John May

Oh my. This hourlong was such an insipid, flaccid affair that covered lots of ground but did so in such a bland way. It tried to engage the viewer and deliver levels of excitement slightly higher than that provided by sleep but just didn’t get there – too much was happening too quickly and it was all done really badly. Even the plot points or scenes with gravitas washed away given the time spent telling them. However, the final shot, well, that did manage to raise the adrenaline levels and pique the interest for the next episode somewhat.

I don’t know whether the show is inconsistent due to the variety of writers, the youth of the project, fear of failing versus the original, lack of confidence shown by the network or just an attempt to set things up for the future and the inherent difficulty of getting there. I suspect a little of each. Problem is, with the lack of episodes this year and the way it’s treated, coupled with any pressure (updating a loved predecessor? Knowing your network needs a big new show given the end of Lost?) V can’t breathe and mistakes it makes are amplified as such. It’s very evident. A good episode is followed by bad; good ideas can be picked up and followed-through (the lizard Princess assigned to Ty in an attempt to get him truly on the side of the V’s) or just horribly mishandled, for example John May and why he lives.

John May was the first resistor to the Vs, to Anna, to Bliss. He felt human emotion and he realised love is what life was all about. Ten years ago he was found and killed by the Vs. The V who did that was Ryan Nichols – our current Fifth Columnist and apparent leader (when Erica doesn’t want to be). So, the man/lizard that started it all and is such a call to arms for all of the resistance today is dead. And our hero killed him. Wonderful. I know we’re only seven episodes in so it’s not like we should expect a fully-fledged back-story yet, some legend to foreshadow what’s going on. But we have been offered something, and that which has been offered is not good enough. Things have been rushed. Not just in terms of the backstory, either – the whole production seems to be tripping over itself to get to where it’s going. Will we see an ‘end’ to this story in case no second season is commissioned? Will we just be forced to watch as a fabulous premise done well 20-odd years ago is turned into an incoherent raspberry jelly with bits and bobs of excitement scattered here and there, flowing through one episode and maybe bits of another?

What was interesting about this episode was the serious sci-fi geekiness apparent given the name of one of the guest stars and the Director. John May was once one of the final five Cylons (Sam Anders) so fair play to him. The man who directed this shambles of a story and make it fairly comprehensible used to be First Officer on the USS Enterprise (Jonathan Frakes). Awesome. Finally, we did see something worth waiting for in the final shot of this episode. The birthing (or stage one of it anyway – we’ll see) of Anna’s soldiers. I did wonder if they would take over the bodies of the live-aboard winners, but it seems illogical if she thinks of them as such an offensive force – maybe those lucky humans will just be food a la Alien? We must be headed towards war at season’s end.

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