Nov 032009

(Some spoilers.  If you haven’t seen the premiere episode of V and intend to, stop reading here.)

v20092Just took in the premiere episode of V, the new series reimagined from the two miniseries and series of the same name of 25 or so years ago.  As in the original, a fleet of massive spaceships appears around the world, and the extraterrestrial creatures therein make seemingly friendly contact with us.

In the original V, the Visitors were here for the water.  They were also going to eat most of us, and those of us who weren’t eaten would become slaves and cannon fodder.  We don’t yet know exactly what the 2009 Visitors want, though the fledgling resistance group seems to think all-out mayhem is coming.  Also, in this series the Visitors have been spies among us for quite some time ahead of the fleet’s appearance, which is a new wrinkle.

Oh, and of course they look human, but it’s a lie.  They’re reptilian underneath their cloned human skin.

Firefly/Serenity veteran Morena Baccarin carries elven sexiness and a subtle sinister undercurrent very well as Anna, the Visitor commander.  She’ll remain a reliable fanboy generator.  Elizabeth Mitchell as FBI agent Erica Evans seems a marvelous protagonist so far, with a great combination of humanity and grittiness.  For me, she hinted at Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley.anna

Certainly the current effects technology does not disappoint.  The mother ship interior is breathtaking, and all of the supporting shots—shuttlecraft, a massive video screen from a ship’s hull, and the like—are convincing.

In the original V, the allegory was Nazi Germany, delivered with all of the subtlety of a napalm enema.  In the reimagined series—and as Dave Barry so often says, I am not making this up—the Visitors are attractive; charismatic; manipulative, particularly in how they use the media; and intolerant of dissent.  Oh, and they are promising universal health care.  Their millions of fawning sycophants see only hope and fulfilled promise; a few who question are derided as nut cases.

There are easily four or five posts in exploring that angle of it, but I’ll point you to this Chicago Tribune piece instead.

I enjoyed the show and am along for the ride for now.  I understand this is the first of four episodes this month, with resumption in March.

If I’m disappointed in anything, it’s that a little too much of it could be just about any current action drama.  Moreover, I’d have preferred a little slower buildup.  This thing started supersonic and laid all of the groundwork for the series in 47 minutes flat, and I think probably at the expense of a little more thoughtful “science fiction”y exposition.  There was hardly any time to be awed, before we were rough-and-tumbling with the good guys vs. the bad guys.

But, I suppose those are crotchedy old man things to say in the post-YouTube society.


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 Posted by at 10:49 pm

  4 Responses to “Review: V”

  1. Like BSG, which we are now watching via DVD from Netflix Joani and I will probably wait until at least the first season wraps up before taking a chance.

  2. Concur with your review. Agree on the lack of pace. Original series didn’t have major reveals until later as I remember. Good to see The Fifth Column made the transition. Now bring back Robert Englund and Michael Ironsides. Im in on the PVR.

    RE:Allegory. How long before one of the WH nimrods denounces ABC as an opinion organiztion controled secretly by Fox?

    “To Serve Man! It’s a cookbook!”

  3. If the Beastmaster isn’t in it, I ain’t gonna watch it. stumbling off to find reruns of Babylon 5

  4. Loved the original series. Unfortunately, I was unable to watch the premier and the stupid PVR got only 4 minutes of it. Grrr…I’m off to watch it online.

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