Saturday, November 07, 2009
Posted By Pam@GoRetro On Saturday, November 07, 2009
Hi followers, I was away on a business trip in NYC most of the week, and need to get back to blog posting this weekend. Since I was having dinner with coworkers every night, I wasn't able to watch ABC's premiere of its new series "V." I'd be curious to know from anyone who watched it what they thought. One evening while getting ready for dinner, I did catch part of the original 1983 series on the SciFi channel (which is available on DVD.)
Yes, in case you didn't know, the "V" series is actually a remake of a miniseries, and I'd forgotten how delightfully campy, cheesy, and creepy it was. "V" was based on a novel and told the story of extraterrestrials who land on earth with the premise of coming in peace and asking for help from us earthlings - as their natural resources are drying up. They look and speak like us, and their fearless female leader, Diana, is a cool brunette beauty. But as you may have guessed, the "visitors" are not what they seem. A TV reporter (played by Marc Singer in the original) breaks into one of their spaceships with a camera and witnesses the aliens swallowing guinea pigs whole (in the days before sophisticated computer graphics, this is accomplished on-screen with the help of a plastic mannequin...and don't worry, no rodents were harmed in the making of the series.) He then has a fight with one of the aliens, discovering that their human form is just a mask - underneath they're really reptilian monsters with red eyes, scaly skin, and venomous tongues.
Sounds cheesy, doesn't it? Well, it actually was an entertaining series that creeped me out and fascinated me at the same time in the 80s. The part that everyone remembers most (and which still haunts my memories) is when one of the female characters falls in love with and is impregnated by one of the visitors - you can guess what happens next. She becomes the not-so-proud mother of a lizard...and a human looking girl who has a lizard tongue.
The series touched upon the Holocaust - the visitors' orange jumpsuits and propaganda posters does not fool one of the oldest characters, a concentration camp survivor, who likens the systematic invasion to the Nazis and encourages others that they must fight the aliens to not let history happen again.
Some useless trivia for you: most of the original cast were no-names, but Robert Englund, who later became famous as Freddy Kreuger from the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, has a small supporting role as one of the aliens.
As is usually the case with remakes, I just don't know if the new series will live up to the original, even with today's computer effects (I also doubt that it will follow some of the storylines of the original.) There's always a certain charm about television produced in the 80s, especially scifi coming hot on the heels of the Star Wars phenomenon. But if you watched it, let me know what you thought.