V: The Complete Series (review)
The two original V miniseries still rank, 20 years later, among the most watched in TV history… and among the most loved TV productions by science-fiction fans, with their adventure- and metaphor-laden tale of alien invasion and human resistance, with their enormous, city-sized spaceships (which Independence Day would later ape; and yes, I know: both stole from the Arthur Clarke novel Childhood’s End) and ruthless reptilian extraterrestrials who came to eat us. The short-lived TV series that they spawned is not so well remembered, and here’s why: all 19 episodes are a chore to sit through, their occasional camp appeal aside. The story picks up a year after the aliens were sent packing, with the lizards finally regrouping and returning, only now they not only want to feast on our flesh, they want to get their scaly paws on the Starchild, Elizabeth, half human and half alien and now matured literally overnight from a five-year-old kid into a foxy blonde (Jennifer Cooke). Oh, sure, it’s as much fun to watch her dressed in tin foil and channeling a mysterious alien overlord as it is to witness the claws-bared, Falcon Crest–esque machinations of rival alien commanders Diana (Jane Badler) and Lydia (June Chadwick). It’s as much fun to watch Marc Singer, as resistance leader Mike Donovan, vie for the title of Worst Actor Ever as it is to note how much cheaper and chintzier than the miniseries the weekly installments were — ha ha, look at the alien soldiers driving around in Jeeps instead of flying around in shuttlecraft! There are no extras whatsoever in the package: what, big 80s hair on a coupla alien lizard babes ain’t enough to entertain you?