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

Generally favorable reviews- based on 246 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 34 out of 246

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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 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.
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  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 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'
    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.
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  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 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.
  4. 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
    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.
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  5. 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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  6. Apr 16, 2013
    8
    Wow! Syfy channel has a hit. This show nails it for sci-fi fans like nothing since Battlestar Galactica. The characters are diverse and interesting, always looking out for their own interests. The terraformed Earth is fantastic and reminds me of the Borderlands game. It's a simple enough story. It's Gunsmoke with space ships and lasers. Same as the ill-fated Firefly. The cast is packedWow! Syfy channel has a hit. This show nails it for sci-fi fans like nothing since Battlestar Galactica. The characters are diverse and interesting, always looking out for their own interests. The terraformed Earth is fantastic and reminds me of the Borderlands game. It's a simple enough story. It's Gunsmoke with space ships and lasers. Same as the ill-fated Firefly. The cast is packed full of hotties so it's even enjoyable with the sound off. But then you wouldn't hear Julie Benz's seet voice. I'm looking forward to more of this series and I expect it will keep rocking the house. Good job Universal Cable Productions. Expand
  7. 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
    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.
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  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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. IThis 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
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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  15. 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.....
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  16. 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 theI'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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  17. Apr 22, 2013
    10
    I love the sheer potential of the show, and I love same about the game. I'm happy someone has the balls to try something fresh and special. I've had a blast so far, please keep 'em coming! TV/game crossovers seem to be our future and a bright one at that. Great job!
  18. 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.
  19. Apr 16, 2013
    9
    Pretty damn good so far for a science fiction series. I agree with the first review, the characters are diverse and deep. Only gave it a 9 because I thought if one of the races is synthetic, I would presume they would be less emotional. Good acting and a believable script make it enjoyable to watch if you love scifi.
  20. Apr 16, 2013
    9
    It's been a while since I've been this excited about a show coming out on the SyFy Channel.The introduction of so many characters in the pilot episode sets the stage for some potentially great story archs for the future of the series. The special effects in the show were not the best, but they did the job fairly well. When the pilot episode ended I was left excited for more.
  21. Apr 18, 2013
    10
    This show has so much potential.. it's mind numbing. Mix my two favourite genres (western/science fiction), add a splash of GoT (character deep development multiple story arcs) and add a pinch of 'Firefly' with a hint of 'The Wire' and you get Defiance.

    If that doesn't convince you to watch this show, then I don't know what will.

    10/10 Science Fiction back on Syfy.

    fin.
  22. Jun 1, 2013
    9
    My opinion on this show has changed.
    After Episode one you will see this shows improvement big time. OF coruse it's got some cheesy scyfy graphics still, but I recommend this show to everyone.
    The acting has improved just from one episode too! Awesome acting by Irisa's actress and Nolans!
  23. 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 oneI 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
  26. Apr 16, 2013
    9
    Defiance was executed very well in terms of story line interacting between both the show and the game, that is after all what they are trying to accomplish. The visuals were stunning, and the plot sets up an exciting future and leaves you wondering what will happen in future episodes. Being a player of the game, I understood probably more than the group that will only watch the show.Defiance was executed very well in terms of story line interacting between both the show and the game, that is after all what they are trying to accomplish. The visuals were stunning, and the plot sets up an exciting future and leaves you wondering what will happen in future episodes. Being a player of the game, I understood probably more than the group that will only watch the show. Although it is not necessary to play the game, I understood where the crystal in the beginning game from, and when they mentioned the "99ers", i knew they were a cybernetic race 80% cyborg, 20% human. Also the future of the show may include an item called the "Ark Core" which you are in search of in the game, and could very well change the power source of many things to come in the town. The show may not implement any extremely new ideas, but for what it is, I believe it is presented flawlessly. Defiance is worth a watch, it's up to you if you decide to keep watching, but don't let this series pass you by because some snooty critics who only appreciate specific types of shows. If you enjoy Syfy originals with great visuals, lots of actions, and a deep story, Defiance is for you. Expand
  27. Apr 16, 2013
    10
    The fastest 2 hours ever. From the beginning till the end it kept me busy. Sci-Fi fans have all right to be EXTREMELY excited about this show! Defiance is the show I've been waiting for.
  28. Apr 16, 2013
    10
    Finally Syfy came back with a hit! Since Stargate i didn't enjoyed in something that they made! Next week i'm watching Syfy Effects can be a litlle more better but they are not so important to the story!
  29. Apr 16, 2013
    10
    While many believe this show to be a snoozer, I believe this is the return of a much-missed Sci-Fi genre. Instantly nostalgic Firefly-type character drama comes to mind. Nolan is just as charming as Captain Malcolm Reynolds in an outlaw-ish way. The emotional rattling that series like Battlestar Galactica provided with themes like survival of humanity. The show also borrows a lot fromWhile many believe this show to be a snoozer, I believe this is the return of a much-missed Sci-Fi genre. Instantly nostalgic Firefly-type character drama comes to mind. Nolan is just as charming as Captain Malcolm Reynolds in an outlaw-ish way. The emotional rattling that series like Battlestar Galactica provided with themes like survival of humanity. The show also borrows a lot from wasteland tales such as the Fallout series, which is always a plus in my books. While the show follows some established tropes, they help to make the sure instantly relatable. I sure hope Defiance stays defiant. Expand
  30. Apr 16, 2013
    9
    My son and I had the DVR set and had been looking forward to this premier for weeks. I was disappointed to see the initial low scores on Metacritic. Tonight, my wife, son, and I got cozy on the couch with high hopes and low expectations. Our eyes were glued to the TV for the next two hours. We loved it! I don't understand the complaints about it being boring. I didn't experience that atMy son and I had the DVR set and had been looking forward to this premier for weeks. I was disappointed to see the initial low scores on Metacritic. Tonight, my wife, son, and I got cozy on the couch with high hopes and low expectations. Our eyes were glued to the TV for the next two hours. We loved it! I don't understand the complaints about it being boring. I didn't experience that at all. Sure it was a bit cheesy and predictable at times, but overall, it was a really satisfying sci-fi drama. We all agreed it was much better than the very disappointing Revolution. We can't wait for the next episode! Expand
  31. 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.
  32. Apr 18, 2013
    9
    with the heiring of defiance i believe Syfy finally has the new flagship series they have been waiting for. most of what we have seen from Syfy in the last few years has been lackluster at best, but i think Defiance can breathe new life into this channel and maybe even the genre as a whole. with so much advertising and the huge 2.7+million viewers the pilot brought in it is no surprisewith the heiring of defiance i believe Syfy finally has the new flagship series they have been waiting for. most of what we have seen from Syfy in the last few years has been lackluster at best, but i think Defiance can breathe new life into this channel and maybe even the genre as a whole. with so much advertising and the huge 2.7+million viewers the pilot brought in it is no surprise this series has been met with mixed reviews, but i feel much of the hate is misplaced. i personally found the whole universe the writers made to be absolutely fascinating and full of potential. i also loved the main characters, especially the chemistry between Nolan and Irisa and their unusual relationship. id have to say Irisa is my favorite character and will definitely stay that way. she is just so enigmatic and complex, i want to know more about her and her past. i also like Tommy, he reminds me of myself in a lot of ways. overall i think Defiance is a diamond in the rough that Syfy needs to continue with. the potential of the show is near limitless. Expand
  33. Apr 24, 2013
    10
    I would call this the sci fi Game of Thrones. In a world where most sci fi shows keep getting canceled im glad to see that they still try to go big even in the fear of failure. Giving it a chance and loving it so far
  34. Apr 17, 2013
    7
    This show has great potential. It has a compelling setting, gorgeous visuals, and it did a pretty decent job of setting up the necessary drama to keep us coming back. It has the typical pilot episode problems. The characters are thin, the actors are still feeling out how to play their characters, and how they interact and relate to each other. The thing I liked the best is that theyThis show has great potential. It has a compelling setting, gorgeous visuals, and it did a pretty decent job of setting up the necessary drama to keep us coming back. It has the typical pilot episode problems. The characters are thin, the actors are still feeling out how to play their characters, and how they interact and relate to each other. The thing I liked the best is that they did not try and spoon feed the back story to us in the first episode. They use lingo and refer to events that we have absolutely no context for. This helps us build the curiosity necessary to keep coming back. Expand
  35. Apr 22, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Defiance kicks off with a scene the evokes memories of the final series of Fringe. If you watched that series and I say the scene in the park with observers you will know what I mean. The scene shows the arrival of the Votans, a collection of alien races who have travelled to earth after their own home was destroyed. Although we do not see it on screen (fingers crossed for flashbacks) we learn that there was war after the aliens arrival. We then skip forward decades later after war and terraforming have completely changed the planet. It is here we meet Nolan (Grant Bowler), an ex solider who fought in the war against the Votans and his daughter Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas). The pair make a living as Ark hunters, retrieving lost relics of advanced or alien origin for cash. It’s a shame that we only get a glimpse of this side of Nolan as there was definitely a bit of an Indy Jones vibe to the job and Nolan filled the hard done by adventurer role quite nicely in his intro scene.

    After their latest ark hunting mission goes awry Nolan and Irisa end up in a settlement known as Defiance and that’s where things really start to go wrong for the pair.

    With its Sci-fi meets western theme, with a scoundrel set in the central role, it’s hard not to think of shows like Firefly or a film like Stars Wars. Any familiarity with these well worn themes and situations will probably mean that you will spot most of the dialogue and plot developments in Defiance coming a mile off. The characters, in this opening episode, read like a who’s who of walking cliches’

    The scoundrel who, when push comes to shove, will do the right thing.

    The pair of star crossed lovers.

    The shady businessman who runs all the gambling and dodgy goings on who has designs on controlling the town.

    The sassy prostitute with the heart of gold who runs the local whorehouse.

    The young and inexperienced Deputy.

    The inexperience leader who must rally her people.

    The old and experienced Sheriff…sorry Lawkeeper.

    In fact in one scene with Nolan and Amanda Rosewater (Julie Benz) Mayor of Defiance ,set before the final climatic battle, you could easy replace them for Princess Leia and Han Solo just before the attack on the Death Star.

    All this may sound like I hated the show but I didn’t. I can be forgiving of cliches if the characters are solid or at least entertaining and the show’s two main characters Nolan and Irisa were very entertaining to watch. Nolan is both a bad ass and a likeable character, who you want to root for. There are times feels like the writers have tried to merge a mixture of Mal Reynolds and Han Solo to create Nolan. The problem is when this is forced too much through the dialogue the effect can be jarring with some of the one liners missing their mark. However it’s the moments where Nolan is allowed to come into his own that outweighes his cliche beginnings. There’s a small scene in which a particular relationship is revealed to Nolan. The look on his face as he works out all the possibilities is hilarious. The same can also be said for Irisa who also gets a few of her own golden moments. One of these moments is shared by the town’s deputy who hits back with a brilliant put down line. Also I have to give a mention of the alien Doctor who also got a few nice lines in. Primarily though it is Nolan and Irisa and their interactions with each other and the other townsfolk of Defiance that saved this first episode for me. I hope that in future episodes I will find more to like about the other characters.

    Bear Mcceary provides the musical score as always excels himself and as someone who is a huge fan of his music I would keep watching just to hear what he’s got in store for the rest of the series.

    There’s a very nice climatic battle at the end of the pilot although it would have been nice to get a little more background on the enemy as it felt a little rushed. I’m guessed the reason for this is the connection to the overall mystery that we are left with by the end of the pilot episode. It is intriguing (along with a nice twist) and I’ll be interested to see just how that story arc unfolds.

    The effects are solid and with the opening scene and final battle being among my favourites. Also mention must be given to some of the make up on with different aliens races…one of the potential strengths of the show is getting to know the these different races and how they interact.

    There’s a lot of world building going on in this episode but there’s till a lot of unanswered questions about this new earth and its inhabitants that will hopefully be revealed over the course of this first season. It’s a wise move not to give you all the answers in one episode as it could have felt like one massive information dump.
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  36. Apr 23, 2013
    10
    Ever since Syfy butchered the Stargate Franchise with Universe, I have kept a long distance from any show on the network. My roommate pointed this show out to me, and was thoroughly impressed with the premise, universe, and overall feel of the series. As a pilot I have to be fair to look at it as a pilot. I took the liberty of watching the pilots of my favorite franchises to fairlyEver since Syfy butchered the Stargate Franchise with Universe, I have kept a long distance from any show on the network. My roommate pointed this show out to me, and was thoroughly impressed with the premise, universe, and overall feel of the series. As a pilot I have to be fair to look at it as a pilot. I took the liberty of watching the pilots of my favorite franchises to fairly compare this show to other franchises:

    1: Star Trek (TOS, TNG, DS9, VGR, ENT) All 5 of these shows had weak pilots compared to the strength of themselves as a series when they ended their runs. I'll never forget hating the DS9 premier so much as a young teenager, it took 4 years for me to return to the series.

    2. Stargate SG-1/Atlantis Both shows had relatively mediocre plots and seemed very overly campy for my tastes. Atlantis I didn't resume watching until the end of the first season because I felt so indifferent towards the season opener, and although I did not catch the SG-1 premier until many years later, it is among the strongest of the showings I have seen in the premier department. I didn't mention Universe on purpose.

    3. Smallville VERY weak pilot, honestly the entire first season pretty much served as the pilot. The show didn't really find its footing until the second season. It lasted 10.

    4. Firefly Strong pilot, victim of Fox, enough said here

    This show has a likable cast, a strong underplot involving the former mayor, and most of all a vast expansive believable universe. It employs all of the things I enjoyed about Deep Space 9, Firefly, and Stargate SG-1. In an entertainment world where things are very rarely original, the premise of this show is one of the best I've seen since Firefly, beating other shows now considerably established by a long shot in both strength and viability at this early stage.
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  37. Apr 23, 2013
    9
    Complex characters and an intriguing plot combine to deliver and engaging, and entertaining experience. Rife with sci fi themes and pulls any fan of sci fantasy right in with its strong post apocalyptic influence. The show's principle character, Josh Nolan, brings that cool and demeanor and presents a persona akin to such iconic favorites as Han Solo.
  38. Apr 25, 2013
    9
    I've enjoyed the first two episodes tremendously and believe there is a lot of promise. As with most pilots, the first episode is heavy with character introductions and scene setting, but the second episode showed a lot more nuance and intrigue.

    The acting was excellent (primarily due to superb casting), and the characters are sketched on broad canvases with plenty of room for depth
    I've enjoyed the first two episodes tremendously and believe there is a lot of promise. As with most pilots, the first episode is heavy with character introductions and scene setting, but the second episode showed a lot more nuance and intrigue.

    The acting was excellent (primarily due to superb casting), and the characters are sketched on broad canvases with plenty of room for depth and detail, which I expect will be filled very quickly.

    The writers have drawn up an intriguing universe that gives them plenty of options for storytelling and theme development. I enjoyed the second episode's emphasis on the cultural/religious conflicts between the Casthi, on the one hand, and the Irathi and Humans, on the other, and I look forward to more of the same--though it did get a little heavy handed at times. (I don't deduct points for lack of subtlety at this point--subtlety is hard to find in the first several episodes of any new show, especially one so ambitious).

    Overall, I expect Defiance will dutifully fill the void in the hard core science fiction genre left with Stargate having ended its run and Star Trek currently absent from television.
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  39. 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. Expand
  40. Jun 17, 2013
    10
    The rating on this comment only follows by the pilot. The pilot, wow. It just blew me away. It had so much stuff going on, invasions, introducing clans, adventurous journeys, goals to where they will be in the future, a new team assembling in the middle of a war, sticking by your clan, a cliffhanger at the end, a romantic gesture, cook science fictional weapons. It was one of the bestThe rating on this comment only follows by the pilot. The pilot, wow. It just blew me away. It had so much stuff going on, invasions, introducing clans, adventurous journeys, goals to where they will be in the future, a new team assembling in the middle of a war, sticking by your clan, a cliffhanger at the end, a romantic gesture, cook science fictional weapons. It was one of the best pilots I've ever seen. And now I'm in episode 8 and I would give it a 3 because that's how much downhill it goes from the pilot. It had nothing ever to do with it except the love gestures well one of them... It got much more boring. If I could rate the whole season it would be a 4 and all the four would go to the genius pilot. Did like any writer or some something die from the pilot or did he she get fired? Something went wrong. Expand
  41. Jun 18, 2013
    10
    It's not a brand new idea, but it *is* a great story and well done retooling of older ideas. Sci-Fi really seem to have finally got one right with this show, it's fun, the characters and their relationships are interesting and the story is good enough to keep you waiting for the next show, with enough 'one episode' plot like the old ST: TNG show but also a deeper underlying story thatIt's not a brand new idea, but it *is* a great story and well done retooling of older ideas. Sci-Fi really seem to have finally got one right with this show, it's fun, the characters and their relationships are interesting and the story is good enough to keep you waiting for the next show, with enough 'one episode' plot like the old ST: TNG show but also a deeper underlying story that carries on from episode to episode. Well worth watching and hopefully it will just get better. Expand
  42. Jun 20, 2013
    8
    I am very surprised by all of the bad reviews. I was really surprised by how good the show was. I honestly liked it better than The Walking Dead. The character development is amazing, great lore, and always keeps me coming back for more.
  43. Apr 18, 2013
    8
    I'm not much of a big sci-fi fan but this show is beginning to turn me into one. "Defiance" is well written, fast-paced, action-packed, and has great performances from the cast. The show's plot is very intriguing and the script has a sense of humor on it which definitely works for me. Unfortunately, I find the atmosphere a little bit sloppy yet the effects are still great. I just hopeI'm not much of a big sci-fi fan but this show is beginning to turn me into one. "Defiance" is well written, fast-paced, action-packed, and has great performances from the cast. The show's plot is very intriguing and the script has a sense of humor on it which definitely works for me. Unfortunately, I find the atmosphere a little bit sloppy yet the effects are still great. I just hope they'll improve this problem in further episodes. But still, I'm excited too see where the show will take us. Expand
  44. Apr 18, 2013
    8
    The story and science fiction of the show are not of any major concern, although some background information is lacking(why did everyone decide to go to war and almost destroy each other, why are the so many alien species all in one area of space, why are these (ships?) coming down from the sky, why are their (power sources?) so valuable?).
    However what's mostly lacking, are some
    The story and science fiction of the show are not of any major concern, although some background information is lacking(why did everyone decide to go to war and almost destroy each other, why are the so many alien species all in one area of space, why are these (ships?) coming down from the sky, why are their (power sources?) so valuable?).
    However what's mostly lacking, are some interesting and genuine characters. I could predict almost all of the characters' lines with no surprise at all. I know they're not developed yet, but the characters need much improvement. Without this aspect being corrected, the show is bound to fail.
    7.5/10
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  45. Apr 22, 2013
    8
    There's many things to be said about this show but this isn't the place. The first point that needs to be said is that this show is definitely not starting with a mind-blowing, revolutionary pilot that foreshadows an amazing show as with something like the Walking Dead but it is interesting and definitely not bad. Immediately, it's obvious that effort is being put into making this showThere's many things to be said about this show but this isn't the place. The first point that needs to be said is that this show is definitely not starting with a mind-blowing, revolutionary pilot that foreshadows an amazing show as with something like the Walking Dead but it is interesting and definitely not bad. Immediately, it's obvious that effort is being put into making this show work. Character make up, effects, etc. are all made with an intent to create a story and background to help give the show some ground. Where it falls flat, in my opinion, is that there are many cliches in the characters as well as some weird acting; the characters don't all seem to believe the universe they are in exists and it can detract from the atmosphere the show is genuinely trying to build for it's audience. At some points, the story is a little predictable as well as the lines of a few characters that are supposed to be "main" but overall the mystery that it needs to be interesting is there and has potential to evolve and become better as the show goes on. Overall, entertaining pilot and looking forward to the rest of the season. More Sci-Fi is never a bad thing, only something that, as a fan, anyone should try to appreciate or give credit where credit is due. Expand
  46. Apr 24, 2013
    9
    An extreme attention to detail and lots of love for all the little things. They have set the frame for an amazing show, but still need to have the characters build a bit more of a personality. Game of Thrones suffered from the same problems in its early days, with the many characters getting so little screen time that they took time to evolve into something more than "elder brother,An extreme attention to detail and lots of love for all the little things. They have set the frame for an amazing show, but still need to have the characters build a bit more of a personality. Game of Thrones suffered from the same problems in its early days, with the many characters getting so little screen time that they took time to evolve into something more than "elder brother, younger brother, bastard".

    Its worth noting though, that while Game of Thrones benefitted from people having read the book (as most reviewers seemed to have), Defiance aims to get the same exposition through the game (which reviewers have generally not played). In the same way, those who play the MMO will be forming the core fanbase for the show for some time to come.
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  47. Apr 29, 2013
    10
    The pilot had me hooked, the second episode not so much. But it has a lot of potential so heres to my hope it will end up good. Previews for more episodes do make it look like the conflicts from the game will be brought to life in an amazing way, I can tell it has a deep universe I just hope they can dish it out.
  48. Apr 30, 2013
    9
    Bear with me, I've been waiting since the cancellation of Farscape to be able to say these things about a sci fi, so this is going to be big.

    This is the quintessential sci fi, which perfectly blends every loveable cliche into one distinct show. If you're idea of sci fi is limited to Firefly and the new BSG, you're probably going to find it unoriginal and awkwardly bad, but if you've
    Bear with me, I've been waiting since the cancellation of Farscape to be able to say these things about a sci fi, so this is going to be big.

    This is the quintessential sci fi, which perfectly blends every loveable cliche into one distinct show. If you're idea of sci fi is limited to Firefly and the new BSG, you're probably going to find it unoriginal and awkwardly bad, but if you've immersed yourself in OL, Lost in Space, Star Trek, B5, Farscape, Sliders and other campy yet colorful shows, you're going to love the classical sci fi flair this show brings back to the table. It's not meant to be innovative beyond its (yet to be seen) connection to the game, rather, it comes off as an homage to the themes that sci fi shows have repeated over and over again to the point of cliche.

    The acting is slightly overdramatized, the dialogue is delivered seriously though bordering on cheesy, the characters are more like caricatures, and the themes and cultures are awkward and innovative. Apart from bikini clad Leia visiting you in your mom's basement for a one night stand, this is the sci fi fan's ultimate wet dream. This truly follows suit with many of the shows we grew up with while digging up even older wild west themes, along with the ever growing post apocalyptic obsession of our current time.

    When it comes down to details, the pilot introduces quite a bit of background, culture and subplots into the series. It does a good job of maximizing the ammount of plot/backstory without progressing too fast, and without sacrificing details. The viewer gets a good sense of who the key players are, what this new world is like, and what dangers and challenges will await the characters. It included fun dialogue, plenty of western tough guy acting as well as a wealth of colorful new races and cultures all blending in the new world melting pot of Defiance. Overall, the best part was the blatant use of stereotypical vibrant sci fi characters paired with plenty of western elements in such a way that it creates a very diverse setting with plenty of old school roots. There is plenty of plot to behold, which emerges as seperate subplots which turn out to be linked to one main event, making it a well crafted story even if it didn't pull a "6th Sense" crazy plot twist.

    The second episode was just awful. It was a tying of loose ends episode addressing the pilot. I guess they let the guy who produced Desperate Housewives make this episode, as there is far more drama than action. It makes a transition from the pilot to the series, but not in a way that's interesting to watch. It was kind of a let down from the pilot, and I'm not sure that it is even necessary to watch, you can more or less pick up what you missed in ep.3, unless you like mother-son... "interactions". It has a few merits in that it utilizes the drama better outline the cultural/political climate touched upon in the pilot.

    The third episode is pretty solid, and has a single plot event unfold and conclude within the episode. This is what I like to see as a norm in a sci fi, rather than an ongoing plot highly connected between episodes. It still followed ongoing subplots, and did so in a way that balanced the persistant dramatic tension with the short, easy to digest plot of the individual episode. This shows promise for the rest of the season being a clever yet distinctly classic sci fi.

    9/10 if you're a sci fi obsessed kid-at-heart who just wants a fun show to really become immersed in the cliches of the genre.

    4/10 if you have high standards for CGI, are embarrassed watching shows with corny dialogue (especially in made up funny talk languages) or you are looking for a show that is lustfully insisting that it deserves an award for acting or its dramatic plot. It's a frelling sci fi series, not Schindler's list.
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  49. 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.
    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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  50. 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 wasThe 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
  51. Jun 1, 2013
    9
    wow there is a lot of mixed reception on this show but to me i am really enjoying this defiance is about aliens come to earth and we react with nuclear bombs now after all this chaos the aliens have tried to maintain peace, the show is very well done the makeup design is flawlessly done and the CGI is exceptional defiance itself is a shanyi town and it looks good overall defiance is awow there is a lot of mixed reception on this show but to me i am really enjoying this defiance is about aliens come to earth and we react with nuclear bombs now after all this chaos the aliens have tried to maintain peace, the show is very well done the makeup design is flawlessly done and the CGI is exceptional defiance itself is a shanyi town and it looks good overall defiance is a show that really deserves your time watch it on the SYFY channel Expand
  52. Jul 3, 2013
    9
    The problem with this series seem that everyone now stops at the pilot to assert of the series quality, which is a mistake. If you take the time to watch all the episodes that came out so far, you realize the series isn't all that bad. Personally I'm loving the direction the finale of the first season is taking.
  53. Apr 26, 2013
    10
    Like everyone else I didnt think the 2 hour premier is making history as the new Star trek. But its really become my new favorite show. I think the cast is amazing and a perfect fit to the movie, and there is so much room for character development, Something I believe gives longativity to any show. And from playing the game I can certainly say the show has along way to go to fully explainLike everyone else I didnt think the 2 hour premier is making history as the new Star trek. But its really become my new favorite show. I think the cast is amazing and a perfect fit to the movie, and there is so much room for character development, Something I believe gives longativity to any show. And from playing the game I can certainly say the show has along way to go to fully explain everything and I sure cant wait!!! Expand
  54. May 6, 2013
    7
    I am a big fan of Sci-fi and fantasy unfortunately Defiance is ok but not so great as i expected. Even the so-called aliens in the series are behaving very human and frankly the episodes so far are mostly boring. Anyway i still watch the show but older shows like StarGate SG1" or "StarGate Atlantis" or even Babylon 5 and Battlestar Galactica were way better from this show
  55. 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.
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  56. May 20, 2013
    8
    This is a very well cast series and had me sold when the two main characters did the Johnny Cash duet. Its part Star Trek, part Wild, Wild West and thoroughly enjoyable. The acting is decent, effects are decent and the writing is good.
  57. 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.
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  58. May 27, 2013
    8
    I would have liked to have gone higher than an eight on the rating but the show has potential that has not yet been realized. The characters are strong and the show could go in many interesting directions. Hoping that it will break free of the tv formula and become more.
  59. 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 aI 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. Collapse
  60. 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.
  61. Jun 24, 2013
    10
    It's very hard to do a show review for me because I review games and movies so this is my first tv sires review and it's about my first syfy and I love this show and chacters and every thing about this show just watch it I know people are saying its just another average syfy well it's not ok
  62. Jul 2, 2013
    9
    My husband and I really like this show the acting is good, the storyline is good, and I love it which means that SYFY will probably cancel it after 4-5 seasons (if it makes it that far).
  63. 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.
    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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  64. Jul 9, 2013
    10
    I love this series what I can't understand is why does the second primary in June 2014????? Can't wait to see what happens. We look forward to every Monday night and have never missed it. Get a life and bring it back earlier don't leave us hanging.
  65. 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...
  66. Jul 12, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This show is very special. I don't really know what to compare it to. This show is set into a reformed Earth in the near future (2046) where aliens (collectively called Votan vera similar to the Covenant from Halo) live alongside the humans. This is the story of a particular town called Defiance and the story centers on lawkeeper Nolan (human), his adopted daughter Irisa (Irathient), newly appointed mayor Amanda Rosewater (human), her sister Kenya (prostitute), yes, prostitucy is legal now and two prominent families: the McCalleys (who own a mining enterprise) and the Tarrs (Castithans, Da'tak Tarr being a mobster with rage issues, who's wife is so manipulative, she is capable of getting him to candidate for mayor). There is a conspiracy lead by former mayor Nicoletta, who is really a disguised Indogene. The story is intriguing. The only problem I have with the show is that you need to play the Defiance MMO to really understand the story and background. The setting feels extremely unrealistic and distant from the current state of things and often supernatural and scripted. Oh yous and also the word ''shtako'' is very similar to ''frak'' from Battlestar Galactica and it's there just to make it accesible to more viewers. Every episode keeps you wanting more and that is in my opinion key. A very impressive 9. I recommend this show to everyone who likes sci-fi. If you like a few episodes I definetly suggest you get the Defiance MMO. I plan on getting it myself. Expand
  67. Jul 14, 2013
    9
    This is a solid show. I'm not even a sci fi fan. Some of the effects are a little hokey, but the script is pretty good, the characters are good, and it's a little like Game of Thrones where they will just kill off people you thought were going to be major characters all willy-nilly. So I like that unpredictability.

    Out of 12 episodes, I thought 2 were a little weak and the rest were great.
  68. Jul 30, 2013
    10
    I'm hooked. Can't wait for the next season. I'm so sick of seeing one season wonders in the Sci-fi genre. PLEASE go and buy season 1 if you enjoyed this. It's the only way to guarantee more seasons will be made.
  69. 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.
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  70. 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.
  71. Oct 2, 2013
    10
    The score of this show once again proves that critic's haven't got a clue. Whilst I was broke, I was making plans what games I'd be buying next. I decided that Defiance was one I was definitely adding to my wishlist but I was broke. So I decided that I'd check out the TV show and that was a good move. This is truly a fantastic show. Do NOT listen to the critics, listen to the users. At theThe score of this show once again proves that critic's haven't got a clue. Whilst I was broke, I was making plans what games I'd be buying next. I decided that Defiance was one I was definitely adding to my wishlist but I was broke. So I decided that I'd check out the TV show and that was a good move. This is truly a fantastic show. Do NOT listen to the critics, listen to the users. At the time of writing, this show has 22 mixed, 28 negative and 138 positive reviews. Be warned, the first two episodes, Pilot part 1 and 2 are a bit boring. Nothing much happens until the end of part two but it sets the scene really well. After that the episodes are great. The politics, betrayal, diplomacy and issues faced leave you fully immersed. The storyline is gripping (although it does get a bit confusing towards the end). Another thing I loved is the character development. You cannot predict what a character will do. I changed my opinions of certain characters constantly throughout the series. They'll do something good and you'll love 'em, right up until the next episode when they'll do something equally bad and you'll hate 'em. The acting was superb and the people who played the aliens did an excellent job of portraying a being who's customs and beliefs are different to any human being's. Overall a fantastic series and I will be right on top of the next series without a doubt. Expand
  72. Mar 9, 2014
    8
    Don't judge based on the poor visuals of the first couple of episodes.
    The writing is quite good and alot of great characters.
    I was very skeptical of the series at first, especially considering the video game tie in and poor visual effects, but I cant see how the video game has affected the story arc and the effects have improved 10 fold.
  73. 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.
  74. Mar 27, 2014
    10
    Great show in my opinion. I love how each actor/actress brings their own unique style to the character(s) they are portraying.
    Seems to me people are getting way to anal these days, if it does not have tom cruise, or an A list'ish actor/actress people tend to dump on the shows, at least from my stand point. Hope we get 5+ seasons. Cant wait for season 2!
  75. 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 matchingDreadful, 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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  76. May 6, 2014
    10
    Defiance doesn't do anything new, but what it does works and is entertaining. The long downtime between seasons is a tough pill to swallow but thankfully the wait is almost over. I can see this show developing into a cult classic and the ground work for it has been laid pretty solid after the first season. I feel too many reviewers are looking for "that new innovative show" and don't knowDefiance doesn't do anything new, but what it does works and is entertaining. The long downtime between seasons is a tough pill to swallow but thankfully the wait is almost over. I can see this show developing into a cult classic and the ground work for it has been laid pretty solid after the first season. I feel too many reviewers are looking for "that new innovative show" and don't know how to accept something that's just fun to watch. Expand
  77. May 7, 2014
    10
    This show is a multi-layered feast of sci-fi goodness. The characters, races, and back stories are complex and slowly developed over time as each episode plays out. The more you watch, the richer the viewing experience becomes. From reading some of the 'professional' reviews, this seems to be a bit too much for some and they just don't get it, or can't invest the time to do so. It also hasThis show is a multi-layered feast of sci-fi goodness. The characters, races, and back stories are complex and slowly developed over time as each episode plays out. The more you watch, the richer the viewing experience becomes. From reading some of the 'professional' reviews, this seems to be a bit too much for some and they just don't get it, or can't invest the time to do so. It also has a bit of the Firefly touch in that the plots don't play out as one might expect. The quality of the production and sets are top notch with the exception of the occasional CGI which looks rather amateurish, but those instances are rare... most of the CGI work is very good. I highly recommend giving it a view, but don't stop at episode 1... watch at least the first three to begin to 'get it'. Expand
  78. 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
  79. Jun 23, 2014
    0
    Cant Believe this piece of garbage is still on air, they cancelled alphas for this cr@p
    1- weak plot
    2- awful characters
    3-cheap CGI
    i cant believe people gave a ten to this show, they must be blind
  80. Jun 27, 2014
    3
    Defiance really isn't sure what genre it is, at some points in the pilot I thought I was watching a sci fi show, other times it felt like a really bad western. However the show was at its worst when it tried to mix these two elements together, it just doesn't work. The aliens (who we get no real background information on during the pilot) dress and act like humans from the 19th century.Defiance really isn't sure what genre it is, at some points in the pilot I thought I was watching a sci fi show, other times it felt like a really bad western. However the show was at its worst when it tried to mix these two elements together, it just doesn't work. The aliens (who we get no real background information on during the pilot) dress and act like humans from the 19th century. The Earth has also been terraformed for reasons the show never goes into (or provides an explanation for how all the humans survived this process). Overall Defiance seems doomed to repeat all of the same mistakes that Firefly made; crappy cliched our of place writing/characters and poor production standards. We know that sci-fi can be contained to a small-town setting, Eureka did it, Jericho did it but, Defiance does not. Expand
  81. Jul 11, 2014
    3
    Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I wouldNot something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.Not something I would watch.3 for effort. Expand
  82. Jul 23, 2014
    8
    I enjoyed watching this new what it was about because of the game, but it is not what I fought it was it was better. the game was not the best in my opinion and this was just great. can't wait for season 2, hope it is as good, one thing I have to say is the ending of the season could have been done better but other then that you should watch this if you haven't already
  83. Aug 29, 2014
    10
    So far i think the show is going in a good direction ... and i loved the season 2's ending :) looking forward to more from this series . hope it gets renewed for another season .
  84. 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.
  85. Sep 12, 2014
    10
    Defiance is one of the best shows Scyfi has come out with in sometime. I can tell you this, there shows have constantly been below the bar until defiance except SG-1, SG Atlantis and they quit to early on SG Universe. It started slow but there was so much left un-revealed and the second season was getting great. But I will no longer watch Scy-Fi if they cancel Defiance. I'm just one fanDefiance is one of the best shows Scyfi has come out with in sometime. I can tell you this, there shows have constantly been below the bar until defiance except SG-1, SG Atlantis and they quit to early on SG Universe. It started slow but there was so much left un-revealed and the second season was getting great. But I will no longer watch Scy-Fi if they cancel Defiance. I'm just one fan but many others feel the same way. Thanks guys, do the right thing. Expand
  86. 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.
  87. Oct 13, 2014
    9
    Best sci-fi series I've seen in a while. This show is the whole package - story, acting/dialogue, great set and design elements. Imagine many of the best elements of firefly, mad max and the new battlestar series and you get Defiance. It seems like a lot of contemporary sci-fi out there misses the mark on at least one of the elements mentioned above (Continuum for example- the main themeBest sci-fi series I've seen in a while. This show is the whole package - story, acting/dialogue, great set and design elements. Imagine many of the best elements of firefly, mad max and the new battlestar series and you get Defiance. It seems like a lot of contemporary sci-fi out there misses the mark on at least one of the elements mentioned above (Continuum for example- the main theme and story arc remains a cut-out that parrots anti-corporation rhetoric but has failed to develop much depth; however they do a lot of other things right and the actors really shine). Due to the overall high-quality well rounded nature of the series and careful attention to detail in writing and story elements. Expand
  88. Dec 13, 2014
    10
    I am giving Defiance a 10, why? well,despite that some issues on the show stay isolated, and with no ending line, which they should, the show in general doesn't fail to put up with a clever idea of a future world, have you ever thought about it? I would definitely love to see other locations, yet, in the small scenario created, you get to see, what will happen on a near future with earth.I am giving Defiance a 10, why? well,despite that some issues on the show stay isolated, and with no ending line, which they should, the show in general doesn't fail to put up with a clever idea of a future world, have you ever thought about it? I would definitely love to see other locations, yet, in the small scenario created, you get to see, what will happen on a near future with earth. No water, shortage of food, electricity, etc, if we don't take care of our planet. We don't need aliens to have our planted devastated, we are doing that by ourselves. The show should still come once more, to give a final closure to all the missing ideas that were left open. Expand
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.