I watched the first episode of the original series today, and I really enjoyed it.
I have to admit, I was pretty surprised when they killed the lawyer and his wife, I was expecting them to end up becoming part of the 7 in the title.
As for the whole dead wife thing in the new version, it's not that bad of a change for me. He did already have family killed by the Federation, so they if they just switch out his brother and sister for a wife, it's not a problem for me. Just out of curiosity which episode is the first to follow a more typical format for the show?
The first four episodes set up the show, and (minor spoiler), the 'seven' won't be assembled until the end of episode 4 (Time Squad). From ep 5 (The Web) onwards it's pretty much set in stone, although Ep 6 (Seek-Locate-Destroy) is a major 'arc' episode.