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.