V is the story of an alien invasion done under the cover of peace.
For the most part, the world embraces the human-looking (but actually lizard) Visitors, V’s for short. The series is centred around those who question them—a priest, an FBI agent who survives a V massacre, and a rightly paranoid leader of an anti-V cell.
The series is based on a miniseries from 1983, which featured Beastmaster Marc Singer as a reporter-turned-leader of the resistance. It featured one of the more famous scenes of science-fiction-miniseries-from-1983 history, in which the leader of the V’s eats a guinea pig (whole) to show her lizard roots.
The three-disc DVD includes some featurettes (including one on the make-up), as well as some deleted scenes. The deleted scenes are a bit quiet (I have my laptop playing them at full volume and still cannot hear them very well) but they add a bit to the episodes. There is also an audio commentary on one episode from the executive producer.
This will appeal to fans of the original, but you have to be prepared for quite a bit of the cast to have moments of sheer lunacy, like wheeling out arguments that don’t make sense in order to create a theme. And unfortunately, there are brief times when the writers tend to treat the viewer as if they were morons, plainly stating things that should be obvious to someone with intelligence. Maybe they are preparing the way for an alien intelligence by dumbing down the viewing public. It’s what I’d do.
Another complaint I have has to do with the characterisation of the FBI agent’s son. I spent quite a bit of time while watching the show telling him to shut up about his daddy issues, or his girlfriend, or whatever was bothering him during a particular episode. Most of the other characters are done well, however, especially the evil bitch Anna (leader of the V’s).
Something they did well here was the CGI for the interior of the mothership, as it looks dodgy and kind of obvious, which is good because it is supposed to, as it makes the aliens look fake.
The series has its faults (such as some downright idiotic moments on the part of many of the characters) but overall I feel that it captures the themes of the original miniseries well while adding some new ideas of its own, such as the press being used to the Visitors’ advantage on more than a few occasions. The theme of being overpowered by an evil enemy that everyone else loves is still there, and some scenes look like they were drawn straight from the original. I speak in particular of the moment when somebody goes aboard the mothership to free another character, but gets himself captured after he succeeds.
V has been renewed for a second season, so it will be pretty interesting to watch Jane Badler play the main villain’s mother, Diana, as she was the original villain of the 80′s miniseries. Which didn’t happen according to the backstory of this one. Hopefully they will have toned down the idiocy.
While you’re waiting, if you feel up to tolerating idiotic and whiny characters in exchange for some good moments that echo the original miniseries, you can pick up the DVD.