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How Defying Gravity would have ended: the final chapter

After twelve months since last posting about how the ill-fated series 'Defying Gravity' would have progressed, creator James Parriott reveals all that's left to tell of the series, including its ultimate ending.

How Defying Gravity would have ended: the final chapter [dg beta1 425x236] (IMAGE)

Exactly a year ago tomorrow, I posted many bits of a discussion I had with Defying Gravity‘s creator James Parriott, where he explained much of how he envisioned the series would have continued, had it endured past its one season run. The show was canceled late in its first and only season, the remaining episodes viewable now via DVD. At that time, Parriott wasn’t yet willing to divulge everything about the series. He didn’t want to fully explain the ending and so forth, because there was still a teeny, tiny chance the show might be brought back in some form. The actors were all still unattached to projects, for example. So, he told me if nothing became of the series after six months, he’d spill it all to me.

Well, six months came and went, and no word came of how Defying Gravity would have ended. I won’t get into why Parriott didn’t follow through at the time, as it’s off the record. So, six months more of my pestering the hell out of the poor man, I’ve finally got what we’ve all been waiting for.

Much of what Parriott told me was already mentioned in my previous post, though he did go into more detail. Below, in Parriott’s own words, is what he has revealed as how Defying Gravity would have ended, though do make sure you check out the original post first.

The second season would be the flight to Mercury and the landing there on “the terminal” (the line where day and night meets).  This is the one area where you can land on Mercury and neither freeze nor fry. It serves as a metaphor – the in-between place – for what Nadia is experiencing, and it is she who will be making the solo landing and have to choose between day and night to survive.

Nadia, in season two, will be revealed in flashback, to have been a true hermaphrodite.  She carries the internal frustration that she allowed the decision to become female to be made for her. Her hallucination is a vision of herself as she might have been. Mintz will draw this out of her (as a shrink) and become her closest confidant. Eventually, over a season or two, this relationship develops into a full blown romance of uncommon dedication. Why?

Because Nadia, after Mercury, slowly starts changing into the man she could’ve been. This miracle (of course caused by the objects’ ability to affect the astronaut’s genes) inspires a kind of faith in Mintz. He moves from cynic to believer (in fact, we come to understand that, in his hatred for the brutality of man, he never intended to return to Earth).

Mintz and Nadia’s true love would transcend their sex, and give the writers the platform to discuss what love is (and address gay marriage, etc.)

Zoe will heal. And her love for Donner will bloom (in contrast to the relationship hell going on in the flashbacks to the ISO training). This is darkened, though, by their mutual dream. Is it possible for her to become pregnant? They do body scans to make sure their tubes are still tied.

And Donner begins to dread what they’ll find on Mars.

Wass and Paula will continue their shy romance that dances around the subjects of science, religion, and faith. He will help her deal with her rape as a child, as they both search for answers as to what the fractal objects really are. Paula will become convinced that the burning bush that spoke to Moses was, in fact, a fractal object.

In terms of Wass and Jen not having hallucinations: I had a storyline for Wass in the very beginning that revolved around him being an Aspberger’s kid and hating being touched. (kind of the opposite of Jen). I dumped that when it became apparent that he and Paula had chemistry and I hadn’t come up with a replacement arc. Jen’s non-hallucination is Beta screwing with her – making her face her loneliness and outsized need for intimacy.

Jen will be forced to deal with those needs. Rollie won’t be available to her – his second-season arc would be to pay for his hit and run and go to jail. The bunny will be discovered — its fur screwing with the ventilation – and be put down. It will devastate Jen. Ted, who is feeling distanced from Eve, will become her lover.

Photo Credit: ABC

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56 Responses to “How Defying Gravity would have ended: the final chapter”

October 28, 2010 at 3:26 PM

Thanks for staying on it Keith! I need to think about all that now.

October 28, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Nice work, boss!

October 28, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Thank you very much, I loved reading Parriott’s intended storylines.

It’s incredibly sad that ABC never appreciated the show’s intelligence, subtle character development and mesmerizing use of narrative. This truly would have been a transcendent piece commenting on the human condition and our place in the universe (literally, even!) while still crafting incredibly interesting characters with their own tensions, relationships, dreams and goals. One does not have to be a lover of a certain genre to appreciate the brilliant structure and storytelling of the first season – to label Defying Gravity as “sci-fi” (however intriguing that genre can play with larger-than-life storylines and political and social commentary) would not do it any justice at all.

It’s a universal masterpiece that happens to be set in this line of work: everything that happens to these characters is relevant and irrelevant at the same time. If they were, say, working as mechanics for a commercial airliner, the fractals would have found a way to enter their lives as well.

Defying Gravity could’ve been the next Lost, or maybe something that would’ve defined Post-Lost superb drama – ABC was just too ratings-focused during the first few eps (having done everything to destroy the show before it even aired one episode!) and did not have the patience to let the show grow. I am a firm believer that Defying Gravity could’ve grown, audience-wise, after its first season. And that’s something you can’t say about a lot of shows.

Anyhow, great follow-up. This brightened my day.

October 28, 2010 at 5:01 PM

Very nice. Thanks for following through with this.

It was a great Sci-Fi show and I liked watching it.

October 28, 2010 at 7:05 PM

Thanks, and we appreciate your persistence in getting this information! And to Mr. Parriot for sharing it.

October 28, 2010 at 8:01 PM

This makes me really sad as I see what a great series it could have been. I was a big fan of the first season and really wish it had been given a second opportunity. Hell why didn’t SyFy pick this up!

Thank you a lot for sharing the rest of the story with us.

October 29, 2010 at 1:32 PM

I never bothered to watch the show, I knew it was DOA, but that sounds simply amazing. It sounds like a good version of LOST. However the end would need to be done just right in order to have made it work, but it sounds amazing.

October 30, 2010 at 1:59 AM

Not my story to tell, but I have to have Donner and Zoe together. Really. I love the cheering from Mission Control, with their family version.

It’s audience abuse otherwise. :)

October 30, 2010 at 6:04 AM

Wow, what an amazing series this is and would’ve been if it continued. I am a terrible reader because of what I believe to be as ADD, but this was the first time I read something and my mind processed it like a movie. The end where they put the fractals together and then on, I totally visualized it in my head, and truly happy I finally got closure, but at the same time, saddened that people do no get to see the amazing ending that would have been. I really do hope Defying Gravity comes into book form. Maybe each novel titled after the location each fractal is on. I would totally read that and I’m one of the last people on Earth that would read a book! I think it’s BS that people can own the rights to creative content in the television industry like this. I mean, if you cancel it and do not plan on doing anything with it, you have no stake on what goes on next, so release the rights so us intelligent people with an imagination can appreciate the masterpieces everyone else throws away like garbage. Learn from Defying Gravity FOX and ABC and lets create a better Universe! One filled with wonder and joy, and that doesn’t revolve around greed and money. Bah… ya… right.

October 30, 2010 at 12:40 PM

A Masterpiece, thanks for the share, really I can sleep now. ABC are money mongering idiots. If the show would have been continued it would have evolved into a thought provoking fascinating experience. As Ganesha is the GOD that overcomes the obstacles, someday James Parriott will overcome the obstacle and be able to complete his ‘Defying Gravity’ mission as Ganesha was his first step in the SHOW to show the world he has some access to information people should not know which has been withheld from the government.Let’s hope to see atleast as a CGI Movie after ABC gives back the rights. And as sometimes the ending of the shows is atleast not a conspiracy right. So long a worthwhile series, don’t worry James, maybe if my destiny gets on the right path I will try to continue your mission somehow. :D. Keith McDuffee, great job.

October 30, 2010 at 5:08 PM

Thanks for this. I loved season 1 and this, although sad, makes up for some of the disappointment of not having a season 2. So very sad that we don’t get to see this show develop.

November 2, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Thanks for posting this info. This show was my favorite of last season and was disappointed it didn’t get to hit it’s stride. Nice to have a little bit of closure.

November 4, 2010 at 11:32 AM

I am still missing this brilliant series. It’s good to know how the story would have progressed. It was the only series that I have been glued to the tv throughout. I’m still frustrated that there won’t be a series 2. The BBC messed it up by showing it at different times, making it really difficult to follow. Anyway, thanks very much for the story line.

November 5, 2010 at 8:38 AM

Thanks for the follow-up on this article. I’d just searched for it on a whim tonight, so it appears the timing was perfect.

It’s always sad to see these great genre shows not get a good run, particularly when so much care has been made to flesh out a solid storyline from start to finish. It would have been amazing to see the journey that the character from Defying Gravity went on after Venus.

Ah well, we just have to settle ourselves with the little snippets we got of shows like this, Firefly, Journeyman, etc. to remind ourselves that not all TV has to be made for the lowest common denominator. Although, unfortunately, it’s the denominator that pays :(

November 5, 2010 at 11:10 PM

Isn’t she “Sharon,” not “Karen”?

November 5, 2010 at 11:12 PM

Also, very disappointing that Nadia had to “be a man” to be as strong and independent. She was a great female character. What a letdown.

November 8, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Thanks to you and Mr. Parriot for giving us the progression and ending. It almost feels to me that ABC bought the show to prevent another network from doing well with it, but wasn’t serious about it themselves. Ah, speculation.

One thing though, Ganesh is the Remover of Obstacles. Shiva is the god of creation and destruction.

Loved the show.

November 12, 2010 at 6:23 PM

I’ve stopped my subscription with SKY now because im sick and tired of getting into a show just to have it ripped away with no concern for the viewers.

I understand they have to make money but come on its beyond a joke.
As subscribers to these channels we should have a quality control process inplace to ensure that a show does not just stop half way through a season. The network channels should be made accountable for their actions, they have responsibilities which I feel they are falling way too sort of the mark.

It might not be much but its £30 a month less those money sucking leaches wont be getting out of me!

November 13, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Thank you so much for providing the final ending. This trully would have been a phenomenal show had it been allowed to grow. I have been wracking my brain for weeks (as I just discovered it on DVD) on how the show would have developed.

November 13, 2010 at 8:18 PM

Wow! Googled Defying Gravity on a whim to see if anything had changed after it being cancelled. Thank you so much for letting us know what would have happened! I think that Donner and Zoe together would have been a lovely ending, but I agree that the bitter sweet ending of Sharon and Donner would have been the – better not quite the right word… hmm – the right one. One day networks might grow a brain, and copyright law might be reformed and pigs might fly, but until then, I hope that Defying Gravity might one day get another chance to fly.

November 13, 2010 at 8:28 PM

P.S. The BBC also did their level best to kill the show, showing it a different day and time for almost every episode! I can only assume the show was cancelled early into the showing as they had done a good bit of advertising for it and the initial show had a good slot. They did at least show all the episodes rather than leaving us chomping at the bit as to what happened on Venus.

November 14, 2010 at 3:04 PM

It took me a while to warm up to the characters, but as they became more human (Paula in particular) I got to like them more. By the last episode, “Kiss”, I was surprised that I actually was getting emotional, for I really had formed a connection to Zoe’s story. It was a very well conveyed series, and I’m sad that ABC axed it. The networks need to get some execs who understand Sci-Fi. It’s sad that all the good sci-fi shows get axed yet we are stuck with other dreck such as a 5th CSI spinoff.

November 21, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Just watched all the episodes, and I googled to find more info and ran into this site. Well done on getting the full narrative, at least some closure is there.

My wife and I found this show suprisingly getting better as it got along, but the damn ABC had to axe it.

November 26, 2010 at 1:17 AM

This was one really great show.

I wonder how the budget of this show compares to other shows on network and cable channels.

Is it possible to have a similar class of show developed for an audience that makes up a minority of the population. I truly hope so.

Personally, I believe the cost of these types of shows should be coming down. CGI and editing can now be done on consumer grade PCs and professional camera equipment is available at almost consumer level prices.

I think very soon people like Parriot will be able to produce a show like this one for far less and therefore not be reliant on ABCs and FOXs to foot the bill.

I do think that the business model needs to change however. Note that I watched this entire season on CTV.com (I think only available in Canada). I saw so many Benylin commercials I think I am actually getting a cold now. Is it possible to produce a show for broadcast soley on the internet? Maybe soon…

November 29, 2010 at 1:12 AM

I also stumbled on this site after a Google search for Defying Gravity. I bought the DVD set and watch it quite often, but even with the un-aired episodes included, I did wonder where the series was headed and how the mystery with Beta and the other fractal objects would be resolved. Thanks so much for filling in the blanks and fleshing out the direction the story would take. At least now I feel some closure instead of just frustration and anger at ABCs horrible bumbling of such a great science fiction show.

Some of the props from the series were selling on eBay tonight and I’m happy to say I’ll now have my own little piece of the show as a memento.

November 29, 2010 at 1:41 AM

Huh … are those auctions still going on? Seems the Propworks ones ended a week ago or so.

November 29, 2010 at 9:55 AM

There were quite a few items that ended last night, including Paula’s video camera (I bid but didn’t get it), Paul’s severed thumb (seriously!), characters’ flightsuits, mission patches, wall plaques, an ISO flag, and Donner’s complete EVA suit that went for an astronomical price (pun intended).

I didn’t know there were any earlier auctions, just stumbled on this one yesterday. Maybe there will be more?

November 30, 2010 at 7:14 PM

wow its good to hear how defying gravity would have progressed and ended but i still feel abc and the fox network blew it for all of us, we were cheated out of a great show and il keep my fingers crossed we may, some day see, the return, of defying gravity!

December 1, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Thanks so much for giving me closure. I am now free to mourn what would have been an affair of the heart.

December 5, 2010 at 6:11 PM

I think the episodes that did not air would have saved season 1. I,too, agree this series had a bright…truly bright future.It’s a shame really.

Is there any reason the series can’t be resurrected, SyFy perhaps. Perhaps people could petition SyFy channel to buy the rights.

Just as it would have been good if StarTrek survived it’s 5 year mission, it would be good if Defying Gravity could survive it’s 6 year mission.

Ron was perfectly cast to play Donner. He was great in Stand Off as well..same narrative style.

December 5, 2010 at 9:39 PM

This show had such great potential. (And I’m really kicking myself for not keying in on Nadia’s hallucination looking so much like her.) Thank you so much for bringing this to a close for all of us fans! Perhaps one day we may get to see it play out after all …

December 8, 2010 at 7:46 AM

Thanks a million for providing closure on the canceled story line!

I agree with some others that the show picked up steam as it went, getting better and better with each episode. By the time that I finished season one (from netflix), I had become really attached to the show, and was shocked to hear that it had been canceled.

Unfortunately, the story line was even better from season two on! This would have been a truly GREAT show, interesting intellectually, but also emotionally given the complexity of relationships and love interests. Hit a near perfect chord.

Thanks again for providing the extended story line!

December 12, 2010 at 5:04 PM

I really am glad to have found that page of yours and the whole story line of defying gravity. i really liked the show and when it got canceled i was pissed because i was not able to see the last episode until 2 month later and i thought the was no 13th episode and when i finally saw it …i hated ABC and FOX for canceling it.

seriously i think they do it to fuck with the fans

anyway thx and thx again

December 13, 2010 at 11:17 PM

Have been watching the show again and introducing it to my wife and grandson. They are both captivated and are finding it hard to believe that it was canceled, as I was at the time. We’ve come to the conclusion that this was a political decision by Fox who didn’t like the commentary that was going on.

Any other credible reason for canceling such a great show especially as there was no real hard scifi going on anywhere else?

December 14, 2010 at 7:57 PM

thank you for at least some type of closure, i was starting to hate that i even watch the first season, but this helps. i really wish it could continue, even though the beans have been spilled it would be like as if someone read the book aready. maybe by some luck the SyFy channel can pick it up.

December 17, 2010 at 7:49 AM

Thank you so much for pestering Mr. Parriott and getting him to tell you what gave me closure over this series I have just finished watching – and had started to really get attached to. And thank you too to Mr. Parriott and all those on Defying Gravity: I liked what I saw.

December 18, 2010 at 7:45 PM

Thank you so much for posting this reveal of the show’s arc – it gives me closure, and is also bitter-sweet as I would have loved and enjoyed to see Defying Gravity made in reality to it’s end. It is ABC’s great loss and shortsightedness. As usual, the networks fail us.

December 21, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Bittersweet is right. This could have been everything that I wanted to see.

I am so sorry this story will not be continued.

December 28, 2010 at 3:30 PM

Thank you so much. This show was haunting me for some reason and I am so glad to hear more and especially to have the closure. What an amazing premise and storyline – I really wish we could have seen it. Even more of a bummer that the rights were sold. I would have read book after book. I was secretly hoping for a movie that would give us closure. Again thank you so much for pestering him.

December 29, 2010 at 3:37 PM

I just finish watching the entire series and all I can say “it’s a shame to bring this series to closure” I am a SYFY nut, I have complete series of many other long running programs such as “Stargate” “Star Trek” “Babylon 5″ and my favorite “BSG” and series such as “Firefly” and “Space” which also fall into the same situation “DG” What I can say is Defying Gravity is a program more relalistic to what man and women would deal TEBA”s while in space. I would rank “DG” above all the rest including my favorite. Just as with FireFly their needs to be a movie using the same character based upon the same dimensions as done with Lord of the Rings. I am sorry that the program ended and I would be greatly interested in any further developments towards production.
BenG

December 31, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Gosh, I really wish that this series had continued. I caught most of the original shows where it was on TV, and was surprised and disappointed when it was discontinued. So sad. This was the best show, especiallt SF, to come out since B5, IMO.

Anyway, I found the DVD with the missing episodes in the store, yesterday, and have done a marithon run of all, including the “extras”. Now, I am missing the show all over again. If it doesn’t ever get picked up again, with the same actors (boy, they were awesome!), it would be terrible. In lieu of that, a book would be great.

Still, I have a small measure of closure with the little writeup by Keith. Thanks for that! happy New Year all.

January 2, 2011 at 11:15 PM

thanks so much to both of you. miss this show, it was just starting to get good. it was lovely to hear what it would have been though, to hear all of the story lines.

January 4, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Great show. I just watched it back to back on CTV.ca (Canadian TV station) and really, really liked it. Was all the NASA info accurate or at least possible – if not probable? Some things just blew my mind. Anyway thank you to the creator of the show and to this blogger to have taken the time to inform us. Funny they tought this would be like Grey’s Anatomy…

January 5, 2011 at 12:18 AM

I just spent the last 72 hours or so, enthralled, watching all thirteen episodes. I have to be honest…I’m a little pissed that there won’t be anymore. This was a great show…I mean GREAT!

Well anyway, I’d like to offer my thanks to the people who wrote this show and caused me to come here and offer a comment.

January 5, 2011 at 9:09 PM

Hope someone else picks it up. Ending it without airing the episode where things picks up is really stupid. Not airing the finale.. well thats epic.

January 11, 2011 at 2:56 AM

Thanks for finding out the details for us (first and second post). I have had this show on my DVR for more than a year now, in the hopes that it might complete some day. I guess I can cancel that “scheduled recording”.

I can’t help but think of another show that got canceled before the end of its first season, before it really had a chance to grow to be come a great drama… Caprica. Now I don’t want to start a love/hate rant on that show here. ONly that it was clearly a show with a ton of potential that just never got off the ground because some executive thought it should have more ‘umpf’ in the first 8 episodes. You know, sometimes it just takes a while and a few rounds of re-runs before enough people find out about it through word of mouth and start watching. Just look at Star Trek (original series). You can’t tell me that show had no potential, because 15 years later they were making movies and 25 years later they were making spin offs, and now there are REMAKES. At least they got 3 full seasons! Far better than the treatment given to Defying Gravity.

January 15, 2011 at 6:42 AM

Derik – In my post below yours, Firefly (2002, Fox) really messed up its broadcast to the fullest. Episodes were aired OUT OF order as per Fox’ request (wtf?) and they didn’t air 3 episodes of the intended 14 and subsequently took it off air before it was finished in Season 1 (info credits go to wikipedia).

I caught Firefly and Serenity (post-cancellation fan-cult inspired movie continuation – IT IS POSSIBLE!!!) many years after Fox canceled Firefly. If you haven’t, you definitely need to buy the blu-ray version of both shows. Short story line like Defying Gravity, but it’s a true gem. Haven’t any of these broadcast giants LEARNED after the Star Trek series like you pointed out… sigh.

*Fingers Crossed for Terminator: TSCC continuation… the public is owed the fallout and the future and present in the apocalyptic Skynet world…

January 15, 2011 at 6:30 AM

I just finished watching the DVD – finally bought it – and after a QUICK google search, I found your article! I am so glad you were so persistent in helping the WORLD of fans find closure. It is very sad that ABC and FOX are not doing anything with their “rights” to this show title. Based on the info revealed, it really sounds like it falls on ABC’s fault – the story itself makes so much sense with twist and turns and a final blow out (I like the idea of Donner with Walker instead of Barnes too).

I was wondering how on earth (haha) they would have landed on Mercury and thought about the possibility of a light/dark “line” that is just right – perfect – spot. Yay I was right! The Nadia “issue” was truly amazing and wish we could have seen it pan out on screen.

Personally, I am most intrigued with the Gas Giants in our solar system and I was REALLY hoping we would be told “technically” how they would have retrieved the Objects from them. Seriously, there is NO WAY you can land on any of the Gas Giants if Zoe turned out like that on Venus. Logically speaking, if there is a suit specifically made to handle the atmospheric pressure/gravity and temperature for any of the Gas Giants, then why wouldn’t they use a detuned variation of it for any of the inner planets landings? Zoe wouldn’t have been burnt half dead (though, the fractals of course wouldn’t allow her to die anyways).

The drama, romance, livelihood, trials, faith, technical advances, and intelligence in this show is TOP NOTCH. As much as I am a Summer Glau fan and FireFly/Serenity and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles are completely different than Defying Gravity (there is a sort of “school book academicism” to DG), these are my TOP 3 favourite Sci-Fi shows – Battlestar Galactica takes FOURTH PLACE and that is the only show that “finished” and not prematurely “canceled”.

THANK YOU KEITH MCDUFFEE!!!

(PS. I’m a Summer Glau fan first, then Paula Garces second :)

January 24, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Just finished watching the show today. Thanks for your post. It’s been great to know how the show would have ended.

February 5, 2011 at 2:57 PM

Thank you.

I want this to be a book someday.

February 8, 2011 at 8:48 PM

just got done with the show via netflix. Is there any website devoted to bringing back the show? I think the show was not allowed to grow (as it would have, no doubt). wish they would re-think letting it go….

February 12, 2011 at 4:49 AM

My husband and I have stayed up until 5 am the last 3 nights watching episodes we purchased on the Playstation Network… We are now downloading episodes 10 & 11 and CANNOT WAIT until tomorrow to watch them! We have fallen in love with this series… as tragic as its lifespan was… and find it to be so very unfortunate that such a creative and smart show with this amazing cast did not last past a 1st season! I’m definitely pissed that we cant watch the story unfold and the characters grow.

February 17, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Thank you and Mr. Parriott so very much for this. I truly wish ABC had not dropped the ball on this one. What a great show!!!

February 17, 2011 at 3:29 PM

shame this got canned, it was a series that had more potential than a lot of others that do go on to second series, and then quickly loose their way.

February 21, 2011 at 6:14 PM

I started watching this series a week ago without knowing it was going to end after 13 episodes..
I really enjoyed it, and i’m confident it would become very famous.
I thank mr. Parriott and Keith for putting this story online!