De­fi­ance Sea­son Two

UKIP’s night­mare: alien im­mi­grants you can’t send home

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - DVD & Blu-Ray -

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!”

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