Defiance S2E10 Review: Bottom of the World

Flag Cape ReturnsMore returning characters, some brutal surprises, and the first time appearance of a woman we’ve heard quite a bit about all show up for the first of this week’s two episodes. The push towards the finale begins! But first, here’s an attempt at redemption.

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4 Shows That Wasted Their Premises – Friday Four

Kennex expresses the way most viewers seemed to feel.

Kennex expresses the way most viewers seemed to feel.

Pilot season is always an interesting time for me. There’s a huge amount of new shows every year, and so few of them will actually end up being aired, and of those even fewer will get to finish out their season, much less get renewed for a second. Reading over the press releases, each show has its little elevator pitch-like description beneath it, designed to hook you on the premise as quickly as possible. And often times, it’s easy to see how that pitch could convince someone to produce the show. For example, here’s Defiance‘s press description:

Set in the near future, Defiance introduces an exotically transformed planet Earth, its landscapes permanently altered following the sudden – and tumultuous – arrival of seven unique alien races. In this somewhat unknown and unpredictable landscape, the richly diverse, newly-formed civilization of humans and aliens must learn to co-exist peacefully. Each week, viewers will follow an immersive character drama set in the boom-town of Defiance, which sits atop the ruins of St. Louis, MO, while in the game, players will adventure in the new frontier of the San Francisco Bay area. The dramatic tapestry of the series and the intense action of the game will exist in a single universe where their respective narratives will inform one another and evolve together into one overall story.

Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it? I remember being very excited when it was announced because I honestly hadn’t seen a sci-fi show like that before. And Defiance has, more or less, lived up to its premise, even if the focus can be a little narrow sometimes. Not every show is so fortunate, however; the television landscape is strewn with the husks of sci-fi shows that failed to live up to their high concept promises. And it’s always a real shame, too, to look back on these wasted premises and imagine the amazing shows that could have come out of them. With that in mind, here are a few shows that fizzled out early on, leaving behind a premise unfulfilled.

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Defiance S2E9 Review: Painted From Memory

InterrogationWe find out how Kenya came back, some of my theories from last week are confirmed, and a thorough mix of grayness fading to black and some darker characters showing a few shades of gray. Also, even more returning characters, because everyone from season 1 should get to come back!

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Dawn of a New Doctor

CapaldiIt’s kind of a big deal when a new Doctor comes around. As far as most viewers are concerned, it’s only happened twice so far: Eccleston to Tennant, and Tennant to Smith. That’s not to belittle the importance of the older Doctors from before the 2005 series, it’s just a fact of the show with its current level of popularity. So for many of them, the upcoming season 8 premiere will be their first time seeing a new actor in the role without the benefit of hindsight that they have when looking back at Eccleston or Tennant. Naturally, it’s an exciting time in the Doctor Who fandom, and hopes are riding high on Capaldi’s performance dealing with what some perceive to be the problems plaguing the show as of late. So, you might ask, what does a change like this mean?

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Defiance S2E8 Review: Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Mystery ManIt seems like answers are finally on the way in regards to Irzu and the Kaziri, but some more returning faces steal the spotlight this week (and if you read the SDCC panel breakdown, you know exactly who) and with them just comes more questions. You’d think by this point it’d be time to answer some, right? Read on for the review.

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The Problem with Prequels

Yoda Obi-WanI think everyone’s familiar with the Star Wars prequels, and how universally panned they are. There are a lot of reasons: bad writing, bad acting, pushing the limits of CGI and greenscreen way past where the early 2000s could realistically support them… but not all of the problems are so easy to explain. Some of them aren’t limited to just Star Wars, but rather common afflictions of all (or at least most) prequels. So today we’re going to examine the concept of the prequel, as one of the inevitable ramifications of the rampant efforts towards franchise creation over the last 20 years, and look at just where they often go wrong.

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Defiance S2E7 Review: If You Could See Her Through My Eyes

MordecaiRemember what I said about Defiance taking one step forward and one random step? This week is the perfect example. An unfortunate revisit to the Casti-cosplay club, Datak and Rafe get to live out some more Pulp Fiction fantasies, a ton of eye gore, and the Hellbugs are back. They aren’t the only things returning, however… read on for more.

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What Could Have Been: Enterprise Season 5

NX-02, Columbia, might've been an indicator of what a refitted Season 5 Enterprise would look like.

Could the NX-02, Columbia, have appeared again in Enterprise season 5?

With all this talk of cancellation, I thought it might be interesting to go back to some of those shows that were struck down in their prime, to see just what we all missed out on. One of the most well-documented cases is that of Star Trek: Enterprise season 5, which the former producers have been quite open about discussing. While some people hold out hope that Enterprise might be revived on Netflix, the reality is that as long as the movies are going, there’s no chance, and even if it was to somehow return, they’d likely have to come up with some new ideas (preferably ones that avoid the problems with prequels). Given this, let’s take a look at the fifth season we might have seen, in some alternate universe where networks in 2005 understood the concept of DVRs. Read more

Defiance SDCC Breakdown

Defiance Train PosterSo Defiance‘s San Diego Comic Con panel was earlier today, and we got a few glimpses of the future, and some very mixed signals about whether the show will continue. Spoilers of varying significance for the rest of season 2 ahead.

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Defiance S2E6 Review: This Woman’s Work

CrashFor every step forward that Defiance takes, it then proceeds to take one step in a random direction. Sometimes that’s forward, sometimes it’s backwards, but often it’s just a lateral shift that comes out of nowhere. This episode is kind of halfway in between, with two very interesting plot threads and two serious headscratchers. Read on for more.

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