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Alexandria, Virginia, USA
September 18
I'm a liberal secular humanist who enjoys writing, reading, playing video games and watching sports. I am a former member of the Armed Services who now enjoys the sweet sweet freedom of civilian life. My blog will be centered mostly on politics, football and video games. I'm not a professional hater, but I am a highly ranked amateur. Also, yes, I am a girl.


Editor’s Pick
MAY 21, 2009 11:31AM

V stands for Very Soon Lizard Aliens Will Suck Your Face Off

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V stands for "Very Soon Lizard Aliens Will Suck Your Face Off"

I was pretty excited when I heard that they were going to reboot/relaunch the classic sci-fi mini-series V. I was hopeful that ABC, which has done a great job handling the cerebral and compelling sci-fi show Lost, would pick it up, and indeed, V is now on the schedule for sometime next midseason.

Jace over at Televisionary was lucky enough to get a preview of the pilot episode and gives it glowing remarks (warning: the article contains spoilers). Here's his quick summary of the show's concept:
For those of you not in the know, V, originally created by Kenneth Johnson, was a series about an alien invasion that aired on NBC during the 1984-1985 season following a successful run as two separate mini-series. Likewise, this new incarnation of V, overseen by The 4400 creator Scott Peters also tells the story of the arrival of an alien race to Earth via behemoth spacecrafts that appear out of nowhere to hover above 29 cities around the world.

Calling themselves The Visitors, their leader Anna (Firefly's Morena Baccarin) quickly makes contact with Earth's leaders to deliver a message (in multiple languages) proclaiming that they come in peace and, in exchange for the use of Earth's water which they need to survive, they will provide the human population with technology, the curing of 65 different diseases, and universal health care.
I was thrilled to find out that the excellent Elizabeth Mitchell would be starring in this one. She's done great work in supporting roles (Juliet on Lost, Kim Legaspi on ER), so it's nice to see her get a chance to play a lead role for once. She'll be playing FBI agent Erica Evans, who's not so sure about these new "friendly" aliens. I noted in the trailer that she has a son, who may or may not get involved with the Visitors in some way (I suspect through good old fashioned teen lust with hot alien girl "Lisa"), which should rachet up the drama for Erica.

Also a good sign for nerds all over the world: there are TWO actors from Joss Whedon's cult hit Firefly present in V. Alan Tudyk (Wash from Firefly, Alpha from Dollhouse) is signed on to play Erica's FBI partner Dale Maddox. Tudyk's work on Dollhouse recently convinced me that he's got the acting chops to really shine in this lead role, so I'm hoping for good things from him as well.

Morena Baccarin is a great choice to play the leader of the Visitors, since she's always struck me as one of those "so beautiful it's GOT to be fake" kind of actresses. Watching the trailer, you instantly get a sense that behind that gorgeous smile lies a set of razor sharp alien fangs that would just LOVE to eat some delicious mammal flesh.

Assuming the new ABC series Flash Forward takes off (and I hope that it does, because it sounds awesome), V would be a good time slot neighbor for that show. If not, I expect that this high-profile reboot will be paired with Lost.

Because the original show was a mini-series, I was a little nervous that having an on-going show might be a mistake, as many sci-fi fans live in dread fear of the "Chris Carter syndrome": where a show runner has a promising idea for a series - The X-Files in Carter's case - and you think there's this awesome overall mythology... and then you realize the idiots in charge are totally making up the story as they go along, and it collapses under the weight of its own nonsensical continuity and poor story choices that hinder the show's ability to gracefully end. That's why this quote from this column gives me some small hope:
V's initial order will be 13 episodes. "We want to craft a whole series," says McPherson. "We believe it's going to be in four parts...It will have beginning, middle and end."
I've said before that it's crucial that shows with a long, complex mytharc have their ducks in a row, so it's great news that they have a firm structure for the story. That will allow characters and storylines to be developed in a way that leads naturally to the end the show runners desire.

I'm hoping that V lives up to its potential. It's got a solid cast, a crew that's familiar with heady sci-fi (there are several names who used to work for the USA series The 4400 attached), and a great cult classic source to draw from. Frankly, as long as they have the lizard baby with the human tongue, and the human baby with the lizard tongue, I'll be happy. I expect lots of fun face-peeling, mouse-eating, facism-allegories from this one, so *fingers crossed*.

While we wait for the show to premiere next year, go ahead and enjoy this spiffy new trailer for the show.

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aliens, television, scifi, v

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If I remember correctly V was 2 miniseries, and then a season worth of TV shows. SO the abbility to scope out into shows shouldn't be a problem.

Yup. check here

Also remember, a young Robert Englund (Freddy) started out as a wimpy alien in both series and the show!
Ah, thanks, Traigus. I only remembered the two mini-series that aired. And yeah, young Robert Englund!
this has some definite potential. I'm not familiar with the original... in fact I only know of its existence via an obscure throne-room reading reference (America the Book (Jon Stewart/Daily Show) claim that the interests backing the Kenneth Johnson mini-series and quthor Thomas Pynchon squared off in the landmark supreme court case V v. V)

And to take this even further off topic, I spent the last few days finally watching the first 5 episodes of season 1 of "Damages." Holy crap that's a good show.
I watched all this stuff like a hawk when it was on.

... back in the day when a Miniseries were more than 2 long episodes of something.
You had me at Morena Baccarin. . .
Mal, come for the Morena Baccarin, but stay for the Elizabeth Mitchell. I've been a huge fan of hers ever since I first saw her in Gia. Foxy!
I've been looking forward to this. Ideally, they will avoid some of the pitfalls that befel the original. Dammit, though, can't they slide a al ittle Michael Ironside in there,
Donnie -

Just for lulz.
Well, mad, I see your GIA and raise you a JAG. . .
I loved this show, so I'm glad to see it get a chance at a new life and new audience. I just hope it doesn't derail like so many hopeful new series have.
Thank you for not making this about a vast right wing conspiracy. Between Sirota and the American Idol paranoia, it's all I can do not to laugh. rated.
Oh, I am SO excited for this one. I remember the original back in the mid-80s and was so disappointed when it went off the air. Since next year is the last season of Lost-- I was hoping something would take its place of quality sci-fi-- fingers crossed this is it!
newsie - you want to keep an eye on the new sci-fi drama Flash Forward that ABC is launching this fall. Could be a great replacement for your weekly Lost fix. I'm sure I (or some other blogger, like Paul Levinson) will chatter more about that as September gets closer. It's a fascinating idea that has a very Lost-like vibe to it.

Deborah - what can I say? My tinfoil hat is in the shop.
I've only seen two episodes of "Fringe," and the trailer of "V," but is it just me, or does Elizabeth Mitchell's character in "V" remind anyone else of Anna Torv's in "Fringe"?

Alan Tudyk and Morena Baccarin; how can I resist?
I really really hope this will be a decent remake... I'm still not over that horrible and boring "Bionic Woman" retread. (How could they DO it? WHY did they do it?) Being a Marc Singer fan, I wonder if there's any way he could guest star? Ditto Faye Grant, Robert Englund & Michael Ironside! (Hey, older people get oppressed by aliens too!) Hope Morena Baccarin is up to the job of being the next Jane Badler (she was so badass!). I'm keeping all of my fingers and toes crossed for this one.

p.s. The Visitors bring us universal health care! I love it! (Hell, somebody's gotta do it, lol.)
Into it - provided it's done right. As far as the vast right wing conspiracy is concerned, I left comments in the other V post. But that's what Sci-Fi is meant for. It makes people think and lets them see what they want to see.

I was never terribly into Firefly, but Morena Baccarin was fantastic as the Orici in Stargate SG1. Kudos for television for bringing me more sci-fi to kill brain cells with. :)
Woot! I had all those episodes taped on BETA tapes so many years ago. Can't wait to see it again!
In all seriousness, if an alien race came and offered all that, and then said, "But we need to eat human brains," I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't a lot of editorials about "how about those Somali pirates?" or "These prisoners on death row; would they do?"
I was a kid when the original aired on TV, so i was excited to view this trailer... thanks for posting it. As for my reaction... I know its just entertainment, but it so wreaks of RIGHT WING paranoia, that it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I guess Hollywood wants to capitalize on current events and spin a yarn that wingnuts can flock to and believe, sort of like what the Da Vinci Code did for others.
The "original" V was heavily, uh, "dependent" on Bertolt Brecht's "The Private Lives of the Master Race." While I understand that art recycles art, the extreme, uh, "dependency" of V without a shred of attribution was quite disturbing, especially given the way plagiarism cases in Hollywood (cf: Harlan Ellison) have gone in the past few decades.
I used to live for V! I'm excited for this--and to see so many actors I like, too. Isn't the reporter that guy from Party of 5? I mean, the other one that isn't on Lost?
I miss the 4400 and remember V (where HAS the time gone?) and can't wait until it comes back on. Elizabeth Mitchell has it all over Anna Torv (Rupert Murdoch's niece, right?) and I see the cute guy from 4400 (what's his name?) is in it too. The conspiracy theory paranoia is part of the hype and part of the fun, I guess; what would any late 20th century/early 21st century show be without it? Haven't been following that chatter, I admit, but as I began to recall V, I started laughing because I can just imagine someone will say the producers are trying to send viewers a warning about our current President and his loyal followers. They're all aliens! Well, those who wish to believe it will. The rest of us probably know what the word "fiction" means.

As for Flash Forward, if it half lives up to its commercials - whoa.

PS - I should get out more but every time I'm ready to give up on television, something cools comes around...

yea mad_typist!
Do you not think the "Chris Carter Syndrome" applies to Lost? Personally I thought that was clear very early on-- one reason I find Lost terribly overrated.
" realize the idiots in charge are totally making up the story as they go along, and it collapses under the weight of its own nonsensical continuity and poor story choices that hinder the show's ability to gracefully end."

Sounds like you're describing "Dark Shadows."
The series obviously is designed to capitalize on contemporary anxieties. Just like those Charlton Heston used to play in the sixties in movies like The Omega Man, Soylent Green, and Planet of the Apes: the last sane white man in a world gone completely insane.

Watching that trailer reminded me of H.P.Lovecraft's rant about immigrants:

"...squat, squint-eyed jabberers with coarse ways and alien emotions whom his deepest cell tissue hates and loathes as the mammal hates and loathes the reptile..."

I hasten to add those were Lovecraft's views, not mine.
I meant to say, "Just like those roles Charlton Heston used to play..."
This could be tempting to watch--I enjoyed the first one when I was a kid. Interesting trend to see shows I watched growing up getting remade (BSG, the defunct bionic woman rehash, Star Trek, of course).

What's next, Buck Rogers?
I hate to throw a grenade on everybody's parade, but I remember the original show quite clearly (I was in college), and it was a shlockfest, complete with a Holocaust survivor warning "Zey are joost like ze Naahzees." It was pretty horrible, despite the involvement of some very good acting talent (Michael Ironside and the aforementioned Robert Englund, among otherst.

I'm sure this retread will have better f/x than the old one (though not in relative terms), but it's pretty obvious that it has the same plot: Alien lizard-men want mankind on the menu and so pretend to be nice; lots of humans collaborate, lots more rebel; a poison deadly to only the visitors is developed, and they are eliminated. The end.
I loved the original. For all of the talk that this version will serve as a right-wing attack on the Obama administration, I am looking forward to it. Thanks for the intro.
I'm going to address the right wing thing that's been going around: who cares? The question is not, "Will the right wing embrace the imagery in this and twist it so that it's an indictment of the Obama administration?" because, who f**king cares? These are the same people who think that Stephen Colbert is actually on their side. Let crazy people do what they do, and just leave them alone to enjoy their Kool Aid.

The real question is, "Would a reasonable person read this as an indictment of the Obama administration?" Anything is possible, I suppose, but I'm going to guess "No." Since it's pointless to speculate until we see how the show is going to play out, there's not much more to say, other than, "From this trailer... no. No, it's not a right wing propoganda machine."

@Rob Anderson - the original might have been 80s cheese, but I have only one thing to say to that: "Battlestar Galactica reboot." The original BSG was horrid cheese, and look at what wonderful dramatic material they mined out of the remake on the Sci-Fi Channel. Right now, sci-fi is better than it's ever been. I think a lot of networks have seen glossy, well acted and written shows like BSG and Lost succeed, so there's definitely a precedent set for giving sci-fi a little more respect and "doing it right."

@anb - I did "break up" with Lost for awhile because I thought they were suffering from Chris Carter syndrome. But since they finally figured out when they were going to end the show, I think it's made the writing more disciplined, and I figure that they've got at least 80% of the endgame already planned out, so the show has gotten a lot better.
Sci-fi and fantasy are the current market leaders in TV. The procedurals, though still popular, are on the end growth of the S curve. Besides, in times of angst, stress, and confusion, more fantastical elements of our imagination are easily roused as we turn away from stock plots and depressing murders. I can't say that I'll watch the new V, but I do understand why production companies want to market such a show. Oh, and did I mention I like Morena Baccarin?