“Defiance” (8 p.m., Syfy) offers an entertaining twist on the post-apocalyptic thriller.
Set in the year 2046, “Defiance” explores the Earth more than 30 years after an alien invasion sparked a violent global war for domination, and 15 years after a treaty established an uneasy truce between battling races of humans, aliens, cyborgs and mutants.
The show takes its name from the frontier city of Defiance, formerly known as St. Louis, now a wasteland protected by a force field to keep dangerous creatures at bay. New Zealand-born Australian actor Grant Bowler stars as the brash Nolan, a veteran of the wars who quickly becomes the sheriff, or Chief Lawkeeper.
As on HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” this series challenges viewers to follow a complex chessboard of rival fiefdoms and allegiances. Speaking of chess, truly obsessed fans can also play along with a recently released multiplayer “Defiance” video game, which, we’re promised, will eventually affect the show’s narrative.
• Saints Pub and Patio “Independent Lens” (9 p.m., PBS) presents the documentary “Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines.” The film looks at comic book depictions of powerful women on screen and in print as a way of examining shifting attitudes toward feminism. “Wonder” looks into a wide period, from the time of the “Wonder Woman” comic book in the 1940s to “The Bionic Woman” in the 1970s to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and other iconic Hollywood heroines of today.
Tonight’s other highlights
• A broker reveals the naked truth about his lifestyle on “Bones” (7 p.m., Fox).
• Jack has a breakthrough moment on “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” (7 p.m., ABC Family).
• Roderick makes a rash move on “The Following” (8 p.m., Fox).
• McGarrett recounts a secret mission on “Hawaii Five-0” (9 p.m., CBS).
• Help arrives for Norma on “Bates Motel” (9 p.m., A&E;).
• The miniseries mystery “Top of the Lake” (8 p.m. and 9 p.m., Sundance), created by Jane Campion, concludes with back-to-back episodes.
• The new series “Burger Land” (9 p.m., Travel) visits a Los Angeles shop using a 50-year-old recipe.