Review of 'V' (1983 Miniseries) - Revisiting the classic alien invasion show

23 March 2023
As we revisit the classic science fiction television show 'V' (1983 miniseries), we are reminded of the reasons why it has maintained a loyal following for decades. With a storyline that captures the imagination and a cast of memorable characters, 'V' is a must-watch for any science fiction enthusiast.

Created by Kenneth Johnson, 'V' was a game-changer in the science fiction genre, blending together elements of alien invasion, political commentary, and interpersonal drama. With notable directors such as Richard T. Heffron and Gilbert M. Shilton, and a talented cast, including Jane Badler, Marc Singer, and Faye Grant, the show was a well-crafted masterpiece of the time.

The show's characters are what make 'V' so compelling. The audience is introduced to a diverse group of humans and aliens, each with their own unique perspectives and motivations. From the charismatic and mysterious Diana to the human resistance leader, Mike Donovan, the characters' interwoven storylines keep us engaged throughout the show's run.

v alien face

At its core, 'V' is a thrilling and thought-provoking story of an alien invasion disguised as a peaceful visitation. As the aliens' true intentions become clear, a resistance movement forms to fight against the oppressive invaders. The show's plot is full of twists and turns, and the audience is left on the edge of their seats as they watch the conflict between the aliens and the humans unfold.

In addition to its thrilling storyline, 'V' explores a number of themes that are just as relevant today as they were when the show first aired. From the dangers of blind trust in authority figures to the consequences of not questioning the motives of those in power, 'V' serves as a warning against complacency and blind faith.

'V' has had a significant impact on the science fiction genre, inspiring countless imitators and spinoffs. Its legacy can be seen in the popularity of other shows such as 'Battlestar Galactica' and 'The X-Files,' which owe a debt to 'V' for paving the way for thought-provoking, character-driven science fiction television.

Critically, 'V' was praised for its storytelling, characters, and production values. It won two Emmy Awards and was nominated for several more. Fans and critics alike continue to hail the show as a classic of the genre.

While 'V' is not without its flaws, such as some dated special effects and occasional lapses in pacing, it remains a must-watch for science fiction enthusiasts. Its exploration of timely themes and its engaging storyline make it as relevant today as it was over 30 years ago.

v alien green baby

The success of the show led to a sequel mini-series, V: The Final Battle

"V: The Final Battle" is a three-part miniseries that serves as a sequel to the original "V" miniseries. It continues the story of the human resistance movement against the alien Visitors, who have taken over Earth and are secretly plotting to enslave humanity.

The miniseries picks up where the original left off, with the Visitors' true intentions exposed and a worldwide resistance movement growing in strength. The resistance is led by Mike Donovan, Juliet Parrish, and Ham Tyler, who are determined to uncover the Visitors' plans and defeat them once and for all.

The miniseries features many of the same characters from the original, as well as some new ones. It also introduces new elements to the story, such as a hybrid child born to a human and a Visitor, and a plan to use a biological weapon to wipe out the Visitors.

Overall, "V: The Final Battle" is a satisfying conclusion to the story begun in the original "V" miniseries. It wraps up many of the storylines and character arcs from the first miniseries, while also introducing new twists and turns. While it may not be as iconic as the original, it is still a must-watch for fans of the series.

Here are 20 trivia pieces about "V" (1983 miniseries):

  1. The original idea for "V" came from writer and producer Kenneth Johnson, who was inspired by a 1975 novel called "It Can't Happen Here" by Sinclair Lewis.
  2. The show's title is short for "Visitors," which is what the alien race is called in the show.
  3. The iconic "V" logo was designed by artist Robert McCall, who also worked on the visual effects for the show.
  4. The role of the alien leader Diana was originally intended for a man, but Jane Badler impressed the producers with her audition and won the part.
  5. Marc Singer, who played the lead role of Mike Donovan, was not the first choice for the part. The producers initially wanted Robert Englund, who later became famous for playing Freddy Krueger in the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series.
  6. Faye Grant, who played Juliet Parrish, was initially turned down for the role. However, she was persistent and kept auditioning until she won the part.
  7. The show's special effects were groundbreaking for their time and were achieved through a combination of miniatures, matte paintings, and practical effects.
  8. One of the most memorable scenes in the show is when Diana eats a live guinea pig. The scene was controversial at the time and resulted in protests from animal rights groups.
  9. The show's opening credits were set to a stirring orchestral score by composer Joe Harnell.
  10. The show's finale originally ended on a cliffhanger, but a follow-up miniseries, "V: The Final Battle," was produced to provide closure to the story.
  11. The show's popularity led to a spinoff series called "V: The Series," which aired for one season in 1984-1985.
  12. "V" was adapted into a novelization by A.C. Crispin, which became a bestseller and spawned a series of follow-up novels.
  13. The show was remade in 2009 as a two-season series on ABC, but it was not as successful as the original.
  14. The show's production team used real news footage of political rallies and protests to give the show a sense of realism.
  15. The character of Mike Donovan was inspired by the journalist John Reed, who covered the Russian Revolution and later wrote the book "Ten Days That Shook the World."
  16. The show was a ratings hit when it first aired, with an estimated 40 million people tuning in to watch the finale.
  17. The show's popularity led to a merchandising frenzy, with "V" action figures, board games, and clothing being sold in stores.
  18. The show was nominated for several Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Writing in a Limited Series or a Special, and Outstanding Art Direction for a Limited Series or a Special.
  19. "V" was filmed in Los Angeles and various locations around California, including Griffith Observatory and the Queen Mary.
  20. The show's creators intended for "V" to be a commentary on the rise of fascism in the 20th century and a warning against the dangers of blindly following authority.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
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