Tag Archives: Supernatural

Dominion continues angel apocalyptic saga from Legion

Tom Wisdom and Christopher Egan star in 'Dominion' on Syfy.

Tom Wisdom and Christopher Egan star as, respectively, the Archangel Michael and his human hero, Alex Lannon in ‘Dominion,’ premiering tonight on Syfy.

Dominion, a new action-fantasy series premiering tonight on Syfy, starts about 25 years after the events of Legion, a so-so 2010 end-of-days horror movie that saw mankind beset, not by devils, but by a militant host of heaven led by the Archangel Gabriel. In that film, God finally had gotten fed up with humanity and simply walked away from the entire mess, leaving Gabriel to unleash throngs of lower angels that possessed the bodies of their human victims, beginning the biggest mass genocide in world history.
One of the few things standing in Gabriel’s way was his angelic brother, Michael, who took the side of the humans and did what he could to protect his frail mortal charges against their powerful foes. During the course of that earlier film, Michael managed to find and save a “chosen child” who seemed predestined to save the human race one day – if Gabriel and his minions didn’t kill him first.
Even with Michael’s help, things went badly for humanity and, as Dominion opens in the near future close to the rubble of Las Vegas, heavily fortified city-states have risen from the ruin. One of them, the re-christened Vega, is home to a large population of humans split into a harsh caste system and ruled by two houses: the benign House Riesen, led by a high-minded military general (Alan Dale, The O.C.), and House Whele, overseen by a ruthless and manipulative politician (Anthony Stewart Head, Buffy the Vampire Slayer).
Vega also is home turf to Alex Lannon (Christopher Egan, Kings), a young soldier who has grown up in the retinue of House Riesen and shares a secret crush with lovely Claire Riesen (Roxanne McKee, Game of Thrones). A headstrong maverick, Alex is given to making forbidden solo patrols outside the walls of Vega, looking for pockets of Gabriel’s killer angels. Those forays always earn Alex some stiff punishment from Michael (Tom Wisdom, 300), but as we watch the two of them together, it’s not hard to figure out that Alex is the chosen child Michael rescued years ago.
Meanwhile, in the mountains to the north, Gabriel (Carl Beukes) is again massing his own forces, which now include some higher angels, for a final series of assaults to exterminate mankind forever.
For my money, the creative team of the long-running CW hit Supernatural handles much the same story with a good deal more wit and ingenuity, but if you’re in the mood for straight-on summer action, Dominion turns out to be fairly entertaining, at least in tonight’s 90-minute pilot, which is all I’ve seen. Egan make a very likable human hero, and the special visual effects, still incomplete in the screener I viewed, promise to be pretty eye-popping.
The only real debit I noticed was the performance of Wisdom, who seems entirely too lightweight and bland as Michael, a role played by the formidable Paul Bettany in Legion. The rest of Dominion isn’t boring, however, although Beukes’ Gabriel, the big bad of the show, is barely in tonight’s opener, so he’s still an unknown quantity.
From 'Dominion' on Syfy.

From left, Claire (Roxanne McKee), Gen. Riesen (Alan Dale), the long-MIA Jeep (Langley Kirkwood) and Michael (Tom Wisdom) attend a Vega jubilee that goes horribly wrong in tonight’s premiere of ‘Dominion.’

New day dawns for ‘Tomorrow People’

'The Tomorrow People' on The CW

Robbie Amell, Aaron Woo, Luke Mitchell and
Peyton List (from left) in ‘The Tomorrow People.’

Technically, The Tomorrow People, which premieres tonight on The CW Network, is based on a British children’s TV show that premiered back in the ‘70s. In a larger sense, however, its focus on a group of extraordinary young people whose “other-ness” makes them misfits to the wider society is very much in the same creative vein as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Vampire Diaries, Teen Wolf and the X-Men movies, among many others.
The main character is teenager Stephen Jameson (Robbie Amell), who led a fairly normal life with his mother (Sarah Clarke, 24) and kid brother until about a year ago, when suddenly Stephen began hearing voices in his head. Far more troubling, he began teleporting in his sleep, so although he went to bed in his own home, he never knew where he might wake up (such as in bed with a neighbor couple, which is starting to wear thin with them).
Trembling on the brink of what he thinks is a nervous breakdown, Stephen finally decides to listen to one of the “imaginary voices,” which leads him to John and Cara (Luke Mitchell, Peyton List), the de facto leaders of a group known as the Tomorrow People. John and Cara, along with Russell (Aaron Yoo), the group’s trainer, explain to Stephen that they are a genetically advanced race of beings with the ability to teleport, communicate telepathically and move objects via telekinesis – and Stephen’s father, long missing and presumed dead, was once a member of their group.
The Tomorrow People – you’d think this group would have a catchier handle for themselves by now – are being stalked, rounded up and “neutralized” by Ultra, a shadowy paramilitary group of scientists led by Dr. Jedekiah Price (the always exceptional Mark Pellegrino, who played Lucifer on Supernatural). To reveal more about tonight’s pilot would spoil a couple of very satisfying twists that come toward the end of the first episode.
Amell — the cousin of Stephen Amell, whose Arrow series is this new show’s lead-in — is a very likable lead and Pellegrino, who excels at playing ambiguity, succeeds in keeping us guessing about Dr. Price’s motives, but it may be the charismatic Mitchell and List who connect most directly with fans, at least right off the bat.
The real superhero of The Tomorrow People, however, isn’t even on camera. That’s executive producer Greg Berlanti, whose extraordinary track record for creating genre-busting, emotionally resonant drama series includes shows as diverse as Arrow, Brothers & Sisters and Everwood. I suspect he’s the reason Tomorrow People manages to hook us right from the get-go and get us invested in these unconventional characters. With him at the helm, the future for The Tomorrow People looks bright.

Summer chills from Stephen King

Adapted from a hernia-inducing bestseller by Stephen King, Under the Dome – a summer series premiering tonight on CBS – is set in the rural Maine town of Chester’s Mill, a picturesque spot that could be the backdrop of a Norman Rockwell painting … if David Lynch painted under the name Norman Rockwell.
As in so many sleep burgs, Chester’s Mill harbors some unsettling secrets, some sexy, some sinister. A few locals have noticed mysterious propane tanker trucks pulling into town, but who is stockpiling it, and why? Local politician Big Jim Rennie (Dean Norris, Breaking Bad) seems to know, and worse, he seems to know how to use that information to his best advantage.
Elsewhere, we see a shadowy out-of-towner, Army vet Dale “Barbie” Barbara (Mike Vogel, Bates Motel), hastily burying a corpse in a makeshift forest grave, and waitress Angie McAlister (Britt Robertson, The Secret Circle) trying to end a dead-end affair with a handsome but unstable player (Alexander Koch) who doesn’t like to be told no. Oh, and the stressed-out sheriff (Jeff Fahey) has a pacemaker installed in his chest. Uh-oh.
Still, to the untrained eye, things appear to be tickety-boo in Chester’s Mill right up until a previously calm morning is shaken by an abrupt tremor and the church bells start pealing at a deafening level, just seconds before an enormous but completely transparent dome slams down around the town with a force that renders a hapless cow into carpaccio on the hoof.
The barrier tingles to the touch, yet is otherwise invisible, although nothing can pass through it, including phone, TV or radio transmissions. Where did it come from? Is it the work of some government, either domestic or foreign? Will it eventually go away? If not, will the people inside eventually suffocate? (Spoiler alert: probably not, because in tonight’s premiere, you can’t help noticing an inexplicable amount of wind blowing through this supposedly hermetically sealed-off town).
Much like King’s disappointing 1999 miniseries Storm of the Century, Under the Dome explores how a small community unites and/or comes apart at the seams when separated from the rest of the world and confronted with a deadly challenge. Since I haven’t tackled this hefty novel, I have no idea where the storyteller is going with this yarn, but tonight’s first hour is well-acted and boasts some very cool special effects, including the arrival of the dome, a trucker turning into an accordion on wheels when it slams into the invisible barrier and, of course, that poor bifurcated bovine.
The cast, which also includes Rachelle Lefevre (A Gifted Man) and teen actor Colin Ford (best known for playing Jared Padalecki’s younger alter ego in Supernatural flashbacks), is solid, even if their characters come across mainly as types more than three-dimensional human beings in the premiere episode.
All in all, there’s enough here to keep me tuning in to see more. I’m doing so with some trepidation, though, because more than once King has handed us a dazzling premise that fizzles in its execution and resolution. Fingers crossed!