Against odds and aliens, ‘Defiance’ dazzles

By Sorraya Brashear- Evans
Staff Writer

Once “Battlestar Galactica” ended, there was a void for a decent sci-fi TV show. But finding the perfect balance of realistic special effects, a good cast and an engaging plotline proved to be a bit of a challenge.

Flops like “Fox” and “Terra Nova” proved that you couldn’t just throw some special effects over a boring story and expect it keep viewers.

Let’s face it: there have only been a handful of fascinating science fiction shows that have truly been hits. Syfy’s “Defiance” gives the geeky folk hope.

Science fiction screenwriters Rockne S. O’Bannon, Kevin Murphy and Michael Taylor have potentially hit the proverbial jackpot when it comes to hit shows this summer.

Its story is pretty straightforward. Thirty-three years ago, eight alien races called Votans were brought to Earth on giant ships called Arks that ignited a huge war. This war went on until the time of Arkfall. All of the races then entered a treaty with each other, but lingering tensions kept relations fragile.

Defiance is a protected town where aliens and humans live alongside one another as equals. Built on the remains of St. Louis, this is the only known place of harmony surrounded by regions known as the “bad lands.”

The show’s protagonist is Nolan (Grant Bowler), a former Marine from a small battalion known as the Defiant Few, who now wants nothing more than to travel to Antarctica.

He’s accompanied by his adoptive daughter Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas), who is a member of the Irathient race but was rescued and raised as Nolan’s own child. Through a series of mishaps, Nolan finds himself the new sheriff of Defiance and convinces Irisa that it’s still a town worth fighting for.

Although the two-hour season premiere seemed lengthy, everything seemed to come together nicely. I was pleasantly surprised to see myself still fascinated as a more complicated storyline unfolded in the second episode.

The show accomplished its goal by captivating the hard-to-sell attention of science fiction fanatics while inspiring others who weren’t previously aware of the greatness it entails.

Although it’s still early in the game to place a definitive stamp on “Defiance,” it shows great promise for lasting success. Stay tuned for future episodes.

After a disappointing series of cancellations, ‘Defiance’ carries the torch for new sci-fi adventure shows. (AP Photo)