No matter how good a show is, sometimes the struggle to escape its associated baggage can prove to be too much.
Take Dominion, for instance. Essentially a series-length sequel to Scott Stewart’s disappointingly bland feature film Legion, it’s much better than the source material suggests, but considering its cancellation it seems that guilt by association is still a thing.
This is a shame, because as fans will testify, there’s a lot to like about the series. For a start, there is real, genuine character development, with everyone having moved on almost beyond recognition since the premiere. Alex (Christopher Egan) has wilfully gone over to the side of the bad angels, led by the homicidal Gabriel (Carl Beukes) in order to keep the city of New Vega safe; pampered president’s daughter Claire (Roxanne McKee) has become the formidable leader of the city; David (Anthony Head) has gone from conniving schemer to broken and paranoid, while Michael (Tom Wisdom) has abandoned his task of protecting Alex, disillusioned with mankind.
With the stakes already heaven-high, it’s hard to see how they can rise any more, but somehow they do. Characters you might have dismissed as one-note develop new shades, and there are some truly surprising twists in the tale.
Not all the characterisation is consistently strong though, and the experience of the more seasoned performers – Head and Alan Dale in particular – sometimes serves to highlight the other cast members’ relative lack thereof, but there is enough going on to mean this doesn’t matter as much.
It’s not a flawless story by any means, but it never stands still, constantly trying new things and reinventing itself. It’s a trait that other genre shows could do with emulating, and it only makes it even more of a shame that this won’t get a third year, despite the fact that it definitely deserves one. The final cliffhanger – destined never to be resolved – will only serve as yet another reminder of a show not getting its just desserts.