• Network: Syfy
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 15, 2013
Season #: 1, 2, 3
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 264 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 37 out of 264

Review this tv show

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  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 holdingAn 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.
    Expand
  2. 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 6Defiance 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
  3. 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 identicalI 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
  4. May 21, 2013
    5
    The writers of Defiance created a complex and deeply rooted history for the show, which appeals to some and not to others but beyond the history, the stories in the episodes are poorly written. The concept of running an MMORPG along side the series was a brilliant idea but the prices they are charging ruined it. I am left with the feeling that the show itself is an extreme marketingThe writers of Defiance created a complex and deeply rooted history for the show, which appeals to some and not to others but beyond the history, the stories in the episodes are poorly written. The concept of running an MMORPG along side the series was a brilliant idea but the prices they are charging ruined it. I am left with the feeling that the show itself is an extreme marketing campaign to launch the game. Points received is for the complex back story of the show, overall a 5 because the show is second priority. Expand
  5. 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 withI 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. Collapse
  6. Apr 23, 2013
    5
    It has a few good parts, but it is overall slightly boring. It doesn't have the thrills achieved by "The Walking Dead", or the mystery achieved by "Revolution", it just has a few good shooting scenes. It's disappointing, but you should still watch it, at least the pilot.
  7. Apr 16, 2013
    5
    Defiance has a very interesting theme and feel to the show. It starts off attractive then gets completely predictable about a quarter of the way through the 2hr premiere. I was hoping for something jaw-dropping but aside from the creative aspects of the set and costume designs there was really nothing new. I do have to say that I am happy that this show was not like all other SyFy cheeseyDefiance has a very interesting theme and feel to the show. It starts off attractive then gets completely predictable about a quarter of the way through the 2hr premiere. I was hoping for something jaw-dropping but aside from the creative aspects of the set and costume designs there was really nothing new. I do have to say that I am happy that this show was not like all other SyFy cheesey movies especially for the special effects which were also not that bad.

    Defiance's weakest point is on Story. Instead of trying to break new ground to establish a series, the show takes a traditional path similar to recent series with minimal character backgrounds, forced character introductions, and overall no real story arc introduced to add potential longevity for the show to hook audiences on. This seems to be a reoccurring theme in television these days as studios do not want to invest in the long run but rather a brief light show to gather attention. It is no Firefly, Battlestar, or Fallen Skies but maybe a level or two below them like V or Revolution. If this approach is going to be taken at least have 2 or 3 A list actors in there to carry the weight until the show can gain some ground.

    The show has potential though. The set is fantastic and really gives that futuristic world feel (a lot like New Caprica on BSG) and the diverse alien races might add for a Babylon 5 type race theme as the show develops. But the show needs to be bigger than one city. Defiance should mean an overall point to the show not a location (or term from an older war). The show needs to move fast and think big. Utilize the aliens more and get into their backgrounds. We already know what humans are and do so let's see some intergalactic aspects to add better stories and plots to the show.

    It is a decent start but I'm afraid its one that will require a good deal of help in order to stay relevant on Monday nights.
    Expand
  8. 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
    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.....
    Expand
  9. Apr 17, 2013
    5
    Well, i gave a 5, cause i'm not quite sure what to think about it. I found the back story fascinating, with the aliens collective invading earth. However, i found the plot and the characters a bit cliche. Well, I'll see next week if it's a disappointement like Revolution and Terra Nova, or more awesome like Batlestar.
  10. May 8, 2013
    6
    It's not on the same level as Battlestar (yet), hopefully as the actors get to grips with their roles we will see improvement. There are some interesting characters and the show seems to carry the same formula as Battlestar, but lacks the dominating presence of an experienced screen actor like Ed Olmos or Mary McDonnell to carry it.
    Tony Curran and Jaime Murray play the Tarrs fabulously
    It's not on the same level as Battlestar (yet), hopefully as the actors get to grips with their roles we will see improvement. There are some interesting characters and the show seems to carry the same formula as Battlestar, but lacks the dominating presence of an experienced screen actor like Ed Olmos or Mary McDonnell to carry it.
    Tony Curran and Jaime Murray play the Tarrs fabulously in their deliciously machiavellian roles and i hope to see more of this as the story unfolds.
    Stephanie Leonidas is impressive as the sidekick with emotional scars.
    Julie Benz and to a lesser extent Grant Bowler, as the lead characters disappoint and need to step it up in terms of acting. They need some deeper plots with more backstory to build their characters on.
    The Mayor in particular grinds away with a monotonous jibber-jabber which lacks emotional depth.
    I do find myself looking forward to the next episode though, if mainly to see just how devious the Tarrs schemes can be.
    Expand
  11. Jun 12, 2014
    5
    Never had big hopes for this one.Even the first trailers were not that great.The first EP killed the show outright.Realy bad effects!!!I mean REALY BAD effects.Sometimes the visuals looks like they are done from the guys that does the videos in Command and conquer and i mean the first C+C years ago!WTF?The story is....non existent?I dont know, a big storyplot exists somehow but even in theNever had big hopes for this one.Even the first trailers were not that great.The first EP killed the show outright.Realy bad effects!!!I mean REALY BAD effects.Sometimes the visuals looks like they are done from the guys that does the videos in Command and conquer and i mean the first C+C years ago!WTF?The story is....non existent?I dont know, a big storyplot exists somehow but even in the season finale its weak at best.The characters are uninteresting and unsympathic.Nolan is cool but thats it.A big problem is that EVERYBODY is an **** in this show.You dont care who dies or think it was bad that the aliens crashed because all alien are so.....i dont know and i dont care.The hole aliensociety is so unlikeable.That makes it hard to show interest for me, they are like early humans with castes and punishment from hour early times.WTF?I mean that is ok for a species but it makes the show uninteresting.Another problem is the tech they have.So many aliens, no real take.Maybe you can see more of it in season 2 but up to this pont its boring.Even the vulge, what a laugh.Everybody feared them and what?They walked into a cheap trap.This summes up the problem with the show pretty good.The show is brainless. Expand
  12. 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
    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.
    Expand
  13. CFM
    Aug 4, 2013
    5
    Defiance suffers from something that I can't put my finger on? Maybe, is the characters because I don't feel any sympathy or empathy for any of them. Joshua Nolan you don't really care about, the same for Amanda Rosewater, Irisa Nyira is just an annoying little moody Datak Tarr you just want to punch in the face, Stahma Tarr and Kenya Rosewater you just want to see in more lesbian action,Defiance suffers from something that I can't put my finger on? Maybe, is the characters because I don't feel any sympathy or empathy for any of them. Joshua Nolan you don't really care about, the same for Amanda Rosewater, Irisa Nyira is just an annoying little moody Datak Tarr you just want to punch in the face, Stahma Tarr and Kenya Rosewater you just want to see in more lesbian action, and Rafe McCawley is OK. The series is set in the near future, where aliens known collectively as Votans have come to Earth seeking a new home, war, post war need to get on together.

    So what does Defiance lack, characters that you care for and a plot line that will keep your attention. There is glimmers of hope that something sinister is happening, however a few episodes are rather more fillers.

    What concerns me is the character of Irisa Nyira and all the vision 'star trek' type of stuff. It's just pain old boring and been done to death. There is a glimmer of hope but the writers need to up their game.
    Expand
  14. Aug 30, 2013
    6
    I wanted to love this show, but I just like it. Production quality is subpar, but acceptable if the story was better. The premise is good, but the writing is average at best. Some interesting things pop up here and there which keeps me watching, but overall I can fast forward through 40 of the show and not miss much or be surprised by anything I may have missed.
  15. Sep 5, 2014
    4
    I've honestly tried watching this series on several separate occasions over the past two seasons and it just doesn't grab me. I wish I could put a finger on it, other than to say that neither the characters nor the plot lines raise great interest in me. That is a shame because I am usually a big fan of this genre.
  16. Sep 23, 2014
    5
    Maybe it's not the best show in the world. It focuses quite heavily on Sex,and that's for the worse. This is the kind of show that you watch when you're bored and want a semi-interesting thing to watch. Not great,not bad.
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.