When God takes a holiday, how do his abandoned heavenly children react? They rain hell down on earth. The new Syfy series Dominion— a sequel to the 2010 movie Legion— is set in a world deserted by the Almighty and still ravaged from angels who attacked some 25 years earlier, in the Extinction War. Archangel Gabriel (Carl Beukes) and a celestial army destroyed much of humanity in the hopes of earning Daddy's attention. "To Gabriel, God's departure is a sign that mankind displeased Him," says Dominion executive producer Vaun Wilmott. "If [humans] are wiped out, maybe God will return."
Gabriel's brother, Michael (Tom Wisdom), disagrees. The only archangel to side with the humans, he helped them beat back his fellow angels and is still at their side. Which is good, because the battle is about to heat up again.
As the series opens, Alex Lannon (Christopher Egan), a sergeant in the Archangel Corps, discovers that war is literally winging its way to Vega (formerly Las Vegas), which is the most powerful of the human survivors' fortified city-states. Gabriel is plotting to finish the annihilation of mankind, and this time, he has more powerful warrior angels with him. But Vega's leaders — war hero General Riesen (Alan Dale) and his Machiavellian deputy, David Whele (Anthony Head) — are too caught up in their rivalry to take heed.
The intrigue trickles down to a personal level when Riesen's daughter, Claire (Roxanne McKee), and the lowly Alex pull a Romeo and Juliet and fall in love — unaware that her father has arranged for her marriage to Whele's son, William (Luke Allen-Gale).
Claire isn't the only one interested in Alex. "Michael's job for years has been to protect this one young man," Wisdom says. (That might have to do with a messianic religion practiced in Vega by those desperate for a savior.)
"We're trying to balance romance, soap, fun and a lot of action," Wilmott says. "But the main arc is Alex's journey of self-discovery. Chris Egan blew me away in Kings [the NBC series about a modern-day biblical David]. He has this Steve McQueen-style heroic likability."
Egan embraces the chaos in his character's life. "Alex was just a nobody, a foot soldier who loved a princess and wanted to escape with her," he says. "Everything turns upside down and he has to accept the huge responsibility that will be put on his life. There's nothing more entertaining than watching the main character's plans get totally screwed up."
Alex's personal journey is just the starting point. "Don't think you'll know where the series is going from the pilot," Head cautions. "I thought it would be about the Riesen and Whele [dynasties], the Romeo and Juliet story and the threat of the angels," he says. "It's not that at all. It turns unpredictable very quickly."
Dominion premieres Thursday at 9/8c on Syfy.