Defiance is an American science fiction television series which was developed for television by Rockne S. O'Bannon. The series is being produced in collaboration with Trion who are producing a Defiance MMO video game which will be connected to the series. Defiance stars Grant Bowler as Joshua Nolan, the local lawman in a post-apocalyptic city known as Defiance. The series is broadcast in the United States on the cable channel Syfy and in the U.K. on SyFy.co.uk; it is produced by Universal Cable Productions.
Production began in April 2012 in Toronto, Canada. Apparently, the writers of the show (Rockne S. O’Bannon, Craig Gore, and Tim Walsh) have enough material at this stage for at least two seasons.
The show was renewed for a 13 episode third season on September 25, 2014, to air in 2015.
Defiance opens up with a flashback scene, set in the present day (2012/2013), which is narrated by main character Joshua Nolan who explains exactly what happened to Earth. Alien ships entered Earth’s atmosphere seeking a new home after their own solar system was destroyed. They call themselves "Votans," and shortly after their arrival, negotiations begin between the aliens and the government(s) of Earth. After six years of negotiation, no agreement has been reached and a war begins between the two sides. By this time, Joshua Nolan (now sixteen years old) has enlisted in the military to fight for his people against these invading aliens.
In an air battle, the huge alien ships in the atmosphere are destroyed and they plummet down to Earth. However, contained within the wreckage of these vessels are terraformers which begin to transform the planet. This transformation was described as scorching the earth, creating vast chasms in the ground, and resulting in layers upon layers of debris and dirt forming on the surface of the planet; effectively burying major cities. It is then revealed that there is not one alien species but many, with Votan merely being the collective name they have chosen. One such species, the “Castithans," are alien but look entirely human.
As the war continues both sides come to realize that neither can win and they have only one joint priority: survival. With this realization, the war comes to an end and both sides focus on licking their wounds and attempting to rebuild. Which brings us to the time when the series will be set (approximately 30-50 years in the future). Joshua Nolan returns to his hometown of St. Louis, to find it no longer looks like the city he left nor is it called that anymore. St Louis is now Defiance. I have been told that Defiance is a kind of refugee camp; the one refuge for civilization in this new world where everything has changed. Realizing that his expertise from the military is needed in Defiance, Joshua Nolan takes the role of the “Chief Lawkeeper," making him responsible for keeping the residents of Defiance safe from the scavengers, dangerous Votans and other criminals that will occasionally breeze through the town.
The dramatic tapestry of this series and the intense action of the video game will exist in a single universe, evolving together over time to tell an overall story that is more powerful together. The characters of video game players are rumored to become extras on the television show.
- Joshua Nolan: He was 10 years old when the Votans first arrived. During the war, Nolan was a soldier, but he lost his family. Upon returning to his hometown of Defiance, he becomes the local lawman as he feels he has a duty to protect it.
- Amanda Rosewater: The idealistic Mayor of Defiance who is committed to maintaining peace in a deadly new world. The character has been described as being in her 40′s, Human and very sexy. One source likened her to the character of President Roslin from Battlestar Galactica.
- Datak Tarr: The right hand and chief advisor to Amanda, as well as a scheming Castithan alien and ark survivor.
- Stahma Tarr: Datak’s faithful wife and a high-ranking member of the elite Castithan alien species., this role was described as being very Lady Macbeth. Stahma is not satisfied with Datak’s station in Defiance and feels he (and by extension, She) should have more power. She comes from old money and is very cunning and arrogant, with a sense of entitlement.
- Irisa: A member of an alien species known as “Irathients," she is essentially the deputy to lead character, Joshua Nolan. Rumor has it that she and Nolan have something of a dark history that will be explored more deeply as the series develops.
- Rafe McCawley: The richest man in Defiance and owner of the largest mine in the territory.
- Executive Producer: Kevin Murphy. A veteran writer and producer, Murphy’s credits include Desperate Housewives, Caprica, Reaper, and Weird Science.
- Executive Producer and writer: Rockne O'Bannon. One of the top names in genre film and television, O’Bannon’s work includes Farscape, Alien Nation, Seaquest DSV, and 2011’s reboot of V.
- Executive Producer: Michael Taylor. Taylor has a sci-fi resume that includes Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, and The Dead Zone.
- Director: Scott Stewart. Defiance’s director helmed the feature films Priest and Legion but also has a visual effects resume that includes Iron Man, Sin City, and Superman Returns.
There are 12 episodes for Season 1 ("Pilot" was one episode, despite being credited for 2 parts), and there are 13 episodes for Season 2. Season 2 was already in production, despite Season 1 not being over yet. Season 3 has been scheduled to air in 2015, and will also contain 13 episodes.