So after several weeks of hyping and making a big deal out of their new baby, ABC finally premiered their remake of the classic sci-fi series, V. I was rather looking forward to this for awhile but I have to say that after seeing this first episode, it feels like they fell way short. Inside of 40 minutes (commercials, such a pain) they managed to squeeze in the entire contents of what would have been the original miniseries that launched the franchise. They went from the initial arrival of the Visitors to the formation of the resistance movement at what looked to be near light speed. It was pathetic.

So while poking around out there to see what else was floating about, I stumbled on a Youtube preview of the series. In 1:15 they managed to produce a synopsis of the entire pilot episode in such a way that you've pretty well seen the whole thing. And here I was hoping this might be a revival of some more good sci-fi. I suppose it goes to show though that you shouldn't mess with something that's not broken. A huge HUGE amount of the story just got swept under the rug and if this is really an indication of how things are going to be, it will be a hollow shell of its former self.

They literally went from "oh look, the cool peaceful aliens want to help us" to "ZOMGWTFBBQ we need to kill them all" in a single episode. So while you're being told we need to resist, fight back, blah blah blah, you're left with none of the original buildup to that that tells you WHY we need to fight. My guess is they couldn't chance reminding people of what the original geniuses behind V did it all for. And they also wasted no time in letting some of their stupid political agendas wiggle in. Typical network TV I guess.

I'll give this one a couple more weeks, but I'm very doubtful that it's going to go anywhere from here. You can't simply gut the entire story line and expect things to hold together. Unless all it's going to be about is blowing up alien ships.

Do yourself a favor if this thing turds out - watch Flash Forward instead. That's much better.
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

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Posted on Nov 3, 2009 11:46 pm by Samson in: | 17 comment(s) [Closed]
Perhaps the folks at ABC simply couldn't think beyond blowing up alien ships in an attempt to revive their network. Someone must've told them that aliens will draw the scifi crowd and explosions will draw the masses, add those aspects to a classic and you've surely got a hit. *sigh*

This is the one with Morena Baccarin in it, right?

(Why yes, I do define all new TV series by whether or not they have members of the Firefly or Sopranos cast.)

My guess is that they said at the studio, "Oh, we don't want to do a pure retread/remake, we want to come up with our own new original plot lines!" and that's why you got the hash you're talking about above. Meh.

Yes, the one with Morena in it :)

I accept the idea that they wanted to do a new take on things but they're going about it wrongly by accelerating things so quickly. One 40 minute episode to go from the saviors of mankind to the mortal enemy of mankind seems a bit fast, no?

Perhaps a bit too realistic? ;)
(We humans really do tend to jump to conclusions and then change our minds pretty drastically sometimes.)

A remake of V is just not cricket, i loved the originals and, as with most remakes, i will most likely be disappointed. On a brighter note, Legend of the Seeker series 2 starts in a couple of days and i cant wait to be pulling down the torrents to see it. Its kind of sad that no one has picked this up on aussie TV and i have to thieve it till its released on dvd.

Cricket, eh? I'm guessing that in your neck of the woods that's roughly the equivalent of my calling something kosher based on context, but can't say that I've ever heard the term used that way before.

Legend of the Seeker.. ok, looked it up on wiki. Good book series, read them all a few years back but wasn't aware of the tv series myself, and apparently set to start airing again tomorrow. Instead of torrent, why not watch them on fancast or some such? Then you wouldn't have to be thieving it.

Yeah "its not cricket" would be about the same as calling is Ok, or Kosher. http://www.dadt.com/lots/ had all the episodes on their website, but you had to be physically in a region they were being screened in and web proxies are slow and most filter out things like video, so i was never able to watch them on there. I will keep an eye out on fancast to see if they show any of season 2 on there. Its a good series if you can get past the fact that you have read the books and that they do not follow the story very accurately. Once i stopped comparing each episode to the books i really started to enjoy the series for what it is rather than what it is not.

Maybe i will have to apply this principle to V when i comes to our tv.

Isn't linguistics an interesting study? ;)

I'd mentioned fancast because when I goggled "Legend of the Seeker" it was one of the first sites that came up on the search, so I expect they will be hosting it, but they probably won't be the only ones and I know some of the other sites that came up on that search were fan sites and I believe an official site for the show also came up.

Probably a very good idea for any remake.

I agree the first episode of V went by in a blur, and provided a rather rushed introduction to the main characters as well as the setting. But maybe now the backstory is out of the way, they'll settle down and give it some depth. I read somewhere that the first few episodes of any series is done as stand-alone stories, so newcomers don't feel left out, and rabid fans don't feel as much loss if the plug is pulled. I've also noticed it takes a while for the actors to find their characters and then figure out how they work together as an ensemble. (sounds like a tabletop RP, huh?) This was very obvious on the early episodes of Fringe.

So... I'm willing to give it a chance. Especially since that timeslot is barren. :)

I really loved the Seeker, caught the first two seasons on Hulu back before they had commercials. It's starting again here on the 14th. Maybe not truly true to the books, but it's damned good for the genre and blows the leggings off the highly touted Merlin.

Right now, the new show I'm most in love with is White Collar. Very well written and well played, IMHO.

I really loved the Seeker, caught the first two seasons on Hulu back before they had commercials. It's starting again here on the 14th. Maybe not truly true to the books, but it's damned good for the genre and blows the leggings off the highly touted Merlin.

Funny you should mention Merlin, we have it here, and as much as i loved the books and the old moveis about Merlin and King Arther and the knights and all that, i just could not get into that series for whatever reason, sure it was highly regarded, but it was lacking something for me, that i could not put my finger on.

Well I just watched the second episode of the show and they're still bouncing around all over the place. It seems to be lacking any sort of continuity. Even dismissing the deviations from the original miniseries they really need to find their direction and find it fast. If they don't it's going to become just another boring piece of junk network sci-fi show that gets canceled.

I agree. I almost quit watching half way through. The "anyone might be a Visitor" thing isn't working. Makes it more like a horror flick than scifi, and it just seems to mess up all the interpersonal relationships. Why would she trust her boss? Why would he trust her? Why..... why didn't they take some time to develop a reasonable set of character relationships that we might care about before putting them all in jeopardy?

Fringe has the same mechanic, but they handled it much better, IMHO.

Well, at least it sounds like I'm not missing anything while I'm stuck in New Mexico again. (Stupid court delays... instead of being back home by the 15th as planned, I'm now expecting to celebrate my birthday and thanksgiving here... at least I've got my family with me and hadn't flown in by myself or whatnot.)

Well it got even more convoluted tonight. They effectively summarized the entire plot of "V: The Final Battle" in one episode by introducing the 5th Column and establishing that they've got this huge resistance movement already built up. Except it all still feels like they're resisting for the sake of resisting. The Visitors have done nothing public to even provide a hint of a reason for why they need to be fought off. Yet there's gangs of protesters hanging around their embassy, and cells of random people gathering together to fight even though we've officially not been given a reason to do so other than ZOMG LIZARDS! Anna and her pack of reptiles are of course scheming and planning, but the people and our government knows nothing of this and there's no real reason to be trying to start something.

Seriously, ABC, I think you'll get one more week before I decide to just stop bothering. I'm really not impressed.

So, they're essentially setting up the protesters and resistance as crazies tin foil hat wearers who will in the end just happen to have been right... maybe they'd have done better to have renamed this instead of passing it off as a remake, at least then people would only be bitching that it had too many elements of V and didn't make sense like V did, but they'd be more willing to give it a greater chance because it wasn't supposed to be V... people are funny creatures sometimes, no?

Heh. I guess ABC figured they only had one more week too because last night's episode was the last one until March 2010. Another disjointed jumble of events thrown together with no real continuity. So now we know the aliens have some kind of collective consciousness thing called "Bliss", we know they're spiking our flu vaccines, or were before the so-called resistance blew up the only warehouse the aliens stored the poison. Which seemed awfully convenient and strategically very stupid. The alien baby element got introduced, which makes the situation between the parents rather awkward because mom doesn't know dad is a Visitor. Oh, and the reporter guy is due to get some kind of brain disease thing down the road and the Visitors can cure him before it starts. Or something.

The whole bit with spiking the flu vaccine was interesting to me though because it's the second time the show has taken a less subtle stab at the current administration's policies. Which is rather ironic if it's true because ABC was in Obama's pocket not that long ago. Makes you wonder what happened there that they're now taking shots at him via the show.

Maybe the folks at ABC figured the show was a lost cause so who cares what political innuendos made it into it anyway... Or maybe the folks at ABC woke up enough to realize they endorsed the wrong horse, morally if not politically, and are using "subtleties" to make amends... or maybe the folks at ABC are just ignorant enough to not only still believe in Obama, but also don't realize that they've produced a show that blew it on the pilot episode and thus they also didn't catch the implications of the political innuendos embedded in the script this time? ...or, maybe it was just a coincidental thing with no intentional political connections at all. *shrug*

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