V: The Complete First Season
Blu-ray | DVD
Starring Elizabeth Mitchell, Morris Chesnut, Joel Gretsch, Logan Huffman, Lourdes Benedicto, Laura Vandervoort, Morena Baccarin, Scott Wolf
Warner Bros Home Entertainment
Release date: November 2, 2010
I watched the majority of V as it aired, and honestly, a lot of what I saw didn’t blow me away. I liked what I saw for the most part, but like many at the time, I was drawn in by Lost and my attention faded as V aired directly after. A friend of mine was a huge fan of V, and ultimately made me enjoy the great parts of the show. Finally getting to sit and watch the show on Blu-ray on its own, I was far more drawn in, and I was able to enjoy the series for what it is: a fantastic, thoughtful science fiction show that digs into modern day issues while still giving an intriguing story about rebels fighting an invasion.
Based on the cult hit miniseries from the 1980s, the basic premise of V is that several parts of Earth’s skies are overcast by large spaceships as a group of alien Visitors led by Anna (Morena Baccarin) who promise “We are peace. Always.” The atmosphere that is created when they are setting up the arrival of the Visitors so eerie and almost robotic. The tone of the show at this point is that the Visitors are not necessarily to be trusted, but with the help of broadcast journalist, Chad Decker (Scott Wolf), Anna and company are able to gain the trust of the majority of the population. The conspiracy theory portion of the show starts with Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell) as she teams with a group of rebels that don’t trust the group of aliens that have come to their planet.
The turning point for the series was the introduction of The Fifth Column, when it was revealed that a group of Visitors had been on the planet for quite some time prior to the arrival of Anna and her group. Several characters are revealed as Fifth Column members, and as that storyline continues, the show becomes more and more interesting. But when the two stories marry at approximately the middle of the series centering around Erica’s son and Anna’s daughter, the final arc of the series is glorious as everything starts coming together.
One of the main problems that a lot of fans had with the show as it aired was the special effects, especially with the scenes on the Visitors’ ships. Although there are still some problems with the special effects, overall, the Blu-ray washes away the problems that I had with the series on its initial run. The technology of the Blu-ray disc shows a lot more detail, and with the exception of the interiors of the ships, everything looks flawless. The acting, for the most part, is solid as well, with Morris Chesnut standing out and pulling off one of the most interesting characters of the show, while Morena Baccarin’s cold, disturbing Anna is a perfect choice for the leader of the V’s.
But let’s talk some special features, shall we?
Detached Memories– This is just like deleted scenes features on any release. But it’s a cool way of rephrasing it to fit the series. For episodes 1, 2, 7, 8, 10, and 11.
Commentary– Commentary from Executive Producers Steve Pearlman and Scott Rosenbaum is featured on episode 11.
The Actor’s Journey From Human to V– This feature focuses on the cast’s approach to taking on the classic work from the challenges to techniques that they used to make these characters believable.
Breaking Story: The World of V– How do you take a classic story and apply it to the current era? Well, that’s simple! Apply the concepts and play off our society’s fears, hopes, and dreams. This special feature focuses primarily on updating the story to appeal to our culture, and I must say, they do a fantastic job.
An Alien in Human Skin: The Makeup FX of V– The V’s appear to us all as normal human beings, but as any fan of the original miniseries knows, what lies beneath is far more reptilian. The effects on each of the V’s is fantastic, and this special feature focuses on the aesthetics of updating the classic look to a modern age.
The Visual Effects of V– A lot of what V did visually was groundbreaking for television. Some of it my not have come off in a way that was perfect in some aspects, but when you see Anna’s speech and the arrival of the ships, it more than makes up for the parts where it’s lacking. This feature takes a look at how they made a television show as cinematic as they did.
Overall, I believe that if you sit down and give V a fair shot, you won’t leave disappointed. It does everything a good science fiction show should do, and primarily, it makes you think.