Defiance : Season 1

  • Network: Syfy
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 15, 2013
Season #: 1, 2, 3
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 273 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 35 out of 273

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User Reviews

  1. Mar 26, 2017
    7
    One of my favorite sci-fi television series, the first episodes where not so good due to bad editing and 3d effects, but as the show gained popularity it began fixing this problems and gained my trust back. The makeup and costume are of quality
  2. Aug 29, 2015
    8
    Overall I enjoyed the first season of Defiance. It took time to establish the world, and the characters, but fortunately the show does take time to do this, rather than ignoring the world to favor the plot.
    The world it creates is interesting, and full of texture. The various alien races feel like a collection of individual species, rather than a homogenous mixture of various colors with
    Overall I enjoyed the first season of Defiance. It took time to establish the world, and the characters, but fortunately the show does take time to do this, rather than ignoring the world to favor the plot.
    The world it creates is interesting, and full of texture. The various alien races feel like a collection of individual species, rather than a homogenous mixture of various colors with no defining characteristics.
    I love the gritty, broken down feeling of everything. It looks and feels like the apocalyptic future the show is portraying. This is no Earth: Final Conflict, where the aliens supposedly came in peace for the betterment of humankind, they arrived to colonize the planet, and war soon resulted as it has done in similar circumstances throughout human history.
    The main downside of the show is that it shuffles past the main story idea too quickly. Nolan becomes the lawkeeper of the town in the first episode, and that's that. The speed with which this critical character moment is dealt with comes as a surprise, and it also doesn't afford any world building outside of the town.
    I started watching the show because I found the universe interesting, and I continued watching the show for a couple reasons. Most important was the character of Datak Tarr, by far the most motivated character of the show. The way Datak is played at odds with Nolan is an interesting dynamic, and lends a sense of character conflict that is missing from most of the show. I found myself looking forward to the moments I would see Datak and Nolan go at it over whatever was happening at the moment.
    Defiance is the first sci-fi show to come along since the new Battlestar Galactica where I actually felt a sense of engagement with the world being portrayed, and a sense of connection to the characters.
    Far too many television shows are made to be disposable entertainment these days, but with Defiance, you can hang out and live there for a while.
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  3. Jun 22, 2015
    10
    I just finished Binge-watching both Seasons 1&2 and the first 3 episodes of S3 so that is what this review is based upon. I will start by saying OMG this show is Phenomenal. I had nothing to watch since GOT ended and I decided to watch this and thank God for that bc this show killed it in every area. I will start with the story it takes place on Earth in the year 2046 after multiple alienI just finished Binge-watching both Seasons 1&2 and the first 3 episodes of S3 so that is what this review is based upon. I will start by saying OMG this show is Phenomenal. I had nothing to watch since GOT ended and I decided to watch this and thank God for that bc this show killed it in every area. I will start with the story it takes place on Earth in the year 2046 after multiple alien species landed years prior and centers upon Nolan and Irisa in the Town of Defiance. The story is simple but gets even better as time progresses. I will now talk about the cast which is in my opinion the best part. I will credit the 2 best actors in the show that being Nolan played by Grant Bowler and my favorite character Datak who is played by Tony Curran both are astounding actors. I will also say that all of the actors and actresses did an Amazing job of keeping the story engaging. I will now movie onto the action which I will say is sometimes a tad corny but the majority of the time it's Insanely Epic. I would recommend this show in a heart beat and S3 is so far the Best season yet. F.Y.I one of the main villains in S3 called General Rahm Tak who is played by Lee Tergesen is an absolutely mind blowing villain who is now probably just after 3 episodes my favorite villain of any television show to date. Go and Watch this show Now lolz. Expand
  4. Jun 21, 2015
    4
    There are a lot of things I really like about the show. The premise of the war and the general backstory really took me in at the beginning. The actors are good save for one or two minor characters, which is surpsing because usually when I find myself disliking a show the actors certainly don't help.

    The script writing and quality of world design ranges from lazy fan-fic to intern
    There are a lot of things I really like about the show. The premise of the war and the general backstory really took me in at the beginning. The actors are good save for one or two minor characters, which is surpsing because usually when I find myself disliking a show the actors certainly don't help.

    The script writing and quality of world design ranges from lazy fan-fic to intern level. The aliens being pasty versions of humans or humans with a slightly different forehead shape I can ignore to a point. While humans would realistically look much more dissimilar to humans, it's a common sci-fi trope that they would be very similar.

    However, the script writing I can't ignore. I wanted to like this show, but there were just moments where the script writing was consistently bad for 10-15 minutes at a time to the point where I paused it to do something else because despite my curiosity of the series and the interesting premise...their lines were just too generic.

    While it's true that you could do much worse for a sci-fi series, there's also much better out there as well. I personally would rather rewatch other sci-fi shows for the third or fourth time than watch this one a single time. It has it's merits, and if you can get past the abysmal dialogue it's a nice "nothing else is on" show, but I wouldn't ever recommend it to any of my friends.
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  5. Feb 2, 2015
    9
    Very fun series with cool characters. After Farscape this caought my attention and so far, I'm not disappointed. Very nice work O'Banon. Can't wait for next season.
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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 .
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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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  20. 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!
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. 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.
  25. 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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  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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
  29. 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...
  30. 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.
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.