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V: The Original Miniseries [1983] (1 disc)

Director:Kenneth Johnson
Writer:Kenneth Johnson
Composer:Joseph Harnell
Length:197 minutes
(3 hours 17 minutes)
MPAA Rating:UR
Sorting Category:SciFi
Sorting Tub:India
IMDB Rating:7.8/10
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
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Synopsis: When aliens come to Earth to ask for our help, a few suspicious humans discover their horrific true intentions and prepare to resist.

Reaction: A bit dated and odd, but the story is intriguing.

Personal Rating: 7/10

Kenneth Johnson => Director / Writer
Joseph Harnell => Composer
Andrew Prine => Steven
Blair Tefkin => Robin Maxwell
Bonnie Bartlett => Lynn Bernstein
David Packer => Daniel Bernstein
Evan C. Kim => Tony Wah Chong Leonetti (as Evan Kim)
Faye Grant => Juliet Parrish
Frank Ashmore => Martin
George Morfogen => Stanley Bernstein
Hansford Rowe => Arthur Dupres
Howard K. Smith => Howard K. Smith
Jane Badler => Diana
Jason Bernard => Caleb Taylor
Jenny Sullivan => Kristine Walsh
Leonardo Cimino => Abraham Bernstein
Marc Singer => Mike Donovan
Michael Durrell => Robert Maxwell
Michael Wright => Elias Taylor
Neva Patterson => Eleanor Dupres
Peter Nelson => Brian
Richard Herd => John
Richard Lawson => Dr. Ben Taylor
Robert Englund => Willie
Tommy Petersen => Josh Brooks (as Tommy Peterson)
William Russ => Brad

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • The series was intended as a literal retelling of the Nazi takeover of German and the resistance movement against it. However, because of the popularity of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, as well as the belief among network execs that the US citizens would not believe a fascist takeover, the network execs had the producers change it to a science fiction mini-series. Other ideas were also discussed but discarded.
  • In a massive media campaign before the series aired, posters with the line "The Visitors Are Our Friends" appeared in subways around the United States - just as they did in the first part of the mini-series. Days before the first episode aired, each poster was spray-painted with a bright red "V" exactly as was done in the show.
  • Was NBC's highest-rated program in two years. It had a 40 share and 80 million viewers for each episode.
  • The motherships are matte paintings. There wasn't a large-enough budget to build miniatures for them.
  • The character Diana was ranked #5 in TV Guide's list of the 25 Greatest Sci-Fi Legends (1 August 2004 issue).
  • The laser effects cost US$1,000 each. The high cost was due to the lengthy post-production work by manually adding optical effects to the film. Due to the high cost of the laser special effects, it was decided that human resistance fighters would use regular rifles and pistols. This was explained away in the script as due to high security on the alien armories.
  • It was hinted in the pilot that the Visitors were engaged in a war with another alien species. However, this idea was never explored by the scriptwriters.
  • The music that plays when the ship is first seen has as a major motif consisting of three short notes followed by one long note. This is the letter V in Morse code. It is also patterned after [?] Ludwig van Beethoven's fifth symphony.
  • The octagonal storage containers a device with what appear to be rotating red lasers inside a long glass tube, both of which are seen on the Visitors' mother ship, later made regular appearances as set dressing and props on [Star Trek: The Next Generation] and other series.
  • Daniel Bernstein's uniform is brown in color, a reference to the Sturmabteilung (Brownshirts), a paramilitary organization that aided Hitler and the Nazis in the 1930s and during World War II. And the Visitors' symbol is actually a modified swastika.
  • On 30 October 1982, Dominique Dunne, who had been signed to play the role of Robin Maxwell, was at her house with co-star David Packer going over lines for the next day's filming, when her boyfriend [?] John Sweeny arrived unexpectedly and throttled Dunne into a coma. Five Days later, on 4 November 1982, Dunne died. Blair Tefkin was cast to replace Dunne as Robin and all of the scenes that had been shot with the late actress were re-filmed. According to the DVD commentary, however, Dunne is still visible from the back in one group scene that occurs as the Visitors arrive on earth.