Dominion Season 1 Review “Pilot”

Dominion- Season 1

I love an epic story. One that feels larger than itself, as if the portion you’re privy to is simply part of a larger, more comprehensive whole. SyFy’s new series Dominion, taking place 25 years after the events of the 2010 film Legion, feels like such a story, even if the pilot doesn’t quite hit all of the targets it aims for. There’s a vexing combination of conflicting characteristics that make it difficult to determine whether or not Dominion will be a show worth tuning into every week.

Dominion‘s religion inspired post apocalyptic world is brought to life beautifully. It’s shot in a manner that befits and emphasizes its epic nature. While I’d never want to pay Vega and the world surrounding it a visit, I am hoping to see more of it. The show would do well to take advantage of the other locations briefly glimpsed and spoken of in the pilot. They point to the show’s broader canvas, which seems full of exciting possibilities.

The show also features an impressive cast, featuring such genre notables as Alan Dale (Lost, 24), Anthony Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and Chris Egan (Eragon, Kings). Talent of their caliber is further indication that Dominion means business. Watching them grow into their characters over the course of the season should be a treat to watch.

Unfortunately, the pilot isn’t the best showcase of their talents, as establishing each character here felt too broad. While this is necessary as the purpose of a pilot is to establish the particulars of the show’s world, most of the performances continuously drilled into your head, “I’m the good guy!” or “I’m the bad guy!”, without the kind of subtlety that would have made this more interesting to watch. This is a story about humans, religion, angels, demons, and God. The Old Testament come again in a new world, with the introductions complete, Dominion needs to dial the over the top nature of the pilot’s performances back a bit.

The show also needs an emotional core. While the pilot balanced the necessary exposition with the relationships between its characters, none of those relationships felt real. Events bring viewers in, but relationships keep them there.

Butt Wait! There’s More!
SyFy, I understand. You’ve been the butt of a lot of jokes over the last few years. Many science fiction and fantasy fans believe you’ve lost your way. Between wrestling, reality shows, and Sharknadoes, you’re not considered the bastion of quality programming you once may have been. Butt please, showing backsides and as much breast as you can get away with for no reason other than to be seen as “edgy” or “adult” is ridiculous. That shower scene added absolutely nothing to the story and embarrassed you. I’m far from being a prude, believe me, butt that was just silly.

In the end, I found the ideas, design, and core story of Dominion interesting. Over the coming weeks the show needs to do a better job of expanding its world while keeping it grounded in the characters living there. If it can’t accomplish this crucial goal, I fear this may be its only season.

Judgment: PURGATORY- It’s up to you, Dominion. The potential is there, the ambition is there, but I’m not yet convinced you can do what’s necessary to ascend.

What’s your judgment? Are you, like me, on the fence? Or are you ready to allow Dominion through the gates of television heaven?

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