Slated to begin production in April 2012 in Toronto, “Defiance” is a gritty science fiction drama that will attempt to combine a series with an MMO shooter of the same name. Set in the near future on an Earth transformed by alien terraforming machines and ravaged by many years of war, it focuses on a group of survivors, both human and alien, who try to rebuild after the devastation. Events in both the series and the game will affect the other.
The story will center on Jeb Nolan, played by Grant Bowler, who is the lawman in what is essentially a frontier town amidst the devastation. Nolan was a Marine who fought in the alien war, losing his wife and child during the conflict. Those traumatic events turned him into a drifter in this ravaged and strange Earth, but the skills he learned make him a valuable and effective peacekeeper in this struggling town.
Julie Benz has been cast as Amanda Rosewater, the newly appointed mayor of this frontier town. Stephanie Leonidas plays Irisa, a beautiful alien warrior from a race called the Irathients. Her father was a criminal killed by Nolan who then adopted her and now uses her as his deadly assistant. Tony Curran is Datak Tarr and Jaime Murray is his wife, Stahma. Datak and Stahma are part of an alien race known as the Castithans who escaped their home planet before it was destroyed.
The pilot is directed by Scott Stewart, with writing/executive producing going to Rockne S. O’Bannon (Farscape), Kevin Murphy (Caprica), and Michael Taylor (Battlestar Galactica). Kevin Murphy will also serve as showrunner. With a pedigree and premise like this I have high hopes for this new offering from Syfy and welcome the addition of some hard science fiction programming from the network.