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

Generally favorable reviews- based on 207 Ratings

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

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  1. Apr 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.
  2. 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 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
  3. 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.
  4. Apr 19, 2013
    0
    This series is just horrible. The plot is brainless, the acting is lousy and the props are even worse. The 1980s just called. They want their B-Movie story back. The 1990s called, too. They want their special effects back. Nothing in this show makes sense, the characters are just horribly played and the design of the aliens is so stupid it makes the worst parts of Star Trek look good. I usually give 1 point for trying, but this show does not even deserve that much. Expand
  5. Jun 5, 2013
    2
    I watched four episodes and I really tried to like it. The premise of multiple alien species living with humans sounded like it could be solid, provided it was done right. It wasn't. The writing is sloppy and inconsistent. Also it's riddled with cliches (girl loves boy daddy disapproves of, daddy threatens to kill boy... bleh). With a few exceptions, the acting is bad. It is simply a show with cliche plot lines and sub-par acting. It's a shame, because the backstory of the aliens coming to earth did intrigue me. Outside of the second half of the first episode, I have been vastly underwhelmed. Also, the alien designs aren't anything special, but I could overlook that if the story was actually anything of substance. Wouldn't recommend the show to anyone. Expand
  6. May 22, 2013
    4
    Defiance has a lot of potential and it looks like Syfy is really trying to promote this show, its already green-lit for a second season! But even with all the potential in the world Defiance feels flat, tossed up, unoriginal, and boring. The Pilot surprised me, even with its clear short comings, but I would go as far to say that the Pilot is probably the best episode so far out of the 6 that have aired. For me, the show is loosing a lot of steam and its steam that it never really had. The alien races feel very unoriginal and arent even interesting, they come off looking very odd and funny. The acting is below average, I feel like the man guy is the only actor who feels comfortable in the show. Defiance is episodic, meaning you dont really need to watch the episode before to understand the one your watching. I kept on giving Defiance a chance and after 6 episodes, I am now officially dropping the show. Defiance is a chore to watch and is only worth your time if you like cheap Syfy. Expand
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. May 6, 2013
    2
    I remember this show! But when did the aliens grow hair? They used to be bald, with spotted scalps, and didn't this used to be called Alien Nation? And what's with the post-apocalyptic Western lawman cowboys and shamans culture clash meets bratty adopted struggling to assimilate teenager theme? Can we mix and mangle a few more cliches in there? I'm sure the writers missed at least one or two. Okay, Defiance is honestly not terrible, but it's honestly not terribly good, either. Better than Revolution but nothing memorable. This is probably because in spite of a colorful splatter of gore and an amusing scene involving the safe word calamari (don't ask), Defiance is about as edgy as a plastic spoon. Expand
  12. 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
    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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  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. 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 hope they'll improve this problem in further episodes. But still, I'm excited too see where the show will take us. Expand
  16. 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, 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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  17. 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.
  18. 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 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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 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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  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. 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.
  23. 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 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
  24. 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!
  25. 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!
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. May 14, 2013
    4
    I don't like it. It feels very cheap, lazy and forgettable. As an idea the potential for the story is immense, but is squandered on shallow and contrived plots that put Lost to shame. The aliens are, for lack of a better word, silly and uninteresting, while the visual effects only go further to cheapen the whole ensemble. I think its creators tried very hard to make it into "Firefly with Aliens" but they failed at every junction. What bugs me the most is that, better shows have been cancelled, but this "THING" gets renewed for a second season. Really? It's so redundant, it's embarrassing. Expand
  29. 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. 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
  30. May 26, 2013
    4
    I thought the pilot was okay. Good introduction to the characters, some action. A bit of story. But it was after the pilot that the series started to fall down for me. The special effects are really bad.. I'm not sure who they hired to do them but they just like the Sharktopolus ones and things they use in their other homemade movies (SyFy).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    And don't get me started on the videogame version of this show. The only worse than the 4 I'm giving the show is the 2 I'm giving the broken down, buggy, on again/off again access, low content and hardly inspiring game called "Defiance" which they are selling for a laughingly low price of... $60 American dollars.
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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.