Defying Gravity: Season 1, Episode 1

Pilot (2 Aug. 2009)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 201 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

Under the command of two experienced astronauts, a relatively untested crew set off on the Antares, a six year mission to seven planets in our solar system. The two senior astronauts, ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Paula Morales (as Paula Garces)
Florentine Lahme ...
Maddux's Father


Under the command of two experienced astronauts, a relatively untested crew set off on the Antares, a six year mission to seven planets in our solar system. The two senior astronauts, Maddux Donner and Ted Shaw, are a last minute substitute when those assigned to the mission are removed for medical reasons. Both had been on a mission to Mars 10 hears before where they were forced to leave two of their party behind. Several others on the flight are also carrying personal baggage including Zoe Barnes, who is haunted by the sounds of a crying baby. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Sci-Fi




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Release Date:

2 August 2009 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Regarding the disastrous Mars mission shown in frequent flashback: The main control panel of the "Calliope" lander manned by Maddux and Shaw has a large label that reads "NCC-1701-ST-ENT". NCC-1701, of course, is the serial number of the USS Enterprise from Star Trek (1966). Also, one of the controls is labeled a "widget." See more »


[first lines]
Reporter: [watching TV news] ... as the astronauts make the final preparations for their Friday launch to the orbiting Antares spacecraft, from there to Venus and beyond. Today they had their final medical examinations, and they posed for their official portrait in Mission Control. The next few days for the crew will be devoted to saying goodbye to Earth and their loved ones.
Maddux's Father: Which one are you?
Maddux's Father: [tired glance as if at child]
Reporter: The mood here is buoyant but it's clear...
Maddux's Father: I'm not on this one.
See more »


by Adaline
[First bar scene, pre-launch celebration]
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User Reviews

Many (Too ?) interesting and controversial topics, great performance by Ron Livingston but stereotyped characters, ER in space so fake sci-fi but intriguing mission secret
27 August 2009 | by (France) – See all my reviews

A video clip featuring Ron Livingston convinced me to learn more about Defying Gravity. I only saw him in Office Space but his character and performance were so great that I just couldn't resist. However when I read on Wikipedia « The series was pitched to networks as "Grey's Anatomy in space." » my expectations went straight from high to low. Of course after watching the clip it was obvious the show wouldn't be as deep and smart as Virtuality, considering the number of babes running around and the sexist jokes, but when it comes to science fiction fans are not accustomed to deal with Desperate relationships and stereotyped characters. But I decided to give it a chance anyway because some elements intrigued me.

First I thought it would deal with reality-based productions but it doesn't as the lives of the astronauts are only recorded and used to produce a documentary. But it's not a problem as Virtuality already and brilliantly covered the subject. Second the libido-controlling device should lead to quite interesting twists. As a human being I find the idea horrific and just thinking about how some poor animals are butchered make me sick. However it seems the writers have decided to cover the issue and things don't seem as simple as the technology would like it to be. Humans are not objects, we have feelings. In general many other philosophical topics and issues are also covered. For example the eternal battle between destiny and free will, rationality and spirituality. The scenes weren't perfect but at least they were interesting and one ensemble character, an Indian, was well used. In fact he reminded me of the one in Heroes. We don't share the same believes but if you keep an open mind and forgive the over the top elements you should enjoy them. Abortion was also covered and it worries me a little because I hope the show is not sponsored by some organization trying to brainwash our minds with their one-sided ideas. Moreover the writers' opinion is obvious considering how the issue is mixed with the story. Other subjects like after life, control and teamwork are also covered. So to sum things up all these elements demonstrate that the show has potential. Moreover Livingston's performance was quite convincing even if his character attitude reminded me of Tom Cruise's characters in his younger days.

However the sci-fi elements are just excuses to make us believe that it's not yet an other drama. Defying Gravity is definitely ER in space. The visual effects are not cheap but definitely not great, the spaceship design is not inspiring and the writers chose the easy way when it comes to deal with zero gravity for example. But I have to admit that the big secret behind their mission is quite intriguing. Many events occurred related to it but for the moment we don't know what it is. I already read the next episode summary, Natural Selection, and it seems it'll revealed in it. Moreover both episodes were aired the same day so I suppose they should be considered as a single pilot episode. So even if I found the usual subliminal YouTube advertisements annoying and the slow motion scenes pathetic I have decided to give it one more chance.

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defying gravity and the laws of physics goeth-benn
Very angry at ABC sleepyeyes
What A Shame!!! philipbirtwistle-1
make it into a miniseries marn11-569-16270
Airing the last episodes? isenberg-e
It takes all 13 Episodes to get the real feel for this show eightfan
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