So have you all been watching the first few episodes of the hugely hyped and to some, hugedly anticipated new show on SyFy channel?
The very big gimmick with this new science fiction series is that it has been launched simultaneously with a video game counter part MMO, which in theory, will play along and open up narratively at the same time as the show on television. The show looks to be also one of the biggest budget science fiction series on television for quite some time, and so many people have very high hopes for it.
After a double length pilot show and two more episodes, we are now getting to see the series progress and reveal characters, and a number of storylines. I have not personally had the chance to engage with the online MMO game, though I have read some reviews which seem to suggest that there have been a few problems technically and with pace and entertainment. Some just think that the game is terrible and has not really been successful at all.
The online game and weekly television show dual progression is one thing, but forgetting the game, lets just focus on what the show has given us so far.
This is probably the biggest American science fiction television series since Joss Whedon’s very respected and now very influential Firefly series. At this point in time, any sci-fi show will very likely pay some respect and acknowledgement to the character and dialogue writing of Whedon and this is evident here with Defiance. Also there are traces of shows like Farscape, Babylon 5.
Personally, so far I am begining to think that possibly the writers have attempted to make the show appeal to too wide an audience and there are some interesting problems with who the audience is or should be. Yes, it is a large budget spectacular sci-fi television show-almost everyone, all of the family could sit together and watch and enjoy that. But then it is also an online MMO, not too dissimilar to World of Warcraft etc., and those games while massively popular internationally do have probably a certain age and generational audience.
I was enjoying the show, on and off through the first two hour pilot- there were some great visual sets, loctaions, strange alien groups and a possible great storyline building up. There were also some sadly cliched and boring characters. Some of it came across like great post-Firefly inventiveness, while other parts seemed like very bad shoddy Star Wars forgotten ideas.
I am hoping that it might gradually display much more intense entertainment, stronger character conflicts and drama soon, and so I will probably hang with it a couple more weeks. Have you been playing the Defiance game and watching or just seen the show? What do you think of it so far?