Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

When it comes to terrifying mankind, space aliens have been overshadowed lately by vampires and zombies. But Tuesday night, the extraterrestrials launch an inspired rally in “V,” a captivating new science-fiction drama from ABC.Based on a 1980s miniseries, “V” (for “Visitors”) tells of a close encounter with an alien race, which arrives via massive spacecrafts that hover ominously over every major city on Earth. Naturally, their presence triggers mind-numbing panic. This is followed by an intense desire to blow those big metal orbs to smithereens.

But hold your fire. Amazingly, these aliens look just like us- or at least the really attractive folk among us.

And, in a nice twist, they come bearing a message of peace. Not only do they want to be our BFFs, they promise to use their advanced technology to solve the world’s problems and -get this- provide universal health care.

All this Summer of Love-like bliss is conveyed by Anna (Morena Baccarin), the gorgeous leader of the Vs who radiates a calm, Zen-like demeanor that might be unnerving if it wasn’t so seductive. Not surprisingly, most young male Earthlings think she’s hot.

But is Anna just killing us softly with her song? Is this the alien version of the rope-a-dope? Some down on terra firma suspect that might be the case, including FBI agent Erica Evans (winningly played by Elizabeth Mitchell of “Lost”) and priest Jack Landry (Joel Gretsch).

With some sleuthing, they discover there’s a secret hidden beneath the skin of every V. They also learn that many stealthy aliens have been living among us for years, apparently just waiting to unleash some sinister deeds. Suddenly, Erica and others are looking over their shoulders, wondering who they can trust.

It all makes for a suspenseful, scary concoction. The fast-paced “V” pilot sucks you in from the start and keeps you welded to your seat right up through a couple of shockers near the end of the hour.

ABC will introduce “V” with four episodes and then pick up with more in the spring. If the series can maintain the pilot’s momentum, TV viewers can happily brace themselves for an alien abduction.

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