Let's get ready to rummmmmmmble!
This week's Wednesday Television post focuses on the television show V.
V resumed this month and my wife and I recently watched the original 1983 miniseries it's based on. While we enjoyed it, we had to ask the question: Which was better? So, we breakdown the similarities of the two series and you decide who survives!
The Motherships
Then: Flying saucers with cramped warehouse style hallways and living quarters
Now: Large shovel shaped ships with jumbo-trons built into the hull and on-board atriums.
Frankly, the first motherships inspired a generation of alien motherships like Independence day and Alien Nation, but the new ones are much roomier on the inside and the aliens are traveling first class instead of coach. One is iconic, while the other is more believeable.
Which is the best mother ship?

Visitor Leader
Diana (Jane Badler) vs. Anna (Morena Baccarin)
Then: Diana was cold, calculating and vicious with a hairdo that scraped the ceiling.
Now: Anna is evil in a way that actually makes you want to join her before she breaks your neck.
Watching Diana voraciously eat guinea pigs and parakeets was disturbing, but watching Anna smile while ordering the extermination of a group of rebels sent chills up my spine.
Which is the best Visitor Leader? 

Intrepid Reporter - Mike Donovan (Marc Singer) vs. Chad Decker (Scott Wolf)
Then: Action hero style investigative reporter that becomes a leader of the Resistance.
Now: Milquetoast that stumbles on the story of a lifetime by accident and is manipulated into becoming a cheerleader for the Visitors.
Mike Donovan was "The Man". He dodged lasers, helicopters and alien shuttle crafts all while carrying a camera. While there is a lingering sense that the new character is meant for greater things, so far Chad Decker comes off as an easily bamboozled pawn.
Which is the best Intrepid Reporter?

Female Leader of the Resistance - Juliet Parrish (Faye Grant) vs. Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell)
Then: She and other scientists are being hunted as terrorists and, unwillingly, she becomes the head of the resistance.
Now: A FBI agent suspects something is wrong with the Visitors and unwittingly becomes the de-facto leader of the US branch of the resistance.
The idea of having a woman be the leader was progressive in the 80s and remains so since almost all science-fiction is a man's world. Most women are relegated to being sidekicks or love interests of the hero. The remake doesn't seem to know what to do with her. She's the main character and is more of an action hero, but her importance to the resistance isn't clearly defined. Still, making her the mom is a good motivation and is more believable than a scientist turning into a resistance fighter.
Which is the best Female Leader of the Resistance?

Traitor Visitor - Willie (Robert Englund) vs. Ryan Nichols (Morris Chestnut)

Then: A shy alien engineer, Willie, falls in love with a human and eventually turns against the Visitors as a double-agent.
Now: A Visitor sleeper agent is engaged to a human single mother and is forced to choose sides in the growing war between the Visitors and the Resistance.
Before playing the sadistic killer Freddy Kruger in the Nightmare on Elm Street horror films, Robert Englund played the shy and insecure Willie on V. He was all heart and we quickly grew to love him. This created a stark contrast with the image of the evil aliens. Morris Chestnut plays a more conflicted character, but doesn't have the heart and vulnerability of the original, instead playing Ryan as a powerful leader with a dark past. Willie is sweet, but Ryan is more complicated.
Which is the best Traitor Visitor?

The Turn-coat Son - Daniel Bernstein (David Packer) vs. Tyler Evans (Logan Huffman)

Then: A teenage loser finds his place and a new found sense of power by joining the Visitor youth group eventually turning on his parents and everyone he knows.
Now: A shiftless teenager finds his place and a sense of belonging by joining the Visitor Peace Ambassador program while hiding it from her mother who is part of the Resistance.
Frankly, the first characters motivations were extremely weak and ill defined so we have to assume the guy was crazy. The new character is three dimensional and his trip to the dark side takes a slow ominous path.
Which is the best Turn-coat Son?

Let us know your votes and we'll tally them next week to declare the winner of this remake smackdown.

Which do you feel is the best V? Let us know in the comments!
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dezmond said...

I've watched the original V series as a kid, and I remember I liked it a lot, it had a very mysterious and tense atmosphere. The best part in the new version is off course Morena Baccarin :)

Carter said...

I have the original on DVD and I'm watching the current one. Honestly, despite the scary costumes, even scarier big hair and the sometimes bad acting, you just have to love the original. Where else can you find The Beastmaster, Freddy Kruger and Michael Ironside all working together.

Maurice Mitchell said...

You're right! I missed the roster of 80s heroes. LOL 1 point for the original

Maurice Mitchell said...

Dezmond it was surprisingly creepy considering it was twenty years old. My wife was furious when the first mini-series ended with a cliff-hanger. lol

feesh said...

You've got the wrong Then for Intrepid Reporter
the THEN is the woman not Singer.
The Then is the public liaison for the V and is wolf now


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