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4.2 out of 5 stars44
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 2 April 2013
In many ways, it's easy to see why this show was cancelled; it required the audience to think about what was happening and remember past events, in an age where TV is full of explosions, fast-cuts and two-dimensional characters. It was also a very hard-science brand of science fiction: there were no transporters, warp drives, ray guns or rubber-headed aliens. Everything had been designed to look like it was something that might actually be used on a real space-mission, and they were unafraid to show that being an astronaut is a hard, life-long commitment that only a select few can every aspire to.

Time moves between the 'present' of the mission and the 'past' of training and selection, something that can seem a little confusing at first, but actually works. Other shows would have had the entire first season be nothing more than training and selection, ending with the departure of the mission, but in Defying Gravity they found a way to blend the two time lines together so that they can show you the more visually exciting elements, namely the mission, with the more character driven back story.

The characters are complicated, with deep back stories that are gradually unveiled as time passes. We get an understanding of why they are the way they are. They are complex, functioning humans rather than a collection of stereotypes, and it's easy to see why even the intentionally unsympathetic characters are the way they are. It was clear that a number of the supporting characters were going to become more important had the show continued, so they can seem a little out of place when shown interacting with the main cast. We feel that there are stories there, but we don't know what those stories are.

Visually, Defying Gravity is nothing short of stunning; the sets are a work of art, the CGI is first rate and the sound effects well played. A lot of inspiration was taken from the BBC/Discovery Channel docudrama Space Odyssey: Voyage To The Planets, including the design and mission of the Antares. But where as Space Odyssey had been intended to look like a documentary from the future, Defying Gravity is very clearly a work of speculative fiction.

I wouldn't say this show is a “must see”, but if you like substance over style, and a little more science in your science-fiction, then its something you might want to consider checking out.
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on 25 March 2013
I loved this series. If you're looking for an intelligent and engrossing sci-fi drama, you couldn't do any better. Unlike other series that often have interesting sci-fi ideas but wooden characters, or vice-versa, each episode forwards both the plot and the character development. Easily one of my favourite sci-fi series ever. I am mystified why it was cancelled after just 1 series.
11 comment30 of 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 August 2013
I watch this series on the TV and really thought it was excellent and wanted to buy it in the uk, so when I saw it was available I decided that it was time to re-establish contact with the characters - It was better than I remember, even though I knew the plot and story.
Well acted, good casting and mysterious story all add to a must purchase, even for those who do not like sci-fi.

It is a shame that the series was axed, maybe if we are lucky it may come back
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on 23 July 2013
This is a truly excellent TV series and as usual was cut off as it got going, similar to what was done to Joss Wheddon's "Firefly". For some reason American audiences want poorly developed characters and weak storylines instead of what they get in this show which is intelligent, well developed human characters, and an underlying mystery all come together to produce something you cannot take your eyes from. Really superb.
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on 26 March 2013
I caught a few episode of the show on TV and was curious as to the outcome of the story. When I saw the DVD, I bought it with some excitement. I was justified in my enthusiasm. The characters develop through the episodes and the consequences of carrying beta on board really catch the imagination. When I saw the last episode I was distraught to learn that there will be no more of this series produced. I was so engaged by the story, I went on line to learn what the writer/producer had planned for each character. Even this was surprisingly exciting. This is a very good DVD that will fill a few hours pleasantly but beware of the cliffhangers that will never be resolved. Usual standard extras. Very good but could have been so much more.
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on 20 March 2013
I really enjoyed this series. Complex and rounded characters, with slowly revealed back stories that gave motivation to their actions. This was a slow burn with the emphasis on the characters and developing plot rather than action. The story revolves around the build-up and execution of a grand tour of the planets lasting several years. As the series unfolds not everything is as it seems and not even all the astronauts know the real purpose of the mission. Even those in the know are uncertain. This got canned in the States and didn't even get the last few episodes broadcast, with fans having to watch them on the Internet. It was more popular in the UK and reminiscent of shows like Quatermas, where plot and dialogue cost less than action and special effects. This show must have had a good budget as the production qualities were good. After it was canned and evident no second series was going to be made or even a graphic novel follow-up, like Firefly, I found an interview with the creator, James Parriott (on cliqueclack) who explained where it was going and how it would end.

I'd loved to have seen the conclusion, but at least you're not left with a cliff hanger.
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on 18 October 2013
Very interesting and dramatic space odyssey. High profile Characters and interesting Script. Credible and good Space environment and technology. I guess the Author got some inspiration from Solaris of Stanislaw Lem. Unfortunately some questions get not resolved because the series was discontinued but there are no real cliffhangers.
I watch a lot of science fiction of all sorts. This one I would put into the top 20% I have ever enjoyed.
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on 30 July 2013
This was a realy excelent series and I am truly ammazed that this only ran for one series. But as with so many things comming off the TV or cinema the wheelers and dealers kill anything that does not immeadtly make a profit. Good fairly unknown actors, good stories and great potential, NEED a brain and the ability to see 'Potential' my thought as to why only one series = Too wordy, need to think, not lots of "bang/bang". Not suitable for anybody who's concentration level exceeds 30 seconds!
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on 8 May 2015
I recommend Defying Gravity (DG) despite the one flaw of the special effects for the artificial gravity; it was not very well done, although I doubt anyone can do it well because it is such a difficult special effect. Another point, which only Singularitarians will notice, is the level of technology was too far in the future, it was not advanced enough for the year, which if my memory serves me was year 2055 or maybe 2050. I would chronologically place their supposed level of tech at around 2030 or mid to late twenties, but I suppose people unaware of the Singularity would think such tech in that year, along with the level of Space exploration, would be too advanced. What I mean is I would have expected to see my 3D-printing, more robotics, and more AI. In fact I don't specifically remember seeing any AI or robots in DG.

It is a shame the series ended. It was just starting to become very good. It's like Grey's Anatomy in Space without the medicine of course, by which I mean the characters have the same level of depth, familiarity, good characterisation, good interpersonal relations, good interpersonal dynamics. Being in Space the plot is also more far out than Grey's.
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on 25 October 2013
You do not need to be a sci-fi buff to enjoy the superb drama and wonderful character development in this series. It is excellent in every respect including the technical detail. My wife and I were entranced by it. Buy it - you will not regret it.
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