Warner | 2009 | 552 mins. | Unrated

Originally a mini-series in 1983 and a series the following year, a new version of V has been reborn. This retooled version tells the story of Earth’s first alien encounter. The visitors – human-like beings who know our languages and provide other worldly gifts of technology and healing – arrive on massive motherships hovering over 29 major cities worldwide. Some consider them saviors in this post-9/11 world, while others feel differently. A fledgling resistance is on the rise, determined to reveal the shocking truth.

A woman named Anna (Morena Baccarin) claims to be the leader of some “Visitors” that appear to come in peace to share information and culture with us Earthlings. But FBI agent Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell) knows that there’s something else going on, and she and her team are determined to get to the bottom of it.

V – The Complete First SeasonThe original series was mindless fun. However, while the new V has all sorts of technological gadgetry, it lacks a sense of fun. The show seems to want to be the third coming of Battlestar Galactica, but it doesn’t get there; at least not in the first twelve episodes of the first season.

The reimagined V hasn’t fully wrapped its mind around the fact that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. The original series was egalitarian in spirit. Anyone could be part of the human resistance against the aliens whereas our heroes here are a representative of law and order (an FBI agent) and a representative of organized religion (a priest of all things!). The earlier series was a cautionary tale about the dangers of fascism, the remake is about the hazards of having a family member join a cult it seems. In fact, V stood for Victory in the first series but here vees refer to the alien visitors themselves.

V returns for a second season in January, so it will be interesting to see where the writers and producers decide to take things. As of now, V seems far too directionless and undercooked to keep the interest of diehard science fiction fans.

Audio and video look pretty good here. There’s a widescreen presentation that is clear; although there are some scenes that are fairly dark, it’s not debilitating. Audio comes through without difficulty as well. There’s English and Portuguese audio, plus several subtitle options.

The bulk of the special features on this set are featurettes. There are four, to be exact:’

“Breaking Story: The World of V

“The Actor’s Journey: From Human to V”

“An Alien In Human Skin: The Makeup FX of V

The Visual Effects of V

The former are a pair of  the standard “making-of” featurettes, discussing how the series came to be and how it has been approached almost 30 years since the original miniseries.  The latter two explore the makeup and effects that bring the sci-fi saga to life.

In addition to those, you get one commentary track with the producers (on “Fruition”) and a handful of deleted scenes. Unfortunately, neither are particularly memorable.

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