With a widespread marketing campaign and a multi-platform tie-in video game launching just shy of simultaneously for Defiance, Syfy is working hard to get the word out about their new sci-fi/western series. Now, three weeks prior to the show’s launch, the cable network is releasing the first 14 minutes and 27 seconds of the pilot episode.
From Kevin Murphy (Caprica), the show is set in a near-future earth that has been wrecked and re-shaped by invading aliens. The show stars Grant Bowler (True Blood), Stephanie Leonidas (MirrorMask), Jamie Murray (Warehouse 13), Graham Greene (Twilight: New Moon), and Julie Benz (Dexter) as the residents of a small “border town” called Defiance, which has risen from the remnants of St. Louis.
Here’s the official synopsis for the show from Syfy:
In the year 2046, it’s a new Earth – with new rules. Over thirty years after various alien races arrived on Earth, the landscape is completely altered, terraformed nearly beyond recognition. To the town of Defiance, on what used to be St. Louis, comes the mysterious Nolan (Grant Bowler) and his charge, Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas). As they settle into town – overseen by the mayor, Amanda Rosewater (Julie Benz) and filled with residents like the powerful Rafe McCawley (Graham Greene), enterprising lounge owner Kenya (Mia Kirshner) and the ambitious, alien Tarrs (Tony Curran and Jaime Murray) – events begin to unfold that threaten the fragile peace this border town has fought for.
In the above clip, we see Bowler and Leonidas’ characters Nolan and Irisa get in and out of trouble while pursuing the remains of an “ark fall,” which is a crashed spaceship. Salvage hunters, Nolan and his alien friend know how to protect themselves, so when a gang of Spirit Riders come at them, they escape into the forest only to face certain doom before a group of locals save them and lead them to Defiance.
The game versions of the television characters
Seeing a bit of Murray, Benz, or Graham Greene in the clip would have been nice, since they’re clearly going to be integral to the show, but meeting Nolan and Irisa proved to be interesting. There is a great chemistry that can be see in this short clip, particularly as they sing June Carter Cash and Johnny Cash’s “Jackson” while driving.
As for the look and tone of the show, the CG could have had a bit more polish and on first blush, it almost seems as if the creators found the fallen arks of Firefly and Battlestar Galactica and tried to salvage some pieces from those beauties in their search for treasure. Will they be able to tie those things together with their own original concept and make something useful? Only time will tell.
Defiance premieres April 15th @9pm on Syfy