27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Defiance - Season 1 [Blu-ray + UV Copy]  [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Defiance is an American post-apocalyptic sci-Fi series set in the Missouri town of Defiance. To make it clear from the outset, Defiance has very few similarities to Firefly, despite at least one negative reviewer's expectations. The show bears far more similarity to Farscape or Alien Nation - hardly surprising considering the heavy involvement of Rockne S. O'Bannon in all three shows. The main strength of Defiance is its exceptionally well thought out setting - Defiance is detailed, its history explored beyond any direct relevance to the story, and there is an interesting picture painted of the world beyond its walls. Even more impressive is the characterisation of Defiance's alien races, each of which possess a distinct culture, history and, thanks to linguist David J. Peterson, full languages that are spoken frequently and fluently. Combined with a generally excellent cast (including standout performances from Tony Curran and Jaime Murray as the ambitious and ruthless local crime family), Defiance creates a thoroughly engrossing and captivating world.
Story-wise the plots are generally above average, though unfortunately for every time the writers truly excel themselves (and there are some extremely good twists and subplots), there's a time that they seem to slump into tired and cringe-worthy sci-fi cliches. The ongoing intrigues and power struggles between the characters are often more entertaining than the main plot of an episode. Also, as might be expected in a relatively low budget SyFy series, Defiance's ambitions often outweigh its technical capacity (especially in the pilot episode, which features some very dodgy CGI effects).
Overall, Defiance is a very promising show with a few rough edges. I gave it 4 stars - if I could have given it 4.5 I would, but the inconsistant writing prevented a 5 star rating. Very much worth watching, and hopefully Season Two will continue the good work!
Excellent setting and characterisation
Capitvating intrigue and ongoing plots
Inconsistant quality of individual episodes
Occasional lapses into cliches
Inadequate special effects budget
P.S. Despite the quality of Defiance as a TV show, do not be tempted to try the video game to further flesh out the Defiance world - it takes the barest bones of the TV show development and lashes it to cliched stories, generic gameplay, terrible voice acting and generally fails in all the areas where the TV show succeeds.