V (pilot episode)

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v001So, last night, V premiered on ABC and I, like many of you, watched with much anticipation.

Leading up to this whole thing, I rewatched (mostly) the original V mini-series, aired Sunday on the channel formerly known as SciFi, to refresh my memory on the whole thing.

In the original, the Visitor’s come to Earth speaking of friendship and offering advancements in medical knowledge and technology in exchange for our helping them refine a chemical they depend on for their existence.  We agree (a little too easily) and the Visitors setup processing plants all across the planet.  Scientists get too nosy and quickly get singled out as whackadoos.  People start disappearing and weird stuff starts happening.  Skeptics investigate and learn that the Visitors are actually reptilian, wearing human faces and are here to take our water and our people – the latter for food.

Resistance ensues.  It was a great series.  Kind of dated now, but still worthwhile.

Knowing that V was on at 7, I set my TiVo to record it starting at 6:59 – this was because I had stuff to do, knew I would be late getting home and so, I didn’t want to miss anything.  I have avoided reading anything about this particular reboot because I wanted to be surprised (kinda hard when you ‘know’ the story already).

ABC, of course, doesn’t give a shit.  I walked in the door at 6:55 and turned the tv on.  At 6:58, the freaking show started.  I realized this as I was trying to get dinner going.  SCREW YOU ABC!

*cough* Sorry.

I saw something flash across the screen, but it happened while I was distracted.  I think it asked, “Where were you when 9/11 happened?”

Spoilers abound from this point on.

Looks like the main characters are going to be: Erica and her son, Tyler, Jack, Brian, Anna & Chad.  Erica is an FBI agent investigating a sleeper cell of terrorists who always manage to escape just before they can be caught.  Her son is rebelling against her and his absent father, getting into a lot of trouble at school and in life in general.  Then there’s Jack, a Priest (Roman Catholic, I think), who is preaching to an empty house.

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Next, there’s Brian, who I totally pegged for what he was (I’ll explain that in a second).  Our first glimpse of him has him buying an engagement ring.  Lastly, we see Chad, a news anchor who wants to be more than a teleprompter reader.

Earthquakes abound, everyone gets shaken – then we see the shadow moving across the city.  People look up – what’s that?  Reflected in the windows of the skyscrapers?!  Could it be…?  SUPERMAN?! No… wait…

Anna, Supreme Commander of the Visitors appears, her face plastered on the underbelly of every ship hovering over all the major cities of the world.  She brings a message of peace in every language.

“She’s hot,” one of the boys said.  Well, DUH! She’s Monica Baccarin!  I do like how they managed to make her look hot, yet still alien.  If you have the episode recorded, watch it again – look at her face.  Tell me that she doesn’t look just a little alien, a little off…

The Visitor’s promise peaceful coexistence.  There’s just a few things that they need, things that we have in abundance – water and an unnamed mineral, so they want to trade.  They’ll give us advances in medicine and technology (that old hat again) in return for the stuff they need.

I was delighted to see Alan Tudyk (Wash from Firefly) in the show as Erica’s partner, but I got an Evil Charlie (Fringe) vibe from him, which ended up being justified in the end.  I was also surprised (but not delighted) to see Supergirl (Laura Vandervoot) as one of the Visitors.  I’ll have to see if I like her any better in this versus Smallville.

Very quickly, people embrace the Visitors; something I find difficult to believe.  I don’t think we’d be quite so accepting, humans being humans and all.  I think we’d bitch and freak out just a little bit more than they give us credit for.  I especially felt that the acceptance of the Visitor’s by the Vatican stretched things a lot.  Fortunately, they had a (plausible) explanation for this later in the show.

I liked Chad’s question to Anna near the beginning, “Is there such a thing as an ‘ugly Visitor’?”

“I don’t understand.”

“You all seem to be what we consider ‘attractive’.”

“Thank you… You’re not so bad yourself.”

Okay – (plausible) explanation time.  See, there’s this sleeper cell of terrorists that Erica’s been investigating.  As the episode progresses, we are led down the path that a mysterious dude and Brian could be a part of this terrorist cell.  Erica continues to investigate and eventually comes across a secret meeting that the mystery dude (I don’t know his name – sorry) is hosting.  She crashes the meeting and learns that these people aren’t the terrorists – they believe that the Visitors are invaders, that they are the sleeper cells Erica’s been tracking and that they’ve been here for years, planting the seeds for their eventual ‘arrival’ to ‘save’ the people of Earth.

The meeting gets attacked by Visitors who are trying to quickly kill everyone in attendance – quickly and quietly (mostly).  Brian turns out to be (I guessed it), a deserter/traitor living on Earth in secret.  His arm gets cut – there’s a reptile underneath – mystery dude freaks at seeing this.  Also, Alan Tudyk’s character ends up being one of them too, revealed as a meeting crasher as he tries to kill Erica for what she’s learned.

Jack and Erica escape while Chad’s character gets an exclusive interview but isn’t allowed to ask anything that will make the Visitor’s look bad.  Tyler gets all lusty over Supergirl (Lisa) and joins the youth league or whatever they’re calling it in this version.  Erica and Jack vow to resist and spread the knowledge that the Visitor’s are bad guys with bad plans for the Earth.

Overall, it was a nice setup for new people with enough changes to make it interesting to anyone familiar with the original series.  There’s enough ‘pretty people’ to make the whole thing a CW show instead of an ABC show, though…

I’ll be interested to see where they take it, and I’ll be watching next week.  2 minutes early.  Frakking ABC…

~P