Author Topic: "V" Sci-Fi Miniseries/Series  (Read 3187 times)

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Offline FLIM

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"V" Sci-Fi Miniseries/Series
« on: Jul 22, 2001 at 05:54 PM »
CINESCHLOCK PRESENTS
Our unleashing of the horrific power of the atomic bomb, joined with our collective jitters that the Commies were around every corner had dang near everything to do with the crush of alien invader flicks that zapped across screens during the 1950s. Immortal ray-gun classics like The Day the Earth Stood Still, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers and The War of the Worlds. They were stories torn from pulp novels and comics, but overtly steeped in the fears of the times. Decades later, Gene Roddenberry would take social commentary to the heavens in "Star Trek." George Lucas pit good against evil and told of a "force" that can harmoniously bind all people together in Star Wars. So, it shouldn't come as a surprise that V: The Original Miniseries (1983, 196 minutes), written and directed by Kenneth Johnson, is actually an allegory for the unspeakable tyranny of the Nazi regime and the corrupting influence of power. Well, as much as it could be in a May Sweeps miniseries on NBC.

The movie: Down from the clouds lumber a horde of value-sized flying saucers that creep eerily across the skies before parking over the population centers of the world. Earthlings cower below, their puny fighter jets utterly unable to approach even one of the craft, when finally, a message emanates from the invaders: "How y'all doin'?" Turns out they're visitors from somewhere near Sirius, who just stopped by for a few billion cups of some mineral we've got that'd save their dieing planet. In exchange, they won't kill us, er, they'll give us technology. Weird thing is these rather ordinary looking folks don't seem much like space aliens except that when they talk they sound like they're on crummy cell phones and they insist on wearing cheesy Blue Blocker shades. Things are great until a nosey reporter by the name of Mike Donovan (Marc Singer) stows aboard the ship hovering over Los Angeles and comes face to scales with the truth -- SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE! Wait, that's almost right. Actually, the visitors are GIANT LIZARDS masquerading as Earth apes, and they are none too pleased when Mike tries to out them live on NBC. But it's Fugitive City for TV boy when his transmission is blocked, and the Visitor propaganda machine somehow twists the incident around as part of their sinister scheme to brand the world's scientific minds as conspirators and terrorists. Families of doctors, nurses, or anyone who ever got an "A" in biology become social pariahs. Sound familiar? Someone's got to prove that resistance is no where near futile and whup some over-grown horny toad hiney, and thank A.C. Nielsen, that somebody might as well be Killer Blonde, M.D. (Faye Grant).


Funny, Tumak also got
kilt by giant flying reptiles.
Ms. Badler demonstrates how
she won the role of Diana.


CineSchlockers will remember mousy lizard Robert Englund from his franchise role as Freddy Krueger, of course, but one of his first big screen roles was in Eaten Alive where the great Tobe Hooper had him play a slimeball who tries his darnedest to coax every woman he runs across into some "unconventional" lovemaking. While Marc Singer worked with yet another genre heavyweight, Don Coscarelli, in the first of three Beastmaster movies. V was followed by V: The Final Battle, a six-hour miniseries that would explore, among other things, the icky results of Visitor/Earthling l'amour. Before the sequel went into production, Johnson chose to bow out fearing his vision would exceed what he considered an insufficient budget. Still, it was another mondo hit, and even spawned a weekly series that carried the supreme iguaness (Jane Badler) and her feisty resisters through one harrowing season. Both miniseries and all 19 episodes of the TV show have previously been released on VHS and laserdisc.


Remember, it's what's on
the INSIDE that counts.
Visitors hurl fluorescent
bulbs at resistance fighters.


Notables: No breasts. 25 corpses. Rodent gobbling. Venom spitting. Rioting hoodlums. Firesuit stunt. Implied lesbianism. Deep-frozen arm smashed to bits. Face ripping. Voyeurism. Molotov cocktail flinging. Interplanetary diddling.

Quotables: Kid expresses disappointment at his first sight of the alien leader, "He's no E.T.! he doesn't even look like Spock!" An African-American, Caleb doesn't look forward to competing with yet another race in the work force, "Look at all those guys! First we had to fight you honkies for a job, then there was the Mexicans, now these creeps and they ain't even from this planet!" Mrs. Walsh emotes, "Damn SCIENTISTS!!!" Daniel won't take no for an answer when rejected by Robin, "I want her just like I wanted this champagne. And I will get her, won't I!? Otherwise, I'll just have to turn her whole damn family in." Tony distracts a guard, "I'm on the way to Korea, and my shrimp boat got a flat tire."


The Lizard Queen is caught
powdering her scales.
Our heroes check each
other for ticks before battle.


Time codes: One mother of a mother ship descends to Earth (A 5:25). Marching band plays neutered Star Wars theme (A 30:00). Visitor plays "Space Invaders" video game (A 1:00:45). Mouse and guinea pig become iguana chow (1:07:05). Visitor upchucks venom in Tony's face (B 23:10). Lady V strips for liberty (B 31:35). Donovan engages in a dog fight for his life at the helm of a stolen space craft (B 1:08:00).

Audio/Video: For the first time EVER, the series can be seen in the original widescreen (1.85:1) aspect ratio in which it was filmed. The print is amazingly clean and without obvious blemishes. Some softness or tint to scenes are intentional and were achieved with camera lenses at the time of filming. Devoted fans have murmured ever so slightly that some of the sound effects were "enhanced" for the brand new Dolby Digital Surround 2.0 track. Specifically, the whir of Visitor landing crafts used to have more of an other-worldly pulsating sound, and now more closely resembles the whine of a very terrestrial jet engine. But it should be noted that Johnson oversaw the creation of the robust new audio master.


Johnson opted out directing V: The Final Battle.
Extras: Be reminded that V was first broadcast over two nights -- in TWO distinct parts -- so it only follows that the disc would also be divided in the same fashion. Part One is on Side A, while Part Two and the bonus material are on Side B. No whining! Writer/director Kenneth Johnson somehow manages to avoid repeating himself, or losing his voice, during nearly three and a half hours of commentary. Even after almost two decades, Johnson has amazing recall of every aspect of the project -- down to noting the fact every optical effect for the laser blasts cost $1,000 a zap. (Which is extra pricey considering what LOUSY shots the lizards are.) Also being the writer of the film, Johnson explains in great detail his influences and how his conception of the story evolved. The informative and personable track is no small effort on his part, and will truly be appreciated by even those with only a casual interest in the flick. Some fans will undoubtedly accept Johnson's generous invitation to email him with their questions, but they'll be hard-pressed to find a topic he doesn't cover in his commentary. Also included is a 25-minute documentary featuring on-set footage and interviews with stars Marc Singer and Faye Grant. There is NO gag reel as was originally planned, because some of the actors reportedly wanted royalties Warner was unwilling to pay. Static menus without audio.

Final thought: Despite some deliciously cringe-worthy FX, this alien invasion epic is every bit as powerful today as when it first aired nearly 20 years ago -- and it's certainly never looked or sounded better. Highly Recommended.

G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.

ALSO FEATURED THIS WEEK  

Highly
Recommended:
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Frogtown

Recommended:
Dracula 2000

Rent It:
Beast From
Haunted Cave

Coming soon ... In honor of Jurassic Park III



Offline Phobos

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Re: V the miniseries
« Reply #1 on: Jul 23, 2001 at 06:30 PM »
Moving this one to the Film & TV Talk forum.

Offline Mr. Hankey

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"V" Sci-Fi Series Sequel in the Works
« Reply #2 on: Jun 03, 2003 at 09:53 PM »
From SciFi.Com:

New V In Works?

V creator Kenneth Johnson told the Ilana's V Page fan Web site that a new version of the 1980s alien-invasion miniseries is in development for NBC. "TV Guide will break the story about the project being in development in their June 14 issue," Johnson told the site. "But ... there is absolutely no shooting date planned at this time."

Johnson added, "I have only just delivered the first story treatment to Warner [Brothers] and NBC. They must approve it, I must write the screenplay, go through as many drafts as they want, determine what the budget will be, have NBC order it to production, and Warners elect to pay the necessary cost in concert with NBC. Many, many, many, many, many, many, many bridges yet to cross."

=====

I think for all "Children of the 1980s", this is very good news!  :)

I'm suddenly in the mood for... rat...   ;D
« Last Edit: Jun 13, 2003 at 12:10 AM by Mr. Hankey »
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Offline Battousai

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Re:"V" Sci-Fi Series to Possibly Return!
« Reply #3 on: Jun 03, 2003 at 10:00 PM »
Id like to see an updated "V" series.
I was a fan way back, and just loved the peeling skin and eating of rodents the aliens did.

Offline AshKetchum

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Re:"V" Sci-Fi Series to Possibly Return!
« Reply #4 on: Jun 04, 2003 at 09:59 AM »
I just liked it when it was a miniseries. It was overkill when they turned it into a regular series, and pretty soon it died a much-deserved death. This planned revival is just another indication that Hollywood is running out of original ideas.

Offline RMN

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Re:"V" Sci-Fi Series to Possibly Return!
« Reply #5 on: Jun 04, 2003 at 10:25 PM »
Though I now have a vague recollection of the story, I loved the original miniseries which I caught on betamax when I was a kid.

Offline M_Shoe_Maker

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Re:"V" Sci-Fi Series to Possibly Return!
« Reply #6 on: Jun 04, 2003 at 10:36 PM »
This is indeed good news!  :D

Yes, I also liked the original mini series better than it became a regular series.

Hurray for the rat eating aliens!  :D

Offline bunkieboy

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Re:"V" Sci-Fi Series to Possibly Return!
« Reply #7 on: Jun 04, 2003 at 11:40 PM »
as a kid i just enjoyed both the mini and the regular. thought back then that they were both good. too young i guess to tell otherwise ;)
« Last Edit: Jun 04, 2003 at 11:41 PM by bunkieboy »

Offline Mr. Hankey

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Re:"V" Sci-Fi Series to Possibly Return!
« Reply #8 on: Jun 12, 2003 at 11:59 PM »
Even better news - it's not a remake, it's a new sequel to the original!

From SciFi.Com:

NBC Revisiting V

NBC has confirmed rumors that a new film based on the 1980s miniseries about alien invasion is in the works, Variety reported. The three-hour made-for-television movie, called V: The Second Generation, will be directed, written and produced by Kenneth Johnson, creator of the original series.

Johnson is talking to original stars Marc Singer, Robert Englund, Jane Badler and Faye Grant about reprising their roles, though no official casting decisions have been made, the trade reported. The Second Generation will be set 20 years after the original, with the alien Visitors now in control of much of the Earth, according to Johnson.

"The alien force is deeply entrenched, has turned many Earth people into followers and is sweeping them toward a dangerous new conquest," Johnson told the trade. "The Resistance seems to be fighting a losing battle when suddenly Earth gains a powerful and mysterious new ally."

While the movie is envisioned as a stand-alone project, future sequels are possible if ratings are high enough. If green-lighted, the project wouldn't be ready until fall 2004 at the earliest, the trade paper reported.
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Offline Mr. Hankey

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Re:"V" Sci-Fi Series Sequel in the Works
« Reply #9 on: Nov 01, 2003 at 06:24 PM »
The first draft of the script is done, and it does include the characters played by Singer, Grant, Badler and Englund. They have all expressed interest in reprising their roles.

"Willie's a little older and a little balder," Englund says. "Maybe I can get a perm and torture it over my bald spot."

NBC still has not officially given it a go-ahead, though.

Let's wait and see...
« Last Edit: Nov 01, 2003 at 06:25 PM by Mr. Hankey »
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Offline Mr. Hankey

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Re: "V" Sci-Fi Series Sequel in the Works
« Reply #10 on: Aug 05, 2004 at 11:24 PM »
And all good things... come to an end...  :-\

'V' Miniseries Tabled
By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Critic

A year ago NBC announced plans to develop a new three-hour TV movie based on the '80s sci-fi franchise "V," about alien lizards in human disguise that come to Earth. Then NBC decided it would be a four-hour miniseries. Now "V: The Second Generation" is in development limbo.

Jeff Gaspin, NBC's miniseries and movies chieftain, said there was not enough newness to the most recent miniseries draft by "V" creator Kenneth Johnson.

"I just don't think it was different enough from the original, frankly," Gaspin said. "It wasn't as innovative as the original. It felt like a good sequel if we'd done it immediately after [the original], but in the 20 years that other space operas have come and gone, it doesn't feel as fresh as it did 20 years ago."

Gaspin shopped the property to Sci Fi Channel, which now shares ownership with NBC following the NBC-Universal merger, but executives there were not interested in the "V" revival in its current script form either. Gaspin's not giving up yet, hoping Johnson will develop a whole new story.

"I would like to do something with that property," he said. "I think there are other chances and better options."
« Last Edit: Aug 05, 2004 at 11:37 PM by Mr. Hankey »
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Offline ralfy

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Re: V the miniseries
« Reply #11 on: Nov 09, 2008 at 09:37 PM »

Offline SiCkBoY

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Re: "V" Sci-Fi Miniseries/Series
« Reply #12 on: Nov 11, 2008 at 07:48 PM »
Which brings to mind the 2-disc V: Final Battle.  Parang di ko na nakikita.  Kung kelan mura mga DVDs, saka nawala.

Offline Mr. Hankey

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Re: "V" Sci-Fi Miniseries/Series
« Reply #13 on: Nov 11, 2008 at 09:35 PM »
Oh, and for those of you still interested, since NBC scrapped the miniseries, V creator Kenneth Johnson released it in book form instead:



I bought it three months ago, but it's still sealed.  ::)
« Last Edit: Nov 11, 2008 at 09:37 PM by Mr. Hankey »
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Offline viper

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Re: "V" Sci-Fi Miniseries/Series
« Reply #14 on: Dec 21, 2008 at 08:36 PM »
Oh, and for those of you still interested, since NBC scrapped the miniseries, V creator Kenneth Johnson released it in book form instead:



I bought it three months ago, but it's still sealed.  ::)

Same here. Never found the time to read this book I got from PowerBooks.

Offline Mr. Hankey

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Re: "V" Sci-Fi Miniseries/Series
« Reply #15 on: Dec 21, 2008 at 09:19 PM »
Same here. Never found the time to read this book I got from PowerBooks.

Since it was still sealed, I gave mine away as a Christmas gift.  ;D
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Offline Mr. Hankey

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Re: "V" Sci-Fi Miniseries/Series
« Reply #16 on: Jan 28, 2009 at 07:55 PM »
And "V" lives on...

http://scifiwire.com/2009/01/abc-orders-pilot-for-a-reboot-of-v-the-1980s-alien-invasion-series.php

ABC orders pilot for a reboot of V, the 1980s alien-invasion series

ABC has given a pilot order to V, a re-imagining of the 1980s miniseries about an alien invasion, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Written on spec by The 4400 co-creator/executive producer Scott Peters, the new V will center on a female Homeland Security agent.

Peters is executive-producing the pilot with HDFilms principal Jason Hall.

This is the second ABC pilot picked up so far based on a 1980s property; the first was The Witches of Eastwick. Both are being produced by Warner Brothers TV.

It's unclear whether this proposed series has anything to do with original V creator Kenneth Johnson's sequel novel, V: The Second Generation, or his proposed reboot series or a proposed spinoff series by Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski.
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Offline blackie

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Re: "V" Sci-Fi Miniseries/Series
« Reply #17 on: Jan 30, 2009 at 07:09 PM »
This was the one where they ate white mice right? ;D
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Offline ralfy

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Re: "V" Sci-Fi Miniseries/Series
« Reply #18 on: Mar 19, 2009 at 01:48 PM »

Offline 1ringwd4s

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« Last Edit: May 22, 2009 at 09:41 AM by 1ringwd4s »
One Ring with The Force

Offline ralfy

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Offline geckoph

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Re: "V" Sci-Fi Miniseries/Series
« Reply #21 on: Oct 24, 2009 at 01:45 PM »

Offline Clondalkin

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Re: "V" Sci-Fi Miniseries/Series
« Reply #22 on: Nov 06, 2009 at 09:24 AM »
The pilot episode was dull...or perhaps I was hoping the leader of the visitors is just as voluptuous as the original (in her prime).

Offline pendrell

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Re: "V" Sci-Fi Miniseries/Series
« Reply #23 on: Nov 06, 2009 at 02:11 PM »
Can't remember if the original series also referred to these reptilian aliens as "V's." 

All I know is that the "V" stands for "victory" as the resistance claim it was for.  Thus, the spraypainting and superimposing of the alien posters and propaganda materials with the red "V" symbol.  It just so happens that the word visitors also starts with the letter "v", which made it rather apparent for some that the "V" stands for visitors.

Offline geckoph

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Re: "V" Sci-Fi Miniseries/Series
« Reply #24 on: Nov 06, 2009 at 04:00 PM »
Will this series be shown on local TV networks?