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40 Years After V Debuted, the Miniseries Still Has Lots to Say

Creator Kenneth Johnson looks back at the highs and lows of the sci-fi mega-hit.

Forty years ago, a fleet of 50 massive saucer-shaped ships arrived on Earth from deep in outer space, carrying within them legions of red-clad alien Visitors. Claiming to come from a dying planet, they initially promised friendship and advanced technology in exchange for desperately needed supplies. But their presence would turn out to be the basis for a compelling parable about fascism, collaboration, and resistance.

The project was V, a miniseries created by writer-director Kenneth Johnson, which aired for two nights on NBC beginning on May 1, 1983. Armed with a massive-for-television $13 million budget, the production had all the polish of a rip-roaring adventure epic with laser blasts and dogfights aplenty (arriving mere weeks before Return of the Jedi hit theaters, no doubt helping to rope in the Star Wars crowd), along with some impressively gruesome makeup effects which showed off the reptilian features underneath the Visitors’ human-like masks.

Four decades later, V (it stands for “Victory”) is both a beloved artifact of a specific era and a timeless commentary on human nature. Indeed, talk to anyone who saw the show during its initial airing (or at an impressionable age) and they’ll doubtless relate their creeping dread at seeing the alien masks come off, watching Jane Badler’s alien commander Diana swallow a guinea pig whole, or learning the real reasons the aliens had come to our planet (they want our water, and also have a hankering for the tangy taste of human flesh).

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by Anonymousreply 36May 25, 2023 6:03 PM

You can have your own original V uniform

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by Anonymousreply 1May 3, 2023 7:22 PM

Jane Badler as Diana was fierce.

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by Anonymousreply 2May 3, 2023 7:25 PM

Love, it, r1. Very *girl on the go*!

by Anonymousreply 3May 3, 2023 7:27 PM

This topic shows up about every 4 weeks...

by Anonymousreply 4May 3, 2023 7:29 PM

No it doesn't r4.

by Anonymousreply 5May 3, 2023 7:35 PM

Oddly, the reboot with Morena Baccarin had worse SFX than the original. Everything was green-screened and computer-created.

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by Anonymousreply 6May 3, 2023 7:39 PM

Loved it. I was 11 and watching it on TV actually felt like watching a real invasion. Perhaps it was my generation's War of the Worlds. I remember loving every second of it. Marc Singer(brother to Lori Singer from Fame) was hot and Jane Badler should have remained a big star after it. It was just mesmerising.

by Anonymousreply 7May 3, 2023 7:44 PM

r5 yes it does

by Anonymousreply 8May 3, 2023 7:46 PM

Fuck off r8. V isn't exactly discussed much on here. Given the ages of most of the posters, it's something most of us remember.

The first miniseries was fantastic, a great allegory of fascism. The SFX were excellent for the time, and on a tv budget.

by Anonymousreply 9May 3, 2023 7:48 PM

I watched it during the original broadcast. I was in college at the time. A roommate ant I were enjoying it, and the scene where Diana swallows a guinea pig whole changed the entire tone of show.

We were gob-smacked at what we saw... all of a sudden the aliens were really dangerous and creepy.

Thankfully the rest of the original series held up and David got his just desserts!

by Anonymousreply 10May 3, 2023 8:31 PM

The birth scene was shocking.

by Anonymousreply 11May 3, 2023 9:34 PM

40 years later, I still have nightmares.

by Anonymousreply 12May 3, 2023 9:49 PM

Jane Bader looked a lot like skinny Delta Burke.

by Anonymousreply 13May 3, 2023 9:53 PM

R11, the birth scene, I think, is in the sequel. Anyone else? Am I correct?

by Anonymousreply 14May 4, 2023 12:47 AM

R14 - you’re right. It is in the sequel.

by Anonymousreply 15May 4, 2023 1:51 AM

I really loved the V remake! I haven't seen the original. I'm going to hunt it down now.

by Anonymousreply 16May 4, 2023 2:25 AM

I'd love to feed her Chip and Dale

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by Anonymousreply 17May 4, 2023 2:36 AM

R16 - The original was even better.

by Anonymousreply 18May 4, 2023 2:39 AM

R17- Diana had cat fights with Lydia that are like Krystal and Alexis.

by Anonymousreply 19May 4, 2023 2:40 AM

I remember watching this as a kid. Scared the shit out of me. Loved Sci-Fi ever since.

by Anonymousreply 20May 4, 2023 2:41 AM

The last gasp of the show, when it turned into "Dynasty in Space."

Actually, I'd love to rewatch some of those terrible episodes.

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by Anonymousreply 21May 4, 2023 2:42 AM

Jane and June in 2015. Jane looks great and June looks happily out of the business. Her last role was in 2001.

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by Anonymousreply 22May 4, 2023 2:44 AM

Today, there would be even more collaborators with the Nazis -- sorry, the aliens.

by Anonymousreply 23May 4, 2023 3:21 AM

June Chadwick looks like an entirely different person.

by Anonymousreply 24May 4, 2023 3:37 AM

June Chadwick has been married to a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon for many years.

by Anonymousreply 25May 4, 2023 3:38 AM

I don’t remember whether it was the original or the sequel, but I still think about the scene where the human quisling had a med student clean his boots with his tongue. Disturbing.

Something that was unusual about the original or the sequel was having a central character killed off.

by Anonymousreply 26May 4, 2023 4:56 AM

Here it is

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by Anonymousreply 27May 4, 2023 4:57 AM

My mom gave me her VHS tapes of this when I was about 12 and I was absolutely in love with it! It’s such a shame the remake was a flop, try again!

by Anonymousreply 28May 4, 2023 5:24 AM

R10 here... apologies; it was Daniel Bernstein who got his just desserts in 'V'... creepy guy, even turned in his parents! He was a pleading little bitch when hauled off... a serving platter!

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by Anonymousreply 29May 4, 2023 10:17 AM

I remember thinking Diana was one fierce bitch when I was a gayling. I even wrote a letter to Jane Badler - I think I was ten. I got a signed 8x10 a few weeks later in the mail. I still have it.

by Anonymousreply 30May 4, 2023 12:26 PM

What 'V' underscores is the extent to which a distressing number of people cannot tell the difference between fantasy and reality. David Icke never got over having seen this series, and has spread his mania all over the globe.

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by Anonymousreply 31May 4, 2023 11:11 PM

J.--- hope you enjoy reading this. Remembering watching this with you back then... Rick

by Anonymousreply 32May 4, 2023 11:32 PM

Vanity Fair has an article on V in the new issue.

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by Anonymousreply 33May 25, 2023 5:33 PM

paywall, R33. What are the juiciest bits?

by Anonymousreply 34May 25, 2023 5:39 PM

r34 It's not paywalled for me, but you can also read it here.

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by Anonymousreply 35May 25, 2023 5:43 PM

Jane Badler was stunning.

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by Anonymousreply 36May 25, 2023 6:03 PM
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