Thursday, December 10, 2015

Jace Hall: On V

"I was asking myself, 'Where are those stories that make us want to aspire to be more?
That question the human condition in some way and that make you recognize your potential as a person?'
I've always been very interested in those kinds of stories..."
-Executive producer Jace Hall, SciFiNow #33, p.34-

We here at Musings Of A Sci-Fi Fanatic are also interested in stories of the human condition. So what happened with that plan for V?

In every way the far superior reimagining of Battlestar Galactica (2003-2009) at least tackled questions regarding the human condition however dark at times. There was also the noble, original, classic Battlestar Galactica (1978-1979) and arguably Farscape (1999-2003), Space: Above And Beyond (1995-1996), Firefly (2002) and of course Star Trek in general. Defying Gravity (2009) arrived the same year as V and appeared to be aiming for such a concept, more so than V, but that ephemeral series ended even sooner than V. These various aforementioned shows attempted to muse about our strengths and weaknesses and our potential as human beings. V felt swept up in a soapy melodrama with aliens.

Hall actually has the right idea and has a point. Looking around there have not been a lot of great science fiction options when it comes to a positive, inspired approach to science fiction. It's often dark or coping with the darkness of the human condition. Series that delve into concepts of the pioneering human spirit, like the themes found in Royal Space Force: The Wings Of Honneamise (1987) by Gainax found here are quite rare.

It's not easy to find an inspired science fiction TV series aspiring for greatness when it comes to our post-9/11 universe. The world has indeed changed and, of course, there have been glimpses thematically to the ideas set forth by Hall in the above quote throughout the aforementioned series.

Unfortunately, Hall with executive producer Scott Peters failed to capture such a vision within their V reboot. The whole idea seems to be missing. Shallow characters with incredibly bad lapses in judgment, poor logic and overall schmaltzy writing made for a generally forgettable sci-fi excursion. At the end of just two very short seasons, we were happy to see an end to this alien scourge.

Hall contacted Peters and told him "Dude, you can actually write this stuff!" Sadly that statement is telling and Peters and company simply did not deliver justice to a new V or their hopes for an intelligent foray into the genre.

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