Thursday, April 25, 2013

V is for...V

Parachute pants, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Growing Pains, L.A. Gear, Breakfast Club....what do all of these have in common? They all helped define the 80s. Come take a fun "Journey" with me as we revisit the totally radical decade.

In 1983, a two part miniseries on TV (NBC) brought science fiction into the mainstream. V had all the human vs alien-goodness that I wanted, plus the drama and wardrobe of other 80s primetime shows. Basically, V was Dynasty with aliens. Shoulder pads and big hair, with laser guns and starships.

So the story starts off with 50 "Visitor" ships coming to Earth asking for help. They need some minerals and water to save their home planet. In exchange, the aliens will share their lifesaving technology with us. At first, it seems to be a good deal, but underneath the humanish exterior of the Visitors like vicious reptiles bent on taking over the world.

Then it becomes a good 'ol fashioned war between the Visitors and a band of civilians-turned-rebels. Marc Singer plays the male lead, and does a great job despite me thinking "Beastmaster" every time I see him. The female lead is a doctor who heads a growing resistance group against the aliens.

What's really interesting about V was its take on propoganda and the media. Earth is coaxed into thinking that the aliens mean us no harm. By manipulating the media and fueling it's pro-Visitor agenda, they infiltrate society very quickly. And before you know it, the aliens make their move. There are some strong parallels and symbolism between the events in this mini-series and the Holocaust.

But they didn't count on the tenacity of us humans. The mini-series ended on a cliffhanger. The Visitors pretty much rule the world, and the resistance hopes to fight back and regain the planet.

V: The Final Battle came out the following year. This three part mini-series picks up where the previous mini-series left off. An alien gets a human pregnant, the resistance continues to gain in strength, and the Visitors aim to unleash some doomsday weapon to clear the Earth of us pesky humans.

Using human ingenuity, the resistance creates some red dust that kills only the Visitors. Yippeeeee!!!

Oh wait, but there's more. From 1984-1985, the decided to make V into a weekly television series. I read that it cost over $1 million per episode to produce. I'm pretty sure that's still a record. The tv show sucked eggs. I remember seeing the same battle footage being replayed over and over again, which is laughable.

Too much of a good thing can sometimes just be plain bad.


16 comments:

Riann Colton said...

You just never recover from seeing Diana eat a canary. It haunts you forever.

But hey - Michael Ironside!

Cynthia said...

I never watched the show, but I remember hearing the kids talking about it at school.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I remember watching V. Diana was hot. Well, not when she ate the large rodent.

Melanie Schulz said...

What an interesting concept. I love when shows/books do that; base the story line on things of the past.

jaybird said...

V scared the crap out of me when I watched it the first time. Like Riann said, I will never forget that scene where she ate the canary either! It was haunting. Especially to this Bird. LOL

Morgan said...

I remember this show! It freaked me out. My hubby loved it though!!!!

Stephsco said...

It's too bad the V reboot wasn't that great. It had promise, but I think a lot of sci-fi on the mainstream networks feels like it tries too hard to create a broad appeal. The mystery and uniqueness to the first season of Heroes got lost when they added a bunch more characters to make it more family friendly (or something. I'm all for family entertainment, but not if it has to Jar-Jar it down).

I remember reading how the V miniseries influenced the creator of The X Files. For that, I'm grateful!

Nice to meet you through the A to Z Challenge! Here's mind for today: A Girl and her Diary

Laura Eno said...

Haha! Dynasty with aliens, shoulder pads and big hair. You're exactly right! I loved the first mini series. They should have left it alone and not try to keep going, especially with TV.

Maurice Mitchell said...

I love V Jay! I still remember the arguments in school if the alien baby would be human or alien. Turns out they were both right! The reboot had promise, but it was inferior.

The Desert Rocks said...

I truly missed an entire decade of television and the sad thing is now I'm a couch potato!

Samantha May said...

I think ABC brought back V not too long ago...I think. I could be thinking of an entirely different show, but it sounds right!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

The mini-series was awesome. The recent version of V was good too.

Robin said...

This series had everyone talking. Definitely one of those water cooler shows for the adults and lunch time conversation for teens. Yeah, the reboot was a mess.

Wayne Assiratti said...

Hey there. I have put a link to your blog on my post for W on the A - Z Challenge which is for Friday. My son Rocco is picking a number on the linky list at random and I post the link for each day. Hope you don't mind.

I remember V very well. Robert Englund before he became typecast!

Cheers,

W.

farawayeyes said...

I remember this show. Creepy. I also remember the political implications relating to manipulation, primarily by the media. I wonder if they would get away with that in a TV show today.

Jeff Laws said...

I remember the skin getting peeled away and it having lizard scales underneath. Of course, I could be thinking of something else, but I'm pretty sure it was V.

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