Can We Avoid the Bleak Future of Syfy’s Incorporated?

Syfy Incorporated Gavin Bond/Syfy

Like George Orwell’s 1984 and the stories of Philip K. Dick (The Man in the High Castle), Syfy’s new drama Incorporated is a cautionary tale of what our future may be like if we don’t change what we’re doing in the present.

Incorporated is set in 2074, in which a handful of massive corporations rule everything and governments are just formalities. Economic disparity is so severe, the country is divided into Green Zones and Red Zones. In the Red Zones, life resembles a lawless post-apocalyptic wasteland. Life is good for the lucky few in the Green Zones, so long as one is willing to give total allegiance to his or her employer.

“We always envisioned this show like as an extreme version of our reality,” says Alex Pastor, who, along with his brother David, created the series. “We like the science fiction that holds a mirror to our society and shows the things that are going on right now in a distorted, satirical way. In this case, corporations in our show have the rights to make their own laws and treat their employees however they see fit.”

The story’s central figure is Ben (Sean Teale, Reign), who is really Aaron, a young man from the Red Zone who’s infiltrated the Green Zone and the executive levels of SPIGA Biotechnics in order to locate a woman from his past. Through Ben, we’re admitted into a cutthroat Machiavellian corporate culture with pervasive technology that ensures company loyalty.

“The people who are in the corporate world and in the Green Zone, they’re still under this psychological pressure and stress that’s sort of put on them because of this dystopia,” says Julia Ormond, who plays a high-level executive and the “Big Brother” face of Spiga. Employees who don’t fall in line are sent to the “Quiet Room,” where the intimidating Julian (Dennis Haysbert) goes to work on them.

The events of 1984 didn’t come to pass, and perhaps the 2074 of Incorporated can be avoided. Haysbert thinks that might require a sea change in humanity. “There’s always that 1 percent that has looked down upon everyone else and kept us fighting each other,” Haysbert says. “And until we figure that out and stop, this is where we’re headed.”

Incorporated premieres on Syfy and USA Network Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 10pm ET/PT and airs on Syfy Wednesdays at 10pm ET/PT.

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