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A little bit of Sci-Fi...

Anybody watching Defiance?

I had a hard time getting through the first half of the Pilot, it just felt so slow. Admittedly, it was the same for me with the Firefly Pilot way back when. However, the second half picked things up a bit and I kind of enjoyed the next two episodes.

Not playing the game or anything. I just want a Sci-Fi show, not a multimedia experience. And as a TV show, it should be able to stand on its own.

They were a bit scarce on exposition. Don`t get me wrong, I like when writers don`t treat their audiences as dumber than rocks and explain everything to them but I`m just now (with the help of google) get an understanding of how many Votan races there are and what they are called, how they differ. Heck, during some of the Pilot, I didn`t even get that there WERE different races. I thought the "Votan" were one alien species - probably the white-haired ones - and the other different species were due to genetic mutations as a result of the terraformed landscapes. After all, it did change plant and animal life so presumably, it changes DNA, why not human then.

But okay, we have Castishans (spelling?) aka the white-haired ones, Irathient aka Irisa, Indogene aka cyborgs (I only got that from google, they could have been a tech-ie/brainy species), the Apes (apparently Liberata?), the Volge aka weird looking blobs in armour.

The feeling is very much Firefly Western-ish in terms of atmosphere. Just without space-travel and those Sci-Fi aspects (sniff, I WANT a space-show). But basically, it`s backwater planet (previously Earth) with backwater town (previously St.Louis) as a melting pot of humans and aliens. Along with some old-school Western themes. The third episode was a pretty straight forward play on Irathient = Native Americans in terms of the history of the town and what went down here.

You even get Irisa`s struggle as a child of two worlds. Speaking of, in my eyes, probably the most interesting character right now. The actress does a good job portraying the typical "tough chick" without making it too clichéd. And the emotional turmoil could easily go to brattish hysterics. It probably helps that her dynamic with her "father" works pretty well. I buy that these love each other and I buy that these two have issues with each other. Remarkably, TV usually has a big problem getting both themes across at the same time, i.e. when characters start squabbling like that, you don`t buy their love anymore. Not so here.

As a race the Castishans work well in terms of alienness. The S/M outfits in the bath? The half-naked mom full-body-hugging her grown up son? Ooo-kay. And it`s hilarious how the dad complained about their son`s human fiancee being a weirdo and bathing alone. Teehee.

Second best character is probably the alien mom. Her husband isn`t dumb, on some level he even realizes when she is totally manipulating him and he is all macho-alien-man about keeping your woman in check but... she is totally and utterly manipulating him. She might literally wear skimpy bath outfits but metaphorically she wears the pants in that relationship.

And the bad guys aren`t outright carricatures either. Alien Dad and Miner Dad are both "kingpins" if you will but have also human sides to them.

Impressive that noone makes a big deal of the Mayor being the sister of the local Madam. They are not even estranged or anything, it`s just their respective professions.

So in order of interesting characters, I`d go: Irisa, Shtama? aka alien mom, Nolan, Datak? aka alien Dad, Tommy the deputy, Miner Dad.


In putting this all down I realized that at this point the female characters are drawn as more compelling and empowered than the male ones. It`s not the most common theme in Sci-Fi.

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Comments

( 5 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )
leelust
May. 1st, 2013 08:19 pm (UTC)
I'm watching it (couldn't resist to check out new O'Banon show being a fan of Farscape)/
I do too think Pilot was slow and i really like only 3rd ep but i need a scifi show to watch (am too would prefer a space show though).
I think the official site has all the descriptions and looks for all races but i'm bad with names so i read and totally forget everything. Those kibog-like race are techs though - it's all i remember :)
I like Irisa (? didn't even know it's her name) and the doc. Others are still flat to me. Alien mom imo is too much in your face manipulator so i don't find her interesting yet.
Too bad Irisa's *dad* doesn't give me anything to be hooked on :/ I'd like to be involved in them both not just with the girl.
astri13
May. 2nd, 2013 04:52 pm (UTC)
Too bad Irisa's *dad* doesn't give me anything to be hooked on :/

I like the character. He is a bit of a Western cliché, too, but I don`t mind so much. Hopefully, the relationship with his daughter gets explored more, especially on how they got together. He killed her parents and presumably because they were treating her badly but there is rich backstory to be had.
leelust
May. 2nd, 2013 05:02 pm (UTC)
I'm ok with a character, i guess i'm not hooked on actor. he doesn't do anything for me sadly. I remember when i first watched Farscape and i first saw John it was love at first sight. Here there's no love :/
I too think the story abput them getting together might be interesting though.
mareen
May. 2nd, 2013 04:14 am (UTC)
I love the father/daughter relationship. It is really well done and especially well acted.
I think this might be an O'Bannon thing. Remember in Alien Nation, the way George was the most devoted father, but had serious problems with his eldest son who was also a child of two worlds and started acting out because of it?

I started checking out the Online info on the show, because I wanted to know how they got to the situation they are in now.
Very interesting backstory! And if you know it, and watch the show, you realise they are constantly making remarks about what happened during the war and after, and what is happening to Earth now. I think the show will slowly reveal everything, too, but as I said....very slowly.

All in all, I really like it so far.
astri13
May. 2nd, 2013 04:55 pm (UTC)
I love the father/daughter relationship. It is really well done and especially well acted.
I think this might be an O'Bannon thing.


That`s a good point about Alien Nation. I didn`t make the connection till just now but I can see the similarities. Their scenes in episode 3 were really quite moving for me.

I think the show will slowly reveal everything, too, but as I said....very slowly.

I hope so. I don`t mind too much invoking a bit of google fu to check some facts but I don`t plan to get into the game or anything.
( 5 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )