Written By: Scott Peters
Draft Date: January 23, 2009
Category: Jury's Out
Ah, V. What to say, except that you have, indeed, seen this before?
Playing remarkably close to the characters and themes of the 1980s miniseries, this series update is about what would happen if, one day, alien spaceships showed up. But it's updated with modern references (i.e. to terrorism, and snide, amusing moments like two film students saying that what's happening is just like Independence Day and another saying that ID4 borrowed from prior alien invasion fare... like the original V miniseries).
So we've got aliens. Really human-looking aliens (but, y'know, much prettier on average). Who promise harmony and scientific advancements and so forth. And a lot of people are really, super captivated by them. But some people don't trust them and form an anti-Visitors resistance movement. They insist the Visitors have been here for a while and have spies in human guise pulling strings getting ready for the Visitors' ultimately nefarious end game (a similar infiltration / terrorism allegory that Battlestar Galactica recently used successfully). Then there are Visitors in human form who walk among us and are against their evil Visitor brethren.
The most interesting thing this update does is, actually, with terrorism. Once the Visitors show up, all of the terrorist cells the FBI has been tracking (our lead character, Erica Evans, is FBI Counter Terrorism) have gone quiet... except one. Their activity has spiked and they're trying to get their hands on a ton of C-4. We suspect they're going to try and attack one of the motherships, but when the FBI finds the cell's base, they find the C-4 (but only one body... and not a terrorist... somehow the terrorists knew the FBI was coming), but they also find a ton of fake documents with very Anglo-Saxon names (one character asks "How does an extremist form the Middle East pass himself off as Al Miller?") The FBI investigates the deceased guy's identity, go to his house... again, extremely recently cleared out, they knew the FBI was coming. There's a clue for a meeting to go to for information about "the cell" and it's the start of the resistance movement.
One thing that disappointed me about the pilot was that there was no "rip the human face off and reveal the reptilian creature underneath" moment that gave people nightmares 25 years ago. Maybe they'll fix that (there's reference to a chunk of skin being removed and seeing the reptilian mass underneath).
It bothers / saddens me that Elizabeth Mitchell, Juliet on Lost, plays the lead in this pilot because, um, what does that mean for our Juliet?
Better, in the script, than Day One as far as alien invasion projects go this pilot season, but we'll see with the final products.