We take a look at the pilot episode of Defiance in our video review which you can check out below. Does the TV show compliment the game and vice versa?
Defiance TV Show review – Text Version.
As Defiance airs on US and now UK shores in conjunction with the video game release, how does the Syfy series which obviously has set its sights quite high fare? Having watched the pilot after playing the video game, the synergy between the two mediums is interesting but not entirely apparent just yet. It appears, further viewing is likely to be required as the pilot episode bears no real relation to the video game other than through location, theme and the introduction of lead and supporting characters. In terms of story, the pilot serves as a catalyst in setting the tone and affiliations.
The TV show starts off well as it introduces the bond between ex war hero Joshua Nolan and his Irathient side kick Irisa. Both characters are a little one dimensional in the fact that they are typically as tough as nails and refuse to take any crap from anyone – with Nolan being a little more smug than the often silent Irisa. They are ark hunters looking to make some coin so that they can head to Antarctica which is said to be the perfect place considering the now terraformed planet earth lies ravaged and infested with all sorts of nasties. The partnership works well between the two with some interesting moments and once more is revealed about their relationship viewers should be able to bond with these two. Their encounter with Defiance really sets the stage for their characters and plight, and as they aid the inhabitants become embroiled in the politics and draw affiliations with the female members of the settlement – well Nolan does at least. Irisa’s time is less frugal as her moments merely define her aggressive Irathient roots which might get old if overused.
After some action sequences, a bit of CGI and some alien costumes which look more akin to Star Wars circa 1977 and you have an interesting mix of characters and scenarios which pull in the viewer. There are some underlying sub plots interwoven into the main duo’s plight, and some sort of malevolent forces at play behind the scenes adding a dark factor to the already predicable story. Sadly, the overall plot does feel a bit tame which considering its later viewing time after 9pm could have been a bit more complex, graphic and mature. That said, for a non taxing action adventure the pilot serves its purpose well in setting the stage for later stories.
Defiance might not be the best science fiction TV show or the most in depth, but it does have an interesting premise and likeable – albeit predictable lead characters. In terms of the video game, it’s perhaps early days to draw comparisons but at least they share the overall sense of direction and familiar themes which is good if you’ve watched the show and would like to extend the experience further. Should you play the game or watch the TV show is perhaps the question to be asked. The answer is yes, but I feel the TV show at least needs a bit more time to establish itself and hopefully take a few more risks with its storytelling.
Video Game Trailer: