by Frankie Fanelli

Let me say right off the bat: if violence and gore isn’t your thing, this definitely isn’t the show for you.

That being said, V Wars had one of the most engaging and action packed pilot episodes I’ve seen in awhile. V Wars is one of Netflix’s newest releases and a science fiction horror series. It features Dr. Luther Swann (played by Ian Somerhalder of The Vampire Diaries fame), a research physician who, along with colleague Michael Fayne (Adrian Holmes), makes an emergency trip to the Arctic when another researcher suddenly falls off the grid right after announcing he made a stunning discovery. While in the Arctic in order to try to salvage whatever the first doctor had been working on, the two men realize that the disappeared doctor had discovered an ancient human skull, along with some sort of prehistoric biomass which appears to release foreign matter into the air. The pair is immediately put under quarantine when they return home, and while they seem to have come down with nothing more than a mild, prehistoric equivalent of the common cold, Michael soon begins to exhibit symptoms that hint towards something much more sinister.

Personally, I’m not much of a fan of sci-fi or medical dramas. However, I was enthralled pretty much as soon as I started watching V Wars. Ian Somerhalder’s performance was amazing despite the complexity of his character which is apparent right off the bat. Swann is being torn between his roles of logical research physician, a husband and father trying to keep his cool in the face of his family, and a friend concerned for the welfare of a colleague he feels his life is indebted to.

Adrian Holmes gives a great performance as a doctor infected by a prehistoric virus, a logical, educated man experiencing violent, out of this world symptoms he knows has no logical explanations and that he must fight against for his life.

The connection between Swann and Fayne is really moving, despite the odd situations. Two best friends whose relationship is being put to the test by impossible odds, you can’t help but put yourself in their shoes and wonder what in the world you would even do if such important and seemingly outrageous tasks were asked of you.

The setting is very mundane and all we really see as far as set goes is university lecture rooms, New York City sidewalks and apartments, and police interrogation rooms. However, something I realized as I was watching is that these unremarkable backdrops instead allow the actors’ performances and the events of the plot unfolding to really pop and be fully appreciated. If the show runners and directors had attempted to make this show’s world seem too over the top, the acting and writing likely wouldn’t be able to shine as much. If you’re ready for some great acting and writing, an enthralling and fast-moving plot, and the perfect mix of science fiction and horror, then I’m begging you to give V Wars a try.

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