*If you ever wondered what became of demon child Damien in “The Omen” (and never saw the film’s three sequels), A&E offers its latest drama “Damien,” creator Glen Mazzara’s take on the adult life of Damien Thorn.
In the 1976 film, Damien was adopted by the Thorns to replace their stillborn baby. After a bunch of mysterious deaths, it becomes clear that Damien is the antichrist and must be killed by the Seven Daggers of Megiddo. But his father, Robert Thorn, is killed before he can make that happen, and Damien ends up being raised by his uncle Richard.
A&E’s “Damien” (March 7, 10 p.m.) ignores the teen and adult Damiens from the three film sequels and picks up where the 1976 movie left off. Damien (Bradley James) is now a 30-year-old war photographer. He has no idea he is the antichrist, has no clue that “666” is carved into his scalp and remembers nothing of his satanic past. But the road to discovering his true identity begins in the first scenes of the premiere.
While covering the war in Damascus, Syria, an old woman crosses his path with the message, “Damien, it’s all for you.” It’s followed by a flashback to “The Omen,” reminding us that lil Damien’s nanny said those same words before she jumped out a window.
Later, another mysterious woman (Barbara Hershey) materializes to tell him, “It’s a whole new world; the seals have been broken, the trumpet blown.” Turns out she is Ann Rutledge, who has protected Damien his entire life and will guide him in embracing his inner antichrist.
“The approach here is you want to see Damien’s humanity,” Mazzara told the TCA Winter Press Tour in January. “What we’ve done is he’s an antichrist. So if you say Christ is all God and all human, the antichrist would be all human and all devil. That’s an interesting character to root for. And as Damien faces his humanity, he’s going to go down a path where, as he’s doing stuff, we both want him to be stopped and we want him to fulfill his destiny.”
Co-star Megalyn Echikunwoke (who now goes by Megalyn E.K.) is introduced at the tail end of the episode as Simone Baptiste, the sister of Damien’s close friend and colleague Kelly, played by Tiffany Hines (Tamar in Lifetime’s “Toni Braxton: Unbreak my Heart”).
Simone grew up in Kelly’s shadow and begins to question her religious faith when she suffers a family tragedy.
Below, Megalyn says despite the doom and gloom of the show’s subject matter, she and her co-stars find fun in tackling the different layers of their roles:
Watch a trailer and featurette for A&E’s “Damien” below: