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  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 15, 2013
  • Season #: 1
Defiance Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 207 Ratings

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  • Summary: In 2046, Joshua Nolan (Grant Bowler) returns to his hometown after the wars with aliens have transformed Earth.
  • Genre(s): Action & Adventure, Science Fiction
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Jeff Jensen
    May 15, 2013
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Apr 17, 2013
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    Apr 15, 2013
    The pilot is so busy establishing its new world, performances are afterthought generic. But Defiance gets more distinctive, and dramatic, through its next two hour episodes.
  4. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Apr 15, 2013
    The show’s pacing, particularly in the first hour, could trigger a nap.
  5. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Apr 15, 2013
    Defiance is less gritty than Syfy's best series, "Battlestar Galactica," and the characters aren't as well drawn as on the superior "Farscape." "Defiance" lands at a slightly higher end of the murky middle ground of quality.
  6. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Apr 15, 2013
    Not only is the production harmed by its overloaded pilot and just fleeting moments of originality, its visual effects and alien makeup design are wildly inconsistent. Despite all this, Defiance grew on me the more I watched.
  7. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Apr 15, 2013
    If you’re a sci-fi fan for whom this stuff can never be too complex, have at it. If you’re not, wait an hour and watch “Revolution.”

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 76
  2. Negative: 19 out of 76
  1. Apr 16, 2013
    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. Expand
  2. Apr 23, 2013
    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 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.
  3. Apr 16, 2013
    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. Expand
  4. Apr 18, 2013
    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.
  5. May 21, 2013
    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
  6. May 14, 2013
    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
  7. Jul 9, 2013
    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... Expand

See all 76 User Reviews