When the alien invasion does come your main concern is will they be sexually attractive. Defiance suggests that interspecies erotica will thrive when alien races first mix. This is the lead the show buries deep in its narrative. Alak Tarr (Castithan male) and Christie McCawley (human female) are the starcrossed lovers. For the human ladies (all the human ladies) Alak is the kind of chiselled black eyed hunk of love you would cross a galaxy to get with (if you like teenage boys that is). The mythology of Defiance is lengthy and complex enough to bore all but the most hard-core of sci-fi dweebs but the upshot is this: in the not so distant future humans live on earth with multiple alien refugee races in an uneasy alliance in St Louis, now named Defiance. And some of those aliens are a would in anyone’s future dystopia.
Joshua Nolan (Grant Bowler) is the town law keeper. He was just passing through with his nausey adopted alien daughter Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas) an Irathient (they look and act like bad CGI vampires) and decided he might want to put down some roots.
Amanda Rosewater (Julie Benz) is the newly elected mayor, Datak Tarr (Tony Curran) an alien robber baron who dresses like a goth Wild Bill Hickok and comes complete with a Lady Macbeth wife Stahma (Jaime Murray). Tarr has his beady eye on the mines owned by local magnate B and sees the aforementioned human Castithan pairing (between Tarr’s son and McCawley’s daughter) as a good crowbar to get his chalky alien arse in there. What a rotter.
If you’re not happy learning about Quimbeck of the Tardputz or the Wumpumpum Mines of Kripple then you’ve signed up for a world of stinky shit with this one.
How much you like Defiance will depend on your tolerance for hard sci-fi. The 8 distinct alien races, alien swear words and speculative science jargon are going to piss a lot of people right off. If you’re not happy learning about Quimbeck of the Tardputz or the Wumpumpum Mines of Kripple then you’ve signed up for a world of stinky shit with this one.
That’s too bad because there’s a pretty good alien assimilationist parable and a nice father daughter relationship at its heart. Syfy have made a very SF show for their core audience – essentially Roman DeBeers from Party Down – and you can’t front on them for that.
The verdict: Saint Louis – rammed.
Marks out of 10: 7