The main theme of the series explores Jai's battle to overcome his previous life following the death of his wife while entering a world of supernatural phenomena, explored heavily in all five seasons of the show. A dense mythology involving Nazi occultism, vampires, werewolves and various other sources of the paranormal orbited around this character and the central premise.
The DSR featured a large ensemble cast arcing around Jai Shaw's journey throughout the duration of the series.
- James 'Jai' Shaw (Josh Holloway) is a wanted mercenary blackmailed by the DSR to help them locate the man who murdered his wife. Over the course of time, he becomes the most central player in the DSR's secret history.
- Mia Patrick (Nona Gaye) is a highly-trained DSR agent, skilled in martial arts and combat training. Strong yet feminine, she becomes Jai's closest ally and the rock binding the team together.
- Joseph Kendall (Terry O'Quinn) is the Director of the DSR, a position he's held for over 20 years. Commanding and tough, he nonetheless is fair, respectful and proud of the DSR's lineage. The character was first featured in Alias' first, second and third seasons.
- Ethan Watts (Sean Maher) is a field operative for the DSR. Religiously by the book, he is ambitious and driven, hopeful one day to become a CIA Director himself. He instantly becomes the greatest internal thorn in Jai's side.
- Sara Mitchum (formerly Kennedy) (Romola Garai) is the chief research and tech specialist for the DSR. British and bookish, hiding true beauty, she is a somewhat geeky yet loveable young woman who the team could not function without.
- Carson Evans (Lindsay Crouse) is the DSR's deputy-Director and a long standing professional partner to Kendall. Cold and enigmatic, yet driven, her people skills may want but her experience in fringe science outweighs many others. The character first featured in Alias 1x16 'The Prophecy'.
- Owen Mitchum (Nathan Fillion) (Seasons 4 & 5) is a field operative for the DSR. Formerly a Washington PD cop, he learns of the DSR during the 'Pulse Event' across the city and is soon headhunted. A likeable everyman, he relishes the chance to be part of the DSR.
- Anton Cochrane (Scott Glenn) (Seasons 1 & 2) is one of the longest standing DSR field operatives. A former ally of Kendall's in Vietnam, he has been with the DSR for decades and brings a wisdom, calm and wealth of experience to the table. He makes recurring appearances in Seasons 3 & 5.
- Rayen Mendez (Michelle Rodriguez) (Seasons 3 & 4) is an operative of Delta Force seconded to the DSR, at first in order to spy for the Trust. Tough and uncompromising, she soon pledges her loyalty to the DSR, helping them expose a greater conspiracy. She appears as a guest star in Season 5.
- Lexa Forrest (Sanaa Lathan) (Seasons 4 & 5) is the sister of Mia Patrick and a professional mercenary, thief and sometime-assassin. Sly, seductive yet loyal, she has a thirst for danger yet values her family and country foremost. She makes recurring appearances as a guest star in Season 3.
- Sonja Memnon (Asia Argento) (Season 2) is a vampire, the daughter of Brotherhood leader Kovas Memnon, and a skilled espionage agent. Seductive, enigmatic and ruthless, at first a thorn in DSR's side, she soon becomes a closer ally than anyone expected. She makes recurring appearances in Seasons 1, 3, 4 and 5.
- Sylan al-Batar (aka Quinn) (Peter Facinelli) (Season 3) is a vampire and member of the Schism. Highly mysterious, long under the alias 'Quinn', he brings a calm, age-old wisdom behind handsome looks and expert fighting skills. He makes recurring appearances in Seasons 2, 4 and 5. The character subsequently became a regular cast member of Schism.
- Julia Winters (Julia Winters (Season 3) is the Director of the DSR during the period it is ran under the Trust. Quiet, hard to read but deadly, she runs a tight ship.
- Marshall Flinkman (Kevin Weisman) (Season 3) is the head of tech operations for the DSR during its tenure under the Trust. Eternally nervous and geeky, his loveable lack of social skills are made up for by his incredible experience and knowledge. He makes recurring appearances in Seasons 4 & 5. The character first featured as a regular cast member in all seasons of Alias.
- Sadik Aktar (Oded Fehr) (Season 5) is a leading member of the Order of Avesta and a liason to the DSR. Born a Knight with incredible powers, the noble warrior helps Jai come to terms with his destiny while fighting to stop the Thule Society. He appears as a guest star in Season 4.
- Eva/Jennifer Nichols (Elisabeth Rohm) (Season 5) is an assassin and terrorist working for the Thule Society. The product of Nazi genetic engineering in the late 1940's, she has spent decades working to bring down the DSR from the inside, including marrying Ethan Watts. She appears as a recurring guest star in Season 3.
- Calvin Rhindhart (Ron Perlman) is a Lupan werewolf mercenary and former US Marine with a dark and complex past with Mia.
- Kovas Memnon (David Bowie) (Seasons 1 & 2), ([[Timothy Dalton}}) (Seasons 2, 3 and 4) is a powerful, Machiavellian vampire - once a senior Director of the Brotherhood turned traitor and global terrorist.
- Connor Shaw (Paul Walker is the brother of Jai Shaw, also a mercenary - who emerges from a coma with shocking loyalties.
- Cassie Shaw (Evangeline Lilly) is the wife of Jai Shaw, sister-in-law to Connor. Murdered by Glissman in the pilot episode, she reappears in various ways across the series.
- Hans Jurgen Glissman (Ray Park) is a former Nazi Kommandant in WW2, officer-in-charge of the Ahnenerbe, and a conscience-free murderer who kills Jai's wife in his relentless pursuit to find Ahriman.
- Ahriman is an ancient, evil, God-like being with powers over time and space, whose resurrection foreshadows the 'Final Time' - a millennia-old prophecy of apocalypse and darkness upon the Earth.
- Hayden Chase (Angela Bassett) is a senior CIA Director and mother of Mia Patrick and Lexa Forrest. A strong, uncompromising woman, she veers from being a thorn in DSR's side to a helping hand with frequency.
Production and crewEdit
- A. J. Black—Creator/Executive Producer
- Adam Scott—Executive Producer/Writer (Seasons 2–5)
- Brian. L. Lamkin—Executive Producer/Writer (Season 1)
- Chris Haigh—Producer/Writer (Seasons 2–5)
- Dino Leone-Producer/Writer (Seasons 2–4)
- Lee. A. Chrimes—Producer/Writer (Season 1, 3)
- J. T. Vaughn—Producer/Writer/Graphics (Seasons 1-5)
- Michael Jay—Producer/Writer (Season 1)
- Ian Austin—Producer/Writer (Season 2)
- Aaron Driscoll—Producer/Writer (Season 2)
- Alden. C. Caele—Producer (Seasons 1 & 2)
- Leigh Nguyen—Graphics (Seasons 1-3)
- Jay Everington—Graphics (Seasons 3 & 4)
Season One: 2006Edit
- Main article: The DSR episodes (season 1)
The first season saw James 'Jai' Shaw, following the death of his wife, brought into The DSR to help them expose their killers, the Ahnenerbe - an occult force of Nazi survivors led by Hans Jurgen Glissman. Along the way, the agency faces the psychic government conspiracy of Ultra, discovers a Lupan werewolf threat to the vampiric Brotherhood, not to mention uncovering Glissman's search for the lost city of Shambhala, the resting place of ancient God, Ahriman.
Season Two: 2007Edit
- Main article: The DSR episodes (season 2)
The second season saw The DSR facing the death and subsequent resurrection of Jai, not to mention the search for Connor Shaw - who they believed was hosting the released Ahriman, little knowing he had possessed mild-mannered Sara Kennedy. As the devastating truth becomes apparent, the agency are caught in the middle of a brewing Brotherhood/Lupan war which reveals the true loyalties of the machiavellian Kovas Memnon, and they struggle to prevent he and crafty werewolf Rhindhart delivering Ahriman an ancient source of devastating power.
Season Three: 2008Edit
- Main article: The DSR episodes (season 3)
The third season brings great changes to The DSR. Relocated to New York City, under the charge of a government group known as the Trust, Jai is brought back from months of North Korean imprisonment to find Joseph Kendall replaced by the enigmatic Julia Winters and forced to do her bidding. They are soon faced by the threat of the Deck of 52, a mysterious terrorist organisation looking to further Kovas' ancient endgame, as well as internal troubles as it becomes clear the Trust themselves have their own dark agenda.
Season Four: 2009Edit
- Main article: The DSR episodes (season 4)
The fourth season begins with The DSR fighting for it's life. After the Trust's betrayal and the Sanctum Event causing worldwide devastation, Congress are ready to permanently shut the agency down - forcing Kendall, head of the re-designated Operational Taskforce Centre, to have them work under the radar. While Jai fights to prevent Congress locking him back up, the team discover a brand new threat in the Incarnate, closer than ever to realising Ahriman's ultimate goal.
Season Five: 2009 - 2010Edit
- Main article: The DSR episodes (season 5)
The fifth and final season has The DSR, newly reinstated, facing its greatest battle ever. Hovering into view, their hand having touched every threat faced by the agency in its history, the Thule Society use Jai to instigate their search for Thule - the ancient home of the Grigori, of Ahriman, indeed of civilisation itself. Our team face goodbyes, recriminations and realisations as they desperately strive to prevent the Society from using Thule to destroy the entire planet - in doing so, Jai facing his ultimate destiny.
- Family -- The central theme of the series, specifically the relationship between husbands and wives: Jai and wife Cassie Shaw as well as his relationships with Mia Patrick and Sonja Memnon, Mia and Sylan al-Batar, Sara and Owen Mitchum, Ethan Watts and Eva Eckhart, Anton and Maggie Cochrane, Kendall and Julia Winters, even stretching to antagonist relationships such as Kovas and Carmen Memnon or Christian Shaw and Catherine Shaw.
- Private/Non-Governmental Agencies/Organisations—The world of The DSR has one of the largest collections of fictional intelligence agencies in the history of espionage fiction. These agencies are clandestine espionage agencies and occult organisations that trade secrets and weapons. Fictional organizations that have been featured on the show include:
- The Ahnenerbe: a 60-year old occult research group formed by Heinrich Himmler during World War 2, ran by Hans Jurgen Glissman, in order to help the Nazis locate ultimate power. The DSR was created in order to thwart their efforts and after 60 years underground, the Ahnenerbe once again became a threat in the 21st century thanks to the Thule Society. It was dissolved after Glissman's death at the end of Season One.
- The Brotherhood: formed centuries earlier, it became the essential seat of vampire government across Europe. It's headquarters based in Geneva, ran by Kovas Memnon, it fell under control of the Chair, a council of vampires who all sought to genetically engineer their race to eradicate their bloodlust and live in tandem with humanity. After centuries of war with their Lupan werewolf cousins, the Brotherhood fell following Kovas' betrayal in Season Two, and the release of a bio-weapon across Istanbul which wiped the Chair out.
- The Trust: a shadowy organisation of US government figures interested in the occult, who rescued The DSR from being terminated by the CIA, taking control of the group during Season Three. They were later discovered to be operating as part of a greater conspiracy led by Nathan Harrison, destroyed after the CIA retook The DSR in the Battle of the Black Hole.
- The Deck of 52:
- The Incarnate:
- The Thule Society:
- Clandestine operations—The
The DSR was the first show in the MZP AliasVerse, spawning numerous spin-off series and movies within the canon:
- Alias (2001-2006) - the first show in the Verse, which The DSR itself is spun-off from. It featured the adventures of Sydney Bristow, a super-spy working for the CIA to bring down SD-6, a terrorist organisation posing as an espionage agency, while unravelling the secret of 15th century prophet and inventor Milo Rambaldi. It spawned five seasons, ending in 2006.
- Schism (2008-2011) - the third show in the Verse, and the first formal spin-off from The DSR. It featured the Schism, an order of religious vampires protecting their kind and humanity from evil in the face of God. It spawned one season and two mini-series follow ups, Black Dragon and The Calling (coming in 2011), ending in 2011.
- Walker (2009-) - the fourth show in the Verse, and the second spin-off from The DSR. It features Alec Walker, a Knight with advanced powers, working with British espionage unit MI-16 to protect his country from occult threats. It has, to date, spawned two seasons - with a Christmas 2010 special movie and third season to follow in 2011.