TV Review: V: The Pilot Episode

 

By David Outten, Production Editor

Quality:  * * * * Acceptability:  +1

Language:  L

Violence: V

Sex: None

Nudity: None

RATING: TV-14

AIRDATE:  November 3, 2009

CONTENT:  (CC, BB, L, V, M) Strong Christian, moral worldview opposing false salvation and a major character is a priest who bucks the Vatican and warns people not to trust those who make grand promises; one exclamatory “My God” profanity upon seeing a spaceship display a video of the V leader; moderate action violence and a statue of Jesus falls and breaks; no sex; no nudity; no alcohol; no smoking; and, newsman compromises objectivity to get personal publicity and dishonesty and treachery condemned.

REVIEW: The first episode of the new science fiction television series V is a wake up call to those looking for salvation in the wrong places. We cannot predict where the series will go, but the opening episode features a young pastor, who plays a lead role in opposing the rush to consider some benevolent looking aliens to be the saviors of mankind.

The aliens are called “visitors,” shortened to “Vs,” thus the title of the program. They appear over major cities in large hovering spaceships that project messages in the local language. More than just the classic we-come-in-peace message, the messages say, “We’re here to help you.”

The opening episode makes it very clear, however, that they are not here to help. It turns out the Vs have planted many of their kind, who look human, prior to their dramatic arrival in spaceships. The alien plants have done their best to foul up life on earth in order to encourage a hunger for “change” (salvation). The Chicago Tribune draws a parallel to the Obama administration but, while many believe President Obama was not born in the United States, it’s unlikely he was born on another planet. Even so, it’s interesting that the evil aliens offer “universal healthcare” to all people. Thus, the first episode clearly seems to be saying that President Obama’s healthcare proposals, now making their way through the U.S. Congress, are a false hope that will lead to tyranny and slavery.

The initial episode does a good job of setting up several threads to keep audiences interested. A young priest bucks the judgment of the Vatican that the Vs were sent by God to help. He warns his congregation to be wary. An FBI agent uncovers the truth about the planted V cell groups even while her son signs up to be a stooge for the Vs. A news anchorman compromises and is used by the Vs for propaganda purposes. Finally, a V plant turns out to be a renegade V opposing the V leadership’s plans.

The production quality here is high for television, and the acting is excellent. There is moderate violence in a battle between the Vs and an underground resistance. However, unlike FLASH-FORWARD, V is not tainted by babysitters sleeping with their boyfriends and the threat of a family falling apart due to infidelity. The potential exists for this program to be truly outstanding, but, as with many other series, it’s difficult to say if it will stray into murky waters down the road.

The theme of being wary of false saviors is very biblical as well as politically and culturally astute (see MOVIEGUIDE® Publisher Dr. Ted Baehr’s book co-written with legendary entertainer Pat Boone, THE CULTURE-WISE FAMILY). Jesus said, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”

This is a message Americans really need to consider, not just in regard to big government but also such things as special rights for homosexuals, feminism, environmentalism, and the humanism so prevalent in our government-run public schools. All the isms claiming to save you from belief in a “repressive” God promise freedom but often lead to bondage instead. Real freedom is freedom from sin. That can only be provided by the world’s true Savior, Jesus Christ.

V could actually go in that direction, but will it? We shall see.

TIME: 60 minutes

STARRING: David Richmond-Peck, Elizabeth Mitchel, Morris Chestnut, Joel Gretsch, Lourdes Benedicto, Logan Huffman, Laura Vandervoort, Morena Baccarin, Scott Wolf, Scott Hylands, Brittney Irvin, Christopher Shyer, Alan Tudyk, and Jesse Wheeler

DIRECTOR: Yves Simoneau

PRODUCER: Kathy Gilroy

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Scott Peters, Jeffrey Bell, Yves Simoneau, Jace Hall, Scott Pearlman, and Brian Wankum

WRITER: Scott Peters

BASED ON: A TV Series

DISTRIBUTOR: ABC-TV

GENRE: Science Fiction

INTENDED AUDIENCE:  Teenagers and adults

Please address your comments to:

Robert Iger, CEO, The Walt Disney Company

Anne Sweeny, President, Disney-ABC Television Group

Stephen McPherson, President, ABC Entertainment

500 S. Buena Vista Street

Burbank, CA 91521

Phone: (818) 460-7777

Website: www.disneyabctv.com