Julie BenzWe’ve covered a lot of casting news for the network pilots lately but this time the news is from the Syfy channel. Looks like they’ve cast a mayor for their unique new series ‘Defiance.’

Deadline is reporting that ‘Dexter’ alumn Julie Benz will star opposite ‘True Blood’s’ Grant Bowler in this live action drama that will co-exist with the Trion MMO game of the same name. Benz is very well known in the sci-fi genre as she appeared in such shows as ‘Roswell’ (Kathleen Topolsky), ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ (Darla), ‘Angel (Darla), ‘Taken’, ‘No Ordinary Family’ (Stephanie Powell) and ‘A Gifted Man’ (Christina Holt).

Benz will be joining Jamie Murray (‘Warehouse 13’, ‘Spartacus’, ‘Ringer’), Stephanie Leonidas (‘Whitechapel’), and Tony Curran (‘Doctor Who’, ‘Underworld: Evolution’, ‘League of Extraordinary Gentleman’) who were cast earlier.

‘Defiance’ is set in the future, where Earth has now become a place where humans and aliens live together. The planet has been ravaged by decades of war and alien terra-forming machines. Jeb Nolan (Bowler) is the law-keeper of a bustling mining boomtown that is one of the few oasis of civility and inclusion in this new world. He is a former Marine who fought in the alien conflict and suffered the loss of his wife and child in the war. The trauma transformed him into a lone wanderer in the wilds of this new and dangerous world. Benz will play the newly appointed mayor, Amanda Rosewater, who is idealistic but determined to maintain the peace in the community between the humans and aliens. Leonidas is Irisa, an alien warrior who is part of the Irathients race. After Nolan killed her father, he adopted her and raised her as his “clever and lethal right-hand.” Curan will play Datak Tarr, a member of an elite alien race known as the Castithans and who schemed his way out of his home planet before it was destroyed. Murray will play his beautiful and proper wife.

What makes this series so distinctive is that the audience can actually be part of the series through its sister MMO game. Events in the show will effect what will be happening in the MMO game and vice versa. The TV series will be able to reference actions that have occurred online and even mention the avatars of the players who have achieved certain game goals (good or bad). In addition, characters in the show may appear in the game you are playing to give you a specific quest or mission which will be referenced in the next episode.

Filming is scheduled to begin next month in Toronto and will be helmed by Scott Stewart (‘Priest’, ‘Legion’). Rockne S. O’Bannon (‘Farscape’, ‘Alien Nation’, ‘V’) will be writing on the series as well as executive producing along with Kevin Murphy.

As exciting as the news of this new series is, the addition of Jamie Murphy has pretty much dashed my hopes of Syfy having an H.G. Wells spin off show anytime soon. Oh well. It will be interesting to see how the series and the online game will be integrated. Will you be one who will be watching the show and playing online?