Defiance, the SyFy series: kinda okay

Posted by & filed under Reviews.

defianceSo, the SyFy is celebrating the most-watched scripted series premiere of the Defiance with 2.7 million viewers. Good sign? Probably. But how good?

They reached back into 2006. Seven. Years. Ago. That’s how long it’s been since a new and interesting serties got a decent rating. Practically while Stargate SG-1 was giving up it’s last Goa’uld ghost. When SciFi channel used to show, I don’t know, science fiction and not being obsessed with “ghost hunters”. Well, technically they did get obsessed with them even before then — cheap production costs, drama, ratings!

And as series itself it’s not bad, but rather boring and not engaging. Unshakeable feelings of “seen it” and “are they really going to go there” with “ugh” and “don’t really care” didn’t let me fully enjoy the first episode. Technically everything is there, all the ingredients. Defiant alien daughter (the rhinoplasty weird nose and forehead), soldiering father that just has to stay in this town “to keep the order” (hello, Jack Carter, your talking house misses you). Many aliens (including albinos) and some weird mutant things. Accidental techno-disaster, as a base for inter-species tensions. Mafias, fighting for the control of the city. Betrayal. Grand Conspiracy for the Sake of the Greater Good of Whole Humanity. Mediocre visual effects. Yet the combo doesn’t bring the joy 🙁

A bit more humor would be nice, a non-forced sense of self-irony, a bit less predictability. Oh, and probably less forced buzz about the fusion of game and on-screen content. Mostly because game seems to be rather rough around the edges right now (especially comparing to Guild Wars 2). Spartan content. Traditional server troubles. And bonus — rather low initial sales.

I’m judging by numbers from the SyFy’s press release that boasts about “six million hours of gameplay” since April 2nd. The game sales chart says first week had 173,399 + 65,174 + 53,551 = 292,124 copies sold. Being generous let’s presume the second week followed overall role-playing game pattern and sales dropped 72%. That’d be extra 81,794 copies. Total of about 380,000 copies and about 16 hours of gameplay per user. Not that much 🙁 (compare that to a million players and 31+ million hours in one week for Halo 4).

I’m afraid that by splitting their resources between game and series, we got two rather mediocre products instead of one strong tv series. For the sake of grandiose tv sci-fi series, I hope I’m wrong. And that second week will pick up and the Defiance will improve and become more interesting.

Leave a Reply