• Network: Syfy
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 15, 2013
  • Season #: 1
User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 207 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 32 out of 207

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  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. 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.
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  2. Apr 16, 2013
    3
    Every once in a while a show comes around that you really want to be good. After multiple weeks of advertising from Defiance and trying to be convinced that the game/tv combination was smart, the TV show premiere finally debuts.

    This was a painful two hours with every cliche imaginable taking place throughout the show. I could not agree more that this show underwhelms the viewer to no
    end and pushes back the progress of the scifi genre on tv. Lacks any originality or good storyline and fails to capture the attention of the viewer. I am normally pretty patient with new TV shows, but this once is truly a snoozer. Expand
  3. May 4, 2013
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I gave it a few more episodes. It just seems like sci fi written by an art student (and not a scientifically inclined one). This series has more to do with magic and fantasy than science fiction. Putting boring, barely aliens in bad costumes doesn't make it a sci fi. (Hint for syfy channel: Science makes it a sci fi.)

    Let me point out a few bad science plot holes.

    1. "Killing" futuristic "world destroying" robots with single shots from standard guns ugh, my head hurts

    2. The world destroying robots walk across the ground they dont bother to incorporate flight or any sort of intelligent design into their destroying OK enough about the Vulge

    3. Going to bomb a nuclear reactor under the city in St. Louis to destroy Defiance... OK, well we get down there and its obviously abandoned. Any person who should be writing for a science fiction feature show should know that if that reactor wasn't shut down properly (all material taken off site) it would have melted down long ago and those idiots going caving would have received a lethal dose of radiation. The cooling ponds would be evaporated. It would make Fukishima look like a malfunction with your microwave.

    4. Hellbugs omg dont even get me started. I felt embarrassed for the whole production while watching that.

    5. Why/How is the famous arch above ground while the city is apparently buried far beneath? Right, it was thrust up or something during a terraforming incident.

    6. Why is everyone so darn backward? We have, what, 7 different alien life forms and the best technology they [combined] have come up with for everyday life is go karts, poorly designed handguns (big too look cool hehe), lightsaber/lightknives, and hot tubs. None of these idiots know how to make a spacecraft to salvage wreckage in orbit? 7 independently intelligent aliens and they all have the technological understanding of 1980s humans.

    7. The ugly runty girl main character alien has "the site(sight? oh wait who cares)" she done been touched by the gods /facepalm

    8. The head villain was driving a 1970 Chrysler Lebaron in 2046 no I made that up it was actually uglier and dumber than that

    9. Lawkeeper

    10. Lawkeeper

    11. Lawkeeper... this one word summarizes the whole shebang. Idiotic, tryhard, duhhhhhhhhhhhh......

    12. Lawkeeper
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  4. Apr 23, 2013
    1
    Just when you thought nothing could be worse than 'Revolution', this show pops up. Bad acting, bad writing, just about everything here is bad, it looks too forced and fake and it tries to be smart when it clearly isn't.
  5. Apr 17, 2013
    0
    Atrocious, boring and devoid of any moral content oder suspense. The characters try to be cool but end up shallow and unsympathetic, the aliens look worse then Star Trek's Next Generation ever did, and the special effects look like they're done by low end low wagers on machines from ten years ago.

    Had high hopes for this, not even gonna buy the game now, although I was gonna after
    seeing a Let's play. Expand
  6. Apr 19, 2013
    0
    This series is just horrible. The plot is brainless, the acting is lousy and the props are even worse. The 1980s just called. They want their B-Movie story back. The 1990s called, too. They want their special effects back. Nothing in this show makes sense, the characters are just horribly played and the design of the aliens is so stupid it makes the worst parts of Star Trek look good. I usually give 1 point for trying, but this show does not even deserve that much. Expand
  7. Apr 20, 2013
    4
    I came to this show with an open mind and was actually hoping it might sate my hunger for a new sci-fi show. In short ...it doesn't. The main character, Nolan, is just another cliched, "tough as nails", wise cracking, out for himself (but not really), instantly forgettable sci-fi hero. Most of the alien races are extremely uninspired creations, who appear to have identical motivations/ethos/syntax to humans. The effects fluctuate between passable and terrible, the plot thus far seems paper thin and any moments of drama are lessened by the fact that it is difficult to feel anything for the one dimensional characters. The contrived mashing of genres (Western/post-apocalypse survivalism/low tech futurism) simply does not work and the whole thing feels stitched together. So it seems that Defiance is another lesson in how not to do sci-fi, and another disappointment for this jaded science fiction fan. Expand
  8. Apr 22, 2013
    3
    I realy wanted this show to be good but it unfortunatly turned out to be a disgrace to the whole sci-fi genre, despite good performances of the actors. The plot and presentation of the show simply can't interest anybody above the age of 3, this is destined to fail.
  9. Apr 29, 2013
    1
    I really wanted to like this show...I gave it 2 shows but I can't watch it anymore. It is just terrible. Boring, slow plot lines. Too many cliches and annoying characters. Cheesy graphics. So-so acting. This isn't going anywhere. Surprised by the 7.3 user score average...not sure what they are all watching must be a different show.
  10. Apr 19, 2013
    0
    I'm shocked by the production quality of this thing. Visually it's inconsistent, troubled by really, really bad special effects (some indie pc-games from 2005 have better cut-scenes than some of the renderings!). Whenever they have green-screened something it really shows. The character are flat and act without any motivation that is born out of the scene or the overall plot. All the clothing doesn't make sense, everything is much too clean. The characters are flat in the sense that they are cheap mixes of old cliche that don't even get properly introduced or established. Main-Character-Cool-Guy whose name is hard to catch (as are the names of most characters because they are all incredibly unremarkable people) acts irrational most of the time and spews his pseudo-cool one-liners in situations where they really don't belong. The plot is hard to follow. The Aliens, which are an important part of the series, are boring and consist mostly of staple "mostly like humans"-creatures that don't even ACT alien. The action suffers from bad cutting and bad lightning. It's much too fast and hard to see.
    All in all I'm truly shocked how bad this is. I expected science-fiction. It was neither good "science" nor good "fiction" and visually unappalling.
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  11. Apr 17, 2013
    4
    A Show based on a game! A Show based on a bad game? YUP But is it still good? NOP

    The characters are ok, they are pretty cool and have some interesting things, the show isn't really eye opening or anything, atleast it gets the sci fi part right, it also sort of combines something like a western town or somethign idk. It reminds me of some great shows (firefly, battlestar...n00b if you
    don't know what those are) but it really isn't any better than the game, sure it was new for combining it with a game and it got me real excited, i was really hoping this would be good, and i was severly disapointed, now if you excuse me, i'm going to go poop, if you really like scyfy, and defiance, than go right ahead and watch this..... Collapse
  12. May 6, 2013
    2
    I remember this show! But when did the aliens grow hair? They used to be bald, with spotted scalps, and didn't this used to be called Alien Nation? And what's with the post-apocalyptic Western lawman cowboys and shamans culture clash meets bratty adopted struggling to assimilate teenager theme? Can we mix and mangle a few more cliches in there? I'm sure the writers missed at least one or two. Okay, Defiance is honestly not terrible, but it's honestly not terribly good, either. Better than Revolution but nothing memorable. This is probably because in spite of a colorful splatter of gore and an amusing scene involving the safe word calamari (don't ask), Defiance is about as edgy as a plastic spoon. Expand
  13. May 15, 2013
    1
    The show is terrible and the language is embarrassing to hear them use. They say words like "SHTAKO" and to also hear the humans say it, well its just embarrassing. The aliens look
    bad effects also bad and acting horrible. I would recommend not watching this show cant believe it
    got a offer for season 2 already.wow
  14. May 22, 2013
    4
    Defiance has a lot of potential and it looks like Syfy is really trying to promote this show, its already green-lit for a second season! But even with all the potential in the world Defiance feels flat, tossed up, unoriginal, and boring. The Pilot surprised me, even with its clear short comings, but I would go as far to say that the Pilot is probably the best episode so far out of the 6 that have aired. For me, the show is loosing a lot of steam and its steam that it never really had. The alien races feel very unoriginal and arent even interesting, they come off looking very odd and funny. The acting is below average, I feel like the man guy is the only actor who feels comfortable in the show. Defiance is episodic, meaning you dont really need to watch the episode before to understand the one your watching. I kept on giving Defiance a chance and after 6 episodes, I am now officially dropping the show. Defiance is a chore to watch and is only worth your time if you like cheap Syfy. Expand
  15. May 14, 2013
    4
    I don't like it. It feels very cheap, lazy and forgettable. As an idea the potential for the story is immense, but is squandered on shallow and contrived plots that put Lost to shame. The aliens are, for lack of a better word, silly and uninteresting, while the visual effects only go further to cheapen the whole ensemble. I think its creators tried very hard to make it into "Firefly with Aliens" but they failed at every junction. What bugs me the most is that, better shows have been cancelled, but this "THING" gets renewed for a second season. Really? It's so redundant, it's embarrassing. Expand
  16. May 11, 2013
    2
    Why only 2? Because this show has NICE SFX, AND NOTHING MORE. The acting is bad, the STORY is NOT GOOD. I felt that the budget was short and that they couldn't show more of the main town.
    LIGHT SPOILER A guy gets murdered in front of a police station where a few scenes just got shot. Couldn't they film that elsewhere? It really seemed short.
    THIS IS LAZY, confusing and badly executed.
    The alien design is weak, the makeup is as horrible as the costumes. Nothing is worth your time. I hope I saved someone's money & time.
    = I dis-recommend this TV show. It's awful.
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  17. May 16, 2013
    1
    The 1st episode had promise but since then the story is the same as all others 2 families that hate each other, A daughter in love with the son of the hated family. Then bikers who don't want to be part of the community. Then 2 people of different races making love. I'm not talking alien races here either! I have watched my last Defiance show. It sucks that much, I can't believe it was picked up for a 2nd season!! Expand
  18. May 26, 2013
    4
    I thought the pilot was okay. Good introduction to the characters, some action. A bit of story. But it was after the pilot that the series started to fall down for me. The special effects are really bad.. I'm not sure who they hired to do them but they just like the Sharktopolus ones and things they use in their other homemade movies (SyFy).

    The characters are wooden (the Mayor) or tend
    to overact in their character roles (the 'wildchild' alien girl) which makes it hard to take any of them seriously or care about them. The most interesting person on the show isn't even shown that much; the 'old mayor' who has done a lot of impressive movie credits to her resume. I wish it was more centered around her than the boring young mayor. The plots so far a a little unbelievable, but it's sci-fi stuff so one can make allowances. I really like the Castithan main badguy the best, he seems to be the best actor of the bunch and fits well in his skin as a believable alien and general bad-ass.

    The season finale was horrible (story wise). I find it utterly ridiculous that based on the past relationship between the Lawkeeper and the bounty hunter, that:

    1) The Lawkeeper would act so.. formal.. in regards to helping a long lost buddy earn LAWFUL money. Especially one who did as great a deed for him and the girl as we find out later.

    2) After above said history and acts, that the bounty hunter would willingly volunteer to do what he did... again.. under ANY circumstances. I'm not saying what exactly happened in case someone wants to see it later, but just think how humans would act/react in this situation and you see it makes absolutely NO SENSE as a final plotline. I actually found it insulting as a viewer that they think I'd believe something like that was actually possible.

    There are many other problems I had with this show, mostly agreeing with the below reviews assessments on where this series falls down. There are good points to this show as I mentioned and I LOVE that it's a new sci-fi show and not another boring drama or sitcom type thing.

    But this show is about as deep as the child's wading pool at your local swimming spot. The cheapness of the set design (looks like it was filmed in someone's parking lot) is apparent.

    I give it a 4 based simply because it's sci-fi and sometimes even bad sci-fi (like this is), is better than average reality shows or dramas.

    And don't get me started on the videogame version of this show. The only worse than the 4 I'm giving the show is the 2 I'm giving the broken down, buggy, on again/off again access, low content and hardly inspiring game called "Defiance" which they are selling for a laughingly low price of... $60 American dollars.
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  19. Jun 5, 2013
    2
    I watched four episodes and I really tried to like it. The premise of multiple alien species living with humans sounded like it could be solid, provided it was done right. It wasn't. The writing is sloppy and inconsistent. Also it's riddled with cliches (girl loves boy daddy disapproves of, daddy threatens to kill boy... bleh). With a few exceptions, the acting is bad. It is simply a show with cliche plot lines and sub-par acting. It's a shame, because the backstory of the aliens coming to earth did intrigue me. Outside of the second half of the first episode, I have been vastly underwhelmed. Also, the alien designs aren't anything special, but I could overlook that if the story was actually anything of substance. Wouldn't recommend the show to anyone. Expand
  20. Jun 17, 2013
    3
    Absolutely terrible. I love a good sci-fi, I love Mia Kershner, I love Julie Benz, but this is absolutely horrible. Cliché-filled and obvious, the only reason that this gets a three from me is because the songs at the end are brilliant covers and the music in general is great.
  21. Jul 7, 2013
    3
    This show is pretty bad. I've watched a lot of scifi and seen a lot come and go and many series better than this have gone. This is like Firefly minus the good acting and CGI(even though its 10 years later and the CGI should be massively better.)
    It seems most good reviews are from players of the game who invested $60 and don't want to admit they bought a turd, so they try to polish it.


    I gave it a chance, but the acting, the short bus special effects, and the writing with no real direction is just plain junk. Makes me angry actually because much better shows were canceled. SG1, SGU, Farscape, and many others were far superior to this.

    Played the game as well and it is a train wreck of bad graphics and junk servers.
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  22. Jul 9, 2013
    0
    we all know the show is over period not one show has lasted through a year of silence it will become a mute show. too bad i liked this one, now theres no reason to watch it they killed it real quick kinda stinks...
  23. Mar 10, 2014
    3
    So far i'm on episode 7 of the first season. All the negative reviewers are basically correct, this is some tired sci-fi with sub-par CGI, writing, and acting.

    I wish HBO would make a sci-fi series, it would adjust the quality baseline for the sci-fi genre on TV, its very weak across the board as it stands now.
  24. Apr 6, 2014
    3
    Dreadful, cliche-ridden writing gives even the actors who aren't phoning it in very little to do but show up and play archetypes. We've got the Han Solo "rogue with a heart of gold" who comes across as an insufferably cocky lout because there's no lurking humanity under the swagger. We have the "ambitious, self-made man and his Lady MacBeth wife" who might as well be twirling matching Snidely Whiplash moustaches for all the nuance their storyline musters. You've got the "Romeo and Juliet" story played completely straight, where neither Romeo nor Juliet has any characterization beyond "in love" and "amazingly credulous." Basically, you've seen it all before (done better), and the show is so hamfisted that any viewer with even a passing familiarity with basic sci/fi tropes should be able to watch the first 30 seconds of any scene and skip to the next, accurately predicting everything else that will occur.

    So I suppose it would be a quick watch, at least.
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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: Bruce Miller
    May 29, 2013
    60
    Moments in the first episode suggest Defiance could be filled with the kind of minutiae "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" fans love. But its plot is so thin it could float away.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.