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NBC and Syfy are really going all out for their upcoming series and game Defiance. This is the first time that a game and an original television show have been done simultaneously, and every network’s watching this one closely to see if their either going to copy this format or be glad they didn’t take the gamble.
Our spoiler-free review of Syfy's new Western, DefianceSee more at: io9
We've seen the first three episodes of Syfy's biggest gamble to date, the half-futuristic neo-Western, half-MMO game Defiance. Was it worth the risk? Can Syfy resurrect the sci-Western without stepping in a big pile of "Firefly did it better?" Here are our first impressions.
Here's the backstory: On April 14th 2013, the Votanis Collective arrives on Earth after a 5,000 year hypersleep journey. The collective is made up of 5 different alien races who have fled their dying solar system. Earth was supposed to be their new beginning, so imagine their surprise when they wake up and find it well-populated with humans. Humans give the Collective a plot of land in Brazil, but like all good science fiction alien race wars, negotiations fail and the Pale Wars begin. This war over the Earth lasts for 15 years, eventually ending in an uneasy truce but not before blasting away much of the familiar landscape of our home. Defiance takes place 30 years after the Collective first appeared.
Now that the Earth has been forever altered due to war and alien terraforming, humanity goes full Tombstone. Cue the old timey steampunk leathers, aliens in top hats, and dirt roads. Because concrete doesn't exist anymore (seriously the townspeople can build a new Saint Louis Arch but not paved roads).
This neo-West world is centered around two drifters, and our main characters Nolan (played by the forever-stubbled Grant Bowler) and his adopted alien daughter Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas). Together the two get saddled with the local Lawkeeper job in the town of Defiance. Putting them directly in the line of fire for every weekly drama.
This twosome is the heart and soul of the series, so thank goodness they're great. Irisa shines as the rebellious (but not obnoxious) teen counterpart to her dad's Mal Reynolds/Han Solo mashup that hasn't quite gelled yet. On the surface Nolan's character feels like another mediocre copy of great anti-heroes from out past, but by the third episode the relationship between these two brings out a lot of bigger themes that we're interested in. How can a human man raise an alien daughter? What mistakes will he make along the way? How will she respond to his failures coupled with her own adolescence? It's new drama territory that helps Defiance find its own voice. Irisa will win you over from the beginning, Nolan may take some time.
The rest of the Defiance citizens are torn between two warring, local families: The McCawleys, the town titans who own the very lucrative mine; and the Castithan Tarr family (a race from the Votani Collective). Datak Tarr (Tony Curran) is your run-of-the-mill Western Gangster. Think The Quick and The Dead's Herod meets Jabba the Hutt. Datak Tarr runs the gambling rings, fighting arenas and all the other seedy operations inside Defiance. He and his white clan stay fairly distant from the humans in town, until his son falls in love with the McCawley's daughter. Oh, we should mention that the McCawley cast is made up of folks from Native Americans and First Nations heritage, thus creating some kind of tortured metaphor that we're not really sure was truly thought out. Either way, the bad blood is good drama, especially when each weekly mystery slowly unveils more about the secretive world of the Castithan.
Syfy Channel Brings Pop-Up Hotel To SXSW To Promote New Series ‘Defiance’
The special pop-up hotel is part of the Defiance Container Village by Syfy located in a downtown parking lot and includes fully functional rooms featuring minimalist design, a 24-hour concierge service, round-the-clock security, their own bathroom and shower facilities, and twice daily maid service. The area is meant to promote the network’s upcoming television series and accompanying online game, Defiance.
The Defiance Container Village allows visitors to explore the futuristic world of Defiance, which premieres on Syfy on April 15, 2013 at 9/8c. Grant Bowler, Julie Benz, Stephanie Leonidas, Tony Curran, Jaime Murray, Graham Greene and Mia Kirshner all star in the show.
Source: Geeks of Doom
More about SXSW from Best Movies Ever -
Heading For Defiance Containment At SXSW (here)
A Look Inside SyfysDefiance Container Village At SXSW (here)
Making of Defiance Chapter 6: Nolan and Irisa