Defiance (TV Series 2013–2015) Poster

(2013–2015)

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9/10
Extremely Under-Rated Sci Fi Show
bsofakind5 September 2015
Over the last decade I have had some difficulty warming up to many of the sci-fi shows produced. For me it was a case of being to conventional and uninspiring.

Initially, I watched Defiance and tuned out after the first three episodes. I revisited the show later and gave it another try. And to my surprise I was rewarded with solid acting and good scripts. Hopefully, the show survives into season four it would be a shame to see it end prematurely in the ratings game. Good quality Sci- Fi shows are hard to find these days.

So like many other admirers of this show, I will wait to see the outcome. The Killjoys and Dark Matter are watchable but these shows do not have the depth and quality IMO
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10/10
I see lots of potential
maxwell-maximus17 April 2013
While the pilot wasn't jaw-dropping, it was very entertaining and in my opinion it is worth recommending this show to sci-fi fans. I believe there is a rich world here with a story worth telling. This is not Game Of Thrones, this is not Breaking Bad.... this is a "popcorn show". Sit back, relax & enjoy the ride. Don't let the super negative reviews fool you, because, as always, they are the extra critical vocal minority. Most people don't go online and write personal reviews for TV shows / movies they like.

I look forward to more episodes and I hope the hate-train doesn't stop potential viewers from giving it the chance it deserves. =]
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9/10
Learn from Firefly
atlasmb18 June 2013
I have read reviews on this site by viewers who do not like Defiance, sometimes comparing it to Firefly. Granted, Firefly is a great show, but what did we learn from its early departure from TV? The network wanted Firefly to capture the minds of its viewers quickly, so they did not air the first episode first. Believing that a more action-packed episode would grab new viewers more quickly, they shuffled the episodes--a strategy that alienated viewers and led to the show's demise. When I read criticisms about the pace of Defiance's first episode, I say let the show develop and see where it goes.

Now that we have seen a number of episodes, I for one am glad I stuck with Defiance. Here are some of my reasons:

1. It has an array of interesting characters. They are not interesting only because the different races are interesting. Each character is well developed and multi-layered. They are not one dimensional--all good or all bad---but portray strengths and frailties, positive and negative traits.

2. The cast is wonderful. Starting with Graham Greene, you have Grant Bowler (Hank Rearden in Atlas Shrugged)and Mia Kirschner (great in The L Word) Julie Benz and Stephanie Leonides, etc.

3. The music. I have particularly enjoyed some of the songs they have used as background, masterpieces of mood.

4. The innovation. Some have criticized the weaponry or languages used, for instance. But the action does not take place on an alien world, so it makes sense that the weapons are a combination of past and future, mixed with earth-based technologies (same with the vehicles). Considerable time was spent devising different languages for this show. I find them interesting but not distracting.

5. The various cultures represented are deeply portrayed, with their own music, rituals, prayers, languages, religions, prejudices, and personality tendencies.

6. Although the various races/cultures have distinctive features, characters still seem to live in the same world, coping with the same issues. As one character said, "In this world we live in, there's no place for the fragile." Everyone who has survived to exist in Defiance bears the scars of their struggles, literal and figurative. Defiance is named after the town/valley where it is set, and everyone in Defiance seems to believably come from the same town, living in a hard-won and dynamic harmony of different voices.

7. Defiance is a show about values. Love can overcome bigotry. Cooperation produces better results than warfare. These are examples and I am sure we will encounter more as the show continues.

8. There are also larger story arcs developing, and this gives me hope for much more to come.

9. Last but not least, Defiance has genuinely likable characters--one of the most necessary elements for a show you want to watch.

Update 7/21/14: After many episodes, this show is still good. Good characters and challenging stories.
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A lot of clichés done well makes for good TV.
Safetylight16 April 2013
Reminds me of the old Masamune Shirow manga series, "Appleseed". Combine that with Mel Gibson's "Road Warrior" and a bit of "Babylon 5" with maybe a dash of "Command & Conquer" (yes, the video game), and you've got yourself "Defiance".

Now, this sort of story has been tried before many times, and it has failed each time. (Earth 2, Revoloution, Dark Skies, Terra Nova, Outcasts) Either the writing was too naive and silly, or too dark and serious, or the casting failed to deliver engaging characters we liked and cared about. Or the budget simply fell apart. Any one of a dozen problems can sink this sort of show.

"Defiance" might just get it right.

The story is nothing we haven't seen before, but so what? There are no new stories; it's all in the delivery, the fun of the retelling.

A pair of tough-as-nails left over warriors, survivors of a planet-wasting future war carve out a nomadic life for themselves in the badlands. They are tightly bonded, mismatched family for one another, an alien warrior princess and a human super soldier; they don't need anybody but themselves.

So when their path takes them into the middle of new colony filled with politics and problems, desperate, hopeful people of many races trying to build new lives, our heroes have every reason to make tracks and head for the horizon. Such a town is just too much trouble, a great place to get bogged down and probably get killed. No thank-you.

But of course, heartstrings are plucked, making it impossible to leave these babes in the woods to their own demise. Our heroes become protectors in the middle of impossible odds and ego-driven, racist rivalries and all the dirt which makes life a difficult place. A stupid, ugly town filled with stupid, ugly people. Who are also, people with good stuff inside them as well. An unfortunate mix, because if they were all bad, you could just leave them to rot without a second thought. But no, the audience is shown enough hope to want to see these people rise above themselves and just get along. It's fun as viewers to hope. And so our heroes decide to stay.

Such a story would be an unbearable cliché if it weren't done, as this one is, with such a good deal of competence.

The pilot worked, was entirely watchable, was fun, and shows plenty of promise.

No, it doesn't have the unique charismatic spark of a Firefly, or the (albeit wooden) broad-stroke genius of Babylon 5. But it does have all the parts you need for a thrilling series, and better yet, it has the casting and acting chops to make the characters engaging. And best of all, in the midst of all that grime and calamity, it retains the up-beat bounce to make the world a place to want to visit next week.

For a series pilot, getting so many difficult parts to work this well together is extremely hard to pull off. But they did it.

Presumably, as the actors settle into their roles over the course of several episodes, on-screen chemistry can only get better. Hopefully, they've got some good script writers on board to make good use of all this potential, and the budget and executive smarts needed to give this show the chance it needs for a good run.

I think it's just possible that we're looking at a winner. *Just*.

Because this particular road through the sci-fi wilderness is littered with the remains of the fallen. If they pull it off, it'll be a big first.

So I wish good luck to the aptly named, "Defiance" in the face of these long odds.

They'll need both!
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9/10
Once you get past the stumbles
vormaen-93-47624129 August 2014
Let me first point out that most of the highly negative reviews are from people that are either REALLY upset that their favorites shows were canceled, only want some super techie expensive POS, or don't have the mental capacity to understand what kind of depth and hard work went into this show.

That being said, I am a very picky viewer. Half the shows on network TV claiming to be Sci Fi are watered down and barely beyond their "grounded" approach to the genre. Defiance is first and foremost, Science Fiction.

I admit, the show started out really rocky. The pilot was confusing to a degree, and the limited budget was apparent. But unlike a lot of attention inept who've posted reviews after giving the show 40 minutes of their time, I stuck it through. Two seasons and a lot of emotions later, I can definitively say Defiance has found it's groove.

It's not going to hold your hand. This is in the day of the life of kind of drama. The show wants you to get the sense that these characters really feel, and have their own inner demons. Just when you think someone is an unabashed hero or villain without any dimension, the show begins to peel away at the outer shell and reveals multi-faceted layers.

From the whimsically religious, barbaric and sarcastic kingpin Datak Tar, his submissive yet secretly conniving wife Sahlma; Nolan the nomadic gun for hire and his mysteriously haunted alien daughter Arisa; intelligent Mayor Amanda Rosewater and her prostitute/madame of a sister Kenya who just happens to know the truest face of her clients, there is no shortage of unique interactions and dilemmas. Just when you think you know all there is to know about your favorite character, they surprise you with undeniably real and game changing actions.

The Aliens in Defiance do look human-like. So what. There is enough there to make them both familiar and yet completely other-worldly. The Linguist behind the Dothraki tongue in Game of Thrones has created some of the most beautiful and poetic languages for the major species that needs to be heard to be believed. A lot of time and thought has gone into complete religions, social structures and traditions for each of the 5 (6?) dominant species. Castithans are pale and beautiful, snobbish and cruel with severe repercussions for defying one's long standing cultural beliefs. Iratients are in tune with nature but love to fight and make love. You really must discover the others for yourself.

Special effects are here and there sometimes, but make do to progress the story along and sometimes can leave you in complete awe. And the Music? Amazing. From the Synth themes to the alien takes on well established earth tunes, it has to be heard to be appreciated.

All in all, this show surprised me, and continues to surprise me with it's depth, it's pain, and it's humanity, even if the world is completely alien to me. I never felt this honesty with Stargate, or even my fav, Farscape. With the exception of Ben Browder, they still felt like actors playing a role. These characters inhabiting Defiance seem like neighbors. With mix matched tech and the willingness to end you if you get in the way of their survival.

Give it a shot. Be defiant stop listening to the sore losers.
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9/10
Thoughts on the Pilot
NikiES16 April 2013
I don't normally write reviews on IMDb, but I thought I'd make an exception for this show. I find it rather weird that it has an overall rating of 8.1, but all the reviews so far range from mediocre to bad.

Personally, I really enjoyed the pilot. While most of the themes are "cliche", the show does a great job of still adding an original twist to almost all of them. I've always enjoyed shows that follow numerous characters, so I think there is potential in that aspect. I also enjoyed the two "main" characters; they have great chemistry together (if a little awkward at points) and are intriguing. I feel there is a lot more to learn about them, and that makes me want to keep watching the show.

I don't watch many SyFy shows, so I can't really compare it to anything they have done in the past. I can see the resemblance to Jericho, as some people have stated, but with a larger sci-fi theme. A lot of reviews state that they have "seen shows like this before", but I personally have never seen anything like this show before. The graphics are sub-par, but are better than a lot of other shows I have seen. Truthfully, I would take a great story over amazing graphics any day.

After watching the show, I have decided to pick up the video game. I find the show/ video game integration very intriguing. Now that both are officially out, I hope they compliment each other even more in the future. It would be fun to watch an episode, and then play the video game and get background info on the episode, and on terraform earth as a whole.

These are just my thoughts on the first episode. I encourage everyone to at least watch the pilot to decide for yourselves whether this is a show for you or not.
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4/10
Good concept, bad execution
cadillac_oscar3 August 2015
Defiance is one of those shows that you want to like, but often you just sit through episode after episode just shouting at the television.

Be it a weak script, nonsensical twists or just awful CGI, everyone has their issues with this show. When you first hear about the concept, it sounds almost like it couldn't fail, and in a way that's true. I find myself drawn to this show even though i'm constantly let down by it, because even with all of its shortcomings it still has its own charm.

The main characters are somewhat likable (mostly through good work of the cast who are the main reason the show is still watchable), even if you can't connect with them. And the settings are interesting even if they look awful on screen, but you will find yourself drawn to the world of Defiance nevertheless.

This is one of those shows that i would only recommend to hardcore SciFi fans, if you have enough patience then Defience might be an enjoyable experience as long as you don't expect to much of it.

You have been warned.
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10/10
Ah the curse of new Sci Fi! give it five episodes and you may feel like me, it's great!
daveyjimwright16 May 2013
At very i had my reservations about this show, but I've stuck with it and it's got progressively better, I've found a lot of my friends are in the same camp as me there. I often find when shows or films are quite new to IMDb they are more likely to heavily criticised than praised and that gives a sort of negative bias, until more of the positive reviews come in later. I seem to recall some very highly regarded films and TV show's being stuck on a score of around five / seven but then once they'd be through the judgemental tunnel of fire they did just fine.

This show has began to gather dept and feel and also has plenty of mystery and wonderful plot threads developing, it's a lot of fun and has many elements. Don't believe what people say about it being a huge mellow drama or just a sci fi soap, yes it has an element of that but not has much as people are making out.

The acting ranges from poor, average to superb, with mixed styles and feel and that is the only thing some people might find jarring, personally i don't mind it.

It's sort of an ethical, detective, sci fi western, shoot em up, mystery, drama, new earth world, adventure .... it's got everything and it's really starting to piece together and take shape as a show. It's about family, hope, feuds, survival and making a new world.

The plotting is really getting smarter as the show progresses, the pilot i was unsure about, but now i am hooked! it's got lovely sets and some great tunes on the soundtrack...there's a lot to love about Defiance...i feel some people are judging it too quickly and worse wanting it fail for whatever reason, well i had this show to succeed , because it's fresh and quirky and like i said fun.

You don't need to worry about playing the game to follow the TV series either, in case you were wondering.

Defiance really keeps you guessing with unanswered questions, but the web is taking form now and i can't wait to see how it all comes together...if your new to the show bare with it, the pilot try's to do too much in my opinion and the second episode is average, the third is a little better, the forth and fifth are fantastic and a lot stronger.

It's a little monster of the week for a while but the over running plot lines are coming in now. I'd say it has elements of firefly, Farscape, Buffy and a Town called Eureka in pace, feel and style. Also with touches of various post apocalyptic role games and books featuring gathering of alien races, but that makes it cool, because it's fun to spot possible influences for sci fi games and books i enjoyed. Don't get me wrong though it also has an originality of it's own that is fantastic. Enjoy!
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10/10
Quality is going up and I'm warming up to it
Tomoosterbroek4 June 2013
The show started a bit slow in the first 4-something episodes. In the past couple of episodes, especially 6 and onwards the show has really picked up. More stuff is happening, new plot lines are opening up and the characters are getting broader and deeper.

I would agree with those that say the show is not the best thing ever, and a lot of it still seems random or unbelievable. In my opinion this is mostly because of the lack of back story. The latest episodes have begun to give us some flashbacks, so I expect this particular complaint to be resolved soon.

In a day where Original Sci-Fi on TV are slim pickings indeed, I find the show to be a breath of fresh air.

The quality of the show is definitely on an upwards trajectory, so I suggest everybody that can't quite get in it yet,to bear with the series. To those who haven't given the show a chance yet, I suggest you do.

Watching Sci-fi is the only way to keep it on the air after all.
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1/10
Terrible, juvenile writing, awful direction, poor animation
anthony-burton25 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I was looking forward to Defiance, especially after seeing the cast list. Grant Bowler, Julie Benz and Jamie Murray have all excelled in Dexter and Outrageous Fortune, but the script they've been handed doesn't give them one solitary chance to exhibit their talents. The writing is on a par with a third rate computer game cut scene, choking on its own clichés, dialogue is non-existent, characters tell other people who they are, or what they are doing, but no one actually has a real conversation with someone else.

The opening scene establishes that Earth is visited by aliens, then we see their decimated fleet floating in orbit, now earth is a wasteland and different species of aliens are everywhere. I was still getting comfy in my seat and I had no idea how we'd gone from earth invasion to Mad Max meets Babylon 5 in about one minute. It doesn't get any better.

We're introduced to a young couple and told they're in love, their families don't approve, but we don't get to see them being in love, which is how you convince people your story is real. The girl's father at one point says he's going to kill her lover and storms off, next scene he's in a brothel where lo and behold, the boy is playing cards. How did the father know the boy would be there? Does this family man frequent the brothel enough to know they hold card games and that her lover will be there at that moment? It's lazy, derivative garbage.

Now for the director, time after time, tension building opportunities are squandered. The 'lovable rogue' character is running through some woods carrying a wounded girl. It soon becomes apparent they are being hunted by animals moving so fast we can barely see them, they surround our plucky hero in a flash and then proceed to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING whilst he shoots them one by one, and they clumsily fall over in an animation that looks like it was ripped from a video game circa 1990. Then our hero runs out of ammo - oh the tension - only for a Deus Ex Machina to arrive (in the middle of a forest remember) just in time to save them.

Then there's the props, how do you show your audience you're in the future? You make everything glow blue, from guns, to drinks, to surgical equipment, to knives, to alien artifacts, just make 'em glow blue and voila, the future.

From the one dimensional characters to the woeful sets and props, shocking script and inept direction this show is a mess. Honestly, I don't think I've seen a pilot this poor before. This is a catastrophic failure of epic proportions.
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1/10
Typical 'Sy Fy' and modern day melodrama
Justice6822 April 2013
You ever watch those shows where the actors and their 'issues' don't fit the surrounding environment? Where Emo and Juliet still try to live life as it was in the 'good old days', except the good old days refer to a time when shopping malls still existed and kids went to public school, not scrounging in gutters for scraps to eat amongst rubble left be either a bomb, aliens or mother nature?

You ever get the impression that writers just can't envision an apocalyptic future that's actually bleak, without it's hope pride parade, racial tolerance and sharing is caring characters who always look on the bright side and make cliché promises to children about how 'everything is going to be OK, because now more than ever, we have to stick together, no matter our differences.' It's as if Hollywood can't ever stop with the subliminal political messages about the state of identity politics, and just actually make a television show.

Programs such as Defiance, Falling Skies, Revolution and Terra Nova all suffer from this double life leading paradox where they have large budgets, promising actors, fantastic set pieces and costumes...yet the writing and dialogue is diabolical and over dramatic.

Defiance is another one of those in-house workshop projects that are synonymous with the now cheapened 'Sy Fy' channel designed to appeal to the masses of sheep TV viewers.

It stumbles under it's own star struck weight, of Battlestar Galactica ex employees, Bear McReary's repetitive soundtracks and a viral marketing campaign of being connected to a video game.

If you appreciate true post apocalyptic scenarios, then give this a miss. Like the other shows mentioned above, everything is too convenient, clean and transparent.

I would have liked to give it a five for the CGI and setpieces, but they too are poor.
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9/10
Very cool, fun and action packed sci-fi with unexpected events
imlindaheart21 June 2019
I love this show, so sad they haven't made more of it. The actors are great, the plot is fast and always full of surprises. You will never get bored with this show as it is always changing. New characters appear, old ones die unexpectedly, people (both humans and aliens) are realistic, flawed but still likeable.

I became a huge fan of the clever Tarr family who can get themselves out of even the biggest trouble and life threatening situations. Other aliens were cool too. You get to see and imagine how life on Earth would be like with different alien races all living together.

Sure, it had it's setbacks, like how everyone spoke perfect English, even aliens among themselves preferred English to their native languages. Also, I think all the alien races looked too much like humans and were even able to have mixed babies. But that's what made the show so easy to follow and probably a lot cheaper to produce.

Very entertaining!
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10/10
Nothing new but highly enjoyable
BadAndy197816 April 2013
Anybody who has watched the first episode of Eureka will feel a little deja vu. It's not necessarily a bad thing. This show is easily a mix of Deadwood, Battlestar Galactica, and Firefly. It is a western that happens to also be a sci-fi.

The best thing this show has going for it is Rockne S. O'Bannon. He is the brilliant mind behind Farscape (possibly the best sci-fi ever). If you felt the story was a little slow, well so were the first few episodes of Farscape but then it really got going.

Is the CGI a little lacking at times with some aliens and creatures? Sure, but so was the tiger in Life of Pi and the Cylons in Battlestar Galactica. The producers were smart in where they used the money. The CGI at other times is great, including the close-ups of the aliens in the big battle.

The story is nothing new, but it's incredibly fun. The characters are likable and you find yourself pulling for them. I guarantee the more you watch the less you'll focus on the makeup or CGI and the more you'll get sucked into the world O'Bannon has created.

Some of the best shows on sci-fi (Eureka, Stargate SG-1 and it's offspring, Farscape, Warehouse 13) have all had some campy dialogue but it's always overshadowed by the talented actors, especially when a scene with heavy drama presents itself. This show has legs and could last for years.

Watch not to critique but to enjoy. And enjoy you will.
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8/10
Not perfect, but interesting
info-591816 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The scenario is a mix of genres - western, Mad Max apocalyptic, wandering Ronin and classic science fiction. The plot lines were a tad cliché as were some of the characters, and the action story lines a bit rushed, but it still managed to keep it together.

The strength of Defiance is probably it's leads, Grant Bowler is excellent and Stephanie Leonidas also great. They make make interesting lead pair...as father/daughter. Secondly the world..it's a different premise to most Sci fi/fantasy, and an interesting world with a lot of potential for interesting story lines. It's hard to say where it will go, but I will keep watching.
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10/10
One of the Greats, and Syfy let it slip through their fingers.
aesquire27 November 2018
Syfy was dumb for cancelling this show. It was one of the greats, and they let it slip through their fingers. Whatever execs at Syfy network thought this show didn't deserve at least a fourth and fifth season should be fired immediately.
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1/10
so bad it hurts my eyes
noisecraft30 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
how is this 7.0 rating, i don't understand. It is just unfair to really good series. I couldn't even finish the 1st episode. And all series i didn't like later had at least watchable pilot.

Instead of explaining the setting they just say - aliens, war, terraforming in less then a minute and immidiatly put you into quarrels between some local folks. Who are they, where they come from, what motivates them? nothing is explained, instead some meaningless talks and clichés. If you expect good graphics for this, there was a moment in the beginning, i thought i am seeing a game cut-scene, the car looked like a game model. so if you want a meaningful sci-fi story, don't waste your time on this
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9/10
I don't know how I missed this gem
just_funme19 June 2019
I know the show is old, but I shame myself by not giving it attention earlier. I somehow get the same feeling that I got when Fringe finished: I want more, but I don't want it to spoil with overcomplicated plots and lifeless seasons.

For the 3 seasons this show got, it was seriously well made, with a lot of attention to details. I know the special effects lacked in ...well, everything, but that didn't break the narrative one bit.

Languages and dialects for all the alien races, specific music, well developed characters who blur the lines between good and bad, nice twists here and there, great dialogue, compelling storyline. I was amazed on how much love was put in this particular show.

For everybody saying it's underrated, believe them. It truly is a show that could've gone further with ease, but at the same time, it's good it didn't get to spoil at some point.

Watch it, love it, miss it afterwards.
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6/10
It has a lot against it, however it is undeserving of the hate it's getting
WakenPayne26 October 2014
Now unfortunately with the shows I usually watch, I either don't like it and review the entire show based on that or I watch as much of the show as possible and I review it with a well based knowledge. This is in-between. I actually started to enjoy this show and still do but there are some glaring problems.

In the wake of a human/alien war - humanity is terraformed into something almost unrecognizable. We follow the residents of St Louis (now called Defiance) a city that tries and treats all the alien races as being equal to humanity and each other as they fight off the alien race everybody hates called The Volge and other ways to attack what's in the town.

So my biggest problem with it is that I only know three of the alien races so far out of seven... They aren't even named. So I have to go online to see what they're called and wait for anything about them to be explained on the show. I know there's a video game but I don't want to play sci-fi World Of Warcraft to understand a television show which I bought. If anything the television show should work on it's own and the MMO should be giving the series a fourth dimension in exploring the town and landscape and interacting with the characters. My personal favourite episodes are the ones where the alien cultures get explored because I would then know about Irathients or the Castithients.

Oh and if what you're looking for out of this show is interesting characters then you will NOT get your fill out of this show. Basically Nolan is a stock rough around the edges action hero, Datak is the spoiled kid living in the body of an adult (and somehow gets a crime syndicate), Amanda is the mayor that wants to do right by her people, Kenya is basically Inara from Firefly and Rave McCauley is the guy that wants his family safe.

Literally the only character that I think doesn't suffer from being almost completely summed up in brief notes is Irisa. She is Nolan's adopted Irathient daughter who feels disconnected with everything, within reason too - She wants to learn more about the culture of her people mainly because the only thing she knows about it is the most bare-bones knowledge of anything, she's a skilled combatant and she's damaged psychologically due to past experiences with her birth parents. If I could write this much on all the other main players then I'd be happy to sit through the whole first season and review it then because as the show's going on, I am much more interested in her then any other character.

If you want more good things I have to say about the show it's basically what kind of world they set up. I complained about the lack of set-up for the alien races but the Irathients are what the Na'vi from Avatar should have been. I also like the time they spent giving the Aliens separate languages. I also think this post-apocalyptic aliens co-existing set-up is actually pretty good. All of these elements, when explored - give the show so much more enjoyment then other stuff that appears in it's place in other episodes.

So would I recommend it? Well, I suggest reading on it first. It is not deserving of the hate it's been getting, but at the same time it isn't really anything special. I'd say if based on what I've said about the characters the show looks interesting to you then I say to pick this up with flying colours. However, I say it is very on the fence and unless the season improves (I've just finished episode 7, just a perspective) then I am sorry, I wanted to love this show but I couldn't.

6/10 - 6 because despite all it's problems, I'll still watch more.
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1/10
Not trashy - just trash
paulfinn1617 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Defiance is bad TV and bad story telling. The pilot begins with a few mumbled lines about the Earth being invaded by aliens. A lot of this is unintelligible. It genuinely seemed as if the scriptwriters didn't know how to describe what must have been an apocalyptic event in the ridiculously short time they were given, so they direction given to the actor was "mumble". This had me worried from the start. If you are going to tell a story then tell it. If you are going to put something in the script then make sure you know darn well what it is and why you are putting it there. I had just been watching Deep Space Nine on my Tivo so I had been spoilt. There was a story in DS9. Every word meant something and there were characters you cared about. None of this applies to Defiance. The new mayor (whose last job I suspect was one of the voices for the chipmunks) gave me a worse feeling. The fact she was giving a speech celebrating the ending of a war that had decimated earth, and the welcoming of the genocidal aliens guilty of the extinction of most of Earth's lifeforms was laughable (the chipmunks survived). The Romeo/Juliet element between the Earth girl and the troll with the purple hair was truly embarrassing (remember the toys?). The fact that the head alien in the town is a criminal is just unbelievable (I guess the law cannot touch him because it wouldn't be politically correct to do so). This is not trashy TV. Trashy TV can have no real worth but it will make you want to come back for more. Defiance is just trash. Unwatchable trash at that.
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2/10
Obviously far more is spent on effects and makeup than on good writing. And to think they canceled " Firefly" !
SOMEWHAT of a sad, bad soap opera. The production folks spent a lot of time on makeup for the aliens while providing them with absolutely no difference between each alien species. All aliens have the same human-like values, local politics ( Deadwood on planet Zeeno ), dialog, personal problems, sexual identities, motivations, and issues like teen anxiety. A knife fight between the local human teen bully and the heroic smaller alien boy. OH Pah-lees . Nothing original, unique, or even interesting here. Males of the main races are chauvinistic, females docile and submissive - for the most part. The only thing really alien about the aliens is the makeup. So how could they ever possibly write any kind of interesting plot....Well, they can't.

Why is it that almost all of these sci-fi series are so poorly thought out? Obviously far more is spent on effects and makeup than on good writing. And to think they canceled " Firefly" !

Aliens are humans with makeup and no discerning difference in personalities from the average human. The sets are filled with phony looking plants and some Mad Max wreckage. Occasional special effects are thrown in to keep the fourteen year old male audience coming back for more ... but this 'show' has very little value for anyone who thinks, is an adult, or simply appreciates thoughtful and well told science fiction stories.

The amazing thing to me is that huge piles of money and effort are spent on such huge piles of trite, trivial, and troubling tripe. But, I guess, that's the way it is: with the lowest common denominator being a fourteen year old male with a two digit IQ. BIG YAWN. DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME...Read some old Heinlein or Tolkien.
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1/10
A terrible pile of clichés.
cyberlogicx-662-76160117 April 2013
I had high hopes for Defiance, from all the hype to the great looking previews. It didn't take long into the pilot to realize that I wasn't watching a show, I was actually watching a compilation of snippets from virtually every post-apocalyptic movie, game and TV show ever made. The acting was stiff and forced, as if the script was written on the fly, and the abuse of poorly-executed CG made it nearly unwatchable. I really should have not gotten my hopes up, knowing this was a SciFi show but after the untimely ending of Eureka, and the cancellation of SG:U, I was expecting more. I will continue watching, and hoping it gets better but it's already a terrible parody of itself, and I'm going to hold my breath.
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2/10
Garbage
sosvovenon17 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I almost feel bad about writing this, since there is enough negativity being spewed out all over the internet already. But I have to say that this series is, so far, the worst sci-fi I've ever seen. Why even make this? Its like the producers of this show lack respect for their audience. I can almost hear them telling themselves "Wow, this really sucks! But those nerds will just gobble up anything we serve them anyway, so screw it". Everything about this show is mediocre at best. The makeup is ludicrous. The script seems to be written by a second rate sci-fi hack. The concepts introduced in the pilot are confusing and shallow. Most of the alien races act mostly like humans, except for the fact that they are quite obviously wearing make up and prosthetics, and speak cringe worthy made up languages. Its not that the make up is bad, really. Its just so obvious. Some of the actors are clearly having trouble acting through it - looks like their faces are being constricted. Editing and continuity suffers throughout the show. The CGI parts don't mesh well at all with the purely live action scenes, and everything feels rushed. Yet it manages to become very boring. Some things are just silly oversights, like in one clip we see snow on the ground, then in the next there is no snow on the ground. In the CGI clips we see lush alien vegetation, yet in the live action parts there is only barren "earth" vegetation. Two things deserve special mention: the CGI and the music. The CGI is lackluster at best, and just terrible in some places. Some console games I've seen look as good as this. It completely ruins the suspension of disbelief. The music is totally embarrassing. In some places they insist on singing in the stupid made up language of the alien race(s). I was forced to mute the sound every time there was singing in order to be able to endure the show. What saddens me is that there were probably some talented and ambitious people involved in the making of this show. There always is - even in bad projects. I hope the mention of this show won't screw up their CVs when it inevitably gets canceled.
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6/10
Cautiously hopeful but less than I had expected
mike-ryan45515 April 2013
I just saw the pilot episode. I am not sold yet on whether it will crash and burn or it will be decent.

Good points: The "many peoples tossed together" idea has been done before but it's a good one. Almost anything is possible.

It's got Rockne S. O'Bannon who was one of the creators of Farscape as a "developer." This is hopeful.

I like the alien wife.

Bad points: The special effects were on a par with SyFy channel TV movies. That's pretty low. If it's a show that depends on crashing and action, they're going to have to up the budget.

I'm not sure on the Romeo and Juliet angle on the two alien kids. That can turn boring really fast.

Could it all gel into something really good? Yes. But I don't see it yet.
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Lets see how this develops
dave15026717 April 2013
OK so there were some dodgy effects, some awful acting, clichéd characters and back stories and at times poor scriptwriting. But having said that, it held my attention for some reason and has the potential to grow on me. This series will live or die on the quality of it's story-telling and inevitably it will have it's hater's and it's liker's. I am reserving my judgement for now to see which group I fall into. Well done though for at least investing in a new sci-fi series. I just hope the writers have the stones to give us something more challenging, intelligent and contemporary than the majority of the drivel on the Syfy channel.
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3/10
It's a Western. Set in a dystopian future.
johnsim24 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Picture a Western where a loaner and his partner walk in to town. They get in to trouble with the local law, and tangles with a corrupt businessman. But somehow becomes the local sheriff when a fight turns nasty.

Sounds familiar doesn't it? Now picture that scenario where Earth has been taken over by aliens and you have Defiance. It's a Western set in the future with the same tried, lame, plots regurgitated.

After the pilot and one episode I'm left asking this questions: Does this work? No. There's no Sci-Fi element. It could be set 200 years ago in the wild west with absolutely no appreciable difference to the story.

There's suggestion of an underlying plot to destroy the town Defiance, so that the ex-mayor can recover some artefact. I guess you should feel some empathy for the characters that they may come to harm, but as much as I want to like Defiance, I really just don't care for it.

UPDATE - I've made it as far as S1E5 (A Well Respected Man). Or more accurately, half way through this episode. So far we have characters that I really didn't care for were in peril. An uninspiring story arc of forbidden teenage love. And a pointless pending power struggle with the corrupt business man for the running of the town Defiance.

Stil lacking in Sci-Fi, and that's me, I'm out. As others have stated it's more a soap opera than a Sci-Fi series. If I can say one thing positive is Stephanie Leonidas and her portrayal of Irisa is the only convincing character in Defiance.
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