Everything you DIDN'T know about the first episode of Defiance.
Defiance is so much more than what you see on screen. Every episode, we'll present you with some cool (at least we think so) information about the Defiance universe and the behind-the-scenes making of the show. Scroll through for our tidbits about Episode 1. And if you want more of this - delivered to you while you watch - make sure to use Syfy Sync.
Indogenes use a variety of cybernetic implants to help them perform their job. Here, Yewll's eye implants allow her to see the holographic interface generated by the terrasphere.
The Defiance set is truly a town. The exterior set is roughly 190 feet by 300 feet. There are 57 buildings, and most are two stories but some are three.
Lots of talk about the Earth Republic in the first episode. Earth Republic is a primarily human government based on the Eastern Seaboard. They seek to rebuild North America by signing alliances with many small frontier towns across the country. Of course, not everyone trusts their motives.
The Darby building, where Amanda's office is, is named after Executive Producer Kevin Murphy's cocker spaniel.
Irisa was partially inspired by the character of Lisbeth Saunders in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Sticking to that theme, one of the inspirations for Alak's look was White Stripes singer Jack White.
The Storm Divide you heard referred to is a huge region covering the middle of North America. It's a wild and dangerous territory full of deadly creatures and freak weather patterns, where most sane people fear to tread.
This scene looked sexy, but that's a credit to Jaime Murray (Stahma) and Tony Curran (Datak)'s acting. Not only was their make-up frequently coming off, but they were sitting on sandbags which are anything but comfortable.
The languages of Defiance were created by David Peterson, a language expert who also created the Dothraki and High Valryian languages for Game of Thrones. He's such an expert, he even spoke at a TED conference about language creation!
Alak and his buddies are playing Ivali, A Castithan card game similar to poker, but instead of two variables (numbers and suits), it's played with three (numbers, elements and planets). "Ivali" means "colonization" in Castithan. Presumably strip Ivali can also be played.
Stephanie Leonidas (Irisa) spent hours practicing the alien writing of Irathients so she could convincingly spell out the characters in her journal on camera. By the time language expert David Peterson had finished crafting it, the Irathient dictionary was 198 pages long!
The final three contestants for Face Off visited the set of Defiance and were challenged to come up with their own creations - that of the offspring between two of Defiance's aliens. You can see their looks here.
The Volge attack required production to build a 60 foot piece of rock face that could accomodate up to 30 actors firing automatic weapons.
In one of the earliest drafts of Defiance, Nolan had been in town for 15 years and had an adult daughter who married an alien (which didn't please him). Irisa was a bubby-girly girl alien that collected Monk novelizations and watched Jane Fonda workout tapes on VHS (!). Inspired by the movie Paper Moon, Executive Producer Kevin Murphy shaped the story so Nolan and Irisa became rough and tumble, surrogate father-daughter badasses.
Because the Volge battle was so heavy on CGI effects, giving the actors a proper line of sight for the to-be-inserted Volge was important. To accomplish this, an 8 ft tall Volge cardboard cutout was used in shooting for spatial reference.
Original, alien music was composed for the first episode. The Castithans dance to a song called "The Ritual of Perpetual Motion" which was written by series composer Bear McCreary (he also did TheWalking Dead). When Nolan and Kenya have sex, the song is an Irathient one - and inspired by the artist formerly known as Prince (this keyboard doesn't have that fancy symbol on it).
The Sensoth face is a mixture of prosthetics and animatronics (called a hybrid effect - industry speak!). The mouth, lips and jaw are articulated by radio-controlled servomotors attached to cables, which is in turn attached to a fiberglass under-skull.
151 extras were used for Amanda's Armistice Day speech.