Defiance : Season 1

  • Network: Syfy
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 15, 2013
Season #: 1, 2, 3
Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Jeff Jensen
    May 15, 2013
    83
    The individual alien races aren't all that fresh. Yet I am engaged by the show's lively metaphor for a polyglot culture fractured by tribalism and Otherness, for a world that can easily put aside past pain and present differences to tackle a common threat.
  2. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Apr 17, 2013
    70
    There's a lot of genre-bending in this one but some real entertainment value, dramatic potential and, hell, if it can be half of what Battlestar Galactica was, that's a winning combination.
  3. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    Apr 15, 2013
    67
    The pilot is so busy establishing its new world, performances are afterthought generic. But Defiance gets more distinctive, and dramatic, through its next two hour episodes.
  4. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Apr 15, 2013
    80
    Defiance is not just a smart, well-crafted TV show with a good cast and an adventurous flavor, it's also indisputably science fiction, which is a relief.
  5. Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    Apr 15, 2013
    63
    Defiance wants to be that crossover science-fiction show that appeals both to true believers and general audiences. If "Terra Nova," which aimed for that same ground, didn't succeed, I can't see "Defiance" doing it either.
  6. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Apr 15, 2013
    70
    Much of the casting is disappointingly flat, and the character development as shallow as in any video game.... Still, ambition counts for a lot in this expansive genre, and Defiance gets better with each episode.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 266 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 94
  2. Negative: 23 out of 94
  1. Apr 16, 2013
    4
    An amalgam of every overused Sci-Fi and Western trope there is, with a beaten-into-the-ground Shakespearean sub-plot thrown in to poor effect.An amalgam of every overused Sci-Fi and Western trope there is, with a beaten-into-the-ground Shakespearean sub-plot thrown in to poor effect. Overall very little imagination or skill involved in this hamfisted production, surprisingly wooden acting, and often questionable CGI. Might improve, I'm assuming the acting issues are a matter of the actors working things out, but I'm not holding my breath for the poor writing or (barely) two-dimensional characters to go anywhere interesting.

    Watchable, if only just better than the game, at least as things currently stand (not that that's saying much) but surprisingly poor given the names involved and the amount of money that was dumped into it.
    Full Review »
  2. Apr 18, 2013
    8
    It's amazing all the bad reviews I'm reading for this pilot 2-hour episode, because I did not get the same result from it at all.

    1) It is
    It's amazing all the bad reviews I'm reading for this pilot 2-hour episode, because I did not get the same result from it at all.

    1) It is far more believable than all the other cliched shows we've been subject to over the past few years. Getting into a fight with aliens due to xenophobes on either side is believable. The alien ships blowing up but activating their terraforming 'arks' which ravage the land I can accept. Supposedly not having electricity, yet have a working computer miraculously in the house connected to an operational computer network is not.

    2) I play the MMO, and the mission introducing the main two characters is not only fun, but it gives you an added perspective of them for the show. Don't diss the MMO ratings being bad and not trying it to understand more of the world. It's an innovative way in this age to learn backgrounds.

    3) People are complaining about the various tropes. But, look who is involved in creating this show. They created those tropes you are complaining about. Alien Nation, V, Farscape, etc. were all written by, created by, or produced by those involved. It's understandable how these are integrated into the show.

    4) Yes, a lot of Firefly is seen behind this show as well. A lot of people see this as a bad thing, but I'm not one of them. It's obvious the 'backwater' yet advanced planet theme is popular. One thing I can see happening is guest appearances by some of those actors involved in Firefly, or the shows I previously mentioned.

    5) Do you remember Encounter at Farpoint? The Cage? Emissary? Those pilots, when you look back, were not all that good. Costuming was not perfected. Characters were not refined. How long have those three shows lasted? We still have Star Trek the Next Generation, Star Trek the Original Series, and Deep Space 9 in syndication. Though the original only lasted 3 years in actuality, TNG and DS9 each lasted 7 years. The pilots, though bad, did not break them by any means. Go back and watch An Unearthly Child or Edge of Destruction. How long has that series survived, even with 11 different individuals playing the main title role during the series (and more in one shots and movies)?

    Defiance is a show that will grow. It is a show that has better potential than some of the things I've seen renewed out there, and even critically acclaimed. I plan to watch, and I plan to play the game as well.
    Full Review »
  3. Apr 16, 2013
    10
    We may just have a winner here. I see tons of potential in this show. I wasn't "blown away" by the pilot, but I was very entertained andWe may just have a winner here. I see tons of potential in this show. I wasn't "blown away" by the pilot, but I was very entertained and curious to see more after it ended. I'm rating this a 10 to counter the inevitable trolls that will come here and give it a 0 because it's a SyFY show. Full Review »