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By Donald Liebenson

In its day, V was a monumental event that for one generation remains a pop-culture touchstone. Close Encounters of the Third Kind may have reassured us that perhaps we have nothing to fear from alien visitors and E.T. introduced us to a benign extraterrestrial who only wanted to go home, but Kenneth Johnson's 1983 television miniseries knew better. Visitors who claim to come in peace are revealed to be nothing but human-looking reptilians on human conversion and conquest. As in the dark days of fascism, some collaborate with the enemy; others form the resistance.

At the time, the epic scale of this production was unprecedented. Those 50 motherships that hover over Earth's major cities anticipate Independence Day by more than a decade. The special effects and makeup are still awesome. Less so is the often-hackneyed dialogue. But thanks to their signature roles, the mostly no-star cast, most of whom would be reunited for a sequel and subsequent television series, have ensured themselves standing invitations to sci-fi conventions. Marc Singer is cameraman-turned-freedom-fighter Mike Donovan. Julie Parrish is a medical student-turned-rebel. Richard Herd is the aliens' supreme commander. Jane Bradler is Diana, the ravishing but ruthlessly ambitious alien science officer. Leonardo Cimino lends dignity to his heavy-handed allegorical role as a Holocaust survivor. Look for a pre-Freddy Krueger Robert Englund as one of the aliens.

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"My absolute favorite small screen sci fi of all time bar none. Of all the t.v. series made or remade on the big screen THIS should be given its due. Its got everything for big budget picture: A large ensemble cast, special effects, a good premise and interresting complex characters. The mini-sreies was EXCELLENT!!! The series was NOT up to the standards of the either mini-series. It turned into a sci fi A-Team more or less with a lot of Dallas/Dynasty subplots. However I still watched even if somewhat let down."


"V was the absolute best sci fi thing I have ever seen on Television or on the bigscreen, all the characters were awesome but no one beat Lidia"

--pee wee's playhouse

"If only it would have stayed on the aire for more then one season it would been better then Star Trek. Inspector General Philip was the best of them all."




Aired: October 26, 1984 - July 5, 1985

Cast: Marc Singer, Faye Grant, Lane Smith, Jane Badler, Blair Tefkin

Network: NBC

Genre: Sci Fi

Theme song

Image courtesy of NBC

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