee had a very small part in seasons 1 and 2 of Game of Thrones so she isn’t exactly big, but it is nice to see her in another show nevertheless. Her character seems quite a fun one, being the daughter of one of the most powerful men in Vega and in love with Christpher Egan’s Alex Lannon, a regular soldier in the ranks of Vega’s army. There is more to her character of course from what I can read on SyFy’s official site for the show and I’m looking forward to seeing her developed into a proper three-dimensional character.

Tom Wisdom similarly had a small role in 300, and I kind of liked him in the movie, so as with McKee I’m looking forward to seeing how he takes on a role as important as Archangel Michael, the only ally Humanity had during the Extinction War.

The thing is that neither of the trailers for the show really give us all that much info on the characters. The setting is just about barely alluded to and that’s it, I was frankly looking for a lot more, I have to admit. Most of the information that I have on the show comes from the official site, and that’s slim pickings indeed. In fact, there isn’t even a Wikipedia page yet, so there aren’t all that many outlets where you can learn more about the show, which should hopefully change in the coming weeks as the premiere release date creeps up on us.

Looking at the trailers, and reading the story, my first question is why the hell did Alan Dale’s General Riesen establish a foothold in Las Vegas and make that one of the “anti-Angel” fortress cities? The city is pretty much in a desert, kind of in the middle of nowhere on a map. And all it has is entertainment. Sure, argument could be made that since the population levels are significantly down, resources aren’t really a problem for the survivors. Or that the angels under Archangel Gabriel had already destroyed all the major population centers by the time Riesen thought to establish a foothold. There’s lots of ways that can play out. I just think that the “City of Angels” would have made for a better setting than the “City of Sin”. The city named after angels themselves spitting in their face as Riesen and the people with him continue to resist. It has a nice ring to it.

But, I’m open to seeing how Vega is explained, and I hope it is, because otherwise I’ll be disappointed.

Visually, Dominion looks good although I’m going to withhold judgement until I see a full proper trailer. The above trailers are just teasers, nothing more and a full trailer should be coming up soon. Hopefully around the middle days of May. The current trailers just lack enough information for me to able to make a proper judgement on whether I’m going to love the show or not, or whether it will be good or not. It is a bit dicey right now.

All the same, I love the concept. Angelic war fiction isn’t very common on either the big screen or the small screen, being far more popular in written fiction in the urban fantasy and paranormal romance genres. And Legion itself was quite a commercial success, even if it ultimatley received wide negative criticism. Looking at just the numbers, the movie did well for itself. So hopefully Dominion can pull off something similar, in that it is “financially” a success for SyFy.

Dominion Cast 0001

If I have any criticism about the trailers, it is that all I see are incredibly white faces in front of me. The website lists at least one person of colour and there is a picture with at least two characters of colour who seem to be prominent. Given that Las Vegas is quite the melting pot of cultures and people, I hope the show addresses that as well, or I’m going to be severely disappointed.

Either way, bring on June 19th!

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