V is Terrible For Just So Many Reasons

The internet is already rife with excoriations of the new V television show, whose awfulness is now something of a fait accomplit. There’s an aspect of it that I don’t think has been extensively covered, however, and that’s just how ineptly produced the entire affair is.

Take, for example, this shot from the first episode of the show-

That’s Anna, the aliens’ leader, standing at the window of her spaceship. Simple math reveals that if each floor is about fourteen feet tall, then the entire ship, as depicted below:

Is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 280 feet tall – roughly 25 stories, or a decent-height apartment building. Okay, now here’s a shot of the inside of the ship, from earlier in that same episode:

That circled building alone is the equivalent of six stories tall. And you could easily stack four of them without hitting the roof. Also, it’s not like those buildings are are at the bottom of the ship. A later episode will demonstrate that below this whole living area is a multi-story engine room.

So while the people at V are terrible at the technical end of things, it’s their conceptual failings that both shock and disappoint me. And not just the obvious copout of having all the aliens being under the chemical thrall of their leader (although it would be nice, for once, to have villains who actually believed in their evil cause…), but rather the entire way that the aliens have been conceptualized.

Everything about them is so insufferably bland and relatable. From their ‘designed by apple’ spaceship interiors, to the fact that their earth bases are all generic bare concrete, to the absolute low point of the design, which turned up in the last episode of their disasterously-awful 4-show run.

That’s seriously an ‘alien’ clock. It features four digits, seperated by a colon. And a circle beneath that changes colour clockwise during the countdown. This is how far they went into conceptualizing the way aliens see the world differently from humans. They replaced arabic numbers with random symbols.

That’s it.

Now I’m going to offer an example from one of my favorite movies about aliens ever: Predator.

This is the Predator’s wrist computer. Setting aside for a moment the nicely worn look of the prop, examine the design. That’s nothing like a human interface. No knobs, switches, or keys. Despite the hugeness of the predator all of the interfaces are tiny. Why? Because they’re designed to be operated with the tip of a claw, as all predators have.

And this is what predator numbers look like. Nine randomly arranged bars that flutter into different configurations. Is their system of numbering based on ten? Absolutely – because like humans, predators have ten digits on their fingers. Beyond that it’s completely, well, alien.

I know it’s asking a lot for a television show here, in the mysterious future, to live up to a standard of quality set by a Schwartzenegger action movie from the late ‘80s, but not only does V not reach that level of invention and cleverness, I don’t even see any effort being made in that direction.

Hell, it’s not even as good as V.

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