Looking Back at the Original V


"V made me love science fiction." -- Nix on BeyondHollywood.com

As I stated before, I'm looking forward to ABC's new V series. It might turn out to be a turd, but I'm hoping for the best. The trailer looks well-made and the cast is superb. Some of the reactions by people who have never seen the original made me laugh though, especially the ones who accused the new show of stealing ideas from the movie Independence Day. Obviously, the iconic visuals of giant mother ships flying over cities around the Earth was a highlight of the original which aired way back in 1983 and not a ripoff of ID4.

The original two mini-series and even the much-maligned (and rightfully so) original television series hold a special place in my heart. Back then, there wasn't much science fiction on television at all, so shows like V were a gold mine for young imaginations. The show was created by Kenneth Johnson, the guy who also brought us Bigfoot on The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, The Incredible Hulk, and Alien Nation.

It had its cheesy moments, some of which were awesome (like the birth of the half-alien/half-human babies) and some that were not-so-awesome (the 1980s hairdos and outfits). But it also had some great ones, like the discovery of the aliens' true lizard identities and hideous motives. The best of all was the allegory to World War II which was done very well in the first mini-series, still had an impact in the second mini-series, and actually still occasionally appeared in the regular series once in a while (with mixed results).

The cast was a lot of fun: future "Beast Master" Marc Singer as heroic videographer Mike Donovan, Jane Badler as the villainous Diana, Robert Englund as the innocent alien Willie, and the excellent Michael Ironside as the mercenary Ham Tyler who becomes one of the key resistance fighters. There were a lot of good actors involved in the project: Faye Grant, Lane Smith, Mickey Jones, Michael Wright.

If you're not familiar with the originals, look them up on DVD. You can read a review of V: The Mini-Series here, V: The Final Battle here, and get info about V: The Series here. Hopefully, the new "reboot" will be just as fun and spark a whole generation of new fans.

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