It was announced not too long ago that V would be making its way back to television similar to another sci-fi classic Battlestar Galatica. The news stories, which inevitably carried a photo of Jane Badler in all her alpha lizard glory, had me feeling nostalgic for one of my childhood obsessions. So, I clicked on Amazon and bought both mini-series (V and V: The Final Battle) as well as the complete TV series. I’m happy to report that it holds up remarkably well (IMHO). It told an interesting story, had solid characters and was packed with good old-fashioned sci-fi adventure.
The television series continued the serious tone and themes established in the mini-series, but a funny thing happened half way through the run. Most of the large cast was let go and the stories became less complex (ie dumbed down). Shoot outs and wacky alien political intrigue became the basis for the most of the final episodes. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just a far cry from the original concept. Case in point, the clip below in which Diana (the fabulous Jane Badler) battles to the death with her political arch rival Lydia (the equally fabulous June Chadwick). In the previous episode, Lydia tried to poison Diana on her wedding night, but only succeeded in killing Diana’s new husband Supreme Commander Charles. They fight it out in classic Alexis/Krystal fashion to decide who is guilty and will join Charles in his sarcophagus.
Incedentally, Diana’s hair was sensably straight and pulled back in the first mini-series, but grew progressivly larger as time went on, untill it became the 80’s monstrosity that you see in the clip below.
Diana’s 80s hair rocked! She has quinessential 80s hair.
By the by, were you aware that Kenneth Johnson, the man who created ‘V,’ had nothing to do with ‘The Final Battle’ and hated it because it took the series in a very different direction from what he envisioned? He wrote a sequel book that came out earlier this year. It pretends ‘Final Battle’ and the weekly series never happened and focuses on the call for help that Julie makes at the end of the original mini-series.
And if you poke around the internet, you can find a few pages of the spec script that J. Michael Straczynski wrote a few years back, proposing a ‘V’ revival. It’s pretty good (but sadly, its impossible to find the whole script).