‘Incorporated’ debuts on Syfy in just days on November 30 and focuses on a future world (2074) in which corporations take over a fractured world, where the divide between the classes has gone to extreme proportions, with the wealthy upper class inhabiting Green Zones and the downtrodden lower class dwelling in Red Zones.
Sean Teale stars as Ben Larson a young corporate drone at Spiga Biotech, who is hiding some pretty big dark secrets from his employers, including his mother-in-law Elizabeth played by Julia Ormond. But even Elizabeth must answer to someone, and in this case, it’s the mysterious Julian played by Dennis Haysbert, the “principal” at Spiga.
But don’t expect this show to include hard science fiction, despite it’s futuristic setting (and the fact that it airs on Syfy). The cast says the science on the show is not too far advance from what we see in our everyday life, in terms if technology as well as social structure.
It’s kind of a science-fact show. It’s very grounded in its technology and sci-finess. It’s really down to earth sci-fi. It’s the kind of sci-fi you can sink your teeth into and the world is more real than not. It’s just the technology is more advanced than we have right now but not that much. We’re slipping into cars now that can drive themselves. Here in this age, they definitely drive themselves unless you choose to drive yourself… which I will always do! [Laughs]
Meanwhile, clearly one of the biggest focuses of the show will be the divide between the classes, something that the cast already sees in the world around us.
I think we’re there now. It’s just that this has geographically pulled it together. We have slums in the megacities, we have this. And I do a lot of work on supply chains outside of this, and have an NGO that looks at forced labor in supply chains and spreading decent work around the world, and so when you look at it, we’re doing precisely that. We are buying stuff that’s tainted with slavery and forced labor. Pretty much in every single industry, there’s forced labor. There was a lot of research that I did. I called Will Sarni at Deloitte, who’s a strategist, one of the sort of top voices on water strategy and the nexus between food energy and water, and to me what’s really scary is this looming disaster that’s already going on. If we just made the right choices now, we could avoid it to a certain degree, but the solutions aren’t really getting traction because we’re all so scared about the, you know, it’s kind of a vicious circle.
But the cast had no idea how vicious ‘Incorporated’ really would reflect the present day world with ideas that seem strictly fantastical. Teale discussed a certain concept from the show that may become a reality sooner than later… now that Donald Trump has been elected President.
I think we’ve all been made aware by countless sci-fi shows that sci-fi shows shove a massive mirror on our own society and there’s a reason for that and a reason the genre is so popular. It allows you to do that and make believe what could happen but make it believable enough that it affects us. Otherwise shows that would do that that aren’t science fiction go into fairytales and what ifs. But because this is realistic enough and grounded enough in the science fiction world, it really resonates. I think the world can go this way. Allison [Miller, who plays Ben’s wife, Laura] and I talk because we end up finding articles on things like certain devices that Ben has built or certain devices that staff members use and certain geographical situations that might occur in fifty years that do happen in our show. We keep finding these articles popping up and we’re like, “Guys you’re premeditating these things by five decades. It’s terrifying.”
We were at the TCAs (Television Critics Association press tour] and everyone was talking about the opening scene where they’re talking about Canada having built a wall to stop [people from the United States] — which is naturally what you’d expect because sea levels rise and north of Canada becomes habitable and people head north to keep cooler. We talked about building a wall. We filmed that a year and a bit ago and nobody could possible imagine that Trump would say the things he did [since] but he did. Whether that’s chance or just the realism with which these guys write this story, a lot of those things are starting to happen and a lot of these coincidences are starting to correlate. That just goes to show how realistic our show is trying to be. All the technology, cars that drive themselves, we already have those. It’s all coming. None of this is as far fetched as it seems. It’s grounded sci-fi. So yes, this world very much could occur. The disparity is bigger than it has ever been and it only seems to be getting bigger and with the addition of horrifying geographical changes, what more can we expect?
‘Incorporated’ is executive produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
Does this not-so-futuristic future world make the show more intriguing than a more fanciful series?