Shtako! Defiance Cancelled

Defiance_season-3

Syfy has become a serial killer this year. The US channel is currently as axe-happy as a dwarf in an Orc-slaying competition, as stalwart shows are being cancelled one after another. Now you can add the three-season old Defiance to a list that this year includes Dominion and Haven. Two of the channel’s bought-in shows, Lost Girl and Continuum, also came to and in 2016.

Defiance was launched with huge fanfare back in  2013 in tandem with a video game. Viewers didn’t have to play the game, but if they did they learned much more about the world in which the TV show existed. Also events on screen would be reflected in the game, and – to a lesser extent – vice versa.

That world a post-apocalyptic Earth after an alien invasion which didn’t go quite to plan, where humans have to co-exist alongside a collective of various aliens who were as likely to fight amongst themselves as with the indigenous population. It starred Grant Bowler, Julie Benz, Stephanie Leonidas, Tony Curran and Jaime Murray and was a huge $100 million dollar gamble for Syfy.

defiance characters

At first it worked, with season one seeing some the channel’s biggest drama viewing figures ever, but the ratings fell with successive seasons. Plus, the game shtick never really took off; people played it, sure, but it never felt like a vital component in the show’s canon, more like a disposable optional extra. It received middling reviews from gaming magazines and websites, constant criticism being that it was repetitive.

The show was anything but. It’s unashamed latex-aliens-and-silly-languages approach may have narrowed its appeal to hardcore sci-fi lovers, but they were rewarded with a show that had fun with its format, delivered some great characters and could be amazingly hard-hitting and perverse at times. Season three may not have been a ratings hit but at least three episodes were among the best genre TV you’ll see this year. There were problems too (its arc plots occasionally felt more like dopey fantasy fare in SF trappings) but overall, Defiance was a solidly entertaining show.

Defiance (Tony Curran and Jaime Murray)

The announcement that Defiance isn’t getting a fourth season, however, will hardly come as a surprise to anyone who watched the season three finale. That episode ended with one of the most beautiful sequences ever created for small screen sci-fi, both in concept and execution. It also felt very much like a series finale, rather than a mere season finale. We’re pretty sure that showrunner Kevin Murphy and the writing team knew they were producing the last ever episode; there was a closure (of sorts) for all the main characters.

In fact, it was so perfect, that in a way, even though Buzz was very fond of the show, we’re kinda glad there won’t be a fourth season, as continuing the show would cheapen that ending.

Defiance was a truly groundbreaking series, delivering an immersive, cross-platform experience that transcended the television screen in a way that viewers had never seen before,” said the network in a statement. “We are incredibly proud of the work of the extraordinary cast, writers, artists and designers – and especially showrunner Kevin Murphy – who together brought the rich world of Defiance to life over its three-season arc.”

Murphy added, “I got to collaborate with a group of stunning artists operating at the top of their game, and together we built a world. Because of that, there is no room for anything other than joy in my heart.”

So long, Defiance, and thanks for all the pervy bathroom scenes. Oh, and for Doc Yewll. She was great.


 

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