In 2010 Bold Films made Legion it opened to mediocre reviews and a lukewarm reception from the public, now Dominion, on the SyFy channel tells the story of what happens after the film and it is proving to be much more popular than the Dennis Quaid vehicle ever was. The story of mankind’s continuing fight against the angels of heaven takes place in the ruins of Las Vegas, although the story is about a “chosen one” who will help man win, it is also about subterfuge and power struggles on both sides.
Buffy veteran Anthony Head, aka Anthony Stewart Head when he co-starred in the Joss Whedon series, plays Consul David Whele in the show. A man obsessed with killing angels and controlling the population, unfortunately he is not in a position to be powerful enough to make everyone “toe the line.” He is second in command to General Edward Riesen.
Kiwi actor Alan Dale, who has truly left his Australian soap days behind him, plays the leader of the humans who are ensconced in Vega. It was his forces that defeated and decimated the angel army and he was responsible for founding the city of Vega.
Most of the actors in the SyFy show are English or Australian, or in Dale’s case from New Zealand. This may have more to do with the filming location than anything else. The series is filmed almost entirely in South Africa, an area of the world that is much closer to England and Australia than America.
Thus far, the small screen version of Legion, Dominion is proving more popular than its big screen film parent. Although it does seem to depend upon whom one talks to, or reads. Still, at the end of the day, the reviews and audience response for the series are better than the mostly negative reaction to the movie.
It is surprising that the network decided to make a television show based upon a very poorly received film. The movie’s main star, Dennis Quaid, had been having issues with picking the right vehicles to star in when Legion was made. Although to be fair, the science fiction thriller Pandorum did quite well compared to G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra all of which Quaid starred in during this time period.
Lucas Black, who got his start on the splendidly odd 1990’s American Gothic series, and Adrianne Palicki (Red Dawn) both did well in their respective parts. Sadly the film, apart from the one brilliant moment where the little old lady diner leaps around the eatery walls and ceiling, was overall a depressing and disappointing effort.
Dominion may be a dark series and it may not have Dennis Quaid, which might just work in its favor, but it does have something that makes it, at the very least, interesting to watch. The plots and subplots all work well together, even if the show’s biggest problem is to assume the audience understands where the series came from. In other words, it follows the story Legion left behind.
The film Legion may have been a big screen let down, but its small screen offspring, Dominion is more popular than its parent. The series airs on the SyFy network Thursdays.
By Michael Smith