“We are of peace, always.” This is the seemingly positive motto uttered by the alien race known as the V’s or “Visitors” that come to Earth in this sci-fi thriller, hastily revamped from the camp eighties serial in the wake of Battlestar Galactica’s phenomenal success. In the first season of this show, we are introduced to a plethora of characters and come to learn how each of their lives is affected by the arrival of these otherworldly creatures.
V: The Complete First Seasonstarts off very much like the alien invasion epic Independence Day. Giant mother ships enter the Earth’s atmosphere and position themselves over the major cities of the world. The ships themselves are like mini cities and are occupied by human-like aliens who express little to no emotion. Led by their queen, Anna, played with cold perfection by Morena Baccarin, the V’s appear to be a friendly race promoting peace and a willingness to share their technology to help benefit mankind.
Many of the people of Earth view the V’s as guardian angels, a God send. However there is a select few that believe otherwise. Known as The Fifth Column, this group of individuals has reason to believe the V’s have ulterior motives. This band of rebels consists of an FBI agent (Elizabeth Mitchell), a Visitor who’s turned against his own people (Morris Chestnut), and a priest questioning his own faith (Joel Gretsch).
The action and drama are balanced very well in V. Presented almost like a feature film, each episode of this series flows beautifully into the next drawing the audience in and making the resistance against the Vs feel like a 12-episode long rollercoaster ride.
Vis a riveting television action/drama that features a relatively all-star cast. Elizabeth Mitchell ofLost fame shines as FBI agent Erica Evans, one of The Fifth Column’s main players. She also has a son, Tyler (Logan Huffman) who creates much tension by becoming enchanted by the V way of life personified by the alluring Lisa (Laura Vandervoort). Morris Chestnut gives a commanding performance as Ryan Nichols, a Visitor who decides to fight against his own kind. Joel Gretsch is okay as the confused priest Father Jack Landry. Morena Baccarin is beautiful yet creepy as Anna, the V’s’ ominous leader and Scott Wolf rounds out the cast nicely playing Chad Decker, an ethically challenged TV reporter.
The writing is decent, if a little flat at times, however, the direction and editing of each episode is pretty tight. As mentioned before, each episode feels rather cinematic containing little cliffhangers at the end of each; a somewhat cheap but effective tactic used to lure viewers. It seems ABC has taken what they learned from the success of Lost and injected it into V. This formula of placing everyday characters in the middle of mysterious scenarios seems rather effective.
The visual effects in V are quite impressive. Due to the advanced technology of the Visitors, we are given a very detailed glimpse of their world through the power of computer generated imagery. The makeup effects are also well done as we get a sneak peek at the V’s actual appearance. All in all, V: The Complete First Season is a remarkably well made television show with very high production value. It looks to have a rather successful future on TV if not on DVD.
DVD Bonus Features
Disc 1 contains a featurette, The Actor’s Journey from Human to V plus deleted scenes from two episodes. Disc 2 also contains more deleted scenes. Disc 3 features a commentary for the episode, Fruition, three feaurettes, Breaking Story: The World of V, An Alien in Human Skin: The Makeup FX of V and deleted scenes from two episodes.