Last night was the pilot episode of Syfy (still hate that spelling) channel’s new series, Dominion.
It was touted as a story about a war against humans and angels, and I’m not sure what else. I figured I’d give it a shot and see if it was worth it.
Oh where to begin.
From the opening introductory narrative, I realized this show had no hope of being anything near biblically based, inspired, or accurate. I’ll try to pick apart all the things that simply ruined this show for me.
1) Goodbye, God. The opening narrative killed it with the first sentence. 25 years ago, God left. There’s the first thing I found disastrously wrong with this show, and even with the most recent season(s) of the CW series Supernatural. The idea that God, our creator and maker of the universe, would just up and leave us, is so far removed from scriptural teaching and promises that I just can’t help wonder where the idea came up from. Hebrews 13:5 absolutely refutes this idea; “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” The premise that our loving heavenly father would ever leave us is preposterous. Sadly, with both Dominion and Supernatural using this as a plot basis, it opens the door to many non-believers/questioning believers to latch onto something other than the truth.
2) All hail the savior, just not the savior you were expecting. My second great disappointment was in the gut wrenchingly over-used trope of “The chosen one"/Savior. I’ll give the show writers/producers kudos for introducing the idea that humanity needs a savior. However, their twisted idea of what the savior is breaks my heart.
To the writers, the savior is fully human. He’s a human child named Alex, who was saved during the extermination (the initial war when the angels, who blamed humans for God leaving, decided to possess human bodies to wage their war against us) by the arch-angel Michael. So what’s wrong with this?
Well, first off, it removes the divine aspect from humanity’s savior. Jesus, the one and only Son of God, who was both fully human and fully God (John 10:30) is our only savior (John 14:6). But Dominion removes that divine aspect and places the role of savior onto a human child. What’s wrong with this? See the above two verses. It’s modern pop/pseudo-religion/mysticism that places our salvation in our own hands.
As Christians, this is totally opposite of what we are taught in scripture. Again, look at John 14:6. There is no way to heaven except through Jesus Christ. Our works, no matter how good, how well intentioned, how awesome and deserving we think we are, will ever measure up to the fact that we are sinners. Our salvation comes from having a relationship with God through the acceptance of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, and living by His commands. In a way, Dominion didn’t introduce a Christ-like character in the savior Alex, it introduced an anti-Christ character.
3) War in heaven. Even Supernatural has fallen into this terrible trope. Angels vs. angels. Hmm, I think the last time that happened, God tossed the ring leader and his followers out of heaven. His name was Lucifer, if I recall correctly. There have been several movies (and probably books) that use the idea of angels being jealous of humans for being given something that they weren’t; free-will. This show, and Supernatural, twist that up a little and cast the angels as despising humans for God leaving. Again, it makes for interesting story telling, but it’s so far from scripture it’s painful.
Nowhere in scripture that I can recall is it written that angels are jealous of humans for any reason. The only angel to have any kind of jealousy was Lucifer, and that’s because he wanted to be like God (or actually be God). The idea of setting angel vs. angel is just, imho, lazy plot devices to emphasize human-kind’s perceived status as “ordinary” (grand epic battles of the supernatural characters while humans sit by helpless) expect when we “rise above” and over-come the divine supernatural nature of the spiritual host with our natural-ness (not sure how else to put that).
4) The devil’s in the details, because he apparently isn’t in this show. Okay, moving past the poor theology of the show, let’s talk technical details; performances, scripting, over used tropes.
A) Performances: Sadly none of the actor portrayals managed to hook me into any of the characters at all. The only name I could place to a face was Anthony Stewart Head (Giles from Buffy and Uthar Pendragon from Merlin). And even his performance was one of the weakest I have seen from him. His character is the typical power hungry, self absorbed control freak who happens to embody the characteristics of the atheistic aspect of the show. The actor playing Alex (no, I didn’t bother going to IMDB before writing this. It’s just not worth the time) came off as more wishy washy than a car wash. I could tell if he was hero or poor sap. The actor portraying Michael was just as bad, no depth to the character, no spark. Granted it’s the pilot episode, but I honestly don’t care what happens to these people.
B) Scripting: Ug. Poor. ASH’s speech at Jubilee was just poorly written and, sadly, poorly delivered. I think it was meant to be inspiring (to a point), but it never reached that. I can’t think of even a single good, memorable line from the whole episode except, “No.” Which sums up personally what I think of this show.
C) Over-used tropes; Angel war; angels hate humans; one (small number of) angel(s) side with humans; humans are weak, corrupt, selfish, and stupid; we can save ourselves; the hero has “daddy/abandonment” issues; love triangle between the children of two politically opposite houses and our “hero” (she loves the hero, the hero loves her, she is unexpectedly forced into an engagement with the son of her houses “rival” much to the chagrin of the hero); the obvious high placed traitor willing to sell out his own kind;
I could go on, but I won’t. This show just disappointed me to where I can say with certainty that I won’t be following it on a regular basis. Perhaps if someone else can watch it and offer counter-points as to why I SHOULD watch it, then perhaps I will. Until then, my Thursday night watching will end with Defiance (and even that’s still a little sketchy this season).