Last week saw the premiere of “Incorporated*,*” a dystopian Syfy series produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
The futuristic series, set in 2074, takes place after climate change has led to the collapse of the U.S. government, in a world where the depletion of natural food resources and clean water have created fierce competition. The nation is being run by Spiga Biotech, a company that specializes in agriculture to feed the world through the design of heartier seeds and crops, and synthetic meats.
Spiga employees reap the benefits of very accessible technology, such as self-driving cars and wearable tech that only appear a step or two beyond what we have today. Everyone else is in “Red Zones,” where violence and scarcity rule, and 12 million Americans have fled for Canada.
The future portrayed in the show also includes a new world order in which many governments have gone bankrupt in the wake of such scarcity. This has left an opening for business to take over.
“In the world of our show, corporations have been given sovereign powers to take over where government sort of leaves off,” executive producer Ted Humphrey told Indiewire. “So certain things that might be a crime in the outside world aren’t a crime in the corporation or vice versa.”
Julia Ormond stars as Elizabeth Krauss, the head of Spiga in the U.S., wielding power over senators, employees and other citizens of the Green Zone, areas of wealth and privilege. Krauss does not spend much time thinking about those in the Red Zone and what they lack.
“In a really entertaining way and a thrilling way, [this show] is the world that we’re moving towards, unless we make different choices,” Ormond said.
This genre of climate fiction, or “CliFi” is growing in popularity: “Incorporated” joins depictions of dystopian, resource-scarce worlds in author Margaret Atwood’s Maddaddam trilogy and the 2015 feature, Mad Max: Fury Road.
“Incorporated” shows Wednesday nights at 10 pm on Syfy.