All aboard the scoop train to Defiance!
Syfy's ambitious new series starring Dexter fan favorite Julie Benz and Liz & Dick's Grant Bowler finally premieres tonight. The show takes viewers on a trip to 2046 and focuses on the frontier boomtown of Defiance more than 30 years after a war between humans and aliens left Earth forever changed.
We caught up with Benz and Bowler to talk aliens, war and all things Defiance, which is the first TV series to ever launch simultaneously with a video game. Here are five reasons why you should tune in and find out what all the buzz is about:
1. It's Tied in With a Video Game: "I haven't seen this concept before," Bowler says of the series and video game launching at the same time. "Nobody had seen the idea of convergence before of melding gaming and television...It's a huge gamble on the network's part. If we do this, if we pull it off, we define the industry. We create a new business model for the industry. And we create a new narrative in terms of story."
And yes, Bowler, who plays Jeb Nolan, a former marine who is now a lawmaker in Defiance, has played the video game, admitting to us, "I've played the game at every stage of development. I'm a little addicted!"
2. Aliens and Action: Viewers can expect the series to feel like they are watching a mini-movie each week, Benz teases. "We really felt like every week we were shooting a feature film, and I think that's what you are going to see on the screen. The special effects are tremendous, like nothing you can see on television. It blows me away."
3. The Leading Lady is a Badass: So long, Dexter's shy and unassuming Rita! "What I really loved about the script when they first sent it to me was how amazing all the female characters are on the show," Benz explains. "You don't have your typical mother-wife-victim role. All the women are extremely complex, very dynamic and very badass!"
4. Immigration Drama? You Bet: "The story itself, once you boil it down, once you get away from the smoke and mirrors—which are beautifully done, beautifully executed, but what we're talking about is an immigrant drama," Bowler says of the series. "What we're talking about is the story of America. We're talking about a life raft of people from disparate cultures stuck together; there's nowhere left to go, they have to make it work. It's got a human heart."
5. Cool Cars and Cool Gadgets: In a town like Defiance, viewers can expect to see the mayor, Benz's character Amanda Rosewater, become quite friendly with a machine gun. "I love being with a machine gun! It was so awesome," Benz says. "We had to go through automatic weapons training. I never thought I would be handling a machine gun, but there I was, shooting aliens."
Defiance premieres tonight at 9 p.m. on Syfy.
(E! and Syfy are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)