Will ABC's reboot of V be another retro-disaster, along the lines of Bionic Woman and Knight Rider? After reading a ton of script pages from the pilot, we're actually somewhat optimistic. Thar be spoilers below.
The script pages were released for casting purposes, but they appear to be genuine pages from the pilot. In a nutshell, they introduce our cast of characters — the word "montage" is mentioned on one page, which makes me a tad nervous — and then strange earthquakes disrupt everything. The earthquakes turn out to be the effects of the Visitors' spacecraft, which finally arrives. The Visitors' leader/spokesperson, the human-looking Anna, appears on big screens all over the world, and she seems to be speaking the local language wherever she's broadcast. She explains that her people thought they were the only intelligent life forms in the universe until now, and they're overjoyed to find out they're not alone. They observed Earth for a while, to make sure humans were peaceful, but now they're happy to make contact. They need some of our water (which for some reason they can't just take from Mars or Enceladus) and a common Earth mineral, and in return they'll give us some of their technology and leave us better than they found us.
Reactions to the aliens are mixed, with some humans embracing them wholeheartedly and others being suspicious. The aliens generate a sort of cult of followers, including teenagers who tag the "V" sign everywhere and shout "Visitors rule!". Other people become paranoid and start forming underground resistance networks. The pilot ends with the motherships landing all over the world, with a pulsing dance beat, as one human warns that the aliens now have the most powerful weapon in the world: people's devotion.
The script pages also give a pretty good sense of some of the characters' story arcs:
Chad, described as an "Anderson Cooper wannabe," interviews Alison, an aide to the Vice President and then sleeps with her afterwards. She tells him he did well, and he can expect to get an interview with the VP soon. Later, he goes aboard the alien mothership to interview the aliens' mouthpiece, Anna. With one minute before the interview goes live, Anna insists that Chad must only ask her questions that put the aliens in a positive light. Chad tries to protest that he'll be fair and balanced, but she insists he must be "more than fair." Chad caves, and later, Alison writes him an email asking whose morals he had to corrupt to get such a great gig. The interview's a huge success, and Anna decides Chad will be her mouthpiece whenever she has an announcement.
Father Jack, a Catholic priest, gives a sermon warning people not to trust the aliens, and the church tells him to cut it out. "We are all God's creatures," the Vatican says. "Rattlesnakes are God's creatures too," Jack remarks. "People need to hear that the visitors are part of God's plan," says another priest, Father Travis. And then a formerly wheelchair bound guy turns up, having been miraculously healed by the Visitors. But a visitor to Jack's confession booth tells him to keep up the anti-alien sermonizing, because people are going to need to wake up to the alien threat. All of a sudden, Jack's normally empty church is full of fearful people. Jack winds up helping to organize the anti-alien resistance, and visits a secret meeting where a doctor injects them with anesthetic at the base of their scalp, and then tests them to make sure they're really humans. Jack says he's a coward, but then later he gives a huge speech about how we need to stand up and fight.
Erica, an FBI agent in the counter-terrorism group, has a son named Tyler who's in the area where the aliens show up. Erica tries to use her FBI badge to get into the area the marines have cordoned off to find Tyler, but winds up having to sneak in. Tyler is a teenage dork, who is obsessed with being cool but knows he's not really cool — he buys a cool bike, but as soon as he gets on it, it's not cool any more. He goes to a cool party, but is the least cool person there. Seriously, Tyler constantly talks about his failed attempts at coolness. Tyler becomes a huge fan of the Visitors, and starts tagging people's cars and spreading pro-alien tagging instructions online. Erica starts investigating the anti-Visitor movements as possible terrorist cells, and then she attends an anti-Visitor meeting, along with Father Jack. When Erica and Jack leave the meeting, they get attacked by thugs. Erica attacks one of them, but it turns out to be her FBI partner Dale. She thinks it's just a big mistake, but he keeps trying to kill her. She injures him, and the wound reveals gray reptilian skin... her partner is a "fucking Visitor!" Most of the people from the meeting wind up dead.
Ryan is buying an engagement ring for his girlfriend Valerie when the earthquakes start. He's trying to decide whether to do the "going down on one knee" thing. But then later, Ryan attends the anti-Visitor meeting and helps the resitance to fight off the pro-Visitor thugs and undercover Visitors. Ryan himself turns out to be a Visitor, but he insists he's a traitor to his own kind and he wants to help fight them. Later, Valerie finds the ring and tells Ryan she loves him, but there's a lot of crying, maybe because Valerie found out Ryan is really a scaly alien.
Thanks to Lukas for the heads up!