New Version of “V” for ABC

I certainly wouldn’t call V (the miniseries) or its sequel V: The Final Battle obscure but before it was released on DVD I’m fairly sure V: The Series was at least partially an obscurity. That gives me the leeway I need to comment on the news that ABC has ordered a pilot for a new version of this intriguing alien invasion story. The Variety.com article doesn’t say whether this new version will be a miniseries or a weekly series but either way I’m not convinced it will work, especially if the “reworking” turns into more of a “reimagining” along the lines of SCI FI’s new version of Battlestar Galactica.

Variety.com reported back in October of 2008 that ABC was considering a new take on the franchise from Scott Peters, who co-created USA Network’s The 4400:

“Whenever I mention ‘V’ to anybody, they still have a lot of good memories about the original movie and series,” Peters said. “Everybody has that imagery of their uniforms, or the visitor eating a hamster. It’s a science fiction icon and too good to pass up.” The original “V” served as an allegory for the Holocaust and Nazi Germany. Peters said he won’t duplicate that concept, except that the new “V” will still focus on what happens when the masses have blind faith in their leaders. In this case, the new “V” will center on Erica Evans, a Homeland Security agent with an aimless son who’s got problems. When the aliens arrive, her son gloms on to them — causing tension within the family. As in the original “V,” several storylines will unfold simultaneously.

The sentence “It’s a science fiction icon and too good to pass up” is what bothers me the most. If only the franchise was truly “too good” to pass up. Meaning the original miniseries was, well, original and a new version will never be as interesting or shocking or exciting or successful.

If ABC was interested in producing a reworked version of, say, The New People (one that isn’t Lost) that I might be accepting of, if only because it might mean the original show would finally be released on DVD. But V, V: The Final Battle and V: The Series are already available on DVD.

Unlike the original Battlestar Galactica, which was more than a little corny and didn’t receive glowing reviews, V was both a critical (for the most part) and successful hit back in 1983. No matter how well-written a new version is, no matter how impressive the special effects, it can never live up to NBC’s original two-parter. It won’t be for ABC what the new Battlestar Galactica was for SCI FI. So there’s really no upside.

With that in mind, if ABC does go ahead with a new version of V, I can’t say I won’t tune in, at least for the first episode.

5 Comments

  • Maj says:

    well said, finally a good report on this stuff

  • jeremy gann says:

    EXACTLY! Plus, the life blood of V, Kenneth Johnson, will not be involved, so basically, even if it is really well done, they will still end up with just a shell. The magic and strength of the original is something that does not happen very often, and with the look of most tv shows today, I cannot imagine it being anywhere near that. We really all need to keep our fingers crossed, as Kenneth Johnson is RIGHT NOW trying to get everything in place to bring the original back as a big motion picture to be released in theaters, to be followed by the sequel, V: The Second Generation. If THAT happens, then the world can FINALLY give a huge sigh of relief. Otherwise, I do not realistically expect to see anything even remotely close to the original magic.

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    I strongly suspect this version of “V” will be just as successful as the network’s “updated” version of “THE NIGHT STALKER” was a few years earlier…why do they STILL insist on doing another variation of “LOST”? ABC isn’t the “Sci-Fi (or “SyFy”, as it’s about to become) Channel”…

  • carl says:

    ive seen the promo for the new v, it looks good put it wont be a patch on the last one without those real cool uniforms

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    Apparently, the “reimagined” version of the series is somewhat of a success. However, it goes off at the end of the month (as planned), to return in the spring. It’ll probably be renewed for next season as well….

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