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'V'

Over the last few days i've watched the entirety of 'V' and 'V: The Final Battle'. Ten hours of alien goodness.

I've seen the series multiple times over the years and had all the mini-series (the ten hour set) plus TV series on video many years ago before finally replacing them all on DVD (Region 2 for the mini-series; Region 1 for the TV series as I picked that up in LA a couple of years ago as it wasn't available in the UK).

I remember the first time I saw it was the summer of 1984 when it was first shown on Britsih TV. The LA Olympics were going on a 'V' was ITV's answer to the BBC's Olympic coverage between 10pm and midnight Monday through Friday for a whole week. Katie (Sister #1) and I were glued to the sets and had some very late nights that week! We even taped the lot (but on Betamax which went the way to VHS that HD is going to Blu-Ray right now).

I then saw it again in the fall of '84 when I was living in the States as they reshowed the mini-series in perparation for the launch of the TV series - which i then duly watched. Back in Britain the following year I caught the full set for a third time in prelude to the British launch of the TV series (which they showed out of order in the UK so some of the characters were alive in some episodes, dead in others and they completely screwed up the continuity).

I also read a host of 'V' novels (and am actually rereading AC Crispin's novelisation of the two mini-series at present) and can honestly say that 'V' was by far my favourite sci-fi TV series as a teenager by miles. I was never a Trekkie, was slightly too young for Blake 7 and although I enjoyed Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica, etc, they were very much 'watch and enjoy it if it's on' TV as opposed to a show I'd make sure I'd catch week in and week out (unlike Knightrider, Automan, Whiz Kids, Manimal, The A-Team, Remmington Steel, etc - that I'd watch avidly).

Anyway, after the initial getting used to the time-displacement (boy have hairstyles changed over the years :p) and some now quite cheesey-looking special effects I fell back into loving the show and not paying too much attention to how it's aged. It did bring home how much technology has advanced in the last 25 years. Mobile Phones, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras, Home Computers - all of these things were either non-existent or vastly different from their counterparts today and would have changed the whole way that the programme worked and the characters could have survived or died.

I also found a lot of the comments the characters were making about the invasion of the Visitors and the opression fairly relevant to many events these days and how many governments seem to handle and treat their citizens.

Looking into the background trivia of the show I was surprised to see that Blair Tefkin - who plays Robin Maxwell in the show - got the role after original actress Dominique Dunne was murdered by her boyfriend as she rehearsed lines with actor David Packer (Daniel Bernstein in the show).

V - classic sci-fi and I look forward to seeing what they do with the new TV Films planned for 2009.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
matt_m_mcelroy
Feb. 18th, 2008 11:25 pm (UTC)
I'm a big fan of V as well and am very much looking forward to the new films in the works.
saffrongraphics
Feb. 19th, 2008 12:39 am (UTC)
I loved V - it only came out here in 1988 in its entirety. A Swedish exchange student managed to ruin some of the storyline for my entire class because she'd seen it years beforehand.

The time delay for NZers to get to see shows is still pretty bad these days. :P
thebitterguy
Feb. 19th, 2008 01:31 am (UTC)
A) I saw a new V novel by the creator in the bookstore today.

B) I did not know there were new telefilms being planned. Cool.
angusabranson
Feb. 19th, 2008 10:08 am (UTC)
The new TV film (plus novel) take place twenty years after the first two V TV films (so it ignores the three Final Battle films and the TV series).
redtint
Feb. 19th, 2008 03:26 am (UTC)
I've got the mini series on DVD here as well. I remember when they first aired here in the states. That first series had everybody watching back then. Heck I watched it with my father who usually doesn't like what I like.
angusabranson
Feb. 19th, 2008 10:07 am (UTC)
Apparently it was the biggest TV phenemena that US had seen upto that point - and it stayed that way until the late 80's (can't rememebr what actually overtook it now - I read up on it last year. Damn memory :p)
dan_g
Feb. 19th, 2008 09:49 am (UTC)
I was also a big V fan... I loved that show...

And like you, read the books too.

I was doing some research on the subject recently as I was converting and painting some Visitor miniatures for a bit of fun. Anyway one of the reasons why some of the plots might seem scary and relevant now is that the original plot as written did not feature Aliens at all, just a heavily right wing political takeover that rapidly degenerates into conventional Facism... A subject the TV networks deemed too unbelievable in the 80's, so a quick re-write to change them to Aliens and it all became good again.

Apparently the remake is from the original authour whom the project was taken away from for the second half of the mini-series (The Final Battle)... And rumour has it that he was not really happy with the Star Child plot or the Red Dust.

So it sounds like he is ignoring the on-screen events after the first 3 hours and setting this 20 years on under the power of the visitors... Which could be interesting, but doesn't provide a solution to the cliffhanger that the TV series ended on...
angusabranson
Feb. 19th, 2008 10:06 am (UTC)
I didn't realise about the origins of the series - thanks for that. Glad they made it sci-fi instead though :)

The new V novel and mini-series takes place 20 years after the second of the 'V' Installments (so before the Final Battle Trilogy). It does indeed ignore the Star Child, the Red Dust and everything else from the Final Battle and the TV Series.

I'm ordering the novel from Amazon US once I know where I'm living (don't want it sent to the wrong address afterall! :p) and will let you know what I think after I've had a chance to read it.

I'm in mixed opinion about the rewrite. I'd like to have still kept the same continuity as the original televised mini-series and TV show as I think ignoring them and setting the new one twenty years after the first two shows will confuse a lot of people. It may have been better to refilm the original two and then use the Second Generation plot line as it's new history - thus drawing in a lot of new fans and not confusing the older ones so much.

We'll see. Fingers crossed though.
nexusvt100
Feb. 19th, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC)
When I was a boy, the little girl from V was the second ever crush I ever had. Following closely, of course, behind Newt.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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