Feeding as they do on the tears of hope-deprived sci-fi fans, Syfy executives are hard at work this week harvesting a fine bumper crop of canceled hour-long dramas. After warming their scythes up on two-season apocalyptic angel story Dominion, they’ve now moved on to Defiance, which the charitable might once have described as “Deadwood-but-with-aliens,” and the unkind as “kind of a mess,” and which everybody can now describe as “canceled.”
Co-developed by Farscape creator Rockne S. O’Bannon, and show-run by Desperate Housewives’ Kevin Murphy, the show centered on the frontier city of Defiance, a post-apocalyptic version of St. Louis where various stranded aliens schemed under the eye of a human sheriff (Grant Bowler). The series was a major investment for Syfy, which labored under the idea that people were chomping at the bit to watch an expensive space-Western that also featured integrated content with a mediocre licensed video game. (The idea being that the show and the massively multiplayer game would reflect on each other, allowing people who both played the game and watched the series to… do something that doesn’t matter at this point, as Defiance is now toast.)
Yessir, that dream turned out to be as big a bust as a tapped-out space-gold mine, and now Syfy is doing what Syfy does best: Dragging yet another two-or-three season show behind the woodshed to finish off, and using the parts to fashion their next trap for the idle interest of the science fiction-loving hordes.