Defiance: Pilot – Episode Review
Destined for greatness.
Let’s face it, the Syfy channel has been long due for a win since the ending of Battlestar Galactica. After watching last night’s premiere of Defiance, I wholeheartedly believe that they’ve done just that.
Defiance takes place on a near future Earth, which is now inhabited by both humans and an alien collective known as Votan, who after many years of racial tension have decided to put down arms and work towards a common goal. You see, in 2030 an orbiting fleet of Votan called the Ark exploded, killing millions and destroying much of the planet’s flora and fauna.
Our main characters Josh Nolan and his adoptive Irathient (a warrior race in the Votan) daughter Irisa are arkhunters, nomads who travel around the world scavenging Arkfalls for valuable parts, trying to make enough money to get to Antarctica, which our heroes believe to be paradise in this post-apocalyptic world. Along the way, they find themselves in city of Defiance (formerly St. Louis), named after a group of fighters who kept the town safe, a group that Nolan was a part of years ago. The town has once again found itself in danger of falling, and the duo have to make the tough decision to either fight once again, or take the next roller to Antarctica
Where Defiance really succeeds is in the characters. While many shows focus their writing muscle on the main characters, Defiance has created a large cast full of unique personalities, all with different hopes, dreams, and behavior quirks. There was a particular recurring doctor character in this episode that consistently had me laughing my ass off.
The special effects, however, require a little bit of forgiveness. This isn’t Hollywood money they have to work with in this two hour program. Hell, it’s probably not even a Syfy original movie budget. Thankfully, Defiance is really a show about the characters, keeping the grandiose action-filled CG effects to a minimum in the pilot.
Defiance may be a bit rough around the edges, but it has enough charm to keep me anticipating the rest of the season. I highly recommend checking it out for yourself if you haven’t so already.