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V: The Original TV Miniseries
V The Original TV Miniseries
Actors: Marc Singer, Faye Grant, Michael Ironside, Jane Badler, Michael Durrell
Director: Kenneth Johnson
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2001     3hr 16min

Aliens with nice faces and reptilian habits descend over the earth bringing a new and menacing world order with them in this landmark television miniseries. Sixty-five million viewers reportedly viewed the original broadca...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Marc Singer, Faye Grant, Michael Ironside, Jane Badler, Michael Durrell
Director: Kenneth Johnson
Creators: John McPherson, Alan C. Marks, Brandon Tartikoff, Chuck Bowman, Patrick Boyriven
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Alien Invasion, Miniseries, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Miniseries,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 07/03/2001
Original Release Date: 05/01/1983
Theatrical Release Date: 05/01/1983
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 3hr 16min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Subtitles: Spanish, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Jeremy G.
Reviewed on 1/25/2011...
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

The Original and a lot More
Kevin R. Austra | Delaware Valley, USA | 03/31/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"V: THE ORIGINAL TV MINISERIES is now and will always be a landmark in television science fiction. The recent airings of the two miniseries on the SyFy Channel finally goaded me into buying a DVD copy for myself. I was not disappointed. Producer, writer, and director Kenneth Johnson had almost complete control over this production. The quality shows through with a good story, fluid camera work, thrifty film editing, and symbolism throughout the film. Even better is Kenneth Johnson's director commentary as a special features option. Johnson narrates from beginning to end. His dialogue is tied to the scenes at hand and is a virtual cornucopia of behind the scenes production information, trivia, and memories verbalized as clearly as if the film production concluded only yesterday. Johnson's explanation of film techniques alone almost seems to constitute a semester's worth of a film production class.

Overall a first rate production.

The plot for those who care to read it again: A seemingly humanoid race arrives on Earth with dozens of enormous mother ships Earth to assist mankind. All they ask in return is the ability to process synthetic chemicals to bring back to their planet. Quickly however the Visitors, as they are known, facilitate social unrest that is wholesale blamed on those employed in the science profession. Scientists are blamed for attempting to derail the Visitor's goodwill, open acts of sabotage, and are linked to an alleged world-wide conspiracy to withhold medical cures purely for the sake of extorting research funds. As such scientists are treated in much the way the Jewish population faired during the Holocaust. In the meantime people continue to disappear without a trace much like the Nacht and Nebel degrees of Nazi Germany. The Visitors even supplement their ranks with human volunteers in local Visitor militia groups much like storm troopers of the 1930's. The Visitors, having taken world leaders into their protective custody, enforce martial law.

All is not lost as a brave band of resistance fighters, led by Julie Parrish and Mike Donovan, methodically assemble a force to fight the visitors. Mike Donovan, formerly one of the news cameramen welcomed by the Visitors, has seen the Visitors in their true reptilian form. He quickly discovers that the aim of the Visitors is to rob the Earth of its water and enslave the population. Humans are primed by the Visitors as potential impressed soldiers for the leader's army, as well as a source of food for the Visitors. The resistance is not alone in its struggle as there are a handful of aliens who do not support their leader's aims.

The first miniseries concludes with the resistance having emerged victorious from a nominal battle and preparing for the next engagement.

The mini series moves along smartly. There is no useless dialogue or prolonged scenes to overly exhibit expensive sets. Much as I enjoyed V: THE FINAL BATTLE I readily admit that the original television series is far superior. THE FINAL BATTLE picked up where the first series left off, but quickly devolved into a more drawn out production. Lacking Kenneth Johnson at the helm and a reduced budget, the second mini series lacked the creative camera work, superb editing, and tight dialogue of the original. Kenneth Johnson pitched a sequel that would have ignored the second mini-series and weekly television production, but Warner Brothers (who own the television rights to the series) opted to remake the series for ABC. Johnson's sequel eventually ended up as a book.

For reasons that still escape me I missed the original May 1983 broadcast of V. I did not become a fan of the series until early 1984 when I saw V: THE FINAL BATTLE and was later able to watch a summer rebroadcast of both mini series prior to the airing of the weekly television series. Much as I admired both mini series and the television show, I admit that I always felt THE FINAL BATTLE's ending was rushed. The instant resolution with the simple release of red dust was too hurried and not in keeping with the original mini series.

Ultimately V: THE ORIGINAL TV MINISERIES is a superior effort. I recommend that after you watch the film that you watch it again with Kenneth Johnson's commentary.
V - The Original TV Miniseries
L. Tish | 03/02/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Being a child of the '80s this brought back a lot of memories for both me and my husband. The story line holds up even after 25 years. I'd recommend this to any science fiction fan."
Blueeagle | Central, South Carolina | 07/27/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)

"This is a miniseries made for TV movie that aired on TV in the 1980's. The original production format is the standard "square" 1.33:1 ratio. And this sci-fi movie series is very good. But please tell me, because I am confused, how is a movie that that was filmed in the 1.33:1 ratio get released as a widescreen ratio?

This is physically impossible. And the only thing I see that they did was chop off the original top and bottom of the movie frames, and make it appear as though it is widecreen. And with this, we lose some of the original production frame. To me this is stupid. I love and only buy widesreen format films unless the original movie was filmed in the 1.33:1 ratio. And the reason for this is because I want all of the original frame that was filmed by the film maker weither it is 1.33:1 or 2.35:1, etc.

To me this is definitely a deal breaker to chop off some of the original frame to make it look as though it was a widescreen. For this reason, I will not buy this film."