It’s V for Visitors as sci-fi remake debuts

Humans don’t seem to have any problem with space invaders.

Humans don’t seem to have any problem with space invaders. In fact, considering the success of District 9, we seem to love the idea of a bunch of aliens hovering over our major cities.

That’s exactly what the team behind V is banking on. Adapted from the popular sci-fi miniseries that originally aired on NBC in 1983, the new V is a weekly series chronicling the arrival of aliens (a.k.a. Visitors).

It closely follows the plot of its predecessor: The Visitors first make contact by flying giant spacecraft over the world’s metropolitan areas.

Their beautiful, poised leader, Anna (Morena Baccarin), relays their need to replenish their water supply, and in exchange they offer humans their advanced technology. And, of course, they “come in peace.”

“We made sure that we honoured and respected the characters and the themes that (the original) envisioned, and introduced brand new characters and brand new themes that would make sense in a post-9/11 world,” says Scott Peters, creator of the update.

The themes of fear and paranoia play out differently in 2009, and tapping into those sentiments meant reflecting on the identity of the modern “enemy.”

“The original series, to me, felt very much like a military show — there was a very clear and present enemy,” says executive producer Jeffrey Bell. “And post-9/11 … there is no other single threat. It’s terrorists, and it’s the guy across the street or the woman next door.

“(In V) we have humans, and we have humans who are traitors, and we have Visitors who have a nefarious agenda, and we have Visitors who are heroes.

“And so not knowing who or what someone is (reflects) the paranoia that we all experience, living in a world where we wake up every day and everything is at an orange alert.”

Stars expecting Visitors

Elizabeth Mitchell, who plays an FBI agent trying to learn the Visitors’ true motives, remembers watching the original miniseries with her parents when she was about 13. “I liked the escape of it,” she says, adding she hopes families will also sit down to watch the new incarnation of V together.

Scott Wolf plays a TV journalist chosen by the Visitors to host an exclusive interview with their leader in the V pilot. This leads to an opportunity for career advancement. “Part of the fun of seeing how the character develops will be that relationship between his ambition and his journalistic integrity,” Wolf says.

• V premieres Tuesday night on CTV

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