V (2000s series)Life on Earth is brought to a standstill as enormous alien ships appear over most of the world’s major cities. Each ship reconfigures itself into a gigantic screen projecting an image of a seemingly human woman who introduces herself as Anna, the leader of these alien visitors. She promises peace and an exchange of technology with humanity – and all the visitors ask is access to Earth’s abundant water and a commonly occurring mineral. The visitors are welcomed with open arms, and they begin bringing the benefits of their advanced technology to Earth almost immediately, opening “healing centers” capable of repairing almost any damage or disease.

And yet there is suspicion about the motives of Anna’s people. A priest named Father Landry shocks his congregation by suggesting that the visitors need to earn humanity’s trust. Erica Evans, a counter-terrorism expert, is suspicious when the visitors take to the internet immediately with their own propaganda effort, though her son is less suspicious, finding the visitors’ women very attractive. Reporter Chad Peters earns Anna’s trust by asking the press corps to show her respect at a peace conference – enough trust that Anna personally selects him to conduct her first major prime time interview, though she makes it clear before the cameras roll that the interview will be conducted on her terms, with no questions permitted that would paint the visitors in a negative light.

A member of Father Landry’s congregation appears in the church, bleeding to death, and he hands Landry a package of photos and instructions to take them to a specific address at a specific time. Erica also winds up at that address, following a lead on an open terrorist investigation. Where they find themselves is at a meeting of an underground resistance, taking up arms to fight the visitors…and before Erica or Father Landry can ask why the visitors need to be fought, the visitors themselves appear and, to the few survivors of the resulting massacre, all becomes clear: the visitors have been among humanity for years already, and they do not come in peace.

Season 1 Regular Cast: Elizabeth Mitchell (Erica Evans), Morris Chestnut (Ryan Nichols), Joel Gretsch (Father Jack Landry), Logan Huffman (Tyler Evans), Lourdes Benedicto (Valerie Stevens), Laura Vandervoort (Lisa), Morena Baccarin (Anna), Scott Wolf (Chad Decker)

written by Scott Peters
story by Kenneth Johnson and Scott Peters, based on the miniseries by Kenneth Johnson
directed by Yves Simoneau
music by Normand Corbeil

Guest Cast: Christopher Shyer (Marcus), David Richmond-Peck (Georgie), Britt Irvin (Haley Stark), Scott Hylands (Father Travis)

Notes: Originally created by Kenneth Johnson as a non-sci-fi modern-day (well, 1980s) retelling of the rise of the Nazi Party, the original V miniseries resulted from NBC’s request for a sci-fi epic, retaining its cautionary tone but now with more futuristic action. In some ways, ABC’s revival of V steers things slightly closer to Johnson’s original intent. But Johnson himself was almost stripped of anything more than a “based upon” credit for the new series; the Writers’ Guild of America decided, in arbitration, that despite a wholesame revamp of the show’s cast of characters, Johnson should still be credited for creating the series, and should receive a story credit for the pilot (which seems to cover much of the original five-hour miniseries’ ground in the space of a single hour). The writers of the new series do not have to seek any further approval from Johnson for any storyline developments, however Johnson does retain the feature film rights to V. The location of the ill-fated resistance meeting, 4400 Pier Avenue, is a nod the cancelled cult SF series The 4400, whose cast and crew included actor Joel Gretsch, writer/producer Scott Peters and director Yves Simoneau.

There Is No Normal Anymore

V (2000s series)Having just escaped the bloodbath of the V raid on the resistance meeting, Erica and Father Landry have a new problem: the Visitors have launched a killer airborne drone which homes in on them. The two barely escape with their lives, and Erica decides it’s best if they’re not in the same place at the same time. She is soon called in to account for her partner’s disappearance, but she doesn’t reveal that her partner turned out to be an alien lizard in a human disguise – or that she killed him. Father Landry goes to the police to report the massacre, but soon find his trust in the authorities flagging. With so many Visitors already living among the human race, who can be trusted?

written by Scott Peters & Sam Egan
directed by Yves Simoneau
music by Marco Beltrami

Guest Cast: Alan Tudyk (Dale Maddox), Christopher Shyer (Marcus), Scott Hylands (Father Travis), Roark Critchlow (Paul Kendrick), Rekha Sharma (Sarita Malik), Britt Irvin (Haley), Ingrid Kavelaars (Jocelyn Maddox)

Notes: Guest star Rekha Sharma brings a healthy SF TV pedigree to her appearance here, having played the major recurring role of Tory Foster on the remake of Battlestar Galactica; she has also guest starred on SyFy Channel’s series Sanctuary. Ingrid Kavelaars was a regular on the J. Michael Straczynski series Jeremiah, on which writer Sam Egan also worked.

A Bright New Day

V (2000s series)As the first hundred American visas are issued to the Visitors, human suspicion and sentiment are turning against the aliens. Threats are made against the Visitor compound established in New York City, and Erica Evans is assigned to partner with a Visitor security officer to beef up security there. Members of the fifth column – a resistance movement within the Visitors’ own ranks – are making preparations from within the human population. Erica gives Father Landry access to her FBI records so he can try to determine the identity of the other human survivor of the resistance meeting massacre, and while the priest does find the name and face he’s looking for, merely looking could prove to be a deadly endeavour. In the meantime, Anna becomes concerned with one woman’s outspoken protests against the Visitors’ presence – more concerned than her advisors think she should be – and decides that the protests must be silenced.

written by Diego Gutierrez & Christine Roum
directed by Frederick E.O. Toye
music by Marco Beltrami

Guest Cast: Alan Tudyk (Dale Maddox), Christopher Shyer (Marcus), Michael Filipowich (Cyrus), David Richmond-Peck (Georgie), Britt Irvin (Haley), Roark Critchlow (Paul Kendrick), Mark Hildreth (Joshua)

It’s Only The Beginning

Survivors (1970s series)Anna uses her clout with the media – and, in particular, reporter Chad Decker – to announce that V medical technology will soon be available to humans in clinics everywhere, capable of detecting and curing everything from cancer to heart conditions that haven’t claimed their victims yet. But Erica learns from Ryan Nichols, who has identified himself as a member of a resistance group within the aliens known as the Fifth Column, that the V’s medical knowledge of humans goes much further than that. He promises to lead Erica and Father Landry to a stockpile of an alien drug, R6, that the V plan to introduce to humans everywhere, unannounced, by mixing it with flu shots. But while Erica works with her allies to destroy the stockpile before it can be used, her own son is being lured further into collusion with the aliens by Lisa, and her mother – Anna. And a surprise awaits Ryan when he discovers that his unsuspecting human wife is pregnant with the first human/alien hybrid.

written by Cameron Litvack & Angela Russo Otstot
directed by Yves Simoneau
music by Marco Beltrami

Guest Cast: Christopher Shyer (Marcus), David Richmond-Peck (Georgie), Mark Hildreth (Joshua), Scott Hylands (Father Travis), Ryan Kennedy (David), Craig Fraser (Peter Combs)

Notes: This was the last of four episodes of V to air in 2009 as a special event, as well as the last to be overseen by the original creative team that had developed the show (in large part, the same creative minds behind the series The 4400). New episodes wouldn’t air until March 2010, at which point the series’ revised creative direction was being steered by new executive producer Scott Rosenbaum.

Welcome To The War

Survivors (1970s series)The destruction of the V’s warehouse full of the R6 drug has not come without a cost. One V security guard survives who saw Erica, Father Landry and Ryan, and he pays Landry a visit, stabbing him in the church and leaving him for dead. The guard’s next stop is Erica’s home, but she thwarts his attack and kills him in the process. Ryan suspects that the guard was not acting under orders, but was instead trying to round up and kill those involved in the warehouse bombing to save face before reporting back to Anna (who would almost certainly have executed him for failing to guard the R6). Erica’s son Kyle is nowhere to be found, having gone to the V mothership at the invitation of Anna and Lisa.

Knowledge of the warehouse bombing quickly goes public, and Erica is left in the uncomfortable position of taking part in the FBI’s side of the investigation. When V investigators claim to have found human fingerprints, Erica braces herself to be exposed as a member of the resistance, but is surprised when the trail of evidence leads to someone who had no connection to the explosion: wanted mercenary Kyle Hobbes. Erica has no idea why the aliens want to blame Hobbes for the crime, but she does have to admit that this man – who she has tried to hunt down many times during her law enforcement career – could become very useful if the resistance could recruit him.

written by Scott Rosenbaum
directed by Yves Simoneau
music by Marco Beltrami

Guest Cast: Nicholas Lea (Joe Evans), David Richmond-Peck (Georgie), Charles Mesure (Kyle Hobbes), Christopher Shyer (Marcus), Roark Critchlow (Paul Kendrick), Mark Hildreth (Joshua), Scott Hylands (Father Travis), Rekha Sharma (Sarita Malik), Lexa Doig (Dr. Leah Pearlman)

Notes: It’s yet another Canadian Science Fiction All-Star Week on V; guest star Nicholas Lea (seen in Kyle’s “memory chamber” flashbacks) is best known to SF fans in the high-profile recurring role of FBI Agent Alex Krycek in The X-Files; Lea also worked on Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, which starred Lexa Doig as the Andromeda’s human avatar. British-born actor Charles Mesure appeared numerous times as the Archangel Michael on sister series Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys; his V character, mercenary Kyle Hobbes, is roughly analogous to mercenary Ham Tyler (Michael Ironside) from the original V series.

Pound Of Flesh

VShortly before destroying the R6 warehouse, Ryan sent a signal in the name of the fifth column resistance leader: “John May lives.” That message pushes Anna’s preoccupation with ensuring the loyalty of her followers into an obsession, and she instigates widespread loyalty tests among her own people. Anna also plans to announce a program called Live Aboard, which will invite selected humans to live aboard the visitors’ ships and experience their lifestyle. The program is to be announced with another worldwide broadcast, and the resistances sees this as an opportunity to disrupt Anna’s message and mobilize the fifth column and any other human resistance cells around the world. Ryan volunteers to go – any non-visitor would fail to make it far enough to sabotage the broadcast – and discovers that the rebellion is more widespread among the visitors than he thought. Georgie decides Ryan needs backup and takes a shuttle to the visitors’ ship as well, but his mission will prove to be altogether less successful.

written by Charles Murray & Natalie Chaidez
directed by Dean White
music by Marco Beltrami

Guest Cast: Charles Mesure (Kyle Hobbes), Nicholas Lea (Joe Evans), David Richmond-Peck (Georgie), Christopher Shyer (Marcus), Mark Hildreth (Joshua), Samantha Ferris (Private Investigator), Lexa Doig (Dr. Leah Pearlman)

John May

V (2000s series)Erica, Ryan and Jack start making plans to rescue Georgie from the V mothership, where he is being interrogated following his capture. Hobbes is the lone holdout, feeling that Georgie’s best contribution to the resistance was to be a sacrifice and a diversion. Ryan tries to track down the original fifth column leader, John May, who he encountered ten years ago, and has to reveal to May’s son that his father’s suicide was a cover story. Ryan is making it his mission to find May to lead the resistance anew – but the only problem is that Anna is trying to find May at the same time so she can quash the resistance.

written by Gregg Hurwitz
directed by Jonathan Frakes
music by Marco Beltrami

Guest Cast: Michael Trucco (John May), Nicholas Lea (Joe Evans), David Richmond-Peck (Georgie), Charles Mesure (Kyle Hobbes), Christopher Shyer (Marcus), Mark Hildreth (Joshua), Jessica Parker Kennedy (Grace), Terry Chen (V Doctor), Brett Dier (James May), Oliver Gatske (young James), Erica Carroll (Lillie)

Notes: More SFTV alumni appear in front of and behind the cameras here, with Michael Trucco – late of Battlestar Galactica – appearing as John May, and Star Trek: The Next Generation actor/director Jonathan Frakes takes command of the action from behind the camera.

We Can’t Win

V (2000s series)The resistance movement is in chaos: drawn out into the open by the “John May lives” message, members of the Fifth Column within the Visitors’ own ranks are slaughtered. The human resistance leaders’ lives are in disarray: Erica’s son Tyler, having learned that the man he grew up with is not his real father, loses his faith in both of his parents and flees to the Visitors’ mothership with Lisa. Ryan’s pregnant wife is on the run after learning that the baby she’s expecting isn’t entirely human, but if the Visitors find her, there will be no safe place for her. And on the Visitors’ ship, Lisa – Anna’s own daughter – fails the loyalty test Anna has devised to weed out defectors among her own people. But as Erica discovers, there are also humans willing to sell out their own kind.

written by Christine Roum & Cameron Litvack
directed by David Barrett
music by Marco Beltrami

Guest Cast: Charles Mesure (Kyle Hobbes), Ty Olsson (Jeffrey), Christopher Shyer (Marcus), Mark Hildreth (Joshua), Lexa Doig (Dr. Pearlman), Roark Critchlow (Paul Kendrick), Rekha Sharma (Agent Sarita Malik), Lucas Wolf (Samuel), Ernesto Griffith (Secretary-General), Ken Camroux-Taylor (Victor Caruso), Nicholas Carella (Alex Caruso)

Heretic’s Fork

V (2000s series)Ryan has killed one of his own to help his pregnant human wife escape the Visitors’ clutches, alerting Anna to the presence of a hybrid child. Fearful of a Visitor with the “weakness” of human emotions, she wants Ryan, his wife and their child killed. Erica, Hobbes and Jack find their new prisoner extremely unhelpful; once she discovers that he’s got the names and addresses of Fifth Column members living in secret on Earth, Erica authorizes Hobbes to use whatever means are necessary to get more information. Anna’s willing to take extreme measures to accomplish her goal as well, even if it means unleashing her elite troops on a planet that stands no chance of repelling them.

written by John Wirth & Angela Russo Otstot
directed by Frederick E.O. Toye
music by Marco Beltrami

Guest Cast: Charles Mesure (Kyle Hobbes), Ty Olsson (Jeffrey), Christopher Shyer (Marcus), Mark Hildreth (Joshua), Lexa Doig (Dr. Pearlman), Roark Critchlow (Paul Kendrick), Phil Granger (Henry Thompson), Sarah-Jane Redmond (Sarah Thompson)

LogBook entry written by Earl Green

Hearts & Minds

V (New series)Ryan receives word from his fifth column contact that a shuttle filled with V trackers – from whom Ryan and his wife barely escaped before – will soon be en route to Earth to find Ryan’s wife and their unborn hybrid child. Father Landry makes a misstep with his newly cultivated contact – reporter Chad Decker – tipping Anna off to Ryan’s plan to shoot the shuttle down. Using a ground-based rocket launcher, Hobbes shoots down the V shuttle, only to discover that Anna has outmaneuvered them: not a single Visitor is aboard the shuttle, which is instead full of humans. The resistance has a public relations disaster on its hands, and worse yet, evidence at the scene leads the FBI to Landry.

written by Gregg Hurwitz
directed by Bobby Roth
music by Marco Beltrami

Guest Cast: Charles Mesure (Kyle Hobbes), Mark Hildreth (Joshua), Christopher Shyer (Marcus), Rekha Sharma (Agent Sarita Malik), Roark Critchlow (Paul Kendrick), Scott Hylands (Father Travis)


Survivors (1970s series)Anna’s daughter Lisa is found on Earth, brutally beaten and with both legs broken. The description Lisa gives of her attackers includes an almost unmistakable likeness of Kyle Hobbes, despite his insistence to fellow resistance members that he had nothing to do with it.

The other man accused of beating Lisa and leaving her for dead is a mystery to Erica and the other resistance members. His name is Parker, and he’s a weapons developer who, with some of his coworkers, has developed a substance that shows promise as a weapon against the V. Erica’s only chance of obtaining this weapon for the resistance is to make sure Parker stays alive – which means convincing Lisa not to pick him out of a suspects’ lineup. But can Erica break Anna’s hold over the girl?

written by John Wirth & Natalie Chaidez
directed by Bryan Spicer
music by Marco Beltrami

Guest Cast: Charles Mesure (Kyle Hobbes), Christopher Shyer (Marcus), Mark Hildreth (Joshua), Rekha Sharma (Agent Sarita Malik), Roark Critchlow (Paul Kendrick), Lexa Doug (Dr. Pearlman), Samantha Ferris (Private Investigator), Scott Hylands (Father Travis), Paul McGillion (Parker)

Notes: Guest star Paul McGillion is best known in the role of Dr. Beckett on Stargate Atlantis, and auditioned for the role of Scotty in 2009’s Star Trek feature film, instead winding up with a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo.

Red Sky

V (2000s series)With Tyler determined to take part in the Visitors’ “live aboard” program, Erica gives up on trying to convice him not to move aboard Anna’s ship, instead seeing an opportunity to get herself aboard and destroy Anna’s army of genetically-bred killers before they hatch. Ryan’s pregnant wife is kidnpped by V trackers and taken to Anna’s ship, where security has been beefed up in the wake of incidents such as the recent “attack” on Lisa, but he insists on going aboard to save her. But she’s already in labor, and can’t be moved. Having lost contact with Joshua and the other fifth column members aboard Anna’s ship, and fully aware that reporter Chad Decker is a direct link to Anna, Erica devises a plan to pass a message to Joshua, and even if Anna intercepts it, she won’t decipher its full meaning. Hobbes uses himself as the bait to lure Marcus, Anna’s chief enforcer and head of security, to Earth. With Marcus out of the way, Erica can move more freely, but she hasn’t anticipated the ever-shifting loyalties of Lisa, or the unpredictability of Decker, and Ryan’s whereabouts are unknown. Erica manages to deal a devastating blow to the Visitors, but the momentary victory is a costly one.

written by Scott Rosenbaum & Gregg Hurwitz
directed by Robert Duncan McNeill
music by Marco Beltrami

Guest Cast: Charles Mesure (Kyle Hobbes), Christopher Shyer (Marcus), Mark Hildreth (Joshua), Lexa Doig (Dr. Pearlman), Scott Hylands (Father Travis)

Notes: Jack’s message to his parishioners – “let V stand for victory” – is a deliberate echo of one of the closing lines of the original V miniseries broadcast in 1984. The birth of the first human-Visitor hybrid harkens back to V: The Final Battle, but is presented very differently here. Another callback to V: The Final Battle is turned on its ear here: in that miniseries, the red dust was an anti-Visitor chemical which the resistance – not the aliens – deployed into the air and into Earth’s water supply by hot air balloon (since powered aircraft would have been detected and shot down). Director Robert Duncan McNeill is no stranger to alien intrigue, having starred as Tom Paris for seven seasons on Star Trek: Voyager prior to becoming an in-demand director.