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V

Posted by Big Boo on April 23rd, 2009

v lizard alienI remember being very excited when I first heard about the original V mini-series.  I was 10 at the time and they kept playing adverts for it with lots of spaceships in so my curiosity was peaked.  The only trouble was that it was going to be shown late at night (which was probably only 10pm, but to a 10 year old that was late) so I begged Dad to set the video recorder up for me so I could watch it, which he did.

So we settled down to watch the first episode and sure enough there were loads of spaceships.  Massive ones which came to rest over all the big cities in the world, illustrated as you might expect with a thumping great flying saucer hovering over some famous world landmarks.  The aliens make their first appearance, and things were a bit disappointing.  The aliens may have been dressed in bright red jump suits but they were depressingly human.  They did have strange sounding voices though, so I kept watching.

We were introduced to John, the leader of the aliens (who became known as The Visitors), and Diana, his second in command.  I didn’t really pay much attention to this particular bit so I was convinced that Diana must be in charge as she was the one giving all the orders and was obviously quite evil.  Something about her just radiated nastiness…

Before long I got the aliens I wanted.  First we see one of the aliens eating a live mouse by holding it by the tail and dropping it, kicking and squirming into his mouth.  Then we see another of the aliens, the friendly and slightly simple Willie (played by Robert “Freddy Krueger” Englund) save a man in an industrial accident which causes part of his facial skin to be torn away to reveal a scaley green surface beneath.  Not so human after all it would seem, and indeed we’re soon treated to the site of one of the aliens completely without their fake human skin.  They are indeed large walking reptiles after all!

Those are my overriding memories of the first V mini-series, so when I heard there was to be a follow up, entitled V – The Final Battle, I was just as excited as before.  The storyline now centred on the fight of the human resistance movement against the Visitors, although society as a hole were still hoodwinked by the aliens and believed that they had purely good intent.

The biggest plot point for The Final Battle however was the creation of a human/visitor hybrid, something which was initially set up in the first series.  Young woman Robin is dating a Visitor named Brian, who gets her pregnant.  When it is discovered that this was all a ruse set up as an experiment by Diana, Robin ends up in the care of the resistance and she eventually gives birth.  This was particularly gruesome as the poor girl is given a caesarian section and out crawls (by itself) a green reptillian baby!  I distinctly remember this being the cliffhanger ending of the first episode.

It turns out Robin was carrying twins, and whilst the reptile baby doesn’t survive, it’s more human looking sibling does.  The baby girl, named Elizabeth, isn’t entirely untouched by her Dad’s genes though.  Not only does she have a long lizard like forked tongue, she also ages far more rapidly, becoming a child in a matter of days.

The death of Elizabeth’s brother, whilst already considered a Good Thing by most of the resistance (after all, do you fancy changing the nappy of a reptilian baby?) brings further hope when a biological weapon called “Red Dust” is developed which is harmful to the Visitors but not to humans.

The Final Battle wasn’t quite so final however, as a full series followed detailing the continuing battle against the Visitors.  The series wasn’t quite up to the same levels as the mini-series that proceeded it however, with special effects footage being reused often and most of the stories involving resistance members Mike Donovan, Julie Parish and Ham Tyler undertaking daring raids on Visitor installations, getting caught and subsequently escaping again.  If you fancy a nostalgia trip therefore I would recommend taking in the two mini-series first.

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