A SciFi Lover Looks at Defiance

Defiance is the new SciFi Channel series that debuts tonight at 9 pm Eastern. Being a scifi fan, I always check out the new series, so I watched the preview special last week. I LOVE new worlds and seeing how their creators build them but this world looks REALLY complicated. I understand that at least two foreign languages were invented (hope they don’t speak them during the show). There are two humanoid races which I could live with but seven Votan races. Perhaps a little too complicated, since they all have different cultures. Few writers would introduce so many cultures/characters into a story. I hope that the production folks focus on the story rather than become too caught up in the background. Here’s a summary from various sources to keep track of story and cast of races (sorry it’s so long):

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Basically, in 2013 Earth is visited by a fleet of Votan ships loaded with millions of sleepers who are seeking a new home after their own star system is destroyed in a collision of its binary star system. When the fleet arrives, however, the extraterrestrials  discover that the Earth is already occupied by some Earthlings who are both hostile and suspicious.

A few of the Votans were allowed to settle on Earth to negotiate the settlement of the sleepers but the talks dragged on for a decade.  In 2023,  however, the Votan ambassador to the UN was assassinated, provoking a seven-year-long war between the humans and Votans. In 2030, the Ark fleet exploded killing millions of Votans and raining destruction and releasing the terraforming technology haphazardly on the Earth. The world’s biosphere and geology is radically altered and the survivors are faced with dangerous mutations and new species, including hellbugs (a vicious Votan bug that produces motor fuel) and biomen (fabricated humanoids engineered to serve as soldiers during the war). Pieces of the Ark continue to strike the Earth periodically, further endangering the survivors—human and Votan—who band together in an uneasy truce for survival.

The series is set in the year 2046 when Joshua Nolan returns to St. Louis, now called Defiance, and becomes the Chief Lawkeeper. His job is to maintain the truce between the humans and the five races of the Votanis Collective (excluding the Gulanee and the Volge). Even within the races of the Votans, however, there’s dissension between those who lived under the old social systems of the Votan homeworlds and those who are native to the new Earth.

The Castithans (an arrogant partriarchal race that resembles human albinos that is based on a caste system with strong religious beliefs), Indogenes (a white and hairless race with scales who are scientific and technical geniuses), and Irathients ( a human-like race with bronze skin with white mark who are aggressive and tribal but spiritual) were the most politically powerful races in their home star system. The Irathients, Liberata, and Sensoth lived amicably on the same world. The Indogenes who are from the same planet as the Castithans are a tolerant and rational race that tries to get along with everyone. The Castithans, a strict hierarchy, and Irathients, who value individualism and independence, hate each other. The Liberata are a servant race who is content to serve anyone.

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The Voltan Races & How The Survivors were Selected  

Each race decided who would be among the very few who boarded the ship. The Castithans sent their highest caste members though a few low-caste members managed to get on the fleet. Datak Tar, a Defiance leader is low caste, though his wife, Stahma Tarr is higher caste and pushed him him to acquire more power. The Indogenes chose their best and brightest. The Irathients went through a series of wars resulting with the strongest and fittest allowed on board. The Liberata, shorter and more heavily built than humans, became a servant culture, particularly of the Castithans, after their society imploded on their homeworld. The arboreal and long-lived Sensoth who resemble humanoid orangutans are strong, patient, and slow to act. They also have a history of service to the Castithans. The Gulanee are a mysterious energy-based race with only a few survivors who are confined to protective suits. The Volge are a cyber-race covered in armor with internal weapons who live underground and are hostile to everyone. No one knows how they got on board the ship.

So there’s the cast of characters. I’ll watch the two hour premiere, since Being Human is off until 2014 and Lost Girl won’t be on until the following week . Let me know what you think of Defiance.  Rita Bay

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