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New Syfy series, Defiance – seven alien races attempt to coexist with humans on Earth

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Syfy - Defiance - coming April 2013

Screenshot from the Defiance video gameSyfy’s newly announced series, Defiance, will premiere on April 15, 2013.  The new series will feature 12 episodes with the debut episode running 2 hours.  The show will be tied to a Defiance MMO video game which will share the Defiance universe with the show and add additional context to the feature storyline.  Executive Producer Kevin Murphy explained the tie-in:

“Our show has its own dramatic storytelling needs, its own storylines. But if you choose to partake of both, because we exist in a shared universe with dual portals or entrances, you get a richer, fuller, more nuanced experience because when some huge catastrophic weather event happens in the TV show, if you’ve been playing along in the game, something the player has done actually put those events into motion. And you have that extra additive experience. It’s all referential. So if you know about both, it helps the experience and it adds to it. But you do not need to know anything about one to enjoy the other, which is one of the nice things about it. I think that’s and then having done that, there’s some great crossover opportunities.”

The set of Defiance

The series revolves largely around the character of Jeb Nolan. Jeb was only ten years old when the Votans, an alien race, arrived on planet Earth.  When Jeb’s service in the military ends and he returns to his hometown of St. Louis, he finds that its is no longer the city he left. It is little more than a refugee camp renamed “Defiance.” Deciding that his services are needed, Jeb takes up a position as the Chief Lawkeeper in Defiance, so he can protect the town from dangerous clashes between humans and aliens, military scavengers and other dangerous visitors who occasionally enter the town.

Entertainment Weekly describes the new series:

“Set in the near future, Defiance introduces an exotically transformed planet Earth, its landscapes permanently altered following the sudden – and tumultuous – arrival of seven unique alien races. In this somewhat unknown and unpredictable landscape, the richly diverse, newly-formed civilization of humans and aliens must learn to co-exist peacefully. Each week, viewers will follow an immersive character drama set in the boom-town of Defiance, which sits atop the ruins of St. Louis, Missouri, while in the game, players will adventure in the new frontier of the San Francisco Bay area. The dramatic tapestry of the series and the intense action of the game will exist in a single universe where their respective narratives will inform one another and evolve together into one overall story.”

The aliens in the show, known as Votans, are a collection of seven different alien species who evolved on separate planets in the Votan star system.  The different races banded together to flee their star system when their sun went nova, and ultimately arrived at Earth.  An eighth Votan race did exist, but are believed to have died out when the Votan star system was destroyed.  The alien races break down as follows:

  • Castithan – One of the more prominent races in the series, the Castithan appear very similar to humans. Their coloration is very pale, however, verging on albinism, with pale white skin, white hair, and pale yellow eyes. The Castithans used to have a patriarchal, rigidly segregated caste-based society on their home planet, though this has broken down somewhat among the survivors on Earth. The Castithan language was created by linguist David J. Peterson, developer of the Dothraki language used in Game of Thrones.
  • Battle with a IndogeneIndogene – the most technologically advanced Votan race. They have bright white skin and no visible hair follicles. Their heads are hairless and smooth; their external ears don’t really protrude, smoothly merging with the rest of the head. They have hexagonal shaped irises, and their skin is covered in faint hexagon-shaped scales; even their written language is based on hexagon shapes. As the most scientifically advanced Votan race, they have been upgraded with numerous genetic and cybernetic implants.
  • Irathient – A near-human race with an affinity for nature and adept at tribal warfare, described as almost feral marauders. Their coloration is more similar to humans than the pale Castithans, with brightly colored hair and white markings on their faces (which might be cultural decoration, not biological). However, the proportions of their facial features and slightly different from humans (and the human-like Castithans), with a wider bridge of the nose arcing towards the eyes, and very large multi-colored irises. David J. Peterson also developed the full Irathient language.
  • Liberatta – slightly shorter than humans, they have with blockier facial features. They have long scruffy yellow hair. They are described as a servant-class race.
  • Sensoth – slightly larger and taller than humans, they basically resemble a more humanoid orangutan. Their bodies are covered in reddish-brown fur, except on their faces, which have grayish skin. Their jaws protrude further forward than on humans, like apes.  Actors playing Sensoth characters have remote-controlled prosthetic appliances attached to their heads to achieve this effect.

Check out the videos below for trailers, the making of, and other Defiance information.  You can find many more Defiance videos on the YouTube channel, Defiance Universe.


Syfy Defiance trailer–Something New


Defiance–Worlds Away trailer


The Making of Defiance–Sets and Environments


Defiance Trailer–SyFy


Sources: Entertainment Weekly, Wikipedia, Defiance website, Defiance Universe (YouTube)