"We are of peace. Always."
These are the words spoken by Anna, the leader of the intergalactic strangers known only as the "Visitors," when they first arrive on Earth. Sending 29 ships that appear above all major cities in the world, Anna is able to simultaneously address the many nations of our planet in their various native languages. While she professes coexistence and mutual cooperation, it becomes quite clear early on that the intentions of Anna and the Visitors are less than noble.
Two humans who become suspicious of the Visitors early after their arrival are FBI agent Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell from Lost) and Father Jack Landry (Joel Gretsch from The 4400). Erica, a counter-terrorism agent, begins to see connections between a group of terrorists she's been after and the early arrival of the Visitors. In addition, her son, Tyler, is in awe of the aliens and their technology, and she becomes concerned for his well-being. Father Jack, also doubtful that the aliens appearance will bring an end to things like disease and war, has his worries confirmed when a mortally wounded parishioner drops off a dossier containing evidence against the Visitors... and proof that they've been on Earth and in our lives for a lot longer than anyone realizes.
Other notable characters include television reporter Chad Decker (Scott Wolf from Party of Five) and the mysterious Ryan Nichols (Morris Chestnut, Boyz n the Hood). Chad, a rising star, is personally selected by Anna to exclusively interview her and present news on the Visitors' behalf. Anna makes it known that this news must only be portrayed in a positive light. While Chad initially opposes this, citing his journalistic integrity as his chief problem, he eventually relents after realizing that interviewing Anna and being their media point person will make his career. On the flip side, Ryan is a man presented as nothing other than perfectly normal. He is planning on proposing to his longtime girlfriend Valerie. Approached by a resistance cell of "terrorists" — a group eventually revealed to be opposed to The Visitors — Ryan is soon revealed to be one of the Visitors himself, only one opposed to their ultimate goal of world domination.
The "Pilot" episode presents the Visitors in grandiose fashion, realistically depicting how many would react if aliens simply showed up promising advanced technology and future prosperity. The conspiracy element comes into play into the second half, and when Erica meets Father Jack for the first time and they start comparing notes, you start to realize just how much trouble humanity is in. Both Erica and Jack begin to bring in trusted people to form a resistance movement, dubbed the "Fifth Column" by Ryan and his fellow anti-Visitor aliens, and despite their initially small numbers, they try to put up a concentrated fight against an alien invasion, one that the world isn't only ignoring, but accepting with open arms. Morena Baccarin from Serenity fame plays the Anna character as both sincere and alien, simultaneously emotional and evilly cunning.
Want some more smokin' Sci-Fi Summer blog posts? Well, there's plenty of other hot blog entries to read on Star Trek: The Next Generation, The X-Files, and even Battlestar Galactica! Sci-Fi mania can even be found in NYPL's own Reader's Den!