Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Undefined Gamer: "Defiance Pilot" Review

Watch the show. Play the game. Read the review.
      Defiance is both a video game and TV show taking place in what used
to be St. Louis circa 2046. Turns out in the near future we will be
visited by a race called the Votans. Well, actually the Votans are 6
races, but they're all from the same planet.
      They needed to escape the destruction of their planet, so
naturally, like Superman, they came to Earth. Thinking it
uninhabited, just like a similar Doctor Who episode involving
humanoid lizard people, a small percentage of the Votan peoples
awakened to negotiate with the humans over sharing Earth. However,
instead of a power crazed General or an overprotective mom, terrorists
ruin peace for us. Having the brilliant idea of killing a Votan
Ambassador on National TV, Votan-kind and Mankind will slug it out in
a war known as the "Pale War." This ends with all of the sleeping
Votan snug up in their ship crashing down to Earth, activating
terraforming technologies in said ship. This leads to bad stuff for
Earth, as too much terraforming is bad news.
      Thus we get our post apocalyptic setting of St. Louis. Gathered
around part of St. Louis is a town now dubbed "Defiance". Run by Mayor
Amanda Rosewater, the town Defiance plays host to all 6 Votan races
and humans alike. Yes, there has been some breeding between humans and
      You thought the series's backstory was confusing, wait until we
get to the plot.
      Like any good Sci-Fi show, Defiance has way too many characters.
We've already met Amanda, but you're sure to see her sister, Kenya, at
the local bar (she's a prostitute). In addition to the Mayor, there is
a local pale-faced, blond Lucius Malfoy character named Datak Torr,
who with his wife, Stahma, serves as something akin to a Crime
Lord/Loan Shark in Defiance. The main character, though is Joshua
Nolan, a former Marine fresh out of cash, who has stumbled into
Defiance with his adopted alien daughter, Irisa (who just so happens
to be... an assassin).
H.G Wells. You need to get some sun.
      All is well until a local boy is found dead due to something
called a coldfire weapon. The kid's father shrugs off authorities to
lynch the killer himself, whom he thinks is a kid related to Datak.
This said kid also so happens to be dating his daughter behind his
      A fiasco ensues, when the sheriff, you can say, Nicolette, tries
to intervene. Joshua, fresh from screwing the Mayor's sister, just so
happens to walk in on this, and him and Irisa decide to help
Nicolette. Nicolette is killed in the chaos, and Defiance is left one
less Sheriff.
      Needing money, Joshua decides to find the real killer. He does,
only to find out it was the Mayor's alien assistant, and he learns of
an alien army miles outside of Defiance hell bent on wiping out the
      Before Joshua and Irisa lost everything, Joshua buried a gem that
while valuable, could also act as a bomb and annihilate the army. Having
to choose between saving the town or finally "getting ahead", Joshua
picks Defiance, and Irisa temporarily leaves him.
      The coming battle is big and epic, involving the town's Doctor,
Doc Yewell, barely being able to arm the bomb in time, but Defiance is
      Man, what a mouthful. Though the production values are high, and
almost every character is likable, and effort shines through every
crevice of this 2 hour long pilot, man, I felt like I just watched the
entire Lord if the Rings trilogy twice! So much cannon is thrown at
the viewer that just to review this, I had to keep checking other
reviews to make sure I got the facts straight! Joshua does pretty well
as the main character (think Han Solo on Earth), as does his daughter,
Irisa. Many supporting characters seem to pull their weight, and will
definitely receive well-earned character development in the future,
but many characters are simply unnecessary (Kenya fir example), and
could've been deleted with no ill effects. The complex plot may be a
little too complex for ordinary viewers, but die hard Sci-Fi fans will
love it.
They're drinking liquid glowstick.
      I like it. It has a vibe similiar to Firefly, in the respect that
you have this really advanced future, but the story is only focused on
one small town. The plot may be overly-complicated, but it reeks of
effort. Besides, do you think normal people watch Syfy?
Defiance (2013) 5 and a half stars out of 6

1 comment:

  1. It is a very confusing plot and back story. That could go one of two ways: deep characterization like Lost or a confusing jumble of plot points and missed opportunities like Lost. A good start though, so I hope it lasts.