After just 5 episodes into its first season Syfy has already given its news flagship show Defiance the benefit of the doubt. Syfy has renewed the show for another 13-episodes that will start airing in 2014.
The announcement is surprising for several reasons. So far the quality has been uneven. A lot of viewers are confused about the background world. A situation that echoes what happened with Farscape 10 years back. Also the ratings have so far been steadily dropping over the course of 5 episodes. The last episode gaining 2.19 million viewers. Personally I only became enthusiastic about the show after seeing the fifth episode ‘A Well Respected Man’. If you gave up on Defiance before that, than I suggest you read the review here on SciFiEmpire.net.
Though I am happy that Syfy has renewed the show the reason has probably more to do with business than with success. There is of course also an MMO to be considered. It would an epic failure if the first TV-series/MMO tie-in would fail after just one season. As for the MMO, it has it fair share of deficiencies but fans have come to appreciate it.
Defiance will be back tonight with the episode ‘The Serpent’s Egg’ starring Grant Bowler, Jaime Murray, Tony Curran, Julie Benz and Stephanie Leonidas.
A Well Respected Man is the fourth episode of Defiance (5 if you count the pilot as 2). So far the show has been mediocre at best and tedious as worst. Luckily this weeks episode turns that around. It is quick, brisk and has a lot of character development. It also manages to portray some events from the pilot, such as Luke’s death, as a bit more mysterious than what it might have been at first glance. I like this episode, I hope you will too. If Defiance can live up to this weeks quality than I say we have one damn good show to watch for the foreseeable future.
Ulysses – The Bioman
As for the story of ‘A Well Respected Man’…
Nolan intercepts a shipment of weapons being transferred by two of Datak Tarr’s men; unknown to both Nolan and Amanda, the town council had made a deal with Datak to arrange for weapons to be delivered to the town after the loss of the shield generator. Nolan’s relationship with Amanda’s sister Kenya develops, somewhat to Amanda’s displeasure. Kenya and one of her girls are kidnapped by Ulysses, the bioman employed by Datak as a prizefighter; he is kidnapping street people and taking them to a human lab technician, Miko (guest star Robin Dunne), who is harvesting their adrenalin to use as an illegal drug. Nolan and Amanda clash with Datak to get her back, but he refuses to help; Stahma Tarr suggests to Amanda that she show respect to Datak by making him a member of the town council. With grudging help from Datak, Nolan locates the lab; meanwhile Kenya has realizes that her wanderings in a maze, pursued by a Volge, are a virtual reality, escapes and kills Miko. Nolan, Irisa and Amanda arrive in time to save Kenya from the Ulysses. Rafe and Quentin descend into the sealed shaft where Luke had found the strange object, and discover a set of disturbing cave paintings featuring the object. Datak takes his seat on the council and Nolan realizes that Stahma is the more dangerous of the two.
Nolan and Amanda at the Tarr’s
‘A Well Respected Man’ is an excellent episode of Defiance that furthers the story for pretty much all of the main characters. For Datak (Tony Curran), McCawley (Graham Greene) and Amanda (Julie Benz) this is certainly true. Not only do we learn more about them they now also have a likeable edge to them. However, the focus on multiple characters also means that the episode makes some big jumps.
After Datak’s nocturnal tirade against Nolan and Amanda he is suddenly his calm self again the next day. By the end of the episode Datak becomes one of council members for Defiance which is quite a leap from the start of the episode. McCawley meanwhile transforms from a xenophobic man with a big mouth into a father figure with a can-do attitude. As for Amanda and her sister Kenya (Mia Kirshner). Their past problems with their mother during the war may be gripping, but it does seem that the audience gets a lot less out of it because we don’t really know them well enough. It is a story you would expect to see just before the finale of a season and not so early on.
As for sheriff Nolan (Grant Bowler), he is being his normal likable self. He seems to be able to carry the show even if he is not center stage. It was a shame that his daughter Irisa did not make an appearance in the episode.
As for the alien races collectively knows as the Votan, we don’t really know enough about them yet and when actors refer to them I do have problems with visualizing them. Something in the viewer experience is lost because of this.
One major visual problem with the episode is that it was clear that Tony Curran (Datak Tarr) wasn’t wearing his white make-up below the neck line. Jaime Murray on the other hand seems to have taken up body painting ever since the shows pilot. Her character Stahma has so far remained my favorite on the show. The shear level of depth the character that she portrays will take numerous seasons to fully unravel.
Score; 8 / 10. Excellent episode though some characters are spread a little thin.
Finally I am here with a review of the third episode of Defiance. It won’t be a full review but I will at least discuss the most salient details. I will also give a short preview of the fourth episode ‘The Devil In the Dark’ that will air Monday evening.
Episode 3 Recap…
The third episode ‘Down In the Ground Where the Dead Men Go’ takes off were the pilot stopped. Datak is punishing one of his fellow Castithan for fleeing from the battle with the Volge. The episode sees continued efforts to prevent the man public execution. Despite Joshua’s and Irisa’s attempt Datak finally murders the man and leaves him on the doorsteps of the sheriff’s office.
Jaime Murray as Stahma Tarr
Meanwhile Ben has been woken from his coma by a fellow conspirator who urges him to finish the job by destroying Defiance. Ben makes his way to the McCawley mines and blows up the entrance after himself. According to McCawley he is heading to old St. Louis which was largely preserved intact despite the major terraforming events of the war. Quickly it is deduced that Ben intends to blow a nuclear facility to contaminate the mines that are the raison d’etre of Defiance. Ben is eventually stopped, but Joshua fails to question him as Ben forces McCawley to shoot him.
The third plot line involved the feud between Datak Tarr and McCawley. Now that a wedding between their respective son and daughter is planned they have all sorts of personal issues to take care off. McCawley’s daughter can’t stop arguing with her father and Datak’s son Alek is continuing his efforts at being the spoiled brat who doesn’t care about anything. It falls on Datak’s wife Stahma (Jaime Murray) to try and fix the various problems in order to further hers and Datak’s agenda.
Ben being awoken
There are furthermore some other minor plot lines but I won’t spoiler them here. Defiance certainly has the ability to be epic in the sense of personal relationship, similar to The Borgia’s. So missing episodes might be problematic in the future.
The third episode of Defiance is the first one in which we get a glimpse of how the show’s format will look like. In my opinion it is similar to Continuum with a fast pace and multiple partially independent plot lines woven together. I think it works, but it can still be a lot better. Some of the characters so far seem a bit wooden and familiar, especially one the McCawley side of the story. The character of Stahma Tarr is quickly becoming my favorite. Jaime Murray really knows how to carry the character, next to Grant Bowler I think she is the heart of the show.
Stahma (Jaime Murray) soothing her son Alek – Defiance
Stahma Tarr seems to oddly enough fit the setting perfectly were as other characters seem very much out-of-place. Like the pilot this episode has a scene with Datak and Stahma enjoying their private Castithan bath. It is an effective way of allowing the two characters to plot their next move while also giving Defiance that little bit of Game of Thrones with the semi-nude setting. I hope the scene will be a staple in Defiance.
The special effects in the third episode are fewer than in the pilot. That is in itself not unusual (Eureka, Lost and Continuum), so at least viewers are not distracted by the fakeness. The old St. Louis was recreated rather effectively. So if every episode has a similar outing I think it could work very well. Why the old St. Louis isn’t occupied by the people of Defiance is a bit of a mystery to me.
Defiance still needs to find some solid ground in my opinion. The characters of sheriff Joshua Nolan and his daughter Irisa seem oddly unsettled in Defiance, something many fans have remarked upon.
Score; 7.5 / 10. Solid, but the many nagging details drag it down.
Episode 4 Preview…
The fourth episode of Defiance is called ‘The Devil In the Dark’ and will yet again take our characters out of Defiance and into the surrounding area.
Here is the synopsis…
A horde of Hellbugs attack the town of Defiance. In order to stop them, a search party is sent out on a mission to find and destroy the central source of the Hellbugs.
Here is the preview trailer…
And some preview stills…
Tony Curran as Datak Tarr and Jaime Murray as Stahma Tarr
Defiance is Syfy’s latest TV-show and it didn’t come a moment too soon. Syfy has been accused of ignoring its roots in favor of reality TV. Despite a rather slow start to Defiance I do think that this show has a lot of potential.
Julie Benz as the mayor of Defiance
The pilot episode as such deals mostly with the characters of Joshua Nolan and his foster daughter Irisa Nyira as they try to reap benefits from Arkfalls. After Irisa is wounded they seek help in Defiance. Before long both are involved in the towns intrigue and Joshua finds himself protecting the town from a swarm of onrushing robot aliens. In the end he becomes the town’s sheriff with Irisa as his deputy. Nuff said really. I suggest you go view the pilot yourself if you want a recap.
Defiance – the votans are coming
While watching the pilot of Defiance I could really see the influence of Farscape on it’s characters and settings. Defiance’s creator Rockne S. O’Bannon has a talent for writing witty dialogue that stings while not being rude. He also manages to include sexuality into his characters in such a fashion that they are very much defined by it. As such he doesn’t have to go down the road like many HBO (Game of Thrones) or Starz (Spartacus) TV-series. In fact, so many other shows such as Da Vinci’s Demons and The Borgia’s include violence, gore, bad language and nudity that it is quickly becoming the new standard. Mostly it does manage to add a sense of realism and wit to the afore mentioned shows but I find it refreshing that Farscape managed to same thing 13 years ago but in a much more subdued fashion. As Defiance is on Syfy I am not sure what the plans are in the future as Syfy can’t be the only cable network that won’t show violence, gore and nudity.
Grant Bowler as Joshua Nolan and Stephanie Leonidas as Irisa Nyira – Defiance
The pilot episode of Defiance itself is fine but it’s length is too long. It could have easily been reduced in length by 20 minutes. Of course all the characters need to be properly introduced and for the most part they are! The plot twists that allow Grant Bowler’s character Joshua Nolan to become sheriff of Defiance are a bit predictable and improbable. In fact the premise for this sequence of events seemed eerily similar to last years Terra Nova pilot or even Eureka. Some of the special effects in the pilot are also terrible. The space battle seems to predate the Battlestar Galactica remake and the CGI cars and structures look dated. I am not sure where this show wants to go but it could be that it will be stuck in Defiance for the most part.
Jaime Murray as Stahma Tarr
Despite the pilot suffering from a number of issues I do believe that this show has a lot of potential. The scene is definitely set for lots of intrigue similar to The Borgia’s. The potential depth of the Defiance universe when it comes to technology, races, characters and places can easily rival shows such as Star Trek and Babylon 5.
Score; 7.5 / 10. Hardly the worst pilot I have seen but nowhere near as good as it could have been.
By the looks of it IGN has managed to get a big scoop when it posted a large number of still shots of UCP and Syfy Channel’s upcoming TV-show Defiance. The show stars Jaime Murray, Grant Bowler, Julie Benz and Mia Kirshner. It is set in a future world devastated by a war between humans and Votans (who are an ensemble of races).
Don’t forget that the show has a Massive Multiplayer Online shooter called….. ‘Defiance’. It has a story that ties in with the TV-series. That means that events happening in either the game or Tv-series will affect each other. At least, in theory. I am still skeptical about the entire premise. It sounds too much like a marketing gimmick.
The still pictures below shows who is who and what their family relations are. So it is worthwhile studying should the pilot be a bit overwhelming. The stills seem to have been taken from an official website used to distribute preview content for publications. If anyone got that link it would be much appreciated.
Enjoy the stills below…
Alak Tarr (Jesse Rath) and his parents, Stahma (Jaime Murray) and Datak (Tony Curran)
Christie McCawley (Nicole Munoz) and Alak Tarr (Jesse Rath)
Dewshane Williams as Tommy LaSalle
Graham Greene as mine owner Rafe McCawley
Grant Bowler as Joshua Nolan
Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas) and her adoptive human father, Joshua (Grant Bowler)
Jaime Murray as Stahma Tarr
Joshua Nolan (Grant Bowler) and Amanda Rosewater (Julie Benz)
Julie Benz as Mayor Amanda Rosewater
Mia Kirshner as Kenya Rosewater
Rafe (Graham Greene) and his children, Christie (Nicole Munoz) and Quentin (Justin Rain)
Sisters Amanda (Julie Benz) and Kenya Rosewater (Mia Kirshner)
Stephanie Leonidas as Irisa
Tony Curran as Datak Tarr
Tony Curran as Datak Tarr and Jaime Murray as Stahma Tarr
Tony Curran, Jaime Murray, Julie Benz, Mia Kirshner, Grant Bowler, Stephanie Leonidas and Graham Greene
Defiance is a new sci-fi TV-shows from the Syfy Channel and will start airing. Yes, that is the one where there is also a MMO game called Defiance being released simultaneously and supposedly they have some interaction together. Personally, after seeing a lengthy gameplay movie of the MMO I am a little bit disappointed. The world of the game is uninspired (where is San Francisco?) and the gameplay is far too action oriented to last for long. Of course I could be wrong.
For those who don’t know what Defiance is, it also stars Jaime Murray (Warehouse 13, Spartacus and Dexter). Which should at least guarantee the show first season to be a success.
Check out the action packed trailer to get excited.
Seems a bit like firefly, but not in a good way. Defiance is set to air on April 15th.
Defiance is a new sci-fi series from the Syfy Channel that will probably air earlier next. The series is kind of special as the Syfy channel is more famous for cancelling shows than starting ones, and has been for at least five years.
Just kidding, Syfy Channel is trying to get back to it’s roots after a foray into the celebrity-ghost wrestling scene. So far they have gotten off to a difficult start, the prequel series to Battlestar Galactica has been in development hell for ages despite a very promising trailer that this website showed.
As for Defiance, the sub-genre is a bit difficult to explain, in fact, it may braking new ground. Defiance is certainly not like V where the earth gets invaded by aliens and neither is it really a proper post-apocalyptic show like Revolution. Well, not entirely true either as earth is just about destroyed after a lengthy war with the aliens who are themselves almost destroyed.
Here is the background description of Defiance, I’ll let you be the judge.
The series is set in the near future, where aliens known collectively as Votans have come to Earth seeking a new home after their solar system was destroyed. However, upon reaching Earth they found that they were not welcome. The Votans waited in orbit for six years as prolonged negotiations with Earth governments for settlement on the planet ultimately proved fruitless. With supplies on their ships running low, eventually in desperation the Votans began a war with humans to force the issue and make Earth their new home. During the war, Votan ships shot down by human militaries accidentally released terraformer technology, which made haphazard and radical changes to the biosphere and even the geology of Earth, making the planet dangerous to both humans and the aliens. The earth was scorched, chasms opened in the ground, and the surface of the planet was covered with dust and debris. After decades of war, both sides had fought to the point of mutual exhaustion, and a ceasefire was declared. Few organized governments remained for either the humans or the aliens, and both sides factionalized as their members began looking out for themselves. In several areas, local human and Votan militias began to band together when they realized that they had to cooperate if they hoped to survive on this new almost alien planet.
The series largely revolves around the character of Jeb Nolan. Jeb was only ten years old when the Votans arrived and he served in the military during the war. With the war now over, he returns to his hometown of St. Louis to find that its is no longer the city he left; it is little more than a refugee camp. Deciding that his services are needed, Jeb takes up a position as the Chief Lawkeeper in Defiance, so he can protect the town from dangerous clashes between humans and aliens, military scavengers and others dangerous visitors who occasionally enter the town.
Jaime Murray will play the part of Stahma Tarr of the Castithan race
My opinion of Defiance…
The plot to me seems a bit contrived, I can already picture the 10 minute intro that explains the entire thingy with the aliens called Votans. The series seems to be headed more into scifi/drama sub-genre rather that Syfy channel successfully exploited with BSG. I just hope they get round to the deeper questions as well.
What makes Defiance special of course is that a Massive Multi-player Online game will be released at the same. See the trailer for the game below.
Defiance will star the following actors, all complete nobodies which goes with the territory. Apart from Jaime Murray of course who seems to have her choice of TV projects these days. no doubt she was added to Defiance to sex things up a bit in the first few episodes less fans don’t get the storyline.
The following is knows about the cast of Defiance.
Grant Bowler as Jeb Nolan, a former marine and the Chief Lawkeeper of Defiance.
Julie Benz as Amanda Rosewater, the Mayor of Defiance.
Tony Curran as Datak Tarr, the right hand and chief advisor to Amanda.
Jaime Murray as Stahma Tarr, Datak’s wife.
Stephanie Leonidas as Irisa, an Irathient warrior who serves as Nolan’s deputy.
Mia Kirshner as Kenya, the self-assured, dauntless town madam.
Graham Greene as Rafe McCawley, the owner and operator of the largest mine in the territory.
Fionnula Flanagan as Nicky, the ex-mayor and trusted mentor of Amanda.
Season 4 of Warehouse 13 is starting to heat up with Brother Adrian’s (Brent Spiner) discovery that it was indeed Artie (Saul Rubinek) who used the Astrolabe, though I wonder if this storyline can last throughout the season. I think it will probably be resolved by the season hiatus after episode 10. In the meantime the storyline of Steve Jinks’s (Aaron Ashmore) resurrection will now center on the downsides as well, that is, when he gets injured than so does Claudia Donovan (Allison Scagliotti).
As for ‘No Pain, No Gain’, here is the synopsis…
While Artie and Steve investigate the theft of artifacts from the warehouse, Mrs. Frederic invites Claudia to lunch and Pete and Myka investigate a miraculously healed athlete.
No sign as yet of Jaime Murray reprising he role of H.G. Wells.
Here is the video promo for ‘No Pain, No Gain’…
Here are the preview photos for ‘No Pain, No Gain’…
The next episode of Warehouse 13 is entitled ‘Personal Effects’.
And from the trailer below we know Myka, Pete and Artie have to fetch no less than six artifacts. Sadly it would also appear that Jaime Murray won’t reprise her role as H.G. Wells in this episode. I am starting to think she might not be so ‘regular’ after all. The character of Leena (Genelle Williams) has a larger role during in the last episode which I thought was quite OK, perhaps the shows creators can attempt to broaden her character out a bit. So far she has been a poor man’s Astrid (played by Jasika Nicole on Fringe). As for the ratings, Warehouse 13 unfortunately took a dive with the second episode of the season and the numbers are already creeping towards the lows of the third season.
Here is the episode synopsis…
Pete and Myka require the need of the rest of the team when they have to track down the remaining artifacts from Sykes’ arsenal.
A Neuromancer movie has been in the making almost since 1989, after a few years of Hayden Christensen and Joseph Kahn we got word that Vincenzo Natalie (Cube, Cypher) is attached to the project. That was a major relief to fans of Neuromancer as it was believed he may handle the subject appropriately. The last thing fans want is for this movie to get a PG-13 rating, they want an R movie and nothing less. Despite Natalie’s involvement things quickly grew quiet again, funding seemed to be the major problem. At last it was rumored he wouldn’t even direct but just produce the movie. Earlier this year more rumors circulated that funding had finally been obtained and that preliminary production had started. Now there has been talk that Mark Wahlberg is attached to the project to play the anti-hero Case and Liam Neeson would play Armitage (the main antagonist).
Apparently Mark Wahlberg has connections with film producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura and that seems to have given him the edge. Fans have so far responded lukewarm to Wahlberg’s casting and I have to admit myself that I can’t really see him playing Case (he is too old for one). However, maybe we all just need to warm up to the idea for a while. Liam Neeson’s casting seems very solid and has been warmly recieved. For most fans the biggest question is…. Who will play Molly? The famous razorgirl that has may geek hearts pumping faster. Carrie-Anne Moss’s character Trinity from the Matrix Trilogy was largely inspired by Molly but I am afraid she is getting on a bit (44 years old),
So, from my bag of sci-fi chicks I nominate 5 plausible girls to play Molly.
1. Olivia Wilde. She resembles Molly physically the most and is a well established actress. Despite playing a rather complicated character on House I wonder if she really has the ability to play the femme-fatale Molly. Olivia is also hesitant about nudity in movies so that will put a Neuromancer with her in the PG-13 bracket.
2. Summer Glau. Her character from The Terminator Chronicles and Alphas is similar to Molly.
3. Noomi Rapace. She has of course played a hacker in the swedish version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo but otherwise seems to be a bit too petit to resemble Molly, her character in Prometheus was also not really to my liking.
4. Jaime Murray. Has played many femme fatales and seems to be able to put on a serious character as well. That said she mostly does TV work and that has already eliminated a few actresses.
5. Anna Torv. She has the ability to play wildly differing characters and with a bit of hair dye easily resembles Molly, though I am afraid she also mainly just does TV work.
Runner-uppers are Tricia Helfer, Bridget Moynahan, Carrie-Anne Moss, Claudia Black and Jolene Blalock.
Some fans on the net have been busy speculating about other actresses for the role of Molly.
Apparently Erica Cerra (Eureka) and Rooney Mara (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) are top contenders. The former is interesting but unlikely and the latter’s version of Lisbeth Salander was not as inspiring as Noomi Rapace’s version. Other Actresses such as Jessica Biel, Kate Beckinsale, Milla Jovovich and Natalie Portman are interesting but too exposed to convincingly play the role. Jeri Ryan might cause fans to get distracted (Ahemmmm). Linda Hardy (Immortal) and Evangeline Lilly (Lost) are also two plausible contenders though the latter’s character of Kate on Lost was not really to my liking.
In the end we are looking for plausible actresses and not really famous ones who have high exposure. At this moment I would say Olivia Wilde and Noomi Rapace are the likely picks with Anna Torv and Summer Glau behind them mostly because they have done more TV work.