I wasn’t sure about this series at first but I’m glad I gave it the benefit of the doubt and kept watching. This is a sub-genre of science fiction that feels like a Western. If you liked Firefly (and frankly who didn’t? Well, obviously not the network that cancelled it) you’ll probably enjoy this one too as it has a gritty gunslinger vibe to it. The premise is quite unique and complex but I’ll try to break it down for you. A group of aliens, made up of a bunch of different races but collectively called the Votans, invaded earth and began terraforming it to suit their needs (for help sorting all of this out in detail, consult http://en.defiance-wiki.com/wiki/Defiance_Wiki). Humanity fought back and eventually a wary peace allowed humans and aliens to live together on a world that is largely unrecognizable as Earth. Defiance, née St. Louis, is the setting for the show and is absolutely bursting at the seams with aliens of all sorts as well as humans. It’s kind of Casablanca but with extra-terrestrials added into the mix, or the Cantina scene at Mos Eisley Spaceport from Star Wars: A New Hope made into its own TV show. An ex-military drifter named Joshua Nolan (Grant Bowler) and his adopted Irathient daughter, Irisa, land in Defiance where Nolan takes the job of Lawkeeper. It’s a rough town with all kinds of problems but the mayor, played by Julie Benz, is determined to make it work. The different alien races are very well done, each with their own language and culture. Datak Tarr (Tony Curran), a ruthless Castithan with less-than-legal businesses is interesting, but his wife Stahma is the real puppet master. She speaks softly and seems subservient and dutiful but she’s more than just a pretty face. Actually, most all the characters are not what they seem, which is always entertaining. Extremely creative with great writing, this is a wonderful and incredibly complicated show that appeals on many levels. There are mysteries all over the place which keep your interest, much like Lost in that respect. I have come to really care about these characters and it’s fascinating to watch them build a whole new society that fits their new reality. Full of ethical dilemmas, interpersonal relationships, romance and less than savory elements, this is really good sci-fi. – BETHANY
If you know you’ve seen one of these faces somewhere else but can’t think here, visit IMDB before your brain overheats, trying in vain to remember: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2189221/?ref_=nv_sr_1
Left to right: Datak and Stahma Tarr, Amanda and Kenya Rosewater, Joshua Nolan, Irisa Nolan, and Rafe McCawley
Stahma Tarr, played by Jaime Murray (Photo courtesy of Defiance: Behind the Makeup, http://www.denofgeek.us)
The cross-species Romeo and Juliet, Christie McCawley (Nicole Muñoz) and Alak Tarr (Jesse Rath).
Kenya Rosewater (Mia Kirshner), proprietor of the Need/Want, a bar/brothel.
Linda Hamilton and if I tell you her character’s name, it would be a spoiler.
Jessica Rainier (Anna Hopkins), nicknamed “Berlin” because she makes propaganda videos for the Earth Republic, and Lawkeeper Joshua Nolan (Grant Bowler).
Alak and Stahma Tarr. Castithans have interesting bathing rituals (women wear costumes!) and it is deemed unseemly for a person to do so alone.
Doc Yewll, an Indogene doctor and the actress (Trenna Keating) without the makeup. (Photo courtesy of Defiance: Behind the Makeup, http://www.denofgeek.us)
Irisa Nolan, played by Stephanie Leonidas (Photo courtesy of Defiance: Behind the Makeup, http://www.denofgeek.us)
Datak Tarr, played by Tony Curran (Photo courtesy of Defiance: Behind the Makeup, http://www.denofgeek.us)
Irisa has a thing with knives and may or may not have some mystical power.
Pompous Niles Pottinger (James Murray) and his Bioman bodyguard.
Destroyed spaceships still in orbit, pieces of which sometimes fall to Earth.
Photos courtesy of Five & Dime Productions, Universal Cable Productions, NBCUniversal Television and Syfy