Like many members of Generation X, I was parked directly in front of the TV set when the original NBC mini-series V premiered in 1983. The series told of a superior alien race that came to Earth, allegedly in search of water — while the truth behind the Visitors’ outing was much more dastardly: they were actually hideous, bipedal reptilian critters in disguise that had come to eat us. Needless to say, such a fantastic story became the talk of the playground for me and my friends at school — as it did with most of my generation. The series proved to be a hit for NBC, and was followed by a second mini-series and a short-lived television show.
A few years back, when television networks and movie studios started being infiltrated by Generation X-ers, many of the now “classic” series I had enjoyed as a lad were re-introduced to TV viewers — both new and old — in lavishly retold versions. This caused a great bit of anxiety to arise in some of us. And our paranoia was justified when we suffered through bastardized and inept incarnations of series like Bionic Woman and Knight Rider. Fortunately, though, the men and women behind the new, revamped V seem to be taking their production cues from such failed series.
Like the original mini-series, V begins with the arrival of massive spaceships, to wit, the inhabitants of planet Earth are introduced and subsequently assured by the alien leader, Anna (Morena Baccarin) that she and her fellow Visitors have come in peace. As it turns out, of course, they’re here for a far more sinister purpose. Fortunately, though, an FBI counterterrorist agent Erica Evans (Lost’s Elizabeth Mitchell) and Father Jack Landry (sci-fi TV regular Joel Gretsch — they couldn’t get Mark Valley, I guess) manage to team up with an alleged “terrorist cell” (we can’t have TV without terrorist cells, you know) which, as it turns out, is actually a group of resistance fighters who are aware that the Visitors have been secretly permeating the governments of the world in order to enslave us all.
Oh, the humanity!
Also just like in the original V, there are certain members of the alien race that are on our side. Boyz N The Hood co-star Morris Chestnut appears here as one of the aliens in disguise: a man/critter that had grown weary of his mission when he started developing (gasp) emotions — and fell in love with a human woman (Lourdes Benedicto). The cast also includes Michael J. Fox wannabe Scott Wolf as a “star-struck” (ta-dum) reporter who gets the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to act as Anna’s personal network boy (and quickly starts to regret it), and Smallville semi-regular Laura Vandervoort as an alien beauty who lures Erica’s teenage son into the alien web of deceit.