1×01 “Pilot”: Comparison between script and final cut

It just so happens that the original pilot script for Dominion is floating around the internet. If you’re a fan of the show, I recommend that you read it because it gives a good deal more insight into the episode and the characters. It seems to be an early version of the pilot and not the actual shooting script, because there are several differences between the two.

And for those who aren’t interested in reading it but are still curious where those differences lie, I’m gonna help you out. It’s not a word-by-word comparison, I’m only listing the more substantial changes and interesting facts.

  • The script was originally called “Legion”, not “Dominion”.
  • The opening sequence (described as a mural) is narrated by Claire, not by General Riesen.
  • Alex owns (or at least is sometimes accompanied by) a Jack Russell terrier named Eli.
  • He’s spelled Alex Lannen, although on the actual show they later spelled it Lannon.
  • In the abandoned casino, he steps on a Woody doll, not a discarded glass.
  • Instead of three, there’s four Eight-balls playing Texas Hold ‘Em, one of them a child in pyjamas.
  • House Rysen is spelled with a Y.
  • The first time we see Michael, he stands naked by the open window of the Stratosphere tower. His body is covered in scars. All the windows have security shutters that can be closed in an instant. [Okay. Headcanon accepted.] This is the orgy scene.
  • Becca’s last name is Wynn, she’s the granddaughter of American business magnate Steve Wynn who was majorly involved in shaping the Las Vegas strip in the 1990’s.
  • In the description of the city, at least one Agri-Tower is in the centre of town; it’s heavily fortified and guarded. Several large murals around town depict rune symbols (like Alex’s tattoos) and the Chosen One as a baby.
  • There’s lot of dogs. It sounds like they’re used as guard dogs for the Corp. (It’s spelled Archangel Corp, no S at the end.)
  • The officer who first interrogates Alex before Michael starts whipping him is called John.
  • In the script, Michael wears his two swords on his back. [And if you wanna know why that’s, like, super inconvenient and just not very practical, I can only recommend this video.]
  • General Rysen is described as a man who is in constant pain and thus has to walk on a cane.
  • In case you’re wondering what exactly it was that Riesen owed Alex for, Alex took a knife for Claire.
  • Whele in the script is spelled Weel.
  • The slang term for V1s is “Fodder” (as in cannon fodder). V2s are “Grunts”.
  • The scene where Riesen and Whele talk by the pool was originally supposed to take place in Rysen’s office which is described as “the kind of office Saddam Hussein once had”.
  • The shower scene where we’re introduced to Ethan and Noma was originally a reunion scene between Alex and Noma. They hadn’t seen each other for two years. After initial field training, Noma joined the “blacks”—Weel’s guards. She recently transferred to Rysen’s blues. Noma is not part of the AA Corp.
  • Apparently the blacks and the blues hate each other.
  • In the script, Jeep and Michael hadn’t seen each other for ten years (not fifteen).
  • The scene were Riesen tells Claire that he’s stepping down originally starts with Claire praying before a Chosen One altar.
  • The scene where David comes to talk to Arika (she’s taking a bath) originally takes place in Arika’s bedroom with her lying in bed. It ends with Arika seductively undressing David and going down on him on the bed.
  • In the script Roan doesn’t just stand by the window after waking up from his nightmare, he climbs onto the roof of the building where you can see angel-repelling spikes mounted on the edge of the building. He watches the sunrise from there.
  • There is a very short scene that was cut where Claire is being driven to the Jubilee, and Alex is with her in the car as her guard. They make furtive eye contact in anticipation of their escape.
  • Another scene was cut where we see the Eight-ball that Whele had captured (called “Fat Momma”) regurgitating some kind of shiny object before she is carted to the cage fight. We later find out it’s a piece of metal that she picks her locks with.
  • In the script, Michael uses the f-word when the Eight-ball at the Jubilee is revealed and he asks Rysen, “Are you out of your fucking mind?!” [I can see how that seems out-of-character for Michael, which is probably why they cut it.]
  • Michael’s wings are described as being white flecked with gold. [WTF? I do prefer black.]
  • In the script, the angel who Michael fights by the reactor is not Furiad but one called Wiken.
  • When the soldiers shoot at Roan after he stabbed Jeep, he is actually hit by a bullet.
  • Another cut scene: A wounded Roan escapes the city by spreading his wings and flying away. As he does so, his eyes, hair and wings turn azure in colour.
  • There’s also a heated argument between Claire and her father about him offering her hand in marriage to William without asking her permission. The General explains to Claire that she must marry William in order to lead Vega.
  • When we switch to the scene where Michael talks to Alex in the Stratosphere after the Chosen One reveal, in the script Becca is there, teary-eyed and relieved that Michael is okay. She leaves to let Michael speak to Alex.
  • The last scene is only slightly different insofar that in the script Gabriel was folding his wings away, which we never see on screen.

Scatter some angel dust

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