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Pilot is the first episode of Season 1 of Defiance.


Ark hunters Joshua Nolan and Irisa Nyira recover a windfall that sets them out for retirement but soon find themselves in the town of Defiance with little money to get away. When a local is murdered Nolan offers to help track down the killer and they learn that someone has hired a Volge army to attack the town and kill everyone there.



1932, 1995, 2013, 2037, 2046, Antarctica, Ark, Arkfall (event), Armistice Day, Badlands, Battle of Bissel Pass, Battle of Defiance, Besásh, Bioman, Bissel Pass, Bissel Ridge, Blood, Burkus rig, Casti 12-ball, Castithan, Cedars, Charge blade, Chez Renarda, Chicken, Cold-fire, Darby Building, Darby Square, Defiance, Defiance Clinic, Defiant Few, Defiance Lawkeeper's office, Denver, Digba tree, Dog, Earth, Earth Republic, Gateway Arch, Gelick, Gulanite, Hailer, Hollows, Human, Hypersleep, Indogene, Irathient, Iron Demons, Irzu, Ivali, Kansas City, Kastíthanu, Kaziri, Keinti, Kelovan‏, l'Irathi, Land coach, Lawkeeper, Libera Nova Gem, Liberata, May 18, McCawley Mines, McCawley Residence, Miami, NeedWant, Ninety-Niners, Nolan's Pistol, October 8, Olfin Tennety, Outside over There, Pale Wars, Pale Wars Armistice, Pilar McCawley, Raiders, Rabbit, Razor rain, Rob Kirby, Rob Kirby Barber Shop, Roller, Sabre wolf, Scotch, Scrip, Sensoth, Shigustak, Spirit Riders, St. Louis, Starren Dahrti, Starren Dahrti's sister, Stasis Net, Storm Divide, Tarr Residence, Terra-spire, Terraform My Heart, Terraforming, Terrasphere, The Palace of Fine Arts, The Ritual of Perpetual Motion, Tido, Varus Soleptor, Volge, Volge language, Volge Mech, Volge Thunderer Pistol, Volge Trooper, Volge Viscera, Votan, Votanis System, Yellow Jackets


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Original pilot

Original pilot


  • Jeb Nolan - Human, male, 40s, Lawkeeper, father to Gillian and grandfather to Ellie
  • Irisa Niir - Half Human-half Irathient, female, mid-20s, Deputy
  • Amanda Pierkoff - Human, female, 40s, Mayor
  • Rafe McCawley - Human, male, 50s, Mine owner, father of Luke, Quentin and Christie
  • Datak Tarr - Castithan, male, 40s, Owner of Tarr Tool and Equipment, husband of Stahma and father of Alak
  • Stahma Tarr - Castithan, female, 40s, wife of Datak and mother of Alak
  • Alak Tarr - Castithan, male, 17, son of Datak and Stahma
  • Kenya Pierce - Human, female, 32, Owner of NeedWant
  • Tommy Pine - Human, male, mid-20s, Overland guard
  • Husk 3.1.881 Truman - Bio-man, leader of Spirit Riders and Harmony Hall
  • Quentin McCawley - Human, male, 19, son of Rafe and brother of Luke and Christie
  • Christie McCawley - Human, female, 17, daughter of Rafe and sister of Luke and Quentin
  • Gillian - Human, female, daughter of Nolan and mother of Ellie
  • Ellie - Half Human-half Indogene, female, 4, daughter of Gillian and Starren, granddaughter of Nolan
  • The Stranger - Indogene, male
  • Milla - Castithan, female, 20s, Deputy
  • Meh Yewll - Indogene, female, 60s, Doctor
  • Marilla - Liberata, female, 30s
  • Rimm - Liberata, male, pit boss
  • Scavenger Miner #1 - Scavenger
  • Scavenger Miner #2 - Scavenger
  • Train Station Porter - Scavenger
  • Luke McCawley - Human, male, 22
  • Ricca - Indogene, shop owner
  • Walter - Human, businessman
  • Davy Hart - Human, male, 22, deputy
  • Mrs. Beally - Human, female, 60s
  • Keller - Human, male, 35, Overland guard
  • Starren - Indogene, male, husband of Gillian and father of Ellie
  • Eedo - Liberata, male, husband of Mailla
  • Hays - Human, male, Deputy
  • Amos - Human, male, 40s

Plot Jeb Nolan served during the war with the Votans and then came home to St. Louis, now Defiance, to become its Lawkeeper. Luke McCawley runs from someone who soon kills him with a charge blade, causing the terraforming tech he was holding to activate, burning his body, before it was taken by the attacker. A town meeting at the Harmony Hall about price gouging takes place but Amanda cannot keep it in order. An argument about math leads to a fight that Nolan breaks up. Irisa arrives to tell Nolan that Deputy Davy has found something, they head out and find that he was found Luke's body. Yewll confirms that terraforming tech burned Luke and finds a strange rash on Luke's shoulder. An overland arrives on fire, having been attacked and he Vo-tech fuel rods aboard have been destroyed. Gillian, Nolan's daughter, and Ellie, Nolan's granddaughter, are aboard.

Gillian and Ellie are moving back as the Bay Area has become too dangerous. Starren, Gillian's husband, remained behind to help others and was supposed to meet them. Tommy, a guard from the overland, goes to the NeedWant and takes note of a strange Indogene man. Amanda asks Kenya to keep an ear out for anyone selling terraforming tech. Deputy Davy recognizes a locket found at the crime scene as belonging to Christie McCawley. Nolan talks to Christie who reveals she had given it to Alak Tarr, much to the anger of Rafe McCawley. Irisa matches a boot print at the crime scene as belonging to boots owned by Alak so the Tarr residence is searched and a hidden charge blade is found. Rafe and his miners arrive but Nolan arrested Alak instead.

Alak says he lost the locket during a fight he had with Luke weeks ago. Yewll finds Luke's blood on the found charge blade. Gillian asks Kenya for a job at the NeedWant. Tommy notices burns on the strange Indogene man's hand. he pretends to be drunk and gets into a fight with two Scavenger miners. Nolan heads out to Marilla's house, which was attacked, and finds it was attacked by cold fire weapons.

Tommy, in jail, admits to fighting on purpose to be arrested so he can stay in Defiance. He says he owes money and is under servitude contract in the Bay Area and offers to help Nolan as he mentions the cold fire burns on the Indogene man's hand. At the NeedWant, Nolan sees that Gillian is working there and asks her and Ellie to have dinner with him. Tommy and Irisa search the Indogene man's room, finding maps and train schedules as well as canisters of cold fire. Quentin is arrested after destroying the windows of Votan businesses. Tommy and Irisa are attacked by the strange Indogene man who activates a detonator before being shot and killed when Nolan shows up. Tommy checks a recording of a message and learns that the man was speaking with a Vulge.

The Harmony Hall was targeted but the Vo-tech weapons inside were not destroyed. Nolan releases Alak and Quentin as they need everyone they can to fight the Vulge. Nolan says that if they find the terraforming tech they can use it to destroy the attacking Vulge. Nolan asks Gillian to help him as he discovered that a certain plant had caused the rash on Luke, a plant which records sounds to better attract their prey. They find the plant and hear a strange hailer signal being repeated by it.

Irisa tells Tommy that she had stayed behind in Defiance too, hiding from her father who worked for the Earth Republic so she could remain. Amanda goes to see Kenya for a drink and we learn that they are sisters. Nolan realizes the hailer signal was a deputy hailer and confronts Davy who runs for it. Nolan stops him and Davy confesses that he and Luke found the terraforming tech and he was convinced that Luke's father would have screwed him over for his share of the profits. He tells Nolan where he hid it.

The Vulge begin attacking and the device is modified to produce a blast to destroy them. The townspeople come together to help repair the Harmony Hall. Tommy becomes a deputy and Alak and Christie harry, much to their parents chargrin.


Cultural references

  • Nicolette Riordon says "Remember, grasshopper...", a reference to the TV show "Kung Fu".


  • In the scene at the Armistice Day speech, Datak and Stahma Tarr can be seen arm-in-arm in the crowd as well as being seated up near the podium.