Is “Defiance” Worth Defending?


A Review of the SyFy Series “Defiance” by Tiffany A. White

Earth as we now know it is gone.

After an alien invasion in 2013, the humans and the aliens fought for years (“The Pale Wars”), destroying much of the planet. But now, thirty-three years later, and following the destruction of the aliens’ solar system (Votanis), the humans and the seven different species of Votans are trying to co-exist.

The story follows Joshua Nolan (Grand Bowler, Ugly Betty) and his adopted alien daughter, Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas)—a member of the Irathient species—as they search for a better place to live. While searching for alien spacecraft items they can sell for money, the father/daughter duo runs into trouble and finds assistance from a group of strangers. These strangers lead Nolan and Irisa to a familiar city, only recognizable by the remnants of its once beautiful city landmark… St. Louis is no more—now they call it Defiance.

Defiance also stars: Julie Benz (Dexter) as Amanda Rosewater, Mayor of Defiance; Tony Curran (Being Human) as Datak Tarr, a member of the Castithan species; Jaime Murray (Warehouse 13) as Stahma Tarr, Datak’s Castithan wife; Mia Kirshner (24) as Kenya Rosewater, Amanda’s sister and owner of the local bar; Graham Green (Dances with Wolves) as Rafe McCawley, a mine owner; and Fionnula Flanagan (Lost) as Nicky Riordon, the former Defiance mayor and Amanda’s mentor.

Since Defiance is a TV show about aliens, let’s get to know the seven species of Votans: the Irathient – a near human, nature-loving, and deeply spiritual and peaceful species, with a skin color of almost bronze; the Castithan – very similar to humans, with yellow eyes and a skin tone near albinism, who hail from an alien caste society—high and low, with most of the lower caste destroyed along with the Votanis solar system; the Indogene – a technically advanced species with white skin and no hair follicles; the Sensoth – aliens who are covered in fur and are taller than humans, similar to the orangutan; the Gulanee – a mysterious species, even to the other Votan; the Volge – the villain species; and the Mutants, which is pretty self-explanatory.

Will Nolan and the other citizens of Defiance (aliens included) protect their city? Or will the world’s evil destroy what’s left?

I’ve watched three hours of Defiance (the two-hour premiere and the second week’s episode). To be honest, the series does not hold my attention. My guy on the other hand likes it and he wants me to remember that fantasy series like this need to spend some time worldbuilding. I know this, but then I think about TNT’s Falling Skies, and I remember it didn’t bore me immediately off the bat; Falling Skies didn’t spend the first three hours or so worldbuilding… it jumped right into the action. Yes; there has already been at least one great Volge (the “bad” aliens) versus Defiance (humans and “good” aliens) battle, but for me to watch science fiction TV, I need a bit more up front to hook me.


Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery “Football Sweetheart” series. She blogs at The Ooo Factor and is available for contact via Twitter at @Tiffany_A_White, Facebook at Tiffany A. White, or by email at tiffany@tiffanyawhite.com.

© 2013 Tiffany A. White. All written content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact us at the above links to request permission.

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