A new series from Syfy, which has a few people curious is ‘Dominion,’ which is a spinoff from the movie ‘Legion,’ which saw humanity caught in the middle of a war between angels.
The new series, which starts on Thursday continues the story from where the movie left off and we were recently lucky enough to be able to take part in a conference call with series star Chris Egan and Executive producer Vaun Wilmott.
SFP: First off how did you both become involved with ‘Dominion’?
Vaun Wilmott: the producers of ‘Legion,’ the movie were this company called Bold. David Lancaster was the executive producer of that and he had carved out the TV rights to ‘Legion’ so that once it came time to decide if they were going to do a sequel or a TV show. They had a few options. They ultimately decided on a television show.
They went out to a bunch of writers. They had some writers come in, basically pitch them on how they would do a TV show of the movie ‘Legion’. And I heard about it through my agent. I came in, I pitched on it, really hit it off with the Bold folks and David.
They really kind of responded to the way I was seeing it. I met with Scott Stewart who was the director of the movie and also the co-writer of the movie ‘Legion’. And I got the gig. And so that’s kind of how it all began for me.
Chris Egan: I was approached my managers. They – you know, there was a few things I was looking at, a few different scripts. And I heard about this one through managers that – you know, the same management company – they rep Scott Stewart.
And they brought it up to me and discussed it and I’d sort of – had a look at the script and it fascinated me straight away. Definitely wanted to get on the call with Scott and Vaun and just talk through the idea and where the series was going to go.
I was very impressed with Vaun’s vision, Scott’s vision for the pilot, where they wanted to take the story and where they were going to take Alex. So I was just in that presentation, in that call with both of them – I was completely blown away. I loved the idea that we were taking this to Cape Town, South Africa as well.
To me, it just sort of felt that it was – they were really taking this seriously. We weren’t just sort of going off to Vancouver or somewhere local that, you know, we were really going to take this production somewhere that was really special. And yes, I was just – I was totally blown away by it.
SFP: How much of the mythology from ‘Legion’ is going to be in ‘Dominion’?
Vaun Wilmott: It was definitely the starting – the jumping off point. But for the TV show it has definitely expanded and changed and there’s all kinds of new stuff. Legion was definitely kind of our foundation and then from there the show grew into its own thing with, you know, new rules, new terms, new angels, new – you know, new mythology, new mythology for the chosen one.
Then of course for the TV show, you know, a whole new setting, all new characters with just a couple of the characters from Legion moving into the TV show, the baby growing up to be Alex, Michael, Gabriel, Jeep. But it’s definitely become its own thing in terms of the TV show, ‘Dominion’.
SFP: Can you both give us a glimpse of what the world of ‘Legion’ now ‘Dominion’ is like 30 years after the movie?
Chris Egan: I think – I mean for me, you know, watching Legion and then, you know – I mean for those that are fans of Legion this will be a whole new story and for those that haven’t seen Legion it’s – it really is a whole new world 25 years in the future.
The world of Vega and this fortified city and the – you know, the land is desolate apart from these fortified cities. It really is – it’s a completely different spin to the movie.
Vaun Wilmott: Yes, I think that – you know, in terms of what the world is like versus – you know, 25 years in the future, it’s got contemporary aspects, it’s got all the – you know, it’s definitely grounded. It’s definitely a big what if, you know, what if angels appeared in the sky? What if this actually happened what would life – or what could life be like? So it’s not an alternate reality.
It is very much based in what could have happened and Vega has a lot of, you know, giant casino hotels that could actually be perfect for housing people if need be. And we use all of that to basically create this new city, this new civilization, built a wall around it as Chris said to protect this from the angels. But it will definitely be a recognizable world in terms of things we know. But it will also have things, I think, that, you know, the what if aspect of the story-telling.
SFP: Can you tell us a little more about Alex’s rebellious nature and how it will play out in the show?
Chris Egan: I think – again, like what – in the interest – in the story is that hero’s journey that he takes to discover himself, to discover who he is. And that’s sort of between being a man and the responsibility that’s laid on his shoulders to save humankind. It’s – from that beginning, you know, and the pitch of the story for me was so interesting and where that was going to go.
I think, you know, we establish that in the pilot but then as the episodes come on it gets crazier and crazier and the relationships around him are redefined between Michael and Claire and really it’s about which path is he going to take as a man to realize and understand his calling in a sense upon his life.
Vaun Wilmott: I’ve always loved characters that have a strong point of view and who really either something’s thrust on them that they didn’t expect or didn’t want or something’s asking them to change in a way that’s uncomfortable for them. And they fight against that, you know, like John Conner in the Terminator.
Characters that either have something about their personality that fights against what’s being done to them or they just have had – you know, Alex’s journey has been a tough one. And so he’s had to take care of himself, he’s had to survive.
So that rebellious nature has actually kept him alive. Now he’s being asked to do something that he didn’t expect, that he didn’t ask for, it becomes a trick like – what is that rebellious nature going to do in terms of how he handles that destiny that he’s been given.
I think from a character point of view that’s where all of the fun of the storytelling comes in. And we get to watch Alex go through really the thing that we all watch characters for, which is just growth and change. We want to see what they’re going to do.
And that’s what’s exciting for me about Alex’s character, about Chris’s character.
SFP: Vaun could you talk about the scene from the movie ‘Legion,’ which inspired your pitch for ‘Dominion’?
Vaun Wilmott: For me when I saw the movie Legion I really – when I saw two brothers, Gabriel and Michael fighting over this baby and having very different perspectives on what should happen to that baby and what that baby means, that was it.
I just immediately saw the series because I thought, you know, that baby grows up, 25 years later he’s a grown man, what’s happening to him now, what are the two archangels doing, what are they up to. And that’s where it began, that’s where I started building out the series.
The one thing about that is that in series we don’t – I don’t track kind of Gabriel and Michael’s point of view in the movie Legion with – like in the series, it kind of became its own thing. But for me that was definitely the starting point for the series.
In terms of the kind of what is the most surprising or kind of the most difficult thing, I got to say this has been one of those crazy projects that has been, like – just a blessing, you know, in terms of – it just came out of me.
From the moment I started working on it and I wrote the initial script, I had this weird state that I went into that I ended up writing the original script in four days.
My experience at the network has been wonderful, like, from beginning – top to bottom, all the way through. It really has been, you know, getting Chris on board, getting the cast, the actors we did, filming – filming in Cape Town. It was just a crazy good experience.
So for me it was just a – one joy after another. And I think that the most – the really – it’s really just been a gigantic learning curve. I just – the amount that I’ve learned about storytelling, about show running, about managing a crew and a set and interacting, interfacing with the network and the studio, I mean it’s all just been a fantastic incredible learning experience. I learn every day.
SFP: Alex and Michael have a complex relationship on the show. How is that likely to evolve over the course of the series?
Chris Egan: Great question, well, he – I mean that really is the – you know, I’d like to think there’s a Star Wars element to this, the teacher, the student, and those roles in reverse. It’s a great relationship and it is constantly getting redefined. Alex is constantly learning more about Michael, and Michael is learning more about Alex.
It grows. It’s constantly growing and as Alex is, you know, struggling with this responsibility and learning about the tattoos and learning about his destiny it’s – it gets tense with Michael and then, you know, it’s back on track and it’s this back and forth that’s – it’s been really wonderful.
And you know, really wonderful to play with Tom as well, the actor who plays Michael. It’s just been fantastic. He’s a great actor and – yes, it’s a great relationship.
SFP: Vaun will the action primarily take place in Vega or will it escalate to other cities?
Vaun Wilmott: In the first season we’re very much based in Vega. I wanted to – it was important to kind of, like, establish that world, establish all the characters, establish – you know, Dominion kind of the series. But definitely in future seasons we’ll be expanding out to New Delphi.
We’ll learn what the camp is, the camp is a city that moves, which is very mysterious. We don’t really know much about it or who they are. So we will definitely explore the world and the world will grow out with each season as we go.
But for the first season it was kind of important to orient the audience I think in the world of Dominion and then Vega so we didn’t kind of overwhelm right up front. So that was kind of – that definitely was the focus for the first season.
- ‘Dominion’ begins its first season on Thursday 19 June at 9/8c on Syfy Channel.
Written By: Ian Cullen