One of the most imaginative, daring and impressive new series, Incorporated, brings tomorrow to our television screens today!
The exciting new science fiction series Incorporated, based on the perceived power of corporations in the present day, begins in the year 2074.
However, the world of Incorporated 2074 could well be mistaken for 2016! We had the honor of viewing the pilot episode of Incorporated at San Diego Comic-Con 2016 where we were ecstatic to witness firsthand the brilliance of this new series making corporations the villains, a superb subject always of interest to citizens across the globe!
Creators and Cast:
The “wonderful world” of Incorporated is the creation of Executive Producers Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Ted Humphrey. David Pastor, Àlex Pastor, Frank Siracusa and John Weber are co-executive producers with great script writing by three of the producers including Ted Humphrey who will serve as the Incorporated Showrunner.
Writing credits include talented Molly Nussbaum and Aiyana White, as well as David and Frank Pastor who created the incredible Incorporated series. The Pastor’s also direct episodes in season one, including the intriguing pilot episode “Vertical Mobility”.
Bringing the Incorporated world of 2074 alive today is accomplished by an outstanding ensemble cast led by several industry veterans including SPIGA Executive Julia Ormond as Elizabeth Krauss, Dennis Haysbert as Julian Morse head of security and operator of the SPIGA “Quiet Room”, Saad Siddiqui as Marcus, David Hewlett as Chad (who will visit the Incorporated “Quiet Room”), Allison Miller as Laura Larson, Stephanie Belding as Rachel, Tahmoh Penikett as Goran, Pedro Miguel Arce as Semo, and Denyse Tontz as Ben’s lost love Elena.
Main leading characters are rounded out by Ben Larson who is portrayed by English actor Sean Teale and his confederate Theo, portrayed by Eddie Ramos. Both are relative newcomers who do superb work in the series. Well known supporting actors include Ian Tracey as Terrence, Elizabeth Whitmere as Fiona, and Demore Barnes as Mason, as well as an outstanding ensemble cast.
The incredible world of Incorporated will righteously reveal the secrets of corporate life in a Utopian existence versus the Dystopian reality faced by the less fortunate in an entertainment masterpiece where several of the characters have penetrated the gated communities for their own plan to make things better for everyone!
San Diego Comic-Con Incorporated Cafe:
Despite a very busy schedule, I looked forward to having had breakfast with a Syfy Executive (no name dropping here, so do not ask), when we spent about an hour discussing the past and future WormholeRiders News Agency adventures that began over eight years ago.
More importantly, we had a chance to revel in what was happening at SDCC 2016 with many exciting panels and screenings being conducted by one of our most favorite networks ever, the one and only Syfy!
During our time in San Diego for Comic-Con 2016, TeamWHR attending staff also ran into several other media friends at the Incorporated Cafe in San Diego who talked about the exciting (and at that time) the upcoming Incorporated Blog at Syfy.
Everyone was astounded at the cool cafe all decked out to usher in a top notch new science fiction series.
It was evident that no expense was spared by Syfy in turning the cafe into an immersive experience, making the breakfast I enjoyed there there a delightful memorable experience!
Corporations as Villains:
True to the facts manifest on Earth in the present time in 2016, corporations have indeed become the power from which many governments either cower in terror, attempt to manipulate, and/or demand bribes from.
With their ability to move across national boundary lines and set up production away from the meddling influence of western governments, Corporations like those envisioned in Incorporated often favor countries where bribery and slavery are sadly a way of life.
This is exactly what SPIGA leader Elizabeth Krauss (Julia Ormond) and her head of security Julian Morse (Dennis Haysbert) in the United States appear to rely on in their ongoing quest for money, power and influence over their workers at SPIGA.
In this corrupt Dystopian vision of the future, imagined Climate Change has long since decimated the planet Earth. Poverty, disease, famine are rampant, and the waning power of governments has been replaced by corporations such as the series focus firm, SPIGA.
Governments, long known for overspending, overtaxing taxing their citizens, engaging in what is in effect looting society, producing poverty and no real jobs, have, in the Incorporated world of 2074, become bankrupt entities.
Now in Incorporated, governments are mere vestiges of their former selves, with little power when compared to multinational corporations whom have taken control of Earth, in effect controlling some 90% of our fair planet in 2074, governments like the United States are toast!
Is this vision of corporations being evil not much different from what many think is happening today, and what has been happening for as long as recorded history can recall? Not really. Such has been a favorite topic of writers and entertainment producers for ages!
Before proceeding with our analysis of Incorporated, let us take a brief look back in history to when the United States government went to war with the so called “Robber Barons” of the late nineteenth and into the twentieth century with some specific examples; Standard Oil, AT&T, Western Electric, GTE, and Verizon.
If one looks closely to what was considered a “victory” at the time, companies such as Standard Oil merely bypassed the anti-trust acts of those times, setting up individual energy corporations within each state to blunt the actions of the United States government.
In reality, each of these individual energy companies became all powerful themselves. So what did the government actually accomplish?
Little, if anything, was accomplished. Governments who step outside of their traditional roles of protecting their citizens from real enemy powers (seeking conquest) are too often motivated by theft in their own right to maintain their own power and lavish lifestyle at their expense of the country and citizens they pledge to serve.
A similar anti-trust move against AT&T that began in 1974 was a failure. Completed in 1982, AT&T was mandated by anti-trust statute’s to break up what was known as “Ma Bell” which provided outstanding, high quality telephone service to virtually all of Canada and the United States.
Ultimately producing similar results to the so called break up of Standard Oil, AT&T retained long distance telephone services, breaking up the giant communications corporation into regional operating subsidiaries known as Regional Bell Operating Companies, which would be freed from purchasing all telephone equipment from Western Electric, considered part of the AT&T monopoly.
However, the effect in these and other cases was both temporary and largely transitory.
If one looks closely at Verizon Communications, made up of an AT&T “break up” marriage between Bell Atlantic and General Telephone & Electric Corporation (GTE), the largest independent competitor of AT&T prior to the anti-trust action, Verizon and AT&T now have a near complete monopoly with sixty-eight percent of the United States market place with the other thirty-two percent split up between smaller communications firms; Sprint, Metro PCS, US Cellular and T-Mobile.
Many consider the fight to breakup large corporations such as AT&T and Standard Oil to be a huge mistake, allowing corrupt Communist Nations such as China and Russia, working like thieves over many decades, to steal patents, equipment designs, and manipulate their currency to dominate markets across the globe.
When coupled with use of slave labor to undercut product pricing, a disaster ensues for citizens who lose their jobs to the hapless Communist Chinese slaves and Chinese Tibetan slaves, in addition to Russian slaves and North Korean slaves, who like any other peoples of Earth are good human beings now held in bondage. The actual problem of course is the corrupt Communist governments themselves, not the corporations who provide good paying jobs.
What is the worst aspect of the allowing Communist governments to grow their monopolies instead of working constructively with Corporations in the western world?
Many of the same corporate characters, and dozens of other international multinational corporations, have moved their production facilities inside Communist China where torture, as depicted in the pilot episode, is the norm. In effect these corporations are completely insulated from western government control in Canada, the United States and Europe.
These corrupt Communist governments, often demanding bribes from the corporations, then dump products inside other countries to build their own monopolies at the expense of the citizens of the Canada, Europe and United States who they claim (the western governments) were attempting to protect citizens from in the first place. What sheer hypocrisy!
Making corporations the villain in Incorporated is an age old favorite of Socialists, Marxists and Communists whom have often infiltrated western society for their nefarious schemes including outright stealing from citizens to fund their never ending claim that Utopia is just around the corner if only citizens would give them more power and money. Naturally, such bunk is sheer propaganda.
In Incorporated, the SPIGA Corporation is portrayed as such, a governmental replacement, a power mad Utopian construct, offering luxury to those who follow the rules. If you are “in the club” and follow the rules, life is good, replete with good food (Bacon!), good clothing, a great social life, good pay, and good housing.
If you cross The Powers That Be (TPTB), “in the Incorporated club”, you will get to visit “The Quiet Room”, a place of torture used by SPIGA to maintain absolute control over their executives and workforce! Therefore, life may become an evil place for anyone who is not following the rules of the “Incorporated club” as viewers witnessed in the pilot episode “Vertical Mobility”.
If a person is not fortunate enough to be “in the Incorporated club”, citizens are doomed to a Dystopian existence, an underprivileged life, filthy living conditions, bad food, and in a poke at criminal illegal immigrants, Incorporated makes good use of political satire when it is revealed that a new wall will be built (perhaps by Donald Trump’s young son?) in 2074 to try and control the flow of United States citizens illegally entering Canada!
The pilot episode opens with the following montage lines: “Corporations fight a covert war for market share and dwindling natural resources.
Those who work for them live protected behind the walls of the Green Zones. Those who don’t are left to fend for themselves in the slums of the Red Zones”.
As the black screen text fades, we are in an elevator with two of the SPIGA Green Zone young executives, friends of Ben Larson (Sean Teale).
All appears to be normal as Marcus (Saad Siddiqui) takes his ride on the elevator to work until they reach the floor where their office is located.
We are suddenly shocked when the elevator opens to see two armed guards escorting someone with a black hood over their head. We will learn quickly that any such recalcitrant employees are rounded up, headed to the “Quiet Room” to be interrogated by Julian Morse for violating any of the SPIGA Incorporated employment policy guidelines.
Viewers will also learn as we proceed with Incorporated, that Ben is a computer hacker who has forged his own employment credentials to become part of SPIGA. This becomes apparent when he slips with his wife about the requirements to have a child when we see the two at their fine home before Ben heads off to work.
It will become obvious that Ben is seeking advancement by rigging the SPIGA ruling class system to achieve his own plans and goals. The exciting aspect of Incorporated is the adventure viewers will embark on to learn what Ben is actually up to!
We learn that some sort of terrorist group has bombed a SPIGA Research and Development lab. Ben seems to take an interest in this story for reasons we will learn about as the episode progresses.
As Ben prepares at home to arrive at SPIGA, tongue in cheek news is observed that Rhode Island is about to be destroyed by a 2074 Hurricane named.
As mentioned above, our neighbor to the north, Canada, has implemented a Donald Trump of 2016 style “Build The Wall” strategy to combat illegal immigration from the United States!
We find out that Ben lives in a luxury home in the gated community known as Stanford Mills with his gorgeous wife Laura (Allison Miller).
Ben and Laura regularly get to eat real bacon for a wholesome nourishing breakfast while Red Zone denizens are likely starving to death!
This before Ben climbs into his self-driving luxury car for the journey through the blighted Red Zone area to get to work at the SPIGA corporation high rise tower.
Back at SPIGA headquarters, Chad Peterson (David Hewlett) and Ben are working on “Everclear” (no not the 100 proof grain alcohol). Everclear is a computer program designed reveal what a suspect individual is thinking and dreaming.
The “Everclear” program is of special interest to Julian Morse, SPIGA’s Gestapo like head of security.
Unfortunately, “Everclear” is not yet entirely accurate, so Julian will have to continue to rely on a more tried and true technique to obtain information to enforce obedience at SPIGA, torture!
We segue to Laura who is employed by a company named Renascienta Cosmetic Design.
Renascienta is a cosmetic surgery company that operates on men to make them look like what their wealthy women lovers desire them to be.
This editor is certain that the Renascienta face changing technology will become an important part of the Incorporated story arc as episodic time progresses.
After work during dinner at an opulent restaurant, Ben learns that Laura has been approved to have a baby, no doubt receiving the nod from his mother-in-law Elizabeth Strauss, the leader of the United States branch of SPIGA corporation.
Ben appears to be unfamiliar with the facts that corporations work with each other to institute effective population control. Population control helps make certain there is sufficient amounts of bacon for their loyal employees.
As the episode progress, It becomes apparent that Ben does have an ulterior motive, and does not really love Laura. Ben has been using SPIGA to locate his true love, a young woman named Elena (Denyse Tontz) who had vanished. We also learn when Ben meets with Theo (Eddie Ramos) that Ben has obtained a hacked identity many years earlier. Ben’s actual name is Aaron.
Ben has been using SPIGA’s vast computer network for years and has finally found Elena. That is the good news.
Unfortunately, Elena has been transferred by her corporation to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she is working in a posh sex resort named Arcadia.
After a day of work at SPIGA, during a night out with the gang, Ben hatches his plot to setup his boss, the despicable Chad, whose job he covets, by taking him out on an illegal adventure in the Red Zone.
Ben is successful in getting Chad drunk enough to obtain a genetic blood sample to be able access Chad’s computer system to complete his scheme to overthrow Chad.
As the episode winds down after Ben has obtained a genetic blood sample from Chad, we meet Theo (Eddie Ramos). We find out Theo is Elena’s brother, Ben’s lost love.
Theo is Ben’s former Red Zone best friend before he infiltrated SPIGA via his hacked identity, Ben expresses sincere concern for Theo’s harsh life in the Red Zone.
Likewise, Theo expresses genuine concern about Ben. Theo is very worried that Ben is becoming too enamored, in fact addicted to his luxurious SPIGA lifestyle.
In the morning, back at work, Ben obtains access to a SPIGA anti-riot device known as The Whistler. The Whistler produces vomiting in the intended target. Chad quickly flees to the restroom.
Ben hacks into Chad’s office computer using the stolen blood sample he obtained the evening before downloading some SPIGA company secrets. Ben’s ruthless deviousness will pay off when he plants the computer disk on Chad to get him removed from his position via an unscheduled visit with Julian in the “Quiet Room”.
As the episode ends, Ben’s plan comes to fruition as Chad is arrested by Julian’s henchmen in the SPIGA lobby.
Chad being arrested will provide Ben with the inside track to a promotion in order to be able to reunite with his life long love Elena.
The final sequence finds Chad’s with the traditional hood over his head removed.
Chad is inside the “Quiet Room” where Julian tells him that everything Chad heard about the “Quiet Room” is true!
Poor Chad will no doubt be subjected to torture by Julian to reveal why he stole SPIGA secrets? The real question we must consider is whether or not Julian learns about what Ben is really up to in his quest to find Elena?
The incredible story of Incorporated continues each Wednesday at 10pm on Syfy. This editor for one will be watching with baited breath for this long anticipated series about life in the future of tomorrow, grounded in the perception of corporations today. We suggest all viewers who love a great story, imaginative science fiction, action, romance, intrigue and adventure to do so as well!
Kenn of Team WHR