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Comic-Con Journal: ‘V’ Invades, Mission Accomplished

Among the pilots screened in their entirety (an increasingly
common Comic-Con occurrence) was “V,” the re-imagining of the earlier
1980s miniseries/series that ABC has ordered for midseason — although actually, the producers said that the program will beam down earlier than expected, in November.

The show looked extremely intriguing at ABC’s upfront
presentation in May based on a short teaser – and particularly well-timed for
today’s slightly crazy, conspiracy-prone environment. And as producer Scott Peters noted on Saturday, a lot has happened in the last 25 years that, indeed, feed the program’s sense of post-Sept. 11, “who can you trust?” paranoia.

The pilot is certainly busy and has a couple of flat patches, but it has enough promising moments to hook an audience and played quite well with the (admittedly prone to like it) Comic-Con crowd. Although the hour features an overt reference to “Independence Day,” the closer parallel is “The Twilight Zone” episode “To Serve Man,” where seemingly benevolent aliens might have a more nefarious plan in mind for humanity.

Coupled with “Flash Forward,” another serialized concept with an underlying sci-fi-style mystery, and the summer fill-in “Defying Gravity,” ABC appears to determined to find its next “Lost” and might be the most sci-fi-iest broadcast network schedule-wise in awhile. Of course, ABC also produced the short-lived “Daybreak,” so such endeavors are always a high-wire act, but “V” exhibits considerable commercial potential.

Meanwhile, Morena Baccarin — who plays the model-pretty alien leader with the big brown eyes — delivered what might have been the best line I’ve heard all weekend, and one that actresses might be tempted to quote in the future. Referring to the rodent-eating aliens in the original series and the prospect of having to do that herself, she said that she would rely on her producers to “not make me put furry things in my mouth.”

Clearly, she must be new to Hollywood.

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