Production: USA, 1983-85

Cast: Marc Singer, Faye Grant, Jane Badler, June Chadwick, Michael Ironside, Robert Englund, Jeff Yagher, Jennifer Cooke.

By that time, “Star Trek” was (temporarily…) finished, and so did ITC’s productions, “Galactica” and “Buck Rogers” had passed too, so “V-Visitors” was an interesting idea, if we consider its technical features and the intriguing plot, at least the starting one.
In a certain way, the subject as not so original: another alien invasion. But, anyway, it had some interesting twists and ideas
which attracted viewers.
It all begins with the apparition of huge spaceships in the skyes all around the world. Clearly alien ships, and earthmen are very worried about them. But, in the first place, news are good: aliens are humanoid and have come in peace to collaborate with humans.
All Earth can breathe again, but there’s always somebody who wants to know more. And television operator Mike Donovan (Marc Singer) goes to investigate more aboard alien ships… and discovers, for example, that aliens are not properly humanoid: they are reptiles, disguised by means of very realistic plastic masks. They feed themselves with alive rodents, as their primitive similars on Earth do (the scenes of alive mouses swallowed by aliens
are very effective), but unfortunately they don’t eat only rodents: in their ships they have also large cold stores where they keep human bodies for food…
Donovan manages to escape from aliens, and when humans realize to be endangered by these monsters, it is too late.
As it happened during nazi occupations (which heavily inspire this serie), human people split in two parts: who tries to fight and organize resistance, and collaborationists who don’t care about betraying their race to take personal advantages.
The first people trying to resist are Mike Donovan, Doctor Julie Parrish (Faye Grant) and scientist Robert Maxwell (Michael Durrell).
They are joined too by Elias Taylor (Michael Wright), a coloured ruthless
young man who joins the resistant after having his brother killed by aliens; then mercenary Ham Tyler (Michael Ironside): with his competence about weapons and guerrilla tactics, he can teach to resistants how to fight aliens in an effective way; the alien Martin (Frank Ashmore: all aliens use human names, although their bluff is soon exposed), who does not approve his similars’ purposes, and becomes Donovan’s friend and humans’ fifth column; finally alien Willie (Robert Englund), peaceful and vegetarian. It is necessary to say some more about this actor: more or less while the serie was filmed, Englund found his life’s role, the evil ghost Freddie Krueger from the “Nightmare” horror movies. It is a totally different character from Willie, but it gave to Englund a huge popularity, and Freddie Krueger has become a cult.

Then we have the alien characters, the evil ones. First of all the cruel Diana, (Jane Badler), scientific officer, who always creates new torture instruments for humans; John (Richard Herd), the commander; Brian (Peter Nelson), a young and apparently kind alien who seducts naïve Robin Maxwell (Blair Tefkin) for an experiment on crossbreeds between aliens and humans.
Then we have the collaborationists: first of all Nathan Bates (Lane Smith), a ruthless industrialist who sees aliens as a further possibility to make money; an even worst character the young Daniel Bernstein (David Packer): he joins the “friends of aliens” only to make impression on Robin (who instead prefers the alien Brian) and betrays his family (which helps the resistance) only for his resentment… aliens will at last use him as food!
Robin Maxwell is only a young frivolous girl who is seducted by Brian without thinking too much: when se will have her twins, it will be the resistance to help her…
Donovan will loose his mate, journalist Kristine Walsh (Jenny Sullivan), who is interested in aliens only for her career: she will die after having understood the truth.
The first part of the show was a miniserie: a 4 hours TV movie divided in two parts. There’s nothing much to add about this movie, the resistance manages to have its first little victory, and humans send a message in outer space, seeking for possible enemies of the aliens to have their help…
This first movie was so successful that producer Kenneth Johnson (The bionic

woman, The incredible Hulk) and NBC were convinced to make a second part.
So, a year later the  evil lizards came back for “V- The final battle”, another TV movie divided in three parts.
Four months have passed since the aliens arrival, who try to maintain the public opinion by their side with an intensive propaganda, trying at the same time to defeat the resistance.
Donovan manages to show the true face of John in front of cameras, while millions of people are watching. Meanwhile Tyler and Chris Faber (Mickey Jones) create an international resistance force. Julie is kidnapped and tortured by Diana, but the resistance frees her.
Robin, who is pregnant of Brian’s twins, gives them birth: a male with alien features
(lizard-like) who soon dies, and a female who looks human, but has a forked tongue and immediately grows up as an eight year old little girl (Jenny Beck).
Thanks to Willie’s help and Nathan Bates’ laboratories, humans create a red powder which proves to be deadly fo aliens. Scattered in the whole Earth’s atmosphere, the red powder forces aliens to flee, while Diana is kept as prisoner by the resistance.
The second TV movie was a success too, and NBC decided to produce a regular serie. Sadly, Kenneth Johnson had left the production, probably for disagreements, and without him the serie was less interesting.
The serie takes place a year later. Martin lives with humans, and is forced to take an antidote for the red powder, while Diana is waiting her trial for crimes

against humanity.
But the evil alien escapes, kills Martin and calls the fleet, which was still in the solar system. But things reveal not so simple: now Lydia (June Chadwick), evil and ambitious as Diana, is in command, and also if  Diana gets her rank back, she will always have to watch herself from her colleague. Their competition is, of course, blessed by the resistance, giving further troubles to aliens.
Elizabeth, Robin’s half-alien daughter, becomes a chrysalis, and wakes up as a beautiful adolescent girl (Jennifer Cooke). She will soon discover to possess non-human superpowers…
When fight starts again, the resistance looses Elias and Robert Maxwell (who sacrifies himself in a suicidal attack), but there is a newcomer.
Young Kyle Bates (Jeff Yagher) is Nathan Bates’ rebel son: as his father is in touch with aliens, so he positively helps the resistance. But he is a very difficult person to work with: he is absolutely unruly, and causes a rivalry between Elizabeth and her mother Robin (who, in a certain sense, are contemporaries), because they are both keen of him (but he likes only Elizabeth).
Aliens are joined by Charles (Duncan Rehger), the new commander. He marries Diana but is soon killed, and both Lydia and Diana are charged with the murder.
The new commander Philip (Frank Ashmore) is Martin’s twin brother, but he is not so well intentioned: and so is Diana, who plans to kill him too.
In the last episode (the 19th), the alien leader comes to Earth, he wants to bring Elizabeth with him and stop the war. But Diana has put a bomb in his shuttle,

planning to blame the resistance…
This was the last episode, which left all the audience astonished: in fact this final was left totally open.
There was a script for the 20th episode which was never shot. In that episode Julie dies disintegrated by aliens, and humans discover that the truce was an alien plan to defeat them forever, and war begins again.
The 20th episode should have led to a new serie which was never made.
The serie is very well made, the alien ships are very effective, both the miniatures and the life-sized ones, also the interiors are convincing. Maybe the matte-shots are not so good, but we must remember it was a television product…
Rumors say that a new serie is going to be made, the title is “V: the second
generation”, and Kenneth Johnson should be back to work on it. The lizards’ fans are awaiting.

24 episodi, colour.

First miniserie

1) V, 2h
2) V, 2h

Second miniserie

3) V: The Final Battle, 2h
4) V: The Final Battle, 2h
5) V: The Final Battle, 2h

The serie (19 episodes, 60')

6) Liberation Day
7) Dreadnought
8) Breakout
9) The Deception

10) The Sanction
11) Visitor's Choice
12) The Overlord
13) The Dissident
14) Reflections in Terror
15) The Conversion
16) The Hero
17) The Betrayal
18) The Rescue
19) The Champion
20) The Wildcats

21) The Littlest Dragon
22) War of Illusion
23) Secret Underground
24) The Return



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