In the first episode of ABC's remake of the '80s alien-invasion series V (Tuesdays 8/7c), a teen boy is led down the path of destruction by a powerful force: the winsome smile of a cute girl. The dark threat behind innocent flirtation illustrates not only an allegorical shift from the original V series, but also the theme of the new hour-long drama: Things are rarely as pretty as they look.
In the original V, the conquest of powerful reptilian aliens—known as the Visitors—was a metaphor for Hitler's Germany. The Vs rose to power with Nazi-like propaganda, persecution, and overwhelming military force. But the new V isn't about dominating with might. Led by their beautiful and diplomatic leader Anna, these Visitors attack not with guns but with hope. These aliens appear with messages of peace, love, and understanding. They arrive in sleek, elegant ships hovering over 29 major cities, and promise amazing technological advancements. They heal the sick. They raise spirits.
They come—in a desperate time of war, disease and despair—as earth's saviors. As one skeptical character says, "The world is in bad shape; who wouldn't welcome a savior right now?"
And the show asks: Would we believe them? "The chief allegory here is the idea of blind devotion," said V executive producer Jeffrey Bell in an interview with Christianity Today. "If anyone is showing up and saying something too good to be true, are people thinking? Are they asking questions? Are they prepared and informed? Are you just accepting and believing what you are told?"
The show's chief cautionary voice is Father Jack, a priest. He is skeptical of the Vs—indeed, of the existence of aliens. "I don't see any basis for this in Scripture," he tells ...1