I talked about the Defiance pilot earlier this week, and its story line. Now I want to present my personal opinions on a few biology type things in the story–proof that having a healthy capacity to suspend disbelief is useful. (Note: I still really like the show.)
I don’t really have a problem with the humanoid aliens–they do need to be played by human actors. The notion of a human-alien romance, though? Strong friendships I would absolutely buy, and below is a video demonstrating the concept. (Editorial note: Time has passed, and my opinion on this topic has changed. I’ll leave everything up, but know that I disagree with past me.)
Romance, however, implies certain biological stuff happening, which generally requires a degree of similarity between species. If they have a kid, my mind will be blown. After all, the man and gorilla below are probably more similar to each other than a human to a hypothetical alien, considering that their DNA content would be ninety-something percent the same (unless the aliens arose from a splinter colony of early humanoids who somehow got to space? Space Neanderthals?)
But what I really want to talk about doesn’t deal with aliens at all. It deals with the backstory for how the world of Defiance came to be as it is. Wikipedia says that some terraformer technology was chaotically unleashed over the world, mutating animal species and creating new hybrids/species.
Why this happens to other animals, but not humans, I don’t know.
Anyway, mutating animals like that would probably just break something that’s biologically important (like the stuff that keeps you from getting cancer). Or it might just cause mutations that are neutral, instead of beneficial or detrimental–I have no idea what the mutation rate is of whatever terraforming technology they’re using.
You’re not going to miraculously get a badass new species like this. (You’ll just get a very mutated member of the old species, and possibly not for very long.)
Also, why do they need to have these crazily mutated animals running around? Grizzly bears and wolves aren’t scary enough? Or moose, for that matter. In fact, they also mention having alien animals (heavily mutated alien animals). While that is its own issue (similar to the humanoid alien issue), it could have easily made the mutant animal angle unnecessary.
As a side note, Calvin Klein attracts jaguars. As long as we’re on the topic of animals.