The Men of Dominion
Part 1 of 3
Why hello - you're back... again. Thanks. You must really like me... at least a little since I've been away from MoviePilot for nearly a month - holidays, family obligations, and writing things that aren't MoviePilot related... shocker, I know!
As I mentioned in my last post, How in the World?, I wanted to write a quick post about the people we, the fans of the show Dominion, actually see when we turn on our TVs or whatever sort of electronic device we employ to watch it. And the reasoning behind doing it threefold:
- It's another little way to chide SyFy/ NBC Universal for cancelling the show. After all, the people we were lucky enough to watch bring the show to life on the screen weren't chosen because they're vapid, brainless, and attractive Okay so yes, they are attractive but not the vapid and brainless part. They’re all quite talented and if they’d been given a snowball’s chance in Hell to thrive with at least a third season – instead of being cast aside like an old toy – I know the fan base would’ve grown at an exponential rate;
- I know the people who enjoy Dominion the way an indoor cat loves watching a canary outside the window will enjoy reading about their favorite characters – I’m even throwing in some pictures of them for… as my brother would say… ‘shits and giggles’; and,
- And last, I'm hoping maybe someone over at Netflix will see this post and will go 'Hey, she seems pretty passionate about Dominion and the actors could have a lot of draw... let's check out Dominion as possible Original Series material.' And if not Netflix - maybe some other group will see it!
Of course, I knew the instant I decided to broach the subject of ‘the actors’ it - I was in for a daunting task.
Why? Because if you know anything about fans of any show, movies, or musical group - you know they can be rather rabid. Which is why I entitled this post Dear God, please don't let me fuck this up... because I don't want to wind up on anyone's she must be made an example of list for committing the cardinal sin of misspeaking.
To be fair - so no one feels like I've slighted one actor over another - I'm going to attack this in good old fashioned ABC order. Yes, that means some of you reading this who are fans of a particular actor (not even going to mention his name yet because I get a kick out of forcing people to keep reading) are going to have to be patient.
(Editor's note: This article has been edited to reflect that 'The Women of Dominion' will be discussed in one entire article)
Alright here we go…
A Glance at a Few Members of the Main Cast...
(I want to stretch this out as long as I can)
Carl Beukes - Archangel Gabriel; the Archangel with a few anger management issues. But Gabriel totally owns his pissed-offed nature. In fact, he embraces is like a plush toy. Granted, he didn't start out that way. No.
To borrow from The Bible and The Help: In the Beginning... Gabriel is smart, Gabriel is kind, Gabriel is important. Then things go a little sideways for the compassionate Archangel when someone of great importance to him is murdered and his compassion turns to animosity, ill-will, and malcontent towards Man. (If you're dying to know what flips his switch - watch the series and you'll be like 'Oh, yeah, I can totally see why he's a little snippy'.)
After that things went downhill for the Herald of God culminating in the day he decided to break the Seventh Seal starting the Extermination War when he unleashed all of Heaven on Earth. He followed up that nifty parlor trick by hunting down the infant 'Chosen One' to kill him and when that didn't work he hunted TCO down as an adult and decided he'd be good with skinning him to get a hold of the Heavenly tattoos on TCO's body effectively killing him in the process. (A total two-fer) Then he tried to kill his twin, Michael. (But in his defense, that last one wasn't really his fault...)
But that's Gabriel. The person behind the character, from what I've ascertained after politely internet stalking the him, is a genuinely nice guy.
A native of South Africa, where Dominion was filmed (and hopefully will be again), Carl Beukes has a nice résumé of work under his artistic belt. What's more after taking a good look at the projects he's been involved with I have to ask myself 'why the hell haven't I heard more about this guy?' Especially after learning he was in a movie with Shannyn Sossamon (2013, Stealing Time) - I love her so why the fu...dge didn't I hear of this movie? (I'll be damned I cannot find it online so I can watch the movie which ticks me off. And I'm even willing to buy the damn thing!)
Then I happened upon the delightful Mr. Beukes' Facebook page and found a trailer for a 2010 movie called Jozi 2010 and it looks funny as hell. He was also in a 2013 movie with Idris Elba... yes, that's right... friggin' Luther/Heimdall about Nelson Mandela called Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. HOW IN GOD'S NAME DID I NOT HEAR ABOUT THAT ONE?
Seriously... hmmm... maybe the PR group for that film works with SyFy. The real kicker is... Beukes is in a movie with Helen Mirren called Eye in the Sky. Granted that particular movie hasn't yet been released (planned for March 2016) so I'd better hear a whole hell of a lot about that one because it's damn Helen Mirren. And Carl Beukes has gotten the chance to work with her.
Incidentally he's appeared in many other things - I only picked the ones that jumped out, grabbed me by the throat, and screamed: YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME!
So hey, SyFy - Letting Carl Beukes get away was pretty damn stupid.
And now for the Carl Beukes/Archangel Gabriel fans - here's your pictorial cocaine hit...
Alan Dale - General Edward Riesen - As Gen. Riesen Dale's portrayal is, on the surface, what one would expect someone with the rank of 'general' to be... pragmatic and focused with one goal - the safety and prosperity of the people of Vega. But that's on the surface. Dig a little deeper and you find that Riesen isn't the stoic leader he claims to be. In fact, he's not even who he claims to be and that's what makes his character so engaging to watch. (I don't want to give too much away about his backstory but suffice it to say if you've not seen the show it's worth diving headlong into the Dominion waters to find out for yourself because Season 1 builds the 'he's a general so he knows what the hell he's doing' image for Riesen then Season 2 essentially shreds that image into itty bitty pieces and we're left going 'I did not see that coming')
Alan Dale - Dyad Duma - Yes, a dual role (quite literally if I'm being honest) which technically doesn't start until the very end of Season 2 and is another reason why I'm mad as a hornet trapped in top hat because the last time fans of the show saw Duma he'd just shot a major character (don't want to give away the spoiler - but trust me it's a doozy) and was doing the uber weird 8Ball four-footed shimmy down the side of Las Vegas's Luxor Hotel)
I suppose what annoys me the most about not being able to see what becomes of Duma/sien is that I think Alan Dale is a magnificent actor. I recognized him the instant I saw his face pop on my television screen in his opening scene in the pilot episode of Dominion. And I went 'Ooooh, I know this guy. He was in...'
I say 'he was in...' because New Zealand born Alan Dale has been in a lot of fantasy driven as well as 'could've been plucked from real life' movie and television shows and I've seen most all of them. The first TV show I can think of was when he was in The X-Files playing 'Toothpick Man'. The X-Files was (and still is) one of my fave shows (and still is - so glad for the reboot - even if it is a limited one because who knows what might come of it?)
He also played King George/DA Spencer in Once Upon a Time, a show I used to watch regularly until my daughter started having issues with seeing Disney characters not holding true to the characters she knew... she's almost 19 now and holds onto a dream of working at Disney World as Cinderella only she's short so she's fine with being Tinkerbell. As I said I used to watch it and I totally bought his 'Yes, I'm the king who took a kid from Rumplestiltskin - watched him die - coerced his twin to take his place - then tried to have that kid killed because he loved Snow White - and now I'm Emma Swan's grandpa... Oh, joy' portrayal of King George as well as his 'Yes, I'm the dick DA of Storybrooke who tried to have Mary Margaret found guilty of a crime she didn't commit and then did the same thing to Red Riding Hood by killing Billy/Gus (are you keeping up with this?) myself because I do not like David' alternate personality of Albert Spencer.
Personally, I feel like Dale's Duma/sien dual portrayal was bound to happen because he has a knack for kicking the whole 'Yes, I can be all that and look good while doing it' thing. Honestly what is it with Alan Dale? I swear he looks almost exactly like he did back in 2001/02!
Good grief. How is it that some men can get to that 'sweet spot' age and stop aging? It's really quite annoying BUT I wouldn't change him for anything.
And I'd be really damn happy to see him back on whatever electronic device I have at hand to see him reprise his role(s) as General Edward Riesen and Dyad Duma.
Incidentally, he's been a part of the following AWESOME shows/movies: Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, JAG, 24 (ack, hanging out with Jack Bower, could he be any cooler?), NCIS, Lost (Yes, that damn crazy 'what the hell is going on?' show!), and Hot in Cleveland (Love that off-the-wall goofy side of Alan Dale) That's just a few.
Geez, SyFy - you had a never ages actor right there in the palm of your hand and you decided 'Meh, not feeling it.' Seriously?
Alright - enough of my digital yammering... here are a few pics to prove my 'he never ages' theory.
Chris Egan (ummm... I'm going to claim American laziness on this one because I refer to him as Chris not Christopher!) - Alex Lannon (a.k.a. The Chosen One) - As Alex Lannon, Chris Egan embodies the 'reluctant hero' persona because he had greatness thrust upon him when all he really wanted was to 'get the girl and live happily ever after'. Of course, Alex probably should've known something was up when he was befriended by an Archangel - so technically Michael didn't reveal himself to Alex as an angel (arch or otherwise) until well after he knew him... that having been said - he really should picked up on the whole 'hey, why is the Archangel my mentor?' vibe - oh, well... that's probably one more reason why Alex is so reluctant.
Alex lost his mother when he was a baby. She was killed by an angel named Noma Banks. Later he has a fling with Noma - only he didn't know she was an angel at the time. (I wonder what sort of pillow talk one has with the woman who slaughtered your mother? Of course, if Dominion isn't rescued I'll never even have the chance to see the expression on his face when she says 'Oh, yeah, about your mom...') He also has a romance with Claire Riesen which has that whole 'He's a soldier - she's a kinda princess, how will this ever work out?' vibe to it. Needless to say, his involvement with the two lovelies turns out to be a bit of sticky wicket for Alex as the series progresses.
One can only imagine the weirdness of suddenly having The Word of God on one's body. And realizing you have the power of eviction to rid a possessed body of the entity that jumped inside must have been a bit of a power trip. Watching an angel rip her own wings off to save him must have felt like the ultimate 'OMG, she totally loves me' thrill. All these things could have let the power The Chosen One had go to his head but Alex stayed pretty well focused.
Then again maybe it does go to his head because the prophecy around TCO basically says Alex might save humanity OR he could maybe kinda sorta cause the demise of both humanity and angels. But thanks to SyFy's numbskull decision to cut Dominion - I might never know... And that ticks me (and thousands of other people) off.
Now what about the man behind Alex Lannon?
Chris Egan - an Australian who has played his share of heroic characters - was... no IS perfectly cast as Alex Lannon. From the instant I saw him in that first scene of the pilot episode of Dominion I thought 'yep, he's Alex through and through'.
Maybe it's because I was one of the people who watched the short lived NBC series Kings and was mad it was cancelled because it didn't have a ginormous following. I remember thinking 'WTF? It's not an airhead comedy. Nor is it a 'gotta new bad guy to get off the streets' weekly serial. It's a show that requires a bit of an investment.' But apparently NBC didn't agree.
Dominion was tossed aside in a similar fashion. But at least I was able to watch 2 seasons. Of course those 2 seasons allowed me to become even more invested in the characters & story than I was with Kings. What does NBC (SyFy's parent company is NBCUniversal) have against quality shows with a spiritual canvas upon which the story is painted? OMG - and it had Ian McShane in it. I damn love Ian McShane!
Sorry - I just felt an overwhelming need to rant. Back to Chris Egan.
Needless to say, even though he's not from the USA, Egan definitely has an 'All-American' look that oozes through whatever kind of screen he's on. He's the kind of actor I, as a viewer, like to watch. And not just because he's got 'a pretty face'. He does - and the rest of him isn't too bad either - of course, I'm sure when he has to do 'shirtless' scenes he's like the rest of us who worry about a pound here or there... okay so for him it's probably more like an ounce or two but there must be some level of body consciousness. Right?
I remember watching him in the 2010 movie Letters to Juliet (which was just after Kings) and thinking 'this guy is going to burst onto the scene like nobody's business'. I'd seen him in Virgin Territory a 2007 film based off of Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron. If you're into reading an erotic(ish) sort of comedic takes on the Black Death written from the vantage point of an Italian writer who lived in the middle 1300s - then it's definitely the book for you. I read it in college. I thought it was pretty good - but then again, my friends and family tell me I'm way too cerebral so perhaps the reason why)
He was in a pilot movie called Pretty/Handsome (from the creator of Nip/Tuck a show I loved) a story about a man who tells his family he wants to be a woman (not Egan's character). It was ahead of it's time considering that there's Transparent which is about a man who tells his family he wants to be a woman.
Egan was also part of a 2013 pilot project for ABC called Gothica a modern day take on gothic characters like Jekyll & Hyde, Dorian Gray, Dracula, and others. Egan was Dorian Gray. Unfortunately, the show wasn't picked up because - I'm not exactly sure why to be honest - because one year later Showtime started a successful run of the period series Penny Dreadful. Again, I have to assume he was simply ahead of his time.
Apparently, before Gothica, he was also set to be a part of the ABC series Beauty and the Beast (but not as Beast) only that didn't happen. Seriously? What in the world? I think I'd hate to be a 'creator' of a series that you know - flat out know beyond a shadow of a doubt - will be a hit. Only to have some suit go 'Not seeing it.' It's got to be a zillion times more crushing to get the show onto the screen, into people's homes and know there's a fandom and then have the rug pulled out from under you. I think I'd probably beat my head against a wall.
SyFy had an opportunity to ride with this shining star but they screwed up. And now not only do I run the risk of not knowing what the hell happens to Alex - will he be 'good' or will he turn all 'dark side'? But also I won't get to see Chris Egan doing what he does best - bring to life a character I care about!
But I digress. Getting back to Chris Egan... a little eye candy to soothe the
Hopefully you're beginning to understand why I think SyFy/NBCUniversal made a HUGE mistake in letting these talented people slip through their fingers.