In 1983, the original V miniseries debuted on NBC, its two episodes the setup for a series. The basic deal: aliens journey to earth and scare the hell out of us. Soon enough, we discover that they are just like us - look just like us, speak good middle-American English, and have only stopped by to say "howdy."
The truth beneath the surface: they are lizard men and women from space, and they are up to no good. This miniseries was followed by a few others, along with a great slew of books which I never bothered to read. My geekdom has its limits.
Flash-forward to 2009. ABC launches its reboot of the series with amazing special effects far beyond the capability of mid-'80s television. Elizabeth Mitchell stars as Erica Evans, pretty much filling in for Marc Singer's (The Beastmaster) role in the first series. This FBI agent and single mother discovers in the first season that the Vs are not as nice as all that and decides to join the Fifth Column - an organization dedicated to bringing down the Vs and saving humanity. What do the Vs want with us? It would seem they need genetic stock to further their race, but it's unclear how a species could have evolved needing breeding stock from other worlds to survive.
The alien Queen Anna (Morena Baccarin, a fanboy's dream from Firefly and Stargate SG-1) is a hottie with a warm smile and a welcoming presence. Naturally, she's evil and conniving and wants only what's bad for Earthlings.
Erica works with the other members of the Fifth Column to stop the V, but despite the fact that the V's advanced technology should enable them to quickly quash the rebellion, they manage to strike some blows. So it becomes a game of politics. The alien queen Anna must use good-looking TV personality Chad Decker (Scott Wolf) to turn the media favor in her direction.
Anna believes that her goal should be to control the human soul. She seems incapable of understanding that the human soul is a bit more of a figurative thing than a measurable entity, but believes that it's responsible for the human's resilience.
The series is filled with logical holes big enough to pilot a shuttle through, but it's still enjoyable. I guess I can overlook the fact that nobody in Vatican City speaks anything but English with that likable middle-American accent. I can forgive the fact that major plot points are revealed in front of the human public in view of many cameras. There have to be some lip-readers out there somewhere.
There are good bits as well, but I keep coming back to the bad stuff. If they've captured a V and plan to rip her skin off to make her talk, why not film the creature emerging from the skin to put on YouTube and reinforce the revolution? I could go on, but shouldn't. I did enjoy it... really!
The last two or three episodes move things along better than the rest. There is tension and drama along the whole ride, but the good stuff seems to be weighted near the end. Alas, the series was cancelled, so we're left with a delicious setup that seems impossible for our humans to recover from. We'll never know how they overcome, unless the series is revived on ABC or another network.
Extras include deleted scenes, a couple of making-of featurettes, and a blooper reel. The only thing missing is the Vcap, the recap of the first season that ABC made to set up the second season.
(Oldtimers: Keep your eyes peeled for a couple of stars from the original series. Their appearance doesn't connect to those original episodes, because in this reality the other alien invasion never happened.)
|action | animation | art house/international | comedy | documentary | drama | family | horror/sci-fi | suspense | television|
|contact | home|