The history of space on television over the years is tremendous. From Star Trek to Firefly, space has become an iconic staple on the small screen. The medium has gone from a small niche in the television market, to a multi-billion dollar business. There have been both iconic humans and aliens that have been created and have become a piece of television history.
Featuring everything from Captain Kirk and Vulcans to Doctor Who and the Dalek’s, the genre has ingrained itself into mainstream entertainment. Now with a video game that will interact with the show, Defiance has its chance to enter the medium and the show is doing so in a big way. We take a moment to explore the world of science fiction on television and determine where Defiance may establish a colony on our pop culture landscape.
Television has become the perfect medium to explore the age-old question, “Are we alone?” Aliens are paramount to the success of a space themed television and Defiance has huge shoes to fill. Aliens like the Vulcans from Star Trek have proven that aliens and humans can work side by side to go where no man has gone before. Aliens like the Dalek’s in Doctor Who have also proven that they can pose a huge threat to not only earth but to the entirety of space and time.
Defiance seeks to follow this tradition in a big way, as the alien cast of the show almost out number the humans. Species like the Irathient and Indogene are poised to take their place in history as aliens that we want to watch. The Castithan are another interesting race that have been positioned as the antagonist of the series.
The human species may be the most important element in the medium of space on television. The human characters allow you the viewer to experience the world created in the show. Characters like Captain Malcom “Mal” Reynolds from Firefly and Commander William Adama from Battlestar Galactica provide strong and chrasimatic leaders for the you the viewer to identify with and root for. Even though the shows stimulate the imagination through exploration, it is the human chracters that ground the medium and provide a sense of realism.
Defiance’s Chief Lawkeeper, Joshua Nolan, will follow this tradition by giving a human face to this alien premise. As a former marine, the character has an interesting history that will allow the viewer to connect to the character and therefore have a greater connection to the show. How Nolan deals with the aliens of Defiance may not always be the same as the viewer would, but he allows us to gain insight into the human condition in this now alien world. With how planet providing a safe haven for the Votan Collective, our home planet has now become an almost unrecognizable alien homeworld. The viewer experiences these changes along with Nolan, allowing the viewer to take root and grow with the mythology of Defiance.
While the imaginative view exploration of space as an opportunity to explore intelligent life, the military surely views it as a way to expand their arsenal. Alien weaponry has been an integral component of Sci-Fi television. There are iconic weapons like the phaser from Star Trek or the Sonic Screwdriver from Doctor Who. Even weapons like the laser gun from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century are still loving sought after by collectors. Recent shows like Fringe have introduce weapons like the gun used by the Observers that seem more realistic. Defiance is set to follow this trend.
The aliens of Defiance are taking residence on Earth a few years into the future. This allows the show to use traditional weapons such as a sniper rifle or automatic machine guns. With the technological advances of the aliens on Defiance, especially the Indogene, the weapons are also available to evolve and change throughout the series. It is too early to tell if there will be a stand out weapon on the show that will live on well past the series end but taking a more realistic approach should prove successful.
THE WORLD OF DEFIANCE
The key to the medium of Sci-Fi with the concentration of space in television is the exploration of other worlds or dimensions. The X-Files did an amazing job of showcasing that there might be other worlds out there, where other shows have explored those worlds in detail. Fringe changed this premise by continuously exploring an alternate dimension nearly identical to our own. Will defiance explore other worlds?
We currently know that there are other worlds in the universe of Defiance. The show’s mythology has stated that the planets where the Voltans are from have been destroyed. Due to this catastrophe the aliens who survived are now on Earth. We hope that Defiance takes the opportunity to possibly explore other worlds. While the setting of an apocalyptic style Earth is fun, it has been done before in shows like Falling Skies. For Defiance to truly take its place in the pantheon of space TV, we hope that it takes to the skies and explores the stars.