We have seen countless promotions for the SyFy Channels new show Defiance and we are sure you have too. SyFy made history with this show already by launching a MMO game that is completely interactive with the show (meaning that events in the game effect the show and events in the show effect the game). But they have also clouted that the show itself will be groundbreaking with excellent storytelling, acting, special effects, and more. Now, they kind of have to tell us that to draw in viewers. So we are here to give you a no-holds-barred recap and review of Defiance “Pilot”. SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT!

The show opens with the first wave of aliens arriving to Earth and a young Jeb Nolan watching as their ships enter our atmosphere. The visual effects on this shot were stunning and made us very hopeful about the rest of the episode. Thirty years later, the Earth has been completely transformed by the invading aliens and Nolan, along with his adopted daughter Irisa (a short tempered Irathient) scavenge the badlands for valuables. But as they scavenge they are robbed by a band of Irisa’s fellow Irathients. They narrowly escape, but Irisa wounded, forcing the pair to take refuge in Defiance (formerly St. Louis).

The town has just inaugurated a new mayor, Amanda Rosewater, and we are given our first glimpse at the racial tension between humans and the Castithan. The town’s two wealthiest members, Datak Tarr (the Castithan head of Defiance’s underworld) and Raf McCawley (a human mine owner), are in competition it would seem for favor. More tension arises when Raf’s daughter, Christie, and Datak’s son, Alak, get involved with each other.

Nolan meanwhile has woken in the town’s infirmary, finding himself handcuffed and disarmed. When he meets with Amanda he explains that he’d like to head out and would like this weapon back. The mayor is not too keen on this idea though and suggests he make money some other way. The way he discovers is one of Datak’s underground fight clubs. After defeating a behemoth Bioman and being stripped of his winnings, Nolan decides to buy some company for the evening.

This leads to Nolan and Irisa getting drawn up in a murder mystery involving the Raf’s son and Alak. As Nolan investigates the crime scene we discover that is was actually Amanda’s assistant that killed Raf’s boy. Why? To cover up the fact that Defiance is about to be attacked by the Volge, a warlike race that have been in hiding for years. The information is uncovered just in time for Defiance’s population to set up a counter assault and destroy the attacking force. But who sent them? In a mysterious twist, we find it was the town’s previous mayor.

So how did the episode stack up to SyFy’s boasting? There were quite a few occasions when we found the special effects to be completely amazing. Then their were also times when they seemed rough and unpolished. The story was well told, though some of the information seemed vague. The acting was fairly decent. Overall, the show is fun and contains the potential to examine issues relevant to our world. With all the races and the huge world that has been created for this show, it has the ability to become a new generation’s Star Trek. We hope to see it there one day and will be tuning in weekly for this show. 

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