V Review - Variety

While "V" might at first appear like a strange Reagan-era artifact, ABC and the producers have concocted an updated reboot that's unexpectedly timely -- a strange amalgam of post-Sept. 11 paranoia and science-fiction soap opera. The pilot busily races through too much business, but it dangles a tantalizing array of plots, and features a knockout performance (in more ways than one) by Morena Baccarin as the cool, beguiling alien leader. The network's scheduling gambit - four weeks on in November, then a hiatus - is either genius or folly, but "V's" maiden voyage rates near the top of the alphabet.

Recognizing the similarities to "Independence Day," a cast member specifically references that film when the huge spaceships begin hovering over major cities. Actually, one could throw in "District 9" and the closer parallel to "The Twilight Zone" episode "To Serve Man," where seemingly benevolent aliens might have more nefarious plans for humanity.

After an initial bout of understandable panic, people are reeled in by Baccarin's Anna, the alien spokesmodel with the big brown eyes, who promises that this is just a stopover and that the Visitors will use their advanced technology to leave mankind "hopefully better than we found you."

Yet when she reaches out to an ambitious TV journalist (Scott Wolf) to explain the V's to residents of Earth, she coyly prompts him not to "ask any questions that would portray us negatively," threatening to cancel the exclusive interview at the last moment.

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