If you haven’t been watching Defiance, you’re honestly one of the Defiant Few. Defiance is an American science fiction television series developed by Rockne S. O’Bannon, Kevin Murphy, and Michael Taylor. The series is produced by Universal Cable Productions, in transmedia collaboration with Trion Worlds, who have released an MMORPG video game of the same name, which is tied into the series. The series really is an unprecedented partnership between Syfy and Trion Worlds, and the first-ever convergence of television and online gaming. Featuring an interconnected world and storylines that co-exist on both platforms.
The show takes place in the future on a radically transformed Earth containing new species, some having arrived from space, many others the result of contamination by Votan terraforming technology. Votan has transformed native Flora and Fauna in unforeseen ways. As the series opens, Joshua Nolan (Grant Bowler) works as the local sheriff, or Lawkeeper, for the town of Defiance, a community where humans and intelligent extraterrestrial species coexist. The show follows Nolan, his adopted alien daughter Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas), and the town’s new mayor, Amanda Rosewater (Julie Benz). With the trending success of Season 3’s premiere last night, I hope from here on out that you clear your schedules for a Stahma uavano (Castithan for ‘Stahma Invasion’). With that said, this article will contain a few spoilers regarding the previous two seasons, but I will try to forego spoiling much of the premiere itself.
If you’ve been following Defiance on the series side, you’ve already heard the first whispers about the big scary outer-space threat represented by the heretofore unmentioned Omecs. They were brought to life by new cast members Nichole Galicia and Conrad Coates in order to feast all vampire-like on whomever the writers chose at the time. In addition, there’s now the threat to Defiance in the form of the emboldened Votanis Collective led by the Castithan General Rahm Tak (Lee Tergesen), a major force within the Votanis Collective. In the Season 3 premiere, Nolan and Irisa are rescued from their underground confinement just in time to discover that the Votanis Collective and the Omecs are marching on the town of Defiance. Defiance has fallen on hard times following the collapse of the gulanite mines. Meanwhile, Datak, Stahma and Rafe run into deadly complications on their quest to reunite their family; and Alak comes to realize just how unstable her mother-in-law is during their journey through the woods.
The premiere was exhilarating and exhausting. With a siege on the town, it only made sense that there would be a few deaths of beloved characters, but what Defiance’s writers brought to the table was completely different. A few times during the episode, I found myself wondering whether or not I was watching a science-fiction version of Game of Thrones. Yes, it was that hectic and the show has certainly returned to the post-apocalyptic sci-fi series it always seemed to be. I guess, in a way, it made sense that the Votanis Collective would take this opportunity to take on the city that represented all the interspecies blending that the Votan loathed. It makes even more sense if you caught the finale of Season 2 wherein Irisa destroys New York City and, presumably, the E-Rep as a governing institution. With Tak at their helm, the Votanis Collective are anti-human zealots, dedicated to the idea that the Earth was their home by right after they were forced to flee their own star system. Until now, the Votanis Collective had largely existed off-screen, a shadowy counterbalance to the totalitarian regime of the E-Rep. Most of the Votans in Defiance didn’t seem all that concerned about having the Collective in their lives, but we all knew sooner or later, they’d make their presence known. And make it known they did.
Grant Bowler continues to play the pragmatic Nolan, with every bit the talent we know him to have, but the events of last night’s premiere will undoubtedly have an effect on the Lawkeeper. It’ll be interesting to see how these events affect his relationships with his allies within Defiance, as well as the relationship he shares with his adopted daughter. Meanwhile, Julie Benz returns to the West Wing-style politics that made her such an awesome mayor during Season 1. She talks keeping the peace to the town’s newest residents. Every minute was a nerve-wracking, adrenaline-charged burst of pure awesome that it makes you wonder what sort of things they’ll lead with next week.
Tune in to SyFy on Fridays at 8/7c for more nail-biting episodes.
(All photos courtesty of the Syfy Network.)