V (2009) – 01 "Pilot"


Since my teen years were mostly spent without a TV in our home, I only watched a very few episodes of the original V TV series in 1984 (and none of the 1983 mini-series). As such, I have no attachment to that series. I watched the 8-minute preview of this new series online and found myself intrigued, though I found things to be only eye-grabbing and not much more. However, when I begin to read about how these alien visitors were preaching a message of peace, hope, and change while still being the series’ villain, I had to watch. I’m glad I did.

The arrival of the V spaceships was so much like the arrival of the aliens from the movie Independence Day that I thought, “the writers better have thrown in a joke reference about that.” Fortunately, they did just that and more with the mention that Independence Day took the idea from other places (like the original V). Still, their arrival seen in HD looked fantastic, as did the crash of the fighter jet after it lost all power due to the alien ship. FX-wise, things just really look awesome when it comes to the alien mother ships, shuttles, and the like.

Fortunately, this isn’t a show about FX. Like the Battlestar Galactica remake, this new V reimage is about characters and ideals. The Visitors are here to invade Earth plain and simple. However, rather than do like the aliens did in Independence Day (where the aliens began a systematic destruction of Earth’s major cities and military installations) or in the original anime Space Battleship Yamato (where the aliens began bombarding Earth with irradiated asteroids in order to terraform it to their needs), the Visitors have decided to take over without firing a single shot by winning over the hearts and minds of the people.

I understand the parallels people have made between the Visitors and the Obama administration. President Obama was seen by many as someone who wants to destroy the U.S. as we know it and rebuild it into something else, being surrounded his whole life by communist fascist who’ve stated this as their goal. A year after his election, more and more people are starting to see his plans as not good for the country and more like an attempt to take over control over all aspects of life, including speech (such as this blog).

However, President Obama looked young, fresh, and his message was hope and change, which got him elected. Who does not want peace? Who does not want hope? When things are going negatively, who does not want change (assuming of course it is change for the better and not change for the worse)? Who does not want attractive, smart-looking and sounding people taking charge, especially when they offer nothing but compassion for their fellow man? Many people looked to President Obama as a kind of savior in a religious sense. The mainstream press has often given the President passes for all sorts of things that they wouldn’t give President Bush a pass on.

Thus the parallels with the Visitors. They come to Earth offering hope, change, and peace for mankind. They offer universal free health care by establishing medical clinics in cities all over the world, curing many diseases. The press fawns over these benevolent and wonderful aliens, who want nothing but good for humanity. For the most part, the people love the Visitors, though a few are protesting.

Thus comes the genius of the Visitor plan. First, infiltrate the population including government, military, and other important positions of power. Next, reveal yourselves to humanity and start offering them free goodies, such as health care and cures for many different diseases. Get the press on your side to control the story and by the time you are ready for the final solution, the population you are about to obliterate won’t even see it coming.

I admit this concept is not a new one, but considering Earth’s history, it has worked so well in the past for so many. So many of these despots and thug dictators didn’t stage a bloody coup and take over. Most were democratically elected, got their people into position, then simply transformed the country into the image they wanted. Look at Nazi Germany. Hitler rose to power not through the gun (as he initially tried and failed), but by election. Once in power, he established all sorts of things for the good of the people including health care (and believe it or not, I’ve read that Nazi Germany had a very strong anti-smoking sentiment based on stuff Nazi doctors learned well before the rest of the world hooked into the anti-smoking bandwagon). After he and his people had effectively took over, he worked hard and fast to remake Germany into his image but in moving too fast, he ended up destroying Germany.

In all honesty, I see a closer parallel between the Visitors and the Nazis, whom let’s not forget were socialists in addition to being nationalist. We’ll see how that aspect bears out, especially if this resistance movement gets any traction and forces the Visitors to take military action.

That leads me to my one concern — the longevity of this series. Initially, I can see the series working quite well for a time with humanity fooled by the soft words and kind actions of the Visitors. However, if there is a resistance, at what point do people wake up and smell the coffee? If they do, then what does the series become? I’ll be patient and see where things go. ^_^

As to the characters, w have some interesting ones. Scott Wolf (Party eof Five) plays the TV reporter Chad Decker, who catches the Visitor’s attention with his fawning attitude toward them. Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost; ER) plays single mother and FBI agent Erica Evans, who struggles to raise her teenaged son, who has very much bought into the Visitor’s propaganda message of hope and change. Joel Gretsch (The 4400) plays the skeptical Father Jack Landry. Morris Chestnut (C-16: FBI; Out All Night) plays the traitor alien in disguise named Ryan Nichols. Finally, Morena Baccarin (Firefly; Serenity) was almost unrecognizable to me as the Visitor leader named Anna (I knew the voice but couldn’t place it with her new, short hair style).

I can see a lot of character stories being done here on top of advancing the main plot. I just hope the writers can pull it all off. I like how things have been set up and how the main cast has been carefully placed on the board.

I’ve written a lot here, but in the end, I found the time flew by and I was inspired enough by what I saw on TV to write a lot here. *lol* That’s a good sign that I rather enjoyed the pilot episode. We have an interesting story premise, interesting characters, and good SFX which if done right could be the start of a really good series. I sure hope so.

Reader Comments

  1. I can’t find the review. Just talk about Obama and nazis. I don’t get it. Was the pilot any good? What was it about?

    Sorry. I am ironic. You write well but I don’t think this is the way to write a review.

  2. Well, I doubt it will go down as one of my better reviews. One of my biggest flaws in writing is going down a rabbit trail which may have great points but in the process, I lose other aspects. I did try to bring in some aspects of the series into the review and realize that I didn’t do as good a job there. However, I guess the parallels I saw to the Nazi’s or even what some perceive as the problems with the Obama administration struck me hardest, thus what I wrote most about. ^_^;

    I figure that the next episode review will be more in line with a proper episode review. ^_~

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