Defiance Season Two
UKIP’s nightmare: alien immigrants you can’t send home
Release Date: 19 January
2014 | 18 | Blu- ray/ DVD Creator: Rockne S O’Bannon Cast: Grant Bowler, Stephanie Leonidas, Julie Benz, Jaime Murray, Tony Curran
Season one of
Defiance ended on a bum note, as Syfy’s gritty, witty and slightly pervy series about humans and various alien races being forced to coexist on a post- apocalyptic Earth quickly went all epic fantasy. Gods, resurrections and prophecies suddenly took precedence over the crime, politics and rutting that had dominated most of the series.
Season two not only returns to what the show does best – the crimes get grimier, the politics get twistier and the sex gets pervier – but also seems desperate to try to rebalance the fantasy excesses by giving them an SF rationale. It partially succeeds… until the season finale collapses under the weight of its own pretensions.
So, for example, watching deposed mayor of Defiance Amanda Rosewater become a drug addict who falls for the dubious charms of the smarmy publicity- whore who’s been installed as the new mayor is far more fun than watching “little wolf ” Irisa turn into some kind of technoprophet. In fact, Irisa, one of the best characters in season one, is hobbled here by mostly looking confused and/ or sulky, separated from the other characters with whom she used to interact so sparkily.
The show’s other breakout characters, such as the conniving ( and wonderfully sarcastic) alien doctor Yewll, just get better and better, though. Meanwhile, Datak and Stahma Tarr, the mutually untrusting husband and wife Mafia boss- style Castithans, continue to outsmart each other at every turn and make bath time into a full contact sport. There’s also a new nightclub for humans who want to crossdress as aliens, murder mysteries, and twists galore. And aside from a few dodgy CG effects the show looks amazing, with some gorgeously grungy production design.
It seems odd to want a show to be less ambitious, but Defiance definitely works better when it’s dealing with the everyday nitty gritty of its characters rather than big concepts.
An alternate ending for season one ( four minutes), deleted scenes ( 24 minutes), a gag reel ( seven minutes), a behind- the- scenes look at the show in the company of actor Jesse Rath ( 22 minutes), and five minisodes – “The Lost Ones” – which bridge the gap between seasons one and two ( 25 minutes). Dave Golder
A simple tale of revenge stretched to breaking point
The unlabelled filing cabinet came as a terrible blow.
“No – I’ve got better facial hair!”