We’re coming in on the new V series a little late, so I wanted to do a little run down on where the show has taken us, especially as compared with the previous incarnation. (A post about the April 13 episode “John May,” directed by ST:TNG’s Jonathan Frakes, will be up shortly!)
In addition to comparisons with the previous V, comparisons to Battlestar Galactia are inevitable, as it was another SF show with a successful reboot. It had its share of gender-bending and controversy, and ultimately became a show that stood on its own and didn’t need the legacy to prop it up. We can only hope V will have the same success (and it won’t close on such a WTF? series ender. But that’s a BSG issue that I won’t get into here.)
Like BSG, the reboot of V has gender switches, although the characters don’t have the same names and personalities, which probably is why there was no outcry. The resistance leader/single parent is female now (Erica Evans), the V leader is female (Anna), the reporter who finds himself as the propaganda voice for the Vs is male (Chad Decker), and the confused teen that gets involved with a V is male (Tyler Evans). Tyler’s story will be interesting, since a wrenching unintended pregnancy has much more weight (heh) on a girl than a boy, but we have yet to see if the V’s plan for Tyler includes impregnating Anna’s daughter, Lisa. We do already have an unintended human/V pregnancy from a sleeper fifth column V, Ryan, who unintentionally gets his girlfriend pregnant. “I thought we couldn’t breed with the humans!” he complains to a V ally. “Didn’t you see Jurassic Park?” she (should have) said.
We have a priest, Father Jack Landry, like the old V, but unlike the old V, Jack is not a fucking idealistic moron, and also happens to be young(ish) and hot. He also doesn’t seem to need to spout scripture at every opportunity to try to guide the humans on the holy path. I am wondering if they’re going to build sexual tension between Erica and Father Jack. I'm seeing it, but maybe it's just wishful thinking.
Another similarity the shows have is an odd controversy seen only by a few. Personally, I wondered why no one freaked when the humans (the good guys) in BSG worshipped twelve gods and the Cylons (genocidal bad guys) worshipped the One True God. Sounded an awful lot like an anti-Christian sentiment to me, but I don’t recall seeing anyone angry about it. V’s controversy (and this is something I read online, it never occurred to me personally) is that it launched on the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s presidential victory, the Vs are bringing hope, change, and universal health care, they’re beautiful and young and ultimately dark and twisted underneath. Some object that it’s a clear comparison to the Obama administration. Considering that the first V miniseries also presented the Vs as bringing hope and promising medical and other technology, it seems to be a far-fetched controversy.
And hey, the show is SF, and it has a female protagonist and female antagonist. How did they get the suits to approve that? Awesome.
[But enough of that. Let’s go through quick plot discussions to catch up to this week’s episode!]