Aliens: Who can trust 'em? The people of Earth would be wise not to in V, ABC's remake of the 1980s miniseries.

Aliens: Who can trust 'em?

The people of Earth would be wise not to in V, ABC's remake of the 1980s miniseries. But the self-proclaimed "Visitors" roll out such an effective PR scheme that the majority of humans are inclined to at least give them the benefit of the doubt.

Even if you go in with no knowledge of the original, there's something fishy - or rather, something reptilian - about these apparently humanoid aliens. That much is clear even before FBI agent Erica Evans (Lost's Elizabeth Mitchell) discovers their dark secret.

Her son Tyler (Logan Huffman, in one of the worst-acted roles in prime time), is a lot more sympathetic to the Vs' message of peace. But a range of other characters played by Joel Gretsch, Morris Chestnut and Scott Wolf (looking to duplicate Party of Five castmate Matthew Fox's pop sci-fi comeback) have their own reasons to be skeptical.

Based on the premiere episode, we the people have just as much reason to doubt V. Like any sci-fi yarn, it has the potential to unspool into something awesome. But the pilot bears all the earmarks of the assembly line, from tired character types to stilted dialogue to predictable plot twists.

On the other hand, there was one moment near the end that genuinely caught me by surprise, suggesting V might yet evolve into a more pleasing brand of pulp.