V series 2 episode 1 review
Review by Tim Carson
THE second series of V returned to UK TV on Thursday night with a bit of a whimper rather than a bang but it’s still good to have the show back.
V is a remake of the classic 1980s sci-fi series and while the 2011 version is hardly revolutionary its strong cast, solid effects and great story-telling mean it’s highly watchable TV.
And if you’ve missed it so far (due to the fact that’s it’s on the Sy-Fy channel and not BBC1) then do try to catch up with the first series on DVD.
The visitors (Vs) continue to try and hoodwink the human race into thinking they’re all friendly and peaceful despite turning the sky red at the end of season 1. For the most part humanity has accepted these alien visitors and their beautiful and charming leader Anna (Morena Baccarin).
But there’s a small group lead by FBI agent Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell from Lost) who know that Anna and the Vs are far from friendly and that the true reason for their arrival on Earth is still to be revealed.
Together with Jack (Joel Gretsch), a soldier turned priest; Kyle Hobbes (Charles Mesure) a mercenary; and Ryan (Morris Chestnut), a V working against Anna, Erica’s searching for answers to the “red sky” and continuing to fight the visitors as part of the resistance known as the Fifth Column.
As the episode develops the red sky turns to red rain and then disappears as quickly as it arrived. Erica and her pals track down a scientist who helps them figure out that it was high in phosphorus – essential to enable the Vs to breed. She also reveals that when her son Tyler was born she had high levels of phosphorus in her blood stream and she begins to suspect it was due to V interference. Given Tyler is being seduced by Lisa (Anna the V queen’s daughter) this complicates the already intriguing situation between the two “families”.
It’s that contrast – Erica’s love for Tyler against Anna’s abuse of Lisa – which is often the central element of the show allowing the two stars Elizabeth Mitchell and Morena Baccarin to shine.
Baccarin is fantastic as the V queen, calculatingly alluring and a cold-hearted bitch (Vs don’t feel emotions like humans). She manages to capture both sides brilliantly and dominates the series whenever she’s on screen. It’s also good to see Elizabeth Mitchell developing beyond Lost (where she played Juliet) into a fine TV lead.
The season two opener may not have been as compelling as some of the earlier episodes but it opens the door for some intriguing twists and turns in the rest of the series. And it did end on a dramatic note with the appearance of Anna’s mother Diana – the very same Diana who was queen of the Vs in the 1980s series played by the very same actress (Jane Badler) – so there’s the promise of better things to come.
V is on Sy-Fy every Thursday at 9pm
You can watch the first episode of Series 2 on syfy.co.uk for free
Read our interview with Elizabeth Mitchell and Scott Wolf