I recall watching the old V (1984-85) [mini series, part 1] with much vigor. The effects were appropriately cheesy for the time, but it was a somewhat interesting story until it derailed after a season. So, it was with anticipation that I awaited the new incarnation.
The original subtext of racism and holocaust has been replaced with one of terrorism.
However the writing, and perhaps only having 4 hours of shows before the winter recess, caused the freight train of plot to overspeed the rails in the first episode out. Also forcing the “Pilot” into a one hour slot, makes this problematic. Are they trying to set the whole scene in this one episode? Seems so. Or are they just trying to pack more action in? [Plenty of Spoilers]
0:00 – Erie music and cutting between all the characters to introduce, the first 8 minutes are textbook writing and editing, a very good job. With requisite action: plane crash, space ship appearance, brief motorcycle hijinx. Requisite Independence Day joke.
Erica (single mom), Tyler (son) - Father Jack, Roy - Ryan (perhaps fiance), Valerie - Chad (newsman), Anna (visitor)
7:00 – Seemingly within a half hour the military has cordoned off an area and they’re blocking access? Why? How so fast?
9:20 – Why is Anna speaking to the almost uninhabited area near the Egyptian pyramids? (perhaps homage to the original mini series shot that was similar)
9:40 – “There will be more communications with your world’s leaders in the hours to come.” Never happens.
14:36 – “It’s been three weeks.” This is the anti-Lost in plot terms. Racing past chances for character development in search of action in the plot. It becomes obvious that Erica’s FBI partner is behaving suspiciously.
19:15 – Visiting the space ship. Lisa (hottie visitor). ”Peace Ambassador Program” Bam, just like that. Three weeks in. There would absolutely be protests and push back over “indoctrinating our youth” (see recent Obama address to children).
22:50 – Skeptical Father Jack, I like the character. But his words from the pulpit don’t come across as anything a priest or minister would say.
25:30 – Bad kid, bad V, bad dad, bad mom. Bam, character development that could have been an entire episode subplot in 2 clean minutes.
27:00 – Suspicious phone calls to Ryan, suspicious Valerie. Seems we’re going to reveal Ryan’s back store in episode 1.
28:00 – More suspicious partner. Could have been more subtle over several episodes, but it’s obviously coming to a head in this episode.
30:30 – Father Jack is lured into the web.
31:30 – Chad doesn’t ask the obvious followup to Anna’s “don’t ask us anything that would paint us in an unflattering light” . . . “like what?”
33:20 – Erica attends “cell meeting”, thinks it’s a terrorist cell, all will soon be revealed, is there anything left? Did they decided to reveal all the secrets of the first series in 40 minutes?
37:27 – Universal Health Care – LOL. topical.
40:30 – Erica “kills” her partner. Wouldn’t an FBA agent be skeptical about what would kill an alien? Ryan’s backstory revealed.
44:45 – Erica and Jack as partners.
If they intended to start where the other left off, then they seem to be on their way. With a bit of aliens as terrorists in a 9/11 world spin. I can only hope that succeeding episodes will stop long enough for us to meet the characters.
[Pilot available on iTunes for free and Hulu on Saturday]