So starting last summer with Defiance, SyFy has been looking to establish some new sci-fi series. Dominion is the latest to make it onto the screen. It is apparently a sequel of sorts to the movie Legion, which I haven’t seen.
I don’t know if watching Legion would have made some of the early sequences make more sense, but I did feel pretty confused for about the first 30 minutes of the 90 minute première before things gradually fell into place.
Dominion is not what you would call original. There’s a lot of familiar material being recycled here. We have an apocalypse (though I guess it being the angels rather than demons doing it is a twist), we have a city with a caste system, there’s a scheming politician, oh and we have a “chosen one”.
So when you look at the pieces individually there’s really not a huge amount to recommend this show over anything else. The info-dump opening rapidly lost my attention (which might be why I was so confused early on) and several of the main characters are… well let’s call them bland.
However, there aren’t many shows that come out the gate with really strong characters. That takes time to build. And there are more positive signs here too. Anthony Head is of course brilliant as the previously mentioned scheming politician, even if listening to him with an American accent is really weird. Likewise Alan Dale (who will always be Jim Robinson from neighbors to me) plays the good general with aplomb.
And while Tom Wisdom’s Archangel Michael seems strangely unemotive at first as I continued to watch that seemed more like a deliberate acting choice. Because Michael is not human and he’s supposed to feel a little off. Those three are enough to anchor the show while the other characters (I hope) find their footing.
A lot of plates were set spinning in this first double length episode too. Plates that create the possibility for plenty of scheming, intrigue and backstabbing. As well as just some outright violence.
I’m not expecting greatness from Dominion and it’s possible the whole thing will just collapse in on itself as the season progresses, but I think it has potential to become a fun weekly show.