V stands for "Very Soon Lizard Aliens Will Suck Your Face Off"
Thursday, May 21, 2009 | Author: Mad Typist
I was pretty excited when I heard that they were going to reboot/relaunch the classic sci-fi mini-series V. I was hopeful that ABC, which has done a great job handling the cerebral and compelling sci-fi show Lost, would pick it up, and indeed, V is now on the schedule for sometime next midseason.

Jace over at Televisionary was lucky enough to get a preview of the pilot episode and gives it glowing remarks (warning: the article contains spoilers). Here's his quick summary of the show's concept:
For those of you not in the know, V, originally created by Kenneth Johnson, was a series about an alien invasion that aired on NBC during the 1984-1985 season following a successful run as two separate mini-series. Likewise, this new incarnation of V, overseen by The 4400 creator Scott Peters also tells the story of the arrival of an alien race to Earth via behemoth spacecrafts that appear out of nowhere to hover above 29 cities around the world.

Calling themselves The Visitors, their leader Anna (Firefly's Morena Baccarin) quickly makes contact with Earth's leaders to deliver a message (in multiple languages) proclaiming that they come in peace and, in exchange for the use of Earth's water which they need to survive, they will provide the human population with technology, the curing of 65 different diseases, and universal health care.
I was thrilled to find out that the excellent Elizabeth Mitchell would be starring in this one. She's done great work in supporting roles (Juliet on Lost, Kim Legaspi on ER), so it's nice to see her get a chance to play a lead role for once. She'll be playing FBI agent Erica Evans, who's not so sure about these new "friendly" aliens. I noted in the trailer that she has a son, who may or may not get involved with the Visitors in some way (I suspect through good old fashioned teen lust with hot alien girl "Lisa"), which should rachet up the drama for Erica.

Also a good sign for nerds all over the world: there are TWO actors from Joss Whedon's cult hit Firefly present in V. Alan Tudyk (Wash from Firefly, Alpha from Dollhouse) is signed on to play Erica's FBI partner Dale Maddox. Tudyk's work on Dollhouse recently convinced me that he's got the acting chops to really shine in this lead role, so I'm hoping for good things from him as well.

Morena Baccarin is a great choice to play the leader of the Visitors, since she's always struck me as one of those "so beautiful it's GOT to be fake" kind of actresses. Watching the trailer, you instantly get a sense that behind that gorgeous smile lies a set of razor sharp alien fangs that would just LOVE to eat some delicious mammal flesh.

Assuming the new ABC series Flash Forward takes off (and I hope that it does, because it sounds awesome), V would be a good time slot neighbor for that show. If not, I expect that this high-profile reboot will be paired with Lost.

Because the original show was a mini-series, I was a little nervous that having an on-going show might be a mistake, as many sci-fi fans live in dread fear of the "Chris Carter syndrome": where a show runner has a promising idea for a series - The X-Files in Carter's case - and you think there's this awesome overall mythology... and then you realize the idiots in charge are totally making up the story as they go along, and it collapses under the weight of its own nonsensical continuity and poor story choices that hinder the show's ability to gracefully end. That's why this quote from this EOnline.com column gives me some small hope:
V's initial order will be 13 episodes. "We want to craft a whole series," says McPherson. "We believe it's going to be in four parts...It will have beginning, middle and end."
I've said before that it's crucial that shows with a long, complex mytharc have their ducks in a row, so it's great news that they have a firm structure for the story. That will allow characters and storylines to be developed in a way that leads naturally to the end the show runners desire.

I'm hoping that V lives up to its potential. It's got a solid cast, a crew that's familiar with heady sci-fi (there are several names who used to work for the USA series The 4400 attached), and a great cult classic source to draw from. Frankly, as long as they have the lizard baby with the human tongue, and the human baby with the lizard tongue, I'll be happy. I expect lots of fun face-peeling, mouse-eating, facism-allegories from this one, so *fingers crossed*.

While we wait for the show to premiere next year, go ahead and enjoy this spiffy new trailer for the show.

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