Can Syfy’s “Defiance” usher in a new era of interactive storytelling?

Updated April 15, 1:08pm CT

Given the popular Syfy shows that its three executive producers — Kevin Murphy (Caprica), Michael Taylor (Battlestar Galactica) and Rockne S. O’Bannon (Farscape) — have been involved with, the ambitious new Syfy series Defiance at the very least should have plenty of fan interest. Add to that the fact that it unfolds as not only a series but also a multi-platform video game, and that should really have fanboys and -girls intrigued.

Defiance is set in 2046, when Earth has been transformed and its landscape permanently altered by the sudden and tumultuous arrival of seven unique alien races. Each week, viewers follow an immersive character drama set in the boomtown of Defiance, which sits atop the ruins of St. Louis, while in the game, players experience the frontier of the San Francisco Bay Area. The dramatic tapestry of the series and the action of the game will exist in a single universe where their respective narratives inform one another and evolve together into one overall story. Among its other accolades, the Defiance game was named Best MMORPG from GameSpy at the E3 conference in June 2012.

Series star Grant Bowler gave us some intriguing thoughts on Defiance at Comic-Con last summer.

“What we’re trying to make is essentially a melting pot,” Bowler said. “The idea of Defiance is a melting pot. It’s America. It’s an immigrant story, if you like. The seven races are coming to Earth to immigrate, not to conquer. What we’re talking about is an allegory. I’m originally from Australia, Tony’s [Curran] originally from Scotland, Jaime’s [Murray] English, so in a way Defiance is our story. We’re also a melting pot of Trion and Syfy, we’re a melting pot of genres and media. But the show itself is really the story of people starting over.”

“It has a family element,” star Julie Benz also told us at Comic-Con. “You have a love story at its heart as well. It gives us so many human issues we face. Racism, rebuilding your life. I see it more from a humanity aspect than an actual sci-fi/frontier element.”

Along with Grant Bowler and Julie Benz, Defiance also stars Stephanie Leonidas, Tony Curran, Jaime Murray, Graham Greene and Mia Kirshner.

Defiance airs Mondays at 9pm ET/PT on Syfy beginning April 15. Primetime repeats of Defiance air Fridays on Syfy.

Additional reporting by Stacey Harrison


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Defiance cast: © 2012 Syfy Media, LLC. Credit: Joe Pugliese

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