This year, 2023, on May 1st, V the Original Series celebrates its 40th Anniversary! In 1983, I was a youngster, when I saw V for the first time, I can tell you, I thought it was scary, perhaps one of the most ominous intro’s ever! And of course those eerie voices of these visitors! Diana swallowing a mouse.. As I said, I was still young but I was allowed to see it from my parents. It was scary but I loved it! Before V I also watched SCI-FI shows like Battlestar Galactica, its follow-up show Galactica 80, Doctor Who, mine was the fifth, Buck Rogers, Blake’s 7, Logan's Run and of course the original Star Trek, but at that time it was still called Star Trek! In comparison to these shows V definitely was something different, an invasion in present time.
V was spectacular for its time, certainly for TV, I have nothing but fond memories of it. The Final Battle was a follow-up miniseries which first aired in 1984, it was just as good, it also had added Michael Ironside to the cast which of course is always a plus. In that same year a regular TV show came to life after the two very successful miniseries. It only ran one season because it just wasn’t near as good as the miniseries. I purchased it some 15 years ago, eagerly started rewatching it, for the first time since 1985 or something, but was very disappointed, didn’t remember that, I watched 7 episodes, couldn’t get through it. Sold the season one set later to a V fanatic!
Something you perhaps weren’t aware of: Production was halted for two weeks when Dominique Dunne, the 22-year-old actress originally cast to play the part of Robin Maxwell, was murdered outside her apartment by her ex-boyfriend while rehearsing with actor David Packer. Some scenes with her are still in the original series, but only of the back of her head. Blair Tefkin was hired on to play Robin after her death.
Johnson subsequently dedicated the series to her memory.
In the 90’s V also was released on VHS, 5 cassettes containing both miniseries. I’ve watched those VHS cassettes many times before I traded them in for DVD sets. Two years ago I traded them for the Blu-ray versions. Many times between 1985 and 2005 or something, the original creator Kenneth Johnson, unfortunately this never materialized into a new series with him at the helm. As you all probably now, in 2009 there was a remake of V, but Kenneth Johnson wasn’t involved. The 2009 version was okay, Morena Baccarin is of course fantastic as "Diana" but in this version her name is Anna (Diana was her mother). But the CGI was awful, really dreadful, which results in that the viewer can’t be swept away because you constantly are reminded that it’s fake because it looked really bad. It was nice that Jane Badler as well as Marc Singer (Mike Donavan) did guest star in the second season of the rebooted version. Today I still hope V will return someday as a movie, miniseries or a series because I believe there is an audience for new stories.
Last year I rewatched the original miniseries and The Final Battle miniseries again and I still enjoyed it a lot and even more so because of the pristine picture, in HD, I can fully recommend watching it on Blu-ray, the best possible quality to watch this miniseries. As I said, I keep hoping that V will return to TV in our future, but different from the 2009 version with Kenneth Johnson at the helm, that would be something. In 2018 there was an announcement Desilu Studios to produce a feature film of V, with Kenneth Johnson at the helm. However, in late 2018, CBS (owners of the Desilu name) reportedly had initiated legal action against Charles Hensley, a convicted marketer, whom they claim used the Desilu Studio name to influence investment into a shell company. Anyway, in honor of its 40 year anniversary, take out the DVD’s or the Blu-ray’s and watch them again, I guarantee you, you will enjoy it again! Officially "The Final Battle", the follow-up miniseries, turns 40 next year, but today I just put them together because to me, both miniseries belong together. Next year I will acknowlegde the 40th Anniversary of "The Final Battle" but I will refer to this blog.
with some help of wikipedia