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"V" - The Complete First Season - (2009-10 series) - {Blu-ray}
Reviewer:
Wayne Klein
Studio: Warner Home Video
Genre:
TV-Series
Release Date:
11/10/10
Special Features:

Commentary track, featurettes, deleted scenes

Review:

Kenneth Johnson's 1984 TV show "V" provided entertainment that could also be surprisingly thought provoking. The remake for ABC spearheaded by Scott Peters ("The 4400") and Scott Rosenbaum updates the tale of the Lizard Queen Anna and her plans to take over Earth for her own purposes. Well made, suspenseful and with terrific acting "V" demonstrates the durability of the concept and the film acts as a potent commentary on our society. Using the story of the Nazi infilitration and domination of Germany, Austria and other parts of Europe prior to World War II, Kenneth Johnson created a fascinating analogy using science fiction as a mirror to look at the best and worst of ourselves. ***

"V" was ordered as a midseason replacement and aired just before the Thanksgiving holiday in 2009 carrying on into 2010. As is typical for most midseason replacements ABC only ordered 12 episodes for the first season. Luckily, the storyline that the writer/producers came up with (which reflects Kenneth Johnson's two original mini-series--he had little to do with the TV series itself but was involved in the concluding mini-series that closed out the original TV series) is fairly self contained with each episode furthering the story arc of the first season while creating a suspensful cliff hanger quite different from the one that closed out the original mini-series. ***

SPOILERS: When the Visitors first arrive they make quite a splash with their impressive spaceships hovering over 30 major cities in the world. Anna (Morenna Baccarin "Firefly", "Stargate SG1")the leader of the Visitors offers peace, prosperity and to share their superior technology and no one really questions what they want out of the deal. The Visitors take great pains to look like us using but, in reality, they are biped lizards. They also didn't just arrive but they sent sleeper soldiers to spy on humanity over 20 years prior to their arrival to prepare for the "V" invasion. ***

There are those who don't trust the sneaky and dangerous Visitors such as FBI Agent Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell of "Lost", "E.R.")who throws in her lot with the Fifth Column a resistance group with Visitors and humans fighting the aliens undercover. Their members include Visitor Ryan Nichols (Morris Chestnut)who betrays his people over love and distrust of Anna; Father Jack Landry (Joel Gretsch of "The 4400")and a for-hire killer Kyle Hobbes (Charles Mesure). Anna has the help in selling her agenda to the public via TV newman Chad Decker (Scott Wolf)who wants to further his career however possible. What each member of the the Fifth Column and the Visitors don't realize is how much damage each side is willing to do to the other in the fight over the fate of humanity. END OF SPOILERS: ---

Image & Sound:

The Blu-ray for "V: The Complete First Season" looks extremely good. Detail is sharp throughout and skin textures look good particularly during close ups although a little too much DNR is occasionally in evidence probably due more to the large amount of CGI in evidence for the visual effects throughout the show. The show looks very impressive. For those that want to know about the plot of the show that follows but those who do not may want to have the series spoiled may not want to read the last paragraph. ---

Special Features:

The extras include deleted scenes (cleverly called "Detached Memories"): a commentary track on the 11th episode and penultimate episode of season one "Fruition" by Executive Producers Steve Pearlman and Scott Rosenbaum; featurettes are included such as "Breaking the Story", "The Actor's Journey", "An Alien in Human Skin" on the make up effects, "The Visual Effects of V" takes us behind-the-scenes done by Zoic Studios ("Battlestar Galatica"). There is also a booklet with a brief synopsis of each episode as well as credits for each episode and which of the two discs (there are six episodes per disc)have which special features.

Final Words:

The first season of the "V" does have it's flaws but the strengths of the series far out weigh them. Reviving a popular or cult series from the past can be a tricky proposition but the producers of of "V" pull it off with style.

 

 
 
 
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