Transmission date: Oct 23 2012
Welcome back to the Satellite Hero’s..its Sci fi time..The Satellite will begin transmission 9:30 pm May 1st 1983..
Being a child of the 80s certainly has its benefits this day and age. Many 80s media properties are pure nostalgia gold in the 2000s. Having experienced the phenomena growing up as a kid in the 80s was an experience that can never be duplicated for me. One show in particular was a favorite of mine one simply titled “V”
The premise was simple. “V” stood for “Visitors”, the basis for the ultimate invasion. Huge spaceships appear on earth in all parts of the globe, the human race are stunned by the realization that we are truly not alone. The Visitors appear at first to be friendly, befriending mankind and offering cures to the common human condition and technological advancement the likes of which Earth has never seen.The Visitors look exactly like humans almost perfect in human appearance. Flanked by their Leader the beautiful Diana, the visitors network with government officials and are eventually welcomed to Earth all over the globe. The majority of humans are enamored with their alien celebrities and are buying the Visitors hype. However we discover that the Visitors are not on a mission to simply meet and greet their fellow members of the galaxy but are rather on earth to hoard its resources, namely water, vital to the survival of their race. Humans are secretly being groomed as the main course as well as the Vistor’s are by no means human but rather a giant reptilian super intelligent species hell bent on purging the Earth of anything of value to their race.
It was May 1st 1983 and at innocent age of 9 I sat on my bed and tuned into my brand new 9 channel cable package, and turned my TV dial to channel 5..NBC. On That night with millions across the world I watched “V” The Mini Series and was blown away. I will never forget this commercial that lead into the first airing.
“V” would be a ratings smash. The buzz was all about this new series where lizard aliens ate live rats and took over the world. “V” struck a nerve with the television audience and was so popular that a second mini series was issued called “V” The Final Battle. NBC was on a roll and ordered a short lived but long revered TV series.
So what is so good about “V”? With a whole world of Sci fi at our disposal on demand these days one would wonder does anything register with today’s audience longer that enjoying a cup of coffee. Many argue no, as our attention span as a viewer has shortened with the onslaught of programing available to us daily. Maybe its childhood nostalgia or maybe just one comic book kids wet dream but to me “V” was MY show. “V” was my Star Wars but it was on TV every week. I was hooked. The characters on the show drew me in instantly. I cheered on as Earth fought back against the “Visitors” by forming a small group that was the opposition to the aliens called The “Resistance”. Led by the fearless TV journalist who stumbled upon the secret of the “Visitors” the dashing Mike Donovan. Donovan was played by veteran actor Marc Singer best known at the time as Hollywood’s BeastMaster, a cult classic carbon copy of Conan with its own cult following. Singer player Donovan riding the line between heroic and cheesy but pulling it off in every scene. Joined by Dr. Julie Parish and “V”s answer to Han Solo, Ham Tyler the resistance waged a weekly war against the aliens that I tuned into every Thursday night at 8:30 on my Provinces “Superstation” NTV.
Some of the more famous story lines occurred when a human was impregnated by a visitor creating the powerful “Star Child” Elizabeth. There was another standout character son of big time politician and ally of the aliens, the defiant teenage son and a member of the resistance Kyle. Another key storyline had one of the “Visitors” themselves join the Resistance, a likable “Visitor” named Willie. He was portrayed by veteran actor Robert England better know as Freddy Kruger of Nightmare On Elmstreet fame.
Eventually Diana and her cohorts “John” and her nemesis and her proverbial thorn “Lydia”, would bow down to the efforts of Donovan and his crew. We would never get a satisfying conclusion however as “V” the TV series was cut short after serious cuts from the shows production budget. The final episodes of the series are hard to watch as a skeleton crew of the original cast remained and NBC put “V” to rest forever..at least until November of 2009 when a re-imagined “V” was brought back in yet another short lived TV series. Final episode reused several of the better visuals from the mini series. Some of the most notable are the flight of the “Visitors” spaceships which are used so often that it becomes laughable in the final shows.
I will not go into any detail about the most recent “V” series but only to say that it did not disappoint me and the cliffhanger ending to season 2 left me furious! For the “V” fan it is must a must see series that does not ignore the original series in fact it actually somewhat continues the story in a sense. Watch season 2 to make sense of that comment as Jane Badler reprises her role as the evil Queen of all “Visitors” Diana. While we never come to fully figure out how both series fit together neatly the fact we get more of the original series was enough to make the fan boy in me stand up and cheer. With talks of bringing a remake of the original mini series to the big screen on the horizon myself and “V” fans all over the world can hold onto the hope that more of our favorite show is coming!
I am the proud owner of the complete “V” collection of VHS tapes from the fine folks at Columbia House (Yes I paid for them by the way, the Canadians who are reading this may get that inside joke.) as well as the complete DVD set of the original series/mini series. This series will always have a place in my memory, and somewhere there is a 9 year old kid hiding in the bathroom after watching this show after seeing a “Visitor” swallow a rat. Makes me smile.
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