V – Part I

VTV journalist Mike Donovan and his soundman are risking life and limb to cover a rebel uprising in El Salvador when they stumble into the biggest story of the 20th century – gigantic flying saucers appear around the globe, hovering over major world capitols. The world – and the media – watches and waits nervously over several hours as the spacecraft simply sit there. After a long wait – long enough for Donovan to jet back to New York – the alien ships finally send a signal, requesting a meeting with the Secretary General of the United Nations. Donovan is assigned to cover the meeting, which appears to go well – as does Donovan’s reunion with his old flame, reporter Kristine Walsh. The Visitors, as they call themselves, appear to be human, but they request Earth’s help to overcome an environmental disaster on their home planet. In exchange, they offer medical and technological advances, a deal that’s almost too good to be true. And as eager as the Visitors are to solicit humanity’s help, human scientists are just as eager to find out what makes the aliens tick. Dr. Julie Parrish learns that a colleague of hers has obtained a tissue sample from one of the Visitors, but when that colleague disappears and another is framed for involvement in an anti-Visitor conspiracy, Julie begins to suspect that something else is motivating the Visitors. Scientists around the world are to register their identities and whereabouts with the Visitors, and other scientists, including a colleague of anthropologist Robert Maxwell, simply disappear under mysterious circumstances. Donovan takes it upon himself to sneak aboard one of the Visitors’ ships to shoot video that hasn’t been approved by the media-savvy aliens – and there he discovers their true nature and their true plans for Earth. But when he tries to reveal what he’s discovered to the rest of the world, he becomes a marked man.

Order the DVDwritten by Kenneth Johnson
directed by Kenneth Johnson
music by Joe Harnell

Cast: Marc Singer (Mike Donovan), Faye Grant (Dr. Julie Parrish), Jane Badler (Diana), Michael Durrell (Robert Maxwell), Michael Wright (Elias Taylor), Blair Tefkin (Robin Maxwell), Neva Patterson (Eleanor Dupres), David Packer (Daniel Bernstein), Tommy Peterson (John Brooks), Peter Nelson (Brian), Bonnie Bartlett (Lynn Bernstein), Leonardo Cimino (Abraham Bernstein), Richard Herd (John), Evan Kim (Tony), Richard Lawson (Dr. Benjamin Taylor), George Morfogen (Stanley Bernstein), Andrew Prine (Steven), Hansford Rowe (Arthur Dupres), Jenny Sullivan (Kristine Walsh), Penelope Windust (Kathleen Maxwell), Michael Alldredge (Bill Graham), Camila Ashland (Ruby Engels), Frank Ashmore (Martin), Jason Bernard (Caleb Taylor), Michael Bond (role unknown), Rafael Campos (Sancho Gomez), Diane Civita (Harmony Moore), Viveka Davis (Polly Maxwell), Robert Englund (Willie), Ron Hajak (Denny), Mary-Alan Hokanson (Ruth Barnes), David Hooks (Dr. Metz), Joanna Kerns (Margie Donovan), Jenny Neumann (Barbara), William Russ (Brad), Michael Swan (Bob Briggs), Stephanie Faulkner (Assistant Director), Tom Fuccello (Burke), Wiley Harker (Secretary General of the U.N.), Dick Harwood (Director), Myron Healey (Arch Quinton), Bonnie Johns (role unknown), Eric Johnston (Sean Donovan), Curt Lowens (Dr. Maurice Jankowski), Marin May (Katie Maxwell), Mike Monahan (role unknown), Jennifer Perito (Resistance Member), Clete Roberts (Newscaster), Nathan Roberts (himself), Howard K. Smith (himself), Robert Vandenberg (Rebel Camp Leader), Momo Yashima (role unknown)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

V – Part II

VA widespread backlash against the Visitors has begun, and the Visitors have begun to strike back. Anticipating the need to coerce Donovan into remaining silent, or to lure him to his death, the aliens have kidnapped his young son Sean, and they’ve flattened an entire neighborhood to do it. The Visitors step up their efforts to integrate themselves into human society, and some of their methods have taken on a sinister tone, including the “Visitors’ Friends” youth group. Daniel Bernstein, a troubled teenager, joins up and turns in his own family when his grandfather – a Holocaust survivor – offers shelter to the Maxwells during the worldwide roundup of scientists. Julie Parrish, having narrowly escaped the Visitors herself, begins to assemble an organized resistance. Donovan and Tony’s attempt to rescue some of the humans being rounded up ends in disaster; Tony is killed and Donovan is captured. But once aboard the mothership, he discovers that he’s not on his own – the Visitors have a resistance within their own ranks, a fifth column quietly rising up against the conquest orders of the Visitors’ Supreme Leader, and more specifically against Diana and the pleasure she seems to take in executing those orders. The leader of the Visitors’ resistance, Martin, smuggles Donovan back to Earth, where a chance encounter brings Donovan into contact with Julie and the resistance. But just as there are traitors among the Visitors, the resistance has also been betrayed from within.

Order the DVDwritten by Kenneth Johnson
directed by Kenneth Johnson
music by Joe Harnell

Cast: Marc Singer (Mike Donovan), Faye Grant (Dr. Julie Parrish), Jane Badler (Diana), Michael Durrell (Robert Maxwell), Michael Wright (Elias Taylor), Blair Tefkin (Robin Maxwell), Neva Patterson (Eleanor Dupres), David Packer (Daniel Bernstein), Tommy Peterson (John Brooks), Peter Nelson (Brian), Bonnie Bartlett (Lynn Bernstein), Leonardo Cimino (Abraham Bernstein), Richard Herd (John), Evan Kim (Tony), Richard Lawson (Dr. Benjamin Taylor), George Morfogen (Stanley Bernstein), Andrew Prine (Steven), Hansford Rowe (Arthur Dupres), Jenny Sullivan (Kristine Walsh), Penelope Windust (Kathleen Maxwell), Michael Alldredge (Bill Graham), Camila Ashland (Ruby Engels), Frank Ashmore (Martin), Jason Bernard (Caleb Taylor), Michael Bond (role unknown), Rafael Campos (Sancho Gomez), Diane Civita (Harmony Moore), Viveka Davis (Polly Maxwell), Robert Englund (Willie), Ron Hajak (Denny), Mary-Alan Hokanson (Ruth Barnes), David Hooks (Dr. Metz), Joanna Kerns (Margie Donovan), Jenny Neumann (Barbara), William Russ (Brad), Michael Swan (Bob Briggs), Stephanie Faulkner (Assistant Director), Tom Fuccello (Burke), Wiley Harker (Secretary General of the U.N.), Dick Harwood (Director), Myron Healey (Arch Quinton), Bonnie Johns (role unknown), Eric Johnston (Sean Donovan), Curt Lowens (Dr. Maurice Jankowski), Marin May (Katie Maxwell), Mike Monahan (role unknown), Jennifer Perito (Resistance Member), Clete Roberts (Newscaster), Nathan Roberts (himself), Howard K. Smith (himself), Robert Vandenberg (Rebel Camp Leader), Momo Yashima (role unknown)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

V: The Final Battle – Part I

VThe Visitor occupation of Earth continues, and so do the resistance’s struggles to stay unified. A hit-and-run raid on a Visitor food processing facility turns disastrous thanks to unforseen improvements in the aliens’ armor, and Donovan worries that without a victory, and soon, the resistance will lose what little quiet support it has from the general public. Robert Maxwell, in the meantime, has a dilemma of his own – his daughter Robin is pregnant, and despite his attempts to be supportive, she’s not breathing a word about who the father might be. A major press event at a hospital in Los Angeles provides what Donovan thinks might be the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the Visitors’ vulnerability to the public, but getting past the security at the event will be a challenge – especially when Donovan is still on his own mission to retrieve his son Sean from the Visitors’ food storage facility on the mothership. During one of Elias’ many secretive visits to the hospital to steal medical supplies, he captures a live Visitor prisoner – the seemingly harmless Willie and his human friend Harmony – and brings them back to the secret resistance headquarters. Julie takes the opportunity to run experiments on Willie to try to find a weakness in the Visitors, and only then does Robin Maxwell admit that her baby is a human-Visitor hybrid, and demands an abortion. But when Julie examines Robin, it quickly becomes apparent that aborting the fetus would kill the girl in the process. And on the night of the Visitor leader’s announcement at the hospital, the aliens are finally unmasked – on live worldwide TV – in the resistance’s boldest raid yet. But this victory comes at a high price as Julie is captured by Diana’s forces.

Order the DVDteleplay by Brian Taggert and Peggy Goldman
story by Lillian Weezer & Peggy Goldman & Faustus Buck & Diane Frolov and Harry & Renee Longstreet
directed by Richard T. Heffron
music by Barry de Vorzon & Joseph Conlan

Cast: Marc Singer (Mike Donovan), Faye Grant (Dr. Julie Parrish), Jane Badler (Diana), Michael Durrell (Robert Maxwell), Michael Wright (Elias Taylor), Blair Tefkin (Robin Maxwell), Neva Patterson (Eleanor Dupres), David Packer (Daniel Bernstein), Robert Englund (Willie), Richard Herd (John), Thomas Hill (Father Doyle), Michael Ironside (Ham Tyler), Peter Nelson (Brian), Andrew Prine (Steven), Sandy Simpson (Mark), Denise Galik (Maggie), Jason Bernard (Caleb Taylor), Rafael Campos (Sancho Gomez), Hansford Rowe (Arthur Dupres), Frank Ashmore (Martin), Diane Civita (Harmony Moore), Viveka Davis (Polly Maxwell), Marin May (Katie Maxwell), Jenny O’Hara (Jenny), Jenny Sullivan (Christine Walsh), Mark Taylor (Dr. Fred King), Camila Ashlend (Ruby Engels), Greta Blackburn (Lorraine), Eric Johnston (Sean Donovan), Dick Miller (Dan Pascal), Stack Pierce (Visitor Captain), Don Starr (Dr. Walker)

Notes: Pascal’s high-tech counterfeiting equipment is so high-tech that it makes the same sound effects as Spock’s science station on the bridge of the starship Enterprise. The music composed by Barry DeVorzon and Joseph Conlan for the second and third episodes of The Final Battle were replaced on one week’s notice by future Star Trek: The Next Generation maestro Dennis McCarthy. Though included in the credits of the first episode, Michael Ironside doesn’t appear until the opening scenes of the second episode.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

V: The Final Battle – Part II

VThe resistance gets an unexpected, and unwanted, offer of help from a pair of hard-nosed mercenaries named Ham Tyler and Chris Farber. Donovan and Tyler go way back – Donovan knows Tyler as a soldier of fortune who’ll fight any war he’s paid to. But Tyler brings a token of goodwill – a new kind of ammo that’s highly efffective against the Visitors’ new armor – and a warning that an alien offensive againt the resistance’s headquarters is mere moments away. Tyler and Farber cover the resistance fighters as they make their escape, destroying their old headquarters – and many of the alien attackers – in the process. The resistance finds a new headquarters, but Tyler insists that it should find new management too: a worldwide movement to drive the Visitors off of Earth has formed, and while Donovan’s cell is getting highly visible results, it’s not coordinating with the resistance movement worldwide, with potentially disastrous results. On the Visitors’ mothership, Diana tries to condition Julie, but she won’t break until Diana uses the most extreme measures available to her, which could kill Julie before they succeed in brainwashing her. But Diana has other obstacles to her power as well, in the form of another mothership which arrives under the command of Pamela, her superior.

Martin and the fifth column within the Visitors’ ranks stage an incident to convince Diana and Pamela that Julie and the other prisoners would be more secure on Earth, where Tyler helps to mount a daring raid to rescue her. Even after the raid – which costs Ruby’s life – Tyler is firmly convinced that Julie has been turned to the Visitors’ side. Donovan still believes in her enough to take Julie along on the next resistance raid, this time on a water pumping facility that could leave California a desert within a month. After the pumping station is destroyed, however, Diana plays her trump card – she offers to exchange Donovan’s son for Donovan himself. Aboard the mothership, Diana injects Donovan with a truth drug and forces him to reveal his fifth column contact. When Martin is exposed, he helps Donovan escape. And in the new resistance headquarters, Robin Maxwell is giving birth…and the baby isn’t quite human.

Order the DVDteleplay by Brian Taggert and Diane Frolov
story by Lillian Weezer & Faustus Buck & Diane Frolov & Peggy Goldman
directed by Richard T. Heffron
music by Dennis McCarthy
additional music by Barry de Vorzon & Joseph Conlan

Cast: Marc Singer (Mike Donovan), Faye Grant (Dr. Julie Parrish), Jane Badler (Diana), Michael Durrell (Robert Maxwell), Michael Wright (Elias Taylor), Blair Tefkin (Robin Maxwell), Neva Patterson (Eleanor Dupres), David Packer (Daniel Bernstein), Robert Englund (Willie), Richard Herd (John), Thomas Hill (Father Doyle), Michael Ironside (Ham Tyler), Peter Nelson (Brian), Andrew Prine (Steven), Sandy Simpson (Mark), Denise Galik (Maggie), Jason Bernard (Caleb Taylor), Rafael Campos (Sancho Gomez), Sarah Douglas (Pamela), Hansford Rowe (Arthur Dupres), Frank Ashmore (Martin), Diane Civita (Harmony Moore), Viveka Davis (Polly Maxwell), Mickey Jones (Chris Farber), Marin May (Katie Maxwell), Camila Ashlend (Ruby Engels), Greta Blackburn (Lorraine), Eric Johnston (Sean Donovan), Dick Miller (Dan Pascal), Stack Pierce (Visitor Captain), Don Starr (Dr. Walker)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

V: The Final Battle – Part III

VRobin gives birth to two babies, one human with reptilian traits, and the other one completely reptilian. The reptilian infant dies, and during the autopsy Julie and Robert find bacteria that could be used as a nerve gas against the Visitors. Meanwhile, Robin’s other baby, named Elizabeth, grows at a startling rate, appearing to be a five year old human girl within days. Donovan, Tyler and Caleb mount another raid to find a Visitor to test the biological agent on, and by chance they manage to grab Brian, the father of Robin’s baby. Robin herself tests the gas on Brian, and it proves to be lethally effective – and harmless to humans. Alarmed by the fact that she has seen her own father killed before her eyes, Father Doyle abandons the resistance and takes Elizabeth to Diana, fearing that the child may be the next guinea pig. Martin warns Donovan that if the nerve gas is used, Diana may opt to activate the motherships’ self-destruct mechanism, which could easily obliterate the planet, but the attack plan moves forward anyway – though Donovan has to face the fact that his son has probably been converted by Diana, and uses Sean to feed false attack information to the Visitors. Tyler leads an attack on the Visitors’ ground headquarters, while Donovan and Julie lead an assault on Diana’s mothership, and the worldwide resistance disperses the toxin into Earth’s atmosphere. Even as the other motherships retreat into space, Diana insists on keeping her ship where it is to ensure Earth’s destruction with the doomsday device.

Order the DVDteleplay by Brian Taggert and Faustus Buck
story by Lillian Weezer & Faustus Buck & Diane Frolov & Peggy Goldman
directed by Richard T. Heffron
music by Dennis McCarthy

Cast: Marc Singer (Mike Donovan), Faye Grant (Dr. Julie Parrish), Jane Badler (Diana), Michael Durrell (Robert Maxwell), Michael Wright (Elias Taylor), Blair Tefkin (Robin Maxwell), Neva Patterson (Eleanor Dupres), David Packer (Daniel Bernstein), Robert Englund (Willie), Richard Herd (John), Thomas Hill (Father Doyle), Michael Ironside (Ham Tyler), Peter Nelson (Brian), Andrew Prine (Steven), Sandy Simpson (Mark), Denise Galik (Maggie), Jason Bernard (Caleb Taylor), Rafael Campos (Sancho Gomez), Sarah Douglas (Pamela), Frank Ashmore (Martin), Jenny Beck (Elizabeth Maxwell), Diane Civita (Harmony Moore), Viveka Davis (Polly Maxwell), Mickey Jones (Chris Farber), Marin May (Katie Maxwell), Greta Blackburn (Lorraine), Brandy Gold (Elizabeth Maxwell, 5 years old), Eric Johnston (Sean Donovan), Stack Pierce (Visitor Captain), Clete Roberts (Alien), George Morfogen (Stanley Bernstein)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Liberation Day

VMartin spots Diana’s escaping fighter and alerts Donovan, who jumps into another Visitor fighter and forces her down in a remote valley on Earth. She tries to escape on foot, but Donovan still captures her.

One year after what is eventually dubbed Liberation Day, the heroes of the resistance are still the focus of international attention, some of it unwanted. Robin can’t keep the media away from Elizabeth, whose powers and role in the liberation of Earth remain the source of much speculation. Mike Donovan has returned to his job as a TV news cameraman, and has even landed Martin, who remains on Earth, a job as his sound man. Julie, now working for a corporation called Science Frontiers, is still trying to crack the secrets of the captured Visitor mothership, while Nathan Bates, the CEO of the company, is trying to enlist Ham Tyler’s help to wring those secrets out of Diana, who remains imprisoned, awaiting trial. Elias Taylor has started a successful restaurant, where Willie works as a waiter. Every Visitor who has remained on Earth must take pills every 12 hours, or the red toxin, still in Earth’s ecosystem, will slowly kill them. And as she is escorted to her trial, Diana is shot at point-blank range. But as Donovan and Martin try to follow the ambulance carrying her away, they see something suspicious – the ambulance goes under an underpass and doesn’t come out, but an 18-wheeler pulls out instead.

Donovan and Martin trail the truck to a distant hideout where Bates and Tyler plan to force Diana to reveal the secrets of Visitor technology. Martin knocks Donovan out and tries to carry out Diana’s death sentence himself, but she manages to kill Martin, take his last antidote capsule, and escape. Donovan and Tyler independent follow her to a radio telescope array, which she has used to transmit a homing signal, and a Visitor fighter soon arrives, getting her away from Earth and taking her to a new Visitor fleet waiting behind Earth’s moon.

Season 1 Regular Cast: Marc Singer (Mike Donovan), Faye Grant (Dr. Julie Parrish), Michael Ironside (Ham Tyler), Jane Badler (Diana), Jennifer Cooke (Elizabeth), Robert Englund (Willie), Lane Smith (Nathan Bates), Blair Tefkin (Robin Maxwell), Michael Wright (Elias Taylor), June Chadwick (Lydia), Jeff Yagher (Kyle Bates)

Order the DVDwritten by Paul Monash
directed by Paul Krasny
music by Dennis McCarthy

Guest Cast: Jenny Beck (young Elizabeth), Frank Ashmore (Martin), Michael Durrell (Robert Maxwell), Ed Call (?), Kirk Scott (?)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Dreadnaught

VLeft in her grandfather’s care for a few days, Elizabeth has run away, hidden in a cave, and has begun a transformation which even Julie can’t fathom – and no other doctor on Earth has any experience with Visitor anatomy. When she finally emerges from her coccoon, she appears to be in her early 20s, and still human. After Julie and Robert Maxwell take her back to Robert’s home, they’re suddenly on the defensive as Visitor troops attack the house. They manage to escape with Elizabeth and hide out in Elias’ restaurant as the second Visitor invasion of Earth commences. Elias hasn’t forgotten his experiences in the resistance and has constructed an entire secret hideout beneath his building.

Order the DVDwritten by Steven E. de Souza
directed by Paul Krasny
music by Dennis McCarthy

Guest Cast: Jenny Beck (young Elizabeth), Michael Durrell (Robert Maxwell)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Deception

V (1980s series)Disoriented after the escape from the Visitors’ forced labor camp, Robin wanders aimlessly, trying to stay out of the sight of Visitor patrols until she flags down a motorcyclist – who happens to be Kyle Bates, Nathan Bates’ son, also a recent escapee from the same camp. He offers to give Robin a ride to her father’s ranch, but their trip is detoured when they witness the crash of a jet fighter in the California desert. The pilot manages to eject, but is dying of his injuries before he lands. With his last breath, he hands Kyle a pouch with instructions to deliver it to the resistance. Kyle tracks down Donovan and gives it to him, but Kyle’s connection to Nathan Bates earns him immediate suspicion from Ham Tyler. The message lists coordinates for a meeting where Donovan is expected to hand Elizabeth off to the New York resistance for her own safety. But on his way home, Donovan spots his son Sean, who has been captured by the Visitors. Donovan himself is captured and drugged, and wakes up in a room with Sean and Julie nearby, telling him that the war to free Earth has been won.

written by Garner Simmons
directed by Victor Lobl
music by Dennis McCarthy

Guest Cast: Nick Katt (Sean Donovan), Sandy Lang (Visitor Captain), Randall Brady (Pilot), Anthony Ellis (Checkpoint Cop), Howard K. Smith (himself)

VNotes: Though the computer in Julie’s office appears to be an IBM PC variant, its display, when shown in close-up, was generated by an Apple II computer in text mode. Even though Robin and Kyle were both prisoners in the Visitors’ work camp in Breakout, this episode seems to presume that they never met there – which, for the viewing audience, may be just as well since NBC didn’t air the episodes in the intended order, postponing Breakout until 1985, by which point the series had been cancelled. Howard K. Smith is credited, but does not appear in the episode.

The Return

V (1980s series)Donovan and Julie’s resistance cell is cornered, outgunned, and outnumbered: escape is unlikely, if not impossible. But salvation comes from an unlikely source: all of the Visitors on Earth are recalled to their motherships immediately, and hostilities are called off. Philip announces that the Visitors’ Supreme Leader has arrived, and desires a truce and a meeting with Elizabeth. The sudden cease-fire only reinforces Diana’s distaste for peace. Philip and Donovan agree to a demonstration of fencing – Visitor-style – but they also agree to disarm the swords’ supercharged blades. Diana tries to sabotage the truce by arming the swords by remote control, but the first time one of the swords slices into part of the training area, the two swordsmen put down their weapons. She hasn’t done away with either of her enemies, and worse yet, Diana now has to plan to assassinate not just Philip, but her race’s supreme leader.

telelplay by David Abramowitz & Donald R. Boyle
story by David Braff & Colley Cibber
directed by John Florea
music by Dennis McCarthy

Guest Cast: Judson Scott (James), Frank Ashmore (Philip), Marilyn Jones (Thelma), Ashton Wise (V Lieutenant), Tawny Schneider (herself)

VNotes: The Leader’s ability to communicate to and through Elizabeth may be the inspiration for the “bliss” effect used by Visitor leader Anna in ABC’s 21st century remake of V – a slight irony, since this was the final episode of the original V. This episode was written with a cliffhanger that has never been resolved on television or in other media.

During the scene of the arrival of the Leader’s shuttle, series composer Dennis McCarthy uses a musical theme that’s almost identical to the one he later employed for the arrival of “Judge” Q in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes Encounter At Farpoint and All Good Things…

Breakout

V (1980s series)Donovan and Tyler scuttle an undercover operation to save a rebellious teenager from a Visitor patrol, but this only invites the attention of an even larger force of Visitors. They find shelter in a nearby house, as well as useful information: Donovan was planning on pulling his son Sean out of school, but the Visitors have already “evacuated” all of that school’s students to an unknown location. The moment they break their cover, Donovan and Tyler are arrested by the Visitors and hauled off to a labor camp which seems to have minimum security. But the first time one of the inmates tries to escape across the sand that encircles the entire camp, he’s devoured by an alien creature placed there by the Visitors. Even with no fences, escape from the camp on foot is impossible. Donovan discovers Robin, already enslaved at the camp, and has to break the news to her about her father’s death. But there’s another prisoner of interest to the Visitors here: Kyle Bates, the son of collaborator Nathan Bates, becomes Diana’s pawn in an effort to force the resistance to hand over Elizabeth. At Elias’ restaurant, Juliet and the others find themselves at a loss for how to deal with Elizabeth’s seemingly instant transformation from child to young woman – and wonder how long they can conceal her in plain sight by not tipping off the Visitors about her rapid aging.

written by David Braff
directed by Ray Austin
music by Dennis McCarthy

Guest Cast: Pamela Ludwig (Annie), Xander Berkeley (Isaac), Christian Jacobs (Billy), Patricia Allison (Annie’s Mother), Charles Macaulay (Col. Sawyer), Burt Marshall (Steve), Herman Poppe (Vanik), Michael Abelar (Kyle’s Friend), Mary Baldwin (Guard), Fiona Guinness (Cafe Customer), J.D. Hall (Cafe Customer), Greg Zadikov (Kipper Cordisco), Howard K. Smith (himself)

VNotes: This episode, with its numerous graphic deaths – Visitors mauled to death by dogs, the victims of the alien sandworm, Ham Tyler’s habit of dispatching his opponents with brutal martial arts moves – was rejected during V’s original run, appearing only in post-season reruns after the series had already been cancelled. Its omission in the original intended running order interrupted a closely-linked quartet of stories that set up the landscape for the rest of the season. With Breakout dropped, the next episode (The Deception) opens with Robin wandering through southern California for no readily apparent reason (she had just escaped from the prison camp).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Pilot

V (2000s series)Life on Earth is brought to a standstill as enormous alien ships appear over most of the world’s major cities. Each ship reconfigures itself into a gigantic screen projecting an image of a seemingly human woman who introduces herself as Anna, the leader of these alien visitors. She promises peace and an exchange of technology with humanity – and all the visitors ask is access to Earth’s abundant water and a commonly occurring mineral. The visitors are welcomed with open arms, and they begin bringing the benefits of their advanced technology to Earth almost immediately, opening “healing centers” capable of repairing almost any damage or disease.

And yet there is suspicion about the motives of Anna’s people. A priest named Father Landry shocks his congregation by suggesting that the visitors need to earn humanity’s trust. Erica Evans, a counter-terrorism expert, is suspicious when the visitors take to the internet immediately with their own propaganda effort, though her son is less suspicious, finding the visitors’ women very attractive. Reporter Chad Peters earns Anna’s trust by asking the press corps to show her respect at a peace conference – enough trust that Anna personally selects him to conduct her first major prime time interview, though she makes it clear before the cameras roll that the interview will be conducted on her terms, with no questions permitted that would paint the visitors in a negative light.

A member of Father Landry’s congregation appears in the church, bleeding to death, and he hands Landry a package of photos and instructions to take them to a specific address at a specific time. Erica also winds up at that address, following a lead on an open terrorist investigation. Where they find themselves is at a meeting of an underground resistance, taking up arms to fight the visitors…and before Erica or Father Landry can ask why the visitors need to be fought, the visitors themselves appear and, to the few survivors of the resulting massacre, all becomes clear: the visitors have been among humanity for years already, and they do not come in peace.

Season 1 Regular Cast: Elizabeth Mitchell (Erica Evans), Morris Chestnut (Ryan Nichols), Joel Gretsch (Father Jack Landry), Logan Huffman (Tyler Evans), Lourdes Benedicto (Valerie Stevens), Laura Vandervoort (Lisa), Morena Baccarin (Anna), Scott Wolf (Chad Decker)

written by Scott Peters
story by Kenneth Johnson and Scott Peters, based on the miniseries by Kenneth Johnson
directed by Yves Simoneau
music by Normand Corbeil

Guest Cast: Christopher Shyer (Marcus), David Richmond-Peck (Georgie), Britt Irvin (Haley Stark), Scott Hylands (Father Travis)

Notes: Originally created by Kenneth Johnson as a non-sci-fi modern-day (well, 1980s) retelling of the rise of the Nazi Party, the original V miniseries resulted from NBC’s request for a sci-fi epic, retaining its cautionary tone but now with more futuristic action. In some ways, ABC’s revival of V steers things slightly closer to Johnson’s original intent. But Johnson himself was almost stripped of anything more than a “based upon” credit for the new series; the Writers’ Guild of America decided, in arbitration, that despite a wholesame revamp of the show’s cast of characters, Johnson should still be credited for creating the series, and should receive a story credit for the pilot (which seems to cover much of the original five-hour miniseries’ ground in the space of a single hour). The writers of the new series do not have to seek any further approval from Johnson for any storyline developments, however Johnson does retain the feature film rights to V. The location of the ill-fated resistance meeting, 4400 Pier Avenue, is a nod the cancelled cult SF series The 4400, whose cast and crew included actor Joel Gretsch, writer/producer Scott Peters and director Yves Simoneau.

There Is No Normal Anymore

V (2000s series)Having just escaped the bloodbath of the V raid on the resistance meeting, Erica and Father Landry have a new problem: the Visitors have launched a killer airborne drone which homes in on them. The two barely escape with their lives, and Erica decides it’s best if they’re not in the same place at the same time. She is soon called in to account for her partner’s disappearance, but she doesn’t reveal that her partner turned out to be an alien lizard in a human disguise – or that she killed him. Father Landry goes to the police to report the massacre, but soon find his trust in the authorities flagging. With so many Visitors already living among the human race, who can be trusted?

written by Scott Peters & Sam Egan
directed by Yves Simoneau
music by Marco Beltrami

Guest Cast: Alan Tudyk (Dale Maddox), Christopher Shyer (Marcus), Scott Hylands (Father Travis), Roark Critchlow (Paul Kendrick), Rekha Sharma (Sarita Malik), Britt Irvin (Haley), Ingrid Kavelaars (Jocelyn Maddox)

Notes: Guest star Rekha Sharma brings a healthy SF TV pedigree to her appearance here, having played the major recurring role of Tory Foster on the remake of Battlestar Galactica; she has also guest starred on SyFy Channel’s series Sanctuary. Ingrid Kavelaars was a regular on the J. Michael Straczynski series Jeremiah, on which writer Sam Egan also worked.

A Bright New Day

V (2000s series)As the first hundred American visas are issued to the Visitors, human suspicion and sentiment are turning against the aliens. Threats are made against the Visitor compound established in New York City, and Erica Evans is assigned to partner with a Visitor security officer to beef up security there. Members of the fifth column – a resistance movement within the Visitors’ own ranks – are making preparations from within the human population. Erica gives Father Landry access to her FBI records so he can try to determine the identity of the other human survivor of the resistance meeting massacre, and while the priest does find the name and face he’s looking for, merely looking could prove to be a deadly endeavour. In the meantime, Anna becomes concerned with one woman’s outspoken protests against the Visitors’ presence – more concerned than her advisors think she should be – and decides that the protests must be silenced.

written by Diego Gutierrez & Christine Roum
directed by Frederick E.O. Toye
music by Marco Beltrami

Guest Cast: Alan Tudyk (Dale Maddox), Christopher Shyer (Marcus), Michael Filipowich (Cyrus), David Richmond-Peck (Georgie), Britt Irvin (Haley), Roark Critchlow (Paul Kendrick), Mark Hildreth (Joshua)

It’s Only The Beginning

Survivors (1970s series)Anna uses her clout with the media – and, in particular, reporter Chad Decker – to announce that V medical technology will soon be available to humans in clinics everywhere, capable of detecting and curing everything from cancer to heart conditions that haven’t claimed their victims yet. But Erica learns from Ryan Nichols, who has identified himself as a member of a resistance group within the aliens known as the Fifth Column, that the V’s medical knowledge of humans goes much further than that. He promises to lead Erica and Father Landry to a stockpile of an alien drug, R6, that the V plan to introduce to humans everywhere, unannounced, by mixing it with flu shots. But while Erica works with her allies to destroy the stockpile before it can be used, her own son is being lured further into collusion with the aliens by Lisa, and her mother – Anna. And a surprise awaits Ryan when he discovers that his unsuspecting human wife is pregnant with the first human/alien hybrid.

written by Cameron Litvack & Angela Russo Otstot
directed by Yves Simoneau
music by Marco Beltrami

Guest Cast: Christopher Shyer (Marcus), David Richmond-Peck (Georgie), Mark Hildreth (Joshua), Scott Hylands (Father Travis), Ryan Kennedy (David), Craig Fraser (Peter Combs)

Notes: This was the last of four episodes of V to air in 2009 as a special event, as well as the last to be overseen by the original creative team that had developed the show (in large part, the same creative minds behind the series The 4400). New episodes wouldn’t air until March 2010, at which point the series’ revised creative direction was being steered by new executive producer Scott Rosenbaum.

Welcome To The War

Survivors (1970s series)The destruction of the V’s warehouse full of the R6 drug has not come without a cost. One V security guard survives who saw Erica, Father Landry and Ryan, and he pays Landry a visit, stabbing him in the church and leaving him for dead. The guard’s next stop is Erica’s home, but she thwarts his attack and kills him in the process. Ryan suspects that the guard was not acting under orders, but was instead trying to round up and kill those involved in the warehouse bombing to save face before reporting back to Anna (who would almost certainly have executed him for failing to guard the R6). Erica’s son Kyle is nowhere to be found, having gone to the V mothership at the invitation of Anna and Lisa.

Knowledge of the warehouse bombing quickly goes public, and Erica is left in the uncomfortable position of taking part in the FBI’s side of the investigation. When V investigators claim to have found human fingerprints, Erica braces herself to be exposed as a member of the resistance, but is surprised when the trail of evidence leads to someone who had no connection to the explosion: wanted mercenary Kyle Hobbes. Erica has no idea why the aliens want to blame Hobbes for the crime, but she does have to admit that this man – who she has tried to hunt down many times during her law enforcement career – could become very useful if the resistance could recruit him.

written by Scott Rosenbaum
directed by Yves Simoneau
music by Marco Beltrami

Guest Cast: Nicholas Lea (Joe Evans), David Richmond-Peck (Georgie), Charles Mesure (Kyle Hobbes), Christopher Shyer (Marcus), Roark Critchlow (Paul Kendrick), Mark Hildreth (Joshua), Scott Hylands (Father Travis), Rekha Sharma (Sarita Malik), Lexa Doig (Dr. Leah Pearlman)

Notes: It’s yet another Canadian Science Fiction All-Star Week on V; guest star Nicholas Lea (seen in Kyle’s “memory chamber” flashbacks) is best known to SF fans in the high-profile recurring role of FBI Agent Alex Krycek in The X-Files; Lea also worked on Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, which starred Lexa Doig as the Andromeda’s human avatar. British-born actor Charles Mesure appeared numerous times as the Archangel Michael on sister series Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys; his V character, mercenary Kyle Hobbes, is roughly analogous to mercenary Ham Tyler (Michael Ironside) from the original V series.

Pound Of Flesh

VShortly before destroying the R6 warehouse, Ryan sent a signal in the name of the fifth column resistance leader: “John May lives.” That message pushes Anna’s preoccupation with ensuring the loyalty of her followers into an obsession, and she instigates widespread loyalty tests among her own people. Anna also plans to announce a program called Live Aboard, which will invite selected humans to live aboard the visitors’ ships and experience their lifestyle. The program is to be announced with another worldwide broadcast, and the resistances sees this as an opportunity to disrupt Anna’s message and mobilize the fifth column and any other human resistance cells around the world. Ryan volunteers to go – any non-visitor would fail to make it far enough to sabotage the broadcast – and discovers that the rebellion is more widespread among the visitors than he thought. Georgie decides Ryan needs backup and takes a shuttle to the visitors’ ship as well, but his mission will prove to be altogether less successful.

written by Charles Murray & Natalie Chaidez
directed by Dean White
music by Marco Beltrami

Guest Cast: Charles Mesure (Kyle Hobbes), Nicholas Lea (Joe Evans), David Richmond-Peck (Georgie), Christopher Shyer (Marcus), Mark Hildreth (Joshua), Samantha Ferris (Private Investigator), Lexa Doig (Dr. Leah Pearlman)

John May

V (2000s series)Erica, Ryan and Jack start making plans to rescue Georgie from the V mothership, where he is being interrogated following his capture. Hobbes is the lone holdout, feeling that Georgie’s best contribution to the resistance was to be a sacrifice and a diversion. Ryan tries to track down the original fifth column leader, John May, who he encountered ten years ago, and has to reveal to May’s son that his father’s suicide was a cover story. Ryan is making it his mission to find May to lead the resistance anew – but the only problem is that Anna is trying to find May at the same time so she can quash the resistance.

written by Gregg Hurwitz
directed by Jonathan Frakes
music by Marco Beltrami

Guest Cast: Michael Trucco (John May), Nicholas Lea (Joe Evans), David Richmond-Peck (Georgie), Charles Mesure (Kyle Hobbes), Christopher Shyer (Marcus), Mark Hildreth (Joshua), Jessica Parker Kennedy (Grace), Terry Chen (V Doctor), Brett Dier (James May), Oliver Gatske (young James), Erica Carroll (Lillie)

Notes: More SFTV alumni appear in front of and behind the cameras here, with Michael Trucco – late of Battlestar Galactica – appearing as John May, and Star Trek: The Next Generation actor/director Jonathan Frakes takes command of the action from behind the camera.

We Can’t Win

V (2000s series)The resistance movement is in chaos: drawn out into the open by the “John May lives” message, members of the Fifth Column within the Visitors’ own ranks are slaughtered. The human resistance leaders’ lives are in disarray: Erica’s son Tyler, having learned that the man he grew up with is not his real father, loses his faith in both of his parents and flees to the Visitors’ mothership with Lisa. Ryan’s pregnant wife is on the run after learning that the baby she’s expecting isn’t entirely human, but if the Visitors find her, there will be no safe place for her. And on the Visitors’ ship, Lisa – Anna’s own daughter – fails the loyalty test Anna has devised to weed out defectors among her own people. But as Erica discovers, there are also humans willing to sell out their own kind.

written by Christine Roum & Cameron Litvack
directed by David Barrett
music by Marco Beltrami

Guest Cast: Charles Mesure (Kyle Hobbes), Ty Olsson (Jeffrey), Christopher Shyer (Marcus), Mark Hildreth (Joshua), Lexa Doig (Dr. Pearlman), Roark Critchlow (Paul Kendrick), Rekha Sharma (Agent Sarita Malik), Lucas Wolf (Samuel), Ernesto Griffith (Secretary-General), Ken Camroux-Taylor (Victor Caruso), Nicholas Carella (Alex Caruso)

Heretic’s Fork

V (2000s series)Ryan has killed one of his own to help his pregnant human wife escape the Visitors’ clutches, alerting Anna to the presence of a hybrid child. Fearful of a Visitor with the “weakness” of human emotions, she wants Ryan, his wife and their child killed. Erica, Hobbes and Jack find their new prisoner extremely unhelpful; once she discovers that he’s got the names and addresses of Fifth Column members living in secret on Earth, Erica authorizes Hobbes to use whatever means are necessary to get more information. Anna’s willing to take extreme measures to accomplish her goal as well, even if it means unleashing her elite troops on a planet that stands no chance of repelling them.

written by John Wirth & Angela Russo Otstot
directed by Frederick E.O. Toye
music by Marco Beltrami

Guest Cast: Charles Mesure (Kyle Hobbes), Ty Olsson (Jeffrey), Christopher Shyer (Marcus), Mark Hildreth (Joshua), Lexa Doig (Dr. Pearlman), Roark Critchlow (Paul Kendrick), Phil Granger (Henry Thompson), Sarah-Jane Redmond (Sarah Thompson)

LogBook entry written by Earl Green

Hearts & Minds

V (New series)Ryan receives word from his fifth column contact that a shuttle filled with V trackers – from whom Ryan and his wife barely escaped before – will soon be en route to Earth to find Ryan’s wife and their unborn hybrid child. Father Landry makes a misstep with his newly cultivated contact – reporter Chad Decker – tipping Anna off to Ryan’s plan to shoot the shuttle down. Using a ground-based rocket launcher, Hobbes shoots down the V shuttle, only to discover that Anna has outmaneuvered them: not a single Visitor is aboard the shuttle, which is instead full of humans. The resistance has a public relations disaster on its hands, and worse yet, evidence at the scene leads the FBI to Landry.

written by Gregg Hurwitz
directed by Bobby Roth
music by Marco Beltrami

Guest Cast: Charles Mesure (Kyle Hobbes), Mark Hildreth (Joshua), Christopher Shyer (Marcus), Rekha Sharma (Agent Sarita Malik), Roark Critchlow (Paul Kendrick), Scott Hylands (Father Travis)

Fruition

Survivors (1970s series)Anna’s daughter Lisa is found on Earth, brutally beaten and with both legs broken. The description Lisa gives of her attackers includes an almost unmistakable likeness of Kyle Hobbes, despite his insistence to fellow resistance members that he had nothing to do with it.

The other man accused of beating Lisa and leaving her for dead is a mystery to Erica and the other resistance members. His name is Parker, and he’s a weapons developer who, with some of his coworkers, has developed a substance that shows promise as a weapon against the V. Erica’s only chance of obtaining this weapon for the resistance is to make sure Parker stays alive – which means convincing Lisa not to pick him out of a suspects’ lineup. But can Erica break Anna’s hold over the girl?

written by John Wirth & Natalie Chaidez
directed by Bryan Spicer
music by Marco Beltrami

Guest Cast: Charles Mesure (Kyle Hobbes), Christopher Shyer (Marcus), Mark Hildreth (Joshua), Rekha Sharma (Agent Sarita Malik), Roark Critchlow (Paul Kendrick), Lexa Doug (Dr. Pearlman), Samantha Ferris (Private Investigator), Scott Hylands (Father Travis), Paul McGillion (Parker)

Notes: Guest star Paul McGillion is best known in the role of Dr. Beckett on Stargate Atlantis, and auditioned for the role of Scotty in 2009’s Star Trek feature film, instead winding up with a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo.

Red Sky

V (2000s series)With Tyler determined to take part in the Visitors’ “live aboard” program, Erica gives up on trying to convice him not to move aboard Anna’s ship, instead seeing an opportunity to get herself aboard and destroy Anna’s army of genetically-bred killers before they hatch. Ryan’s pregnant wife is kidnpped by V trackers and taken to Anna’s ship, where security has been beefed up in the wake of incidents such as the recent “attack” on Lisa, but he insists on going aboard to save her. But she’s already in labor, and can’t be moved. Having lost contact with Joshua and the other fifth column members aboard Anna’s ship, and fully aware that reporter Chad Decker is a direct link to Anna, Erica devises a plan to pass a message to Joshua, and even if Anna intercepts it, she won’t decipher its full meaning. Hobbes uses himself as the bait to lure Marcus, Anna’s chief enforcer and head of security, to Earth. With Marcus out of the way, Erica can move more freely, but she hasn’t anticipated the ever-shifting loyalties of Lisa, or the unpredictability of Decker, and Ryan’s whereabouts are unknown. Erica manages to deal a devastating blow to the Visitors, but the momentary victory is a costly one.

written by Scott Rosenbaum & Gregg Hurwitz
directed by Robert Duncan McNeill
music by Marco Beltrami

Guest Cast: Charles Mesure (Kyle Hobbes), Christopher Shyer (Marcus), Mark Hildreth (Joshua), Lexa Doig (Dr. Pearlman), Scott Hylands (Father Travis)

Notes: Jack’s message to his parishioners – “let V stand for victory” – is a deliberate echo of one of the closing lines of the original V miniseries broadcast in 1984. The birth of the first human-Visitor hybrid harkens back to V: The Final Battle, but is presented very differently here. Another callback to V: The Final Battle is turned on its ear here: in that miniseries, the red dust was an anti-Visitor chemical which the resistance – not the aliens – deployed into the air and into Earth’s water supply by hot air balloon (since powered aircraft would have been detected and shot down). Director Robert Duncan McNeill is no stranger to alien intrigue, having starred as Tom Paris for seven seasons on Star Trek: Voyager prior to becoming an in-demand director.