Tonight the much-anticipated series V (Visitors) aired on ABC. This is a remake of the 1983 series about alien visitors to then-current-day Earth which I remember with a mix of excitement, disgust and fear as a child. The Pilot started off with the Visitors causing panic and mini-earthquakes. Spaceships hover over major cities blocking the sun and causing mass houseplant extinction. Just kidding.
People begin to calm down when Anna, played by Morena Baccarin, shows up and says everything is fine. Anna is the alien leader. Her story is that the Visitors need water and minerals abundant on Earth and will in exchange provide technology and universal healthcare. They even have a motto: “We are of peace, always.” Plus, every Visitor is humanoid and very attractive. As we all know, pretty people tend to be more successful at providing a good first impression (their shuttle craft, on the other hand, are butt-ugly).
Anna selects a reporter for a one-on-one interview based on the perception that said reporter will ask softball questions; in fact, she demands it with a beautiful yet evil smile. But hey, she’ll provide universal health care so who cares? Sign me up to become a “Peace Ambassador”- humans who learn about the aliens and pass along their awesomeness.
Morena’s acting was excellent. She does emotionless and calculating very well, like she did for the Stargate SG-1 series. It is refreshing to see a strong female leader, and this blogger is doubly happy to see a Latina in the role.
As a Pilot, my opinion is that it could have been better. ABC should have broadcast two hours to really get people interested. As it was, most people already knew the show’s premise from the 80’s series, and needed more to get them hooked. The timeline seemed rushed, with people deciding all too quickly to accept the Alien visitors, even visiting their ship (which is beautiful, by the way). Even being allowed to visit the ship so soon by the authorities was ludicrous. I saw very little military presence beside a fighter pilot and I found this highly illogical. There seem to be very few people surrounding such a historical event, and there wasn’t a real sense of awe produced by extraterrestrials coming to Earth you get from films like District 9 and Independence Day. Perhaps the humanoid aspect of the aliens had much to do with that, but still. (Remember the wonder the 4400 produced? And they were just humans.) Where was the sense of excitement and fear? In more people going to church? There are other lacunae I won’t mention because of potential spoilers, and I hope to get them explained as the show develops. The topics covered are solid and interesting and I would like to see more. Media manipulation, humanity in crisis, beauty/attractiveness as a weapon of acceptance, terrorism, betrayal… I’ll be watching.