To say that ABC’s ‘V’ (Tuesdays at 8/7c) premiered to appropriately out-of-this-world ratings would not be an overstatement. In the sci-fi reboot, Scott Wolf plays Chad Decker, a cable network newsman who has emerged as the chosen mouthpiece of the Visitors’ gorgeous leader (played by Morena Baccarin). Wolf shared with us his reaction to the show’s dynamite debut and teased how Chad and Anna might get under each other’s (in one case reptilian) skin.
So, who in your office pool had “14 million viewers and TV’s best drama debut since ‘Lost'”?
I’ve got to say, I predicted a high number. Call me an eternal optimist, but I felt like the show is a lot of fun. But ultimately you never know until you know. I believed as I always have in the show we’re making, but I don’t know that any of us could have expected things to get off to quite the start that they did.
You must be itching to get back into production – but Episode 5 doesn’t start filming until January.
It’s definitely atypical to have a gap in production like this, but the encouraging thing is that every time a moment has arisen where things are not perfect, [both ABC and Warner Bros.] have basically said, “Stop and get it right.” The expectations are high for this show, and audiences are too savvy anymore to give them something “OK.” It’s incredibly rare for a studio and network to be so passionate about something that they will spend the money and take the time to make sure things are great.
What can we expect from this week’s episode?
The main thrust has Erica (played by Elizabeth Mitchell) and Father Jack (Joel Gretsch), who have been swept up in the beginnings of a resistance, trying to peel through information and events to get to the bottom of things as quickly as they can, to determine if the Vs are good guys or bad guys. One of the other things that got established in the first episode the beginnings of a relationship between Anna and Chad….
Is Chad curious if it might evolve into something more, something perhaps intimate?
Yes, I think so. Obviously on the surface there’s almost a working relationship between the two of them – she has an agenda in carrying the message forward for her fellow Visitors, and Chad has been put in the position of being a central figure in the discussion. But there’s something lying beneath the surface. These two characters thrive on seducing and controlling people opposite them, so you see them sort of working on each other.
Who is it that you are likening Chad to – Keith Olbermann with a dash of Billy Bush?
[Laughs] I don’t know that I could have said it any better. He has not risen to the level that he aspires to, but he’s risen pretty far. I just don’t know that he’s done that based on pure journalistic prowess. He’s part Keith Olbermann, Billy Bush, Anderson Cooper…. There’s a model of a newsman today that looks very different from the generation before us. This new mold aspires to make you feel like your brother is giving you the news as opposed to your granddad.
At this point are the Vs mingling with us on Earth or are they pretty much keeping to their ships?
The debate immediately is, “Do we accept them? Do we take them at their word and allow them to roam? Or are we going to choose to be more skeptical and fearful and hold off?” This upcoming episode does deal a lot with the transition between immediate unrest and wondering what exactly is going on.
One nitpick I had with the premiere was that they seemed to be accepted into society too easily.
One thing I like about our story is it’s so positive and inspiring; it’s not about destruction and chaos. Why do we presume that aliens are going to be mean and want to hurt us? Maybe they will be enlightened, loving creatures that want to help us? In this situation, the truth likely lies in between. But I will say this: Showing up looking like Morena Baccarin was a good idea. [Laughs]