Home Television Drama V – The Series

V – The Series

1 9 8 3 – 1 9 8 5 (USA)
5 x 90 minute episodes
21 x 60 minute episodes

V originally aired as a mini-series shown in two 90 minute episodes in 1983.

Another mini-series of three episodes screened in 1984 (The Final Battle), followed by a 21 part series.

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The V story chronicled the “Visitors” arrival to Earth in a fleet of five-mile-wide alien flying saucers that appeared over some of the Earth’s key cities.

First seen as benevolent humanoids, the Visitor’s evil plan became apparent and their plan, along with their lizard-like appearance, were eventually revealed.

This $50 million space soap opera about an alien invasion of Earth contained some of the most disgusting moments of television.

In one scene the alluring leader of the humanoid aliens, Diana ate a live rat (actually a clever effect with a mechanical head designed by make-up artist Leo Lotito), In another, an alien female called Robin gave birth to children – but since the aliens were actually lizards underneath their assumed human exteriors, one baby was born a reptile, the other a human with a forked tongue.

No sooner had they landed than they launched a totalitarian takeover, disseminating propaganda (“The visitors are our friends”) and herding scientists into concentration camps.

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Even worse, as intrepid TV newsman Mike Donovan discovered when he sneaked aboard the mother ship, their real mission was to transport humans back to Sirius for food.

With scientist Julie Parrish, mercenary Ham Tyler and alien fifth columnists Willie (Freddy Krueger from the Nightmare on Elm Street series of films) and Martin, Donovan formed a resistance movement with an HQ at the Creole Club, Los Angeles.

In a climactic showdown, the aliens were defeated by using “red dust” poison, manufactured from the cells of Elizabeth, the human/reptile baby.

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V was, of course, a thinly veiled liberal parable about the rise of Nazism in Germany in the 1930s. The producers, however, took no chances on audience intelligence and scripted a Jewish member of the Resistance to make explicit how similar the experiences were.

The series might not have been sophisticated, but it was fast-moving, resplendent with glossy special effects and had, on stages 25 and 26 of the Burbank Studios in California, one of the most elaborate sets ever constructed for TV.

Inevitably, the success of V (in Britain alone it was watched by 10 million viewers per night) spawned a full series with most of the cast reprising their roles. The Nazi parallel was dropped and V:The Series turned out a routine space action drama.

A “re-imagining” of the original series was aired in 2009 by ABC. The confusing new series was cancelled in May 2011.

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Brian 
Peter Nelson
Charles 

Duncan Regehr
Diana 

Jane Badler
John 

Richard Herd
Lt James 

Judson Scott
Lydia 

June Chadwick
Martin 

Frank Ashmore
Abraham Bernstein 

Leonardo Cimino
Caleb Taylor 

Jason Bernard
Chris 

Mickey Jones
Daniel Bernstein 

David Packer
Elias Taylor 

Michael Wright
Elizabeth 

Jennifer Cooke
Ham Tyler 
Michael Ironside
Josh Brooks 

Tommy Peterson
Julie Parrish 

Faye Grant
Kristine Walsh 

Jenny Sullivan
Kyle Bates 

Jeff Yagher
Mike Donovan 

Marc Singer
Mr Chaing 

Aki Aleong
Nathan Bates 

Lane Smith
Robert Maxwell 

Michael Durrell
Robin 

Blair Tefkin
Ruby 

Camila Ashlend

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