V: The Complete First Season
Review by Gayle Surrette
Warner Home Video DVD ISBN/ITEM#: B002U0KHME
Date: 28 July 2010 List Price $39.98 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
V: The Complete First Season showed up on my desk for review. I was a big fan of the original miniseries and rather lukewarm on the old series that followed. Now V has been rebooted but managed to keep all that was key to the success of the original series. It's a show not so much about aliens and a first contact that proves that, if it's is too good to be true it probably is. Instead, V deals with issues that we face every day -- who do we trust, who do we believe, do we take everything on faith or do we question authority. The Visitors want to help us and take care of us, sharing their knowledge -- but there is a price. There is always a price and this one may be too high, but will the human race realize it before it is too late.
The reboot of V has a stellar cast including Morena Baccarin (Anna), Joel Gretsch (Father Jack Landry), Elizabeth Mitchell (Erica Evans), Logan Huffman (Tyler Evans), Scott Wolf (Chad Decker), Morris Chestnut (Ryan Nichols), Lourdes Benedicto (Valerie Stevens), and Laura Vandervoort (Lisa), and many others who support the main characters. The cast works well together and manages to make it feel real.
Part of making a science fiction program feel real is good writing and actors who can present it to an audience/camera. V is not just good stories, but stories that resonate with what is happening in the world today. It deals with themes that each one of us faces daily -- prejudice, inequality, intolerance, and faith vs reason. The original V dealt with many of those same issues, hitting very hard on religious intolerance with many references to concentration camps. While its new incarnation deals with a lot of the same broad themes, it has been updated to take account of our current social problems and the solutions that have been put in place which subjugates personal freedoms to keep us safe.
Again, I must say that watching a full season over a week makes it much easier to identify the broader multi-episode themes and story arcs. Seeing the episodes every week will be entertaining but makes it more difficult to spot those long term story lines buried in the weekly episodes that pay off later in the season.
V: The Complete First Season is two discs and 12 episodes. Special Features on the DVD are: The Actor's Journey from Human to V; Breaking Story: The World of V; An Alien in Human Skin: The Makeup FX of V; and Visual Effects of V. There are also several short items called Detached Memories that are brief insights into the making of certain episodes.
If you were a fan of the old mini-series or a fan of this new incarnation of the series, you'll definitely want to add this to your collection. The story lines are timeless in how they deal with people under extraordinary situations that resonate with our own lives and how we interact with our world make it worthy of multiple viewings.