If you have been following the twitter feed you are probably aware of the recently started television series Defiance. Starting with it’s two-hour pilot here’s our thought’s on what was good, what was bad and what we hope to expect in the future.
Defiance if you happened to miss the memo, is an American-Canadian science fiction television series developed by Universal Cable Productions, in collaboration with Trion Worlds, who are also producing an MMO video game of the same name. Breaking it down to its bare bones it’s the story of an ex soldier and his adopted alien daughter living on earth after a war that began after first contact with extraterrestrials. A war that ended with the permanent changing of the planet by some Terra-forming event during the war. Now you must see how after an armistice the different factions and the races can deal with each other, focused around the town of defiance. If you are not fond of spoilers you should stop here and return once you’ve watched the pilot….
Starting with the beautiful visuals seen in the trailers for defiance and the stellar cast including Stephanie Leonidas, Jaime Murray, Tony Curran, Mia Kirshner as well as others. Defiance had a head start, it seemed that it was going to be fantastic and if the pilot is anything to go by it will be. Tony Curran in and of himself lent instant credibility to the series and as Mr Daytak Tarr (or tik tak toe as he shall be affectionately known) he is a cosmic bad ass and a thoroughly gripping character. The dynamic of the Tarr family versus the McCawleys drives the pilots plot and is a wonderful take on Shakespeare’s Montagues and Capulets all be it with a significant twist.
One thing I find goes in the series favour as well as possibly against it is the more than passing resemblance to other sci-fi, an issue always tackled within the genre. More than others it particularly reminded me of firefly the gritty feel and even the existence of one famous battle that changed the world. In defiance, the aptly name battle of Defiance marked for acts of compassion as Serenity was for acts of horror. It also for me had a splash of The Tribe and Terra Nova, it would seem amongst this heady group of influences a high bar is already set for the series. One must definitely not mistake this to be a condemnation of the series or an indication that it is lacking in originality. To mention but a few aspects the diversity of alien cultures for example the Castithan dancing. As well as things such as the Wolf bugs creatures in forests(very weird-looking) were wholly new and interesting.
I cannot deny that another massive draw for the series for me was Stephanie Leonidas who is playing Irisa Nyira(pictured above with the blade). Harbouring crushes on her since the first time seeing Mirrormask at 15. Luckily she is also a very accomplished actress and only adds to the good in this show including a very cool looking alien make up. We were also pleasantly surprised to see Julie Benz as the new mayor of Defiance, of course memorable for her performance as Darla in Joss Whedon’s Buffy the vampire slayer. Even if it took us a few moments to get through the discontinue of Darla being one of the good guys.
In the pilot among many comedic moments by far the most laugh inducing character was the sassy no-nonsense Doctor Yewell portrayed by Trenna Keating. Her statement “Good Human” after the mayor agrees to do what she says, evoked a chorus of laughter. Other funny moments included the “grass hopper”, kung fu joke by the former mayor (seemingly future baddy). As well as the defeat of the bio-man 2037 model, by hitting an off switch located in its butt (somehow seems even sillier writing that out).
The Old mayor twist at the very end of the pilot caught us off guard and looks set to create an interesting dynamic for the future. Also watching for the second time her supportive words to her replacement seem much more duplicitous. With all that said it seems set to be very good and for us an added bonus of being the first thing we will be watching on a sofa, on an actual television as it comes out, for a very long time.
This is gonna be good….
If you want to find out more information check the links below :
Scyfy website : http://www.syfy.co.uk/defiance
Defiance Tv show/Computer game website : http://www.defiance.com/en/