Last television season one of the shows I was most excited about was the remake of the classic sci-fi series V. I grew up on the story of the seemingly benevolent visitors from another planet who had come to our planet seemingly in peace but who wound up hoping to put the human race on a serving platter while stealing our water supply. Visitors who seemed human but underneath their human exterior were actually lizards.
You probably remember all this, don’t you? Even if you didn’t watch V, it’s one of those series that’s been ingrained in popular culture. Ingrained, but never overexposed. In fact, it was almost 25 years between the end of the original NBC televisions series and it’s return to ABC in 2009. In the meantime, apart from a novel by series creator Kenneth Johnson a couple of years ago, the franchise had been pretty well dead. Suffice to say, I was pretty excited when the reboot/remake was announced. I had high hopes that my childhood favorite would excite me one more time.
And it did at first. The premiere episode of the new V, with Elizabeth Mitchell as our heroine, Scott Wolf as the ambitious reporter and Morena Bacarin as the villainous Anna started off strong, with some fantastic special effects and a fairly interesting take on national security and paranoia. But this new incarnation never really grabbed me the way that the original did. Maybe it’s because I’m adult now, but I think there’s more to it than that. Knowing that the Visitors are evil, I kept waiting for their grand motivation to be revealed, but it never really seemed to come. Episodes went by where things never seemed to really happen. The show managed to find it’s footing again at the tail end of its first season and maintained enough of an audience that it was given a second season order (though it looks as though it will return mid-season rather than in September). But if V is going to last, it’s got to find away to be more compelling and attract stronger ratings. And they may be on the path to it with the most recent news of a new cast member.
Or is that an old one?
That’s Jane Badler, known to fans of the original V as Diana, the leader of the Visitors and one very bad lady. Or lizard. A sci-fi icon, Badler’s Diana went from second-in-command to the series big bad and was much beloved by fans. And now she returns to her old stomping grounds as the mother of Anna, the Visitor Queen in the new series. Even better is that Badler’s character will once again be named Diana. Now, this series is not tied into the original apart from certain themes and concepts, so the Diana we’ll be seeing won’t be the one from nearly 30 years ago, But the fact that Jane Badler is coming back to the franchise should get some more eyes tuning in, especially fans of the original who may have been skeptical about this reboot,
If V is going to last, it’s going to seriously have to step up. Episodes need to move quicker. A stronger male counterpart to Elizabeth Mitchell’s Erica is sorely needed (I don’t think Marc Singer is busy at the moment). We need to see what lay under the illusion of their humanity. We know they’re lizards, but a full on reveal has to happen, and sooner than later. The first season finale, with the red sky covering the planet and a full on invasion seemingly imminent, combined with the promise of a returning fan favorite, definitely puts the show in a good position as it heads into a second season.
In the meantime, I also read there’s been a casting call in Hollywood for guinea pigs. Perhaps the return of another fan favorite?