Growing up in the 1980s in the countryside, before the advent of satellite television, we generally had a choice of four stations: NBC, CBS, ABC, and PBS. (Sometimes, if conditions were just right, we could even pick up FOX!) These days I have significantly more options, however, I find that there is rarely a show that catches my interest long enough to become a regular viewer. Truly standout television shows have become fewer and farther between as the years have passed. But thanks to the popularity of releasing old television series on DVD and the more recent wonder known as Hulu, I can revisit the classic shows of my childhood years, and many are now even being remade as modern series!
Such is the case with V: The Series. This show ran on NBC only from 1984-1985, and though short-lived it made a huge impression on me. As a child weaned on the Star Wars trilogy and other classic science fiction, there was infinite appeal in a new, exciting science fiction series!
In an era where plot seemed secondary to mind-blowing special effects, especially in this specific genre, V was a refreshing exception. While primitive and rudimentary by today’s CG-infused standards, V managed to utilize the special effects technology of the times to the fullest without having explosions and laser guns as the main focus of the show.
The futuristic setting is more believable that most. Dogfights in spaceship-like aircraft take place over landscapes that still look like the Earth we know and love, rather than many other overdone interpretations of the future where our planet no longer looks like itself.
In this future world, aliens have invaded the planet and masquerade as humans, led by the evil Diana. A rebel force takes up arms against Diana and her alien cohorts, constantly following her actions and trying to figure out exactly what she is up to. Much of the plot centers around Nathan Bates, and industrialist who created a biological weapon used to keep the alien invasion under control. Bates makes a deal with Diana, hoping to acquire the alien technology and use it for profit.
While the series ran only a single season prior to cancellation, it did receive an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup and also was the recipient of an award from the UK’s Royal Television Society for Most Original Programme. These prestigious honors were well deserved, demonstrating the exemplary work that went into the details of the series.
Over two decades later, V is being revived on ABC as the new, much-anticipated series as V: The Final Battle. The new V, written and produced by Scott Peters of The 4400 fame, should prove to be just as interesting and exciting as the original. Some elements of the original series will remain, but much of the plot will take new twists and turns. Peters plans to introduce new characters to the show. And while he says he will keep the general theme of what happens when the masses blindly follow their leaders, the concept of the show will bear little other resemblance to the original’s underlying tone.
I look forward to watching the new series and seeing how it compares to the original. As a fan of the 80’s version as well as a fan of The 4400, I am excited to see how Peters’ skill and vision breathe new life into this long-forgotten sci fi classic!