The Outpost: Jake Stormoen shines in new fantasy series

The Outpost: Jake Stormoen shines in new fantasy series
11 Jul

Among their library of titles are The Crown and the Dragon, Orc Wars and Mythica: A Quest for Heroes (and four sequels). The last of those featured Stormoen as Dagen, a half-elf thief described as “sort of this bastard of Han Solo and [Iron Man’s alter-ego] Tony Stark.”

“We’re talking almost five years ago … it’s crazy how quick that time has gone,” Stormoen says. “Since then, I’ve gone and come back and I feel like that relationship, that friendship, has remained.”

Stormoen describes The Outpost as the biggest project, in scope and scale, that he and Arrowstorm have undertaken.

“Certainly for me and I would say for them as well,” he says. “With that, there are other factors and facets that come into it, of course, but they’re tackling something big with this one. And it’s really exciting. It’s really great to see.”

Of the show’s three leads, Stormoen is immediately outed by his castmates as the most deeply involved in the genre.

He’s a fantasy and science fiction fan, a lifelong player of the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons and a devotee of tabletop games and MMOs, that is, massively multi-player online video games, such as The Elder Scrolls and World of Warcraft.

“I’m probably speaking gibberish now, but I love this genre, the fantasy genre specifically, science fiction genre a close second, ” Stormoen says.

“I’ve grown up with this, I love it, I read it, I watch it, I play it,” he adds. “And so, I think there’s a reason that I keep trying to work with Arrowstorm as well. Because they have a track record of making things in this theme.”

Stormoen’s devotion alone, on the basis of his background, makes a compelling case for the project.

“Coming from that side of things, coming from somebody who is a huge fan, a lifelong fan, there is so much to love in this story,” he says. “It’s true to the genre. People that are fans [of the genre] will certainly enjoy it. We have all the pieces, the staples of the fantasy genre which is great.”

Though some of the plot’s finer points are yet to be unveiled, there is a measure of romantic potential between the leads, in particular the telegenic Stormoen and Green’s fierce Talon, who is described as “a strong female lead … who won’t back down to a man, who has a cause and is going for it and won’t let anything get in her way.”

Stormoen notes he is enmeshed in what was referred to in the classics as a “love triangle”.

“And I would say that a huge part of the attraction, the chemistry that is there comes from being attracted to the fact she is so independent and powerful and doesn’t need anything,” he says. “You know what I mean? She stands on her own two feet and she does it well.

“And she does it better than most of the men that she encounters,” he adds. “It takes a lot to rifle her. And my character is very taken aback by that in a wonderful way. That’s absolutely a huge part of the story and is embraced and has a light shown on it.”

There can be a tendency to structure modern-day science fiction stories in their post-Star Wars context: that is, they are typically led by a combative scoundrel, a heroic princess and an emotionally sensitive fish-out-water.

In Star Wars they were, respectively, Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker. In The Outpost, they might be Garret, Talon and Janzo (Anand Desai-Barochia). But the lead actors are not so sure.

“It hasn’t come up in conversation but it’s a fair point, for sure,” Stormoen says. “I think there’s a certain amount of you know, the hero’s journey and that sort of thing, but certainly in Star Wars opens up following Luke and we flipped that one on it’s end by following Talon.

“And I don’t think their backstories are [similar] … I mean absolutely, you could, I’m sure find similarities in a lot of different genre specific pieces and projects things like that but, again, as a huge fan of the genre, I really do love how original [The Outpost] is. And I’ll stand behind that, I’ll say that out loud.”

Stormoen describes Talon’s journey as compelling, but one which pivots dramatically from its starting point. “Talon has a very specific journey that she’s on that becomes interlaced with other character’s journeys,” he says. “I think audiences will both relate to and be compelled to watch.”

WHAT The Outpost

WHEN SyFy, Thursday, 7.30pm

Michael Idato is a Senior Writer based in Los Angeles for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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