Shamefully I had never seen the original two mini series of V, so my only exposure to the concept was new V, with added Erica Evans. Thankfully during my recent convalescence that all changed, I watched the original and I’m damn glad I did.
Now I’m not going to write a thesis here on my thoughts after seeing it. For one thing it’s been done many times before and for another I’m working on an ultra secret project with two of my fellow bloggers (Don S and Mike’s Pants) which I don’t want to get to distracted from. However I have scribbled down a few thoughts that I wanted to share.
First off I like the Scientists-as-Jews idea. It may be a little heavy handed but considering what the Visitors were trying to do (and conceal) it does make perfect sense. Turning a populace who (lets face it) have always been a little distrustful of science against that community was an easy thing to do. And it also gave the public something to hate while diverting their attention away from the loss of civil liberties.
A whole blog in itself could be made from just that last sentence however it’s been done many times before by better writers than me, so we will press on*.
Secondly we much look at the resistance fighters themselves. What I liked about them was refreshingly, they were just ordinary people. Normally in a show like this (and in fact new V) the main cast all have hidden military backgrounds, or seem to just be awesome at everything. Here we start off with a Cameraman, a trainee Doctor, a construction worker and a con man. Later we get Micheal Ironside as well but I don’t begrudge that because everything is improved with Micheal Ironside. It helped (for me anyway) draw us in too the plight of these people as you could more easily identify with them than an FBI agent or an ex IRA gun runner.
Moving on to the Visitors themselves we have an interesting bunch of characters. Dianna of course is the main star but not the overall leader, and that helped create a sense of tension aboard the mother-ship. If the visitors had it to easy then they would wipe the floor with the resistance but the added political intrigue helped to make the show more interesting. And strangely I found myself rooting for Dianna to win, even though she was the worst of the bunch.** Admittedly the conflict wasn’t all that complex but given we are talking about two mini series here it didn’t need to be.
So we come to the plot itself. As we are talking about a mini series here certain allowances need to be made for plot development. After all there isn’t as much time to set up long arcs, but over all it’s a good plot. It moves along at a good pace and we feel invested enough in the characters to care about what happens to them. However there were a couple of misfires, some small and one damn big one:
1. Donovan and his amazing escapes. Seriously this guy spends half his time ether breaking into or escaping from the mother-ship. You would think that Dianna would have been smart enough to put up posters (because we know they like posters) on the ship saying if you see this guy shoot on sight. I can only put it down to lazy security or the fact that the Visitors can’t tell one human apart from the next.
2. If the leader of your resistance has been captured and experimented on do more than take a vote to see if she is still trustworthy. Near the end of the series they leak a fake plan to Donovan’s son (who has been converted) which proves his unreliability, so why the hell didn’t they try something similar here? It would be a quick and easy way to confirm Juliet’s loyalty without all the mistrust. Ether that or just listen to Micheal Ironside because he is cool.
And now we come to the big misfire, the ending.
So we have a last ditch plan involving contaminating the earth with an bacteria that is harmless to us but lethal to them combined with a full scale assault of the mother-ship, so far so good. While on the ship we meet up with a member of the fifth column who brings a decoding machine to stop the ship going nuclear if needed, again cool and fitting with the Sci-Fi tone of the show. Once they reach the control room however the day is saved magic.
Yes that’s right, the human/hybrid girl who has displayed no super abilities before this point suddenly has an X-Men like ability to glow which gives her the power to stop the Nuclear device. Now call me crazy but a better idea would have been to have the little girl be super smart and know how the reactor works (having spent a lot of time with Dianna) rather than have her glow and merge, or whatever it was they were trying to do here. For me the ending was the one thing that stops the show from being perfect. Well, that and the fact the leader of the fifth column is the only one who doesn’t get to hug anyone in the final scene. Poor guy, the dude needs a hug. He put in more work than anyone on this raid, yet he is left hanging at the end.
In conclusion I’m glad I finally took the time to check this out. It’s a lot of fun and very Worthy of it’s legacy in Sci-Fi history.
The only problem is now I have seen it, modern V looks rather pale in comparison.
*However feel free to debate it on the message boards
** This had nothing to do with the fact she was hot, I promise…..
….well maybe a little.