After the “Helix” panel, we stuck around for the main event – “Defiance.” This was another small panel with some pretty heavy hitters up on stage. Again, the feel of the smaller, more intimate panel was much more fun than some of the massive ones, especially because we could actually see the stage from our seats, rather than having to always look at the jumbotron. These types of panels are what we imagine the Comic Con of the past were like – just like-minded nerds collecting together to talk about some of their favorite shows and comic books with a little bit of fangirling when the cast proves to be just as excited. Oh, those were the days.
Anyway, back to the panel at hand: the line-up for “Defiance” included most of the main stars from the series, which is always cool to see, as well as the show’s writer/producer, Kevin Murphy. Murphy is well known for his TV writing for shows like “Ed,” “Desperate Housewives,” and “Battlestar Galactica,” also serving as show runner on the Syfy series.
As for on screen talent, Grant Bowler, Julie Benz, Jaime Murray, Jesse Rath, Tony Curran, and Stephanie Leonidas were all ready and eager to discuss the series.
In case you’re not a dedicated follower, “Defiance” takes place in a future where aliens have fought a long and deadly war, battling it out for the chance to terraform the Earth. The town of Defiance (previously St. Louis), is a haven where humans and aliens known as Votans co-exist peacefully…or do they? According to Murphy, they chose St. Louis as the home base for the show because it would be easy to imagine that there are two warring nations, one in the East and one in the West, while St. Louis would be caught in the middle. They also liked the idea of using the “Gateway to the West” to represent the spirit of Defiance as pioneers.
Murphy also let a few cast spoilers slip – seemingly accidentally. Murray prompted Murphy to tell the “special guest” who would show up in the next season. A bit confused, Murphy blurted out that the mother of sci-fi Linda Hamilton will show up in episode 10 of the upcoming season! We’re not sure who she will play yet, but Rath joked that he got to kiss her. He also went off on a small tangent about his personal fan theory that he might somehow actually be John Connor. We’re not holding out too much hope on that one. What Murray was actually referring to was that one lucky “Defiance” video game player will make a special appearance on an upcoming episode.
Another minor spoiler came from Benz, who slyly revealed that just because someone has been seemingly been written off the show, that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t be back. After being called out for hedging by the audience, Murphy confirmed that fan favorite Kenya Rosewater, played by Mia Kirshner, will be back for the show’s third season.
As for their individual characters, Leonidas cautioned us to expect the unexpected from her character, warning that not everything is as it seems with Irisa. She knows Irisa’s relationship with Nolan is volatile and needs to change but that Nolan will never abandon her – they have to stick together. Bowler admitted that Nolan has no impulse control and that being a father gets harder and harder with a daughter like Irisa. He quipped, “It’s like being the father of the harbinger of the apocalypse.” Yikes.
The entire cast joked about taking baths, while Benz joked that she would prefer not to have any bathing scenes in the series, after her now iconic bathtub scene as Rita in “Dexter.” No one can blame her for that. She also described the last episode of the second season of “Defiance” as being particularly challenging given the darkness of Amanda but the scene between her and Nolan in the alley was definitely a highlight.
Curran had a hilarious moment with a snarky Scottish audience member who joked that because Datak Tarr went down in a fight, Curran has been disqualified as a Scotsman. Ouch.
So, what do we have to expect from next season? Well, expect more interconnectivity between the game and the show, but not too much. According to Murphy, because of the hectic shooting schedule and the ever-changing nature of the game, it’s difficult to include crossover between the platforms but they’re working on it. The next season will also include flashbacks to the beginning of the driving events of the show, when the aliens first arrived on Earth. And look forward in the future to a possible comic book adaptation of the series.
For our next two panels, it’s all about the vampires, so stay tuned and get ready for a bloody good time!