Defiance is a SyFy original show about a race of aliens who sought refuge on Earth only to accidentally terraform the planet into a whole new, and dangerous world for everyone. The show is set 33 years after the arrival of the aliens where they’re now integrated into the world in a semi-hostile land-share with Humans and newly evolves wildlife.
Defiance is a new city build on the bones of what use to be St.Louis. The city is a (mostly) harmonious blend of “the eight races” suffering from the same power struggles found in most post-apocalyptic rebuilds. Everyone thinks their way is better and everyone wants to seize the next opportunity for power.
Nolan and Irisa are the first of the cast we meet. They’re average grifters looking for a hearty pay day any way they can get it. Irisa, an Irathient, refers to Nolan as her father in the journal but rarely speaks enough to others to divulge anything personal and Nolan, a human, refers to to her as his traveling companion. Nolan is “one of the defiant few” who fought in The Battle of Defiance where soldiers on both sides stopped fighting to save civilians. He eventually divulges the fact to the mayor, explaining that Irisa was an orphan in Denver and he took her in and raised her.
In the pilot we see a number of groups clashing inside and out of Defiance. The Sprint Riders are a wild band of Irathient thugs who run about looting and generally being dickish. The ones with dark hair don’t like the super pales ones, they bald ones are industrious and unassuming, and the large ape-like ones are usually body guards or oh-so-gentle giants.
The set up is interesting but the dynamics and interpersonal conflicts are a bit too … dynamic. There’s a lot to catch up on because we’re just peaking into into a lit of lives already in progress. There’s a mafia and a mine overlord and political strife and Ark falls and one black guy.
Defiance isn’t really about aliens or New Earth or man vs. nature. Defiance is about people and power in the face of limited structure. It’s an interesting lens to look at people and relationships through; part western, part crime noir (Nolan is the quintessential anti-hero) all set in a futuristic post-apocalyptic wonderland.
The show is beautiful and the Pilot takes about an hour to warm up to the major plot point:
It’s good but not amazing. Check out the Defiance pilot for free on defiance.com and if you can sit through it, the show might be for you.