Why Defiance Season 4 Needs to Happen

Syfy’s flagship series ushered in a new wave of science fiction for the channel. Here’s why audiences deserve Defiance season 4.

This article contains some Defiance season 3 spoilers.

When Defiance began in 2013, Syfy had only a few properties produced in-house, some hidden gems from Canada, and a whole lot of non-sci-fi programming. Two years later, Defiance leads the way for a stellar block of innovative storytelling on Friday night, and the show has grown from a quirky, alien melting pot story to a pioneer in the use of deep mythology, flawed characters, and thought-provoking views on sex and culture.

The show has really improved with age, developing more cohesive storylines each year with the help of an amazing array of characters. As each season explores the myriad of possibilities that keep this show one of the most delightfully unpredictable series on the air, it becomes clear that Defiance season 4 needs to happen so that its massive world can continue to unfold. Let’s explore a few of the main reasons why a season four renewal is a must.

The show’s ability to surprise its viewers is seemingly endless.

Saying that the events of the season three finale were mind-blowing would be an understatement, whether it was the sacrifice Yewll selflessly enacted, the fateful decision Nolan happily made, or the redemption of the Tarrs against all odds. In particular the introduction of a deep space element as Nolan takes the ship on a rudderless journey through the galaxy opens up whole new paths the series could take. Although his return to Earth seems assured (although staggeringly difficult), the odyssey in store for Nolan if the show is renewed has limitless potential.

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How does this show manage to allow its characters to flip-flop between abhorrent traitors and noble heroes without destroying their credibility? The main players in Defiance have such deep personalities complete with hidden strengths and obvious flaws that their ups and downs make perfect sense, yet viewers are still amazed when the Tarrs are forgiven or when Yewll’s callous acts are overshadowed by her kind soul.

It’s called good writing, and the writers know these characters and the world they inhabit so well, they can turn everything on its head and still remain consistent with the vision of the story. No one should underestimate this show’s capacity for defying expectations in new and incredible ways.

There’s so much more story to tell!

Showrunner Kevin Murphy and the writing team of Defiance have developed a deep catalog of Votan history complete with customs, mythologies, and even functioning languages designed by linguist, David J. Peterson. They’ve only revealed the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the rich culture that each of the alien races has for the writers to utilize.

In season three, for example, viewers learned that the Indogene race was created by the Omec as slaves and as a food source. Castithan religion and Irathient superstitions have been well-explored, but what about Sensoth tribal dances? What about Liberata mating rituals? This bird-like race, according to the show bible, buries its dead vertically with their belongings piled atop the graves. Why create such details if you’re not going to use them?

“It’s a sort of buffet,” said Murphy when Den of Geek spoke asked him this question on the set of season three. “We have it, and the individual writer, when they’re coming up with scenes or when I’m doing my re-write, we’ll have access to that.” 

That’s just the kind of television viewer Kevin Murphy is. “When I watch science fiction,” he says, “even if I don’t understand everything, I want to believe that the people creating the show have all the answers and know everything; they’re not just making up arbitrary crap.” The showrunner is a real fan, an honest-to-goodness geek, and his show deserves to live on!

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When it comes to sex, anything goes!

In the world of science fiction television, there is no shortage of LGBT characters as might be the case in other more mainstream shows. Whether it’s Captain Jack in Torchwood, Cosima in Orphan Black, or Bo in Lost Girl, genre fans’ favorite characters portray all varieties of sexual identity. The difference in Defiance is that a kind of omni-sexuality is almost a given for anyone, and as a result, any semblance of social agenda disappears. Even sexual barriers between species are absent!

At any time and without any drama, a character in Defiance might strike up a relationship with a man, woman, or alien simply because they are attracted to the other person. Stahma Tarr loves her husband, but she also loved Kenya Rosewater. Niles Pottinger, the E-Rep’s interim mayor in season two, is in love with Amanda most likely because of his obsession with her ex-boyfriend, Connor. Even the brothel in the Need/Want operates openly and caters to any combination of sexual tastes!

By themselves, these examples would be unremarkable, but taken as a whole, Defiance clearly treats sexuality as a fluid, un-stigmatized, natural aspect of daily life in the town, just as you might expect in a future world tossed on its head by the forced integration of a multitude of cultures. This unique aspect of the show deserves to live on so that the possibilities can be fully explored.

The town is it’s own character that changes from season to season.

Defiance is a special place in the post-Arkfall era. Not only does it have one of the most valuable energy resources the new world has to offer in the form of gulanite, but it also remains independent of the world powers that grew out of the Pale Wars: the Earth Republic and the Votanis Collective. The town strives to be a beacon of cultural integration and a symbol of the possibility for peaceful co-existence among the races. Although it sometimes fails in this effort, its foibles are part of its charm.

From the boom town full of immigrants in season one to the mismanaged E-Rep outpost in season two, and finally to the shabby, depressed community of the most recent season, Defiance has always had a different atmosphere each year. It’s fascinating to see the evolution of the politics, the crime, the economy – everything that gives a town its personality.

Last spring, Grant Bowler, who plays Nolan, told Den of Geek, “I think season one was very much about Defiance, the town, and then I feel like season two was very much about Defiance, the individuals… Season three is very ‘us-versus-them.’” So what would season four bring? Perhaps a town ready to press it’s message of unity to other communities around it? A coming-of-age story for Alak’s son, Luke? The possibilities are nearly endless!

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— Jaime Murray (@MsJaimeMurray) August 22, 2015

The cast tirelessly promotes the show.

Whether you’re a fan lurking on Twitter or an attendee at one of the many sci-fi conventions around the country, chances are you will run into a Defiance cast member enthusiastically talking about the show. A majority of the cast can be found on social media each Friday for the live tweet, which doesn’t always happen with a show three seasons old. Interaction and even a follow-back are not out of the question for this friendly set of actors! Such availability goes along way towards cementing a fandom and making them crave more episodes.

And it doesn’t seem to matter how small a convention is; you’ll probably find a Defiance cast member or two there. Dragon Con in Atlanta will be hosting seven defiance guests on Labor Day weekend, but even the humble Shore Leave convention in Hunt Valley, Maryland hosted the entire Tarr family recently. This dedication to the fans and to their craft speaks very highly of this wonderful cast.

What do you think? Does Defiance deserve a fourth season? Will you take to Twitter with your #RenewDefiance hashtag? Do you have a personal experience of interaction with a cast member on Twitter? Share in the comments below!