Thursday, February 16, 2012

Back to the original "V"

It's funny how a minor decision can sometimes refresh your appreciation for something you always loved.

After sitting on the shelf since I picked them up at Comic-Con a whole year and a half ago, on a whim I finally opened and began to load the soundtracks for "V: The Original Miniseries" and "V: The Final Battle" into iTunes. Hearing those familiar themes and realizing it'd been some time since I watched the entire saga, I decided to dive in and view both miniseries in consecutive order over the course of five nights; parts 1 & 2 of "V" and parts 1, 2 & 3 of "The Final Battle".

When these aired in 1983 and 1984, respectively, I was living in Cambridge, MA and watched them on a 20 inch TV. In the weeks prior to the premiere of the original miniseries there had been a number of promotional posters affixed throughout much of the Boston subway system (and elsewhere) that showed a sunglass-wearing humanoid alien with outstretched hand and the phrase 'the visitors are our friends'. No other text or logo that said what they were for; movie? TV? event? As the premiere drew closer in May of 1983, those posters suddenly appeared defaced with a bright red 'V' painted over top of them. It was probably one of the most clever and memorable promotional campaigns in history, only adding to our anticipation for what was gearing up to be a television event!

Now almost 30 years later, I'm watching these two landmark miniseries on the big screen in The 10th Box, remembering what it was like back in the day to experience for the first time the wonder, the terror, the action, the heros and villains of the classic "V". Sure, the new TV series had it's moments; most notably the guest appearances of Jane Badler and Marc Singer (I missed Singer but hope to catch that clip online somewhere). Yet here is another case where the original is still the best, unmoved by whatever updating and sleeper cell plot line brought the story of the new show into the 21st Century.

Finished watching "V: The Original Miniseries" on Tuesday...tonight it's time to begin "The Final Battle".

2 Comments:

At February 17, 2012 at 6:16 AM, Anonymous allen said...

YES!!!

BTW - Did you read that the same producers that tried to bring back "V" are now working on "Space: 1999"? They are calling it "Space: 2099", I don't know much else.

 
At February 17, 2012 at 10:15 AM, Blogger LA Filmcutter said...

This is not an official site...just looks like the production team trying to raise awareness and get the project off the ground:

http://www.space2099.com/

So many reboots have come and gone. Like with "V", it'd certainly be interesting to see what they do with this. Ultimately at the end of the day we'll probably be looking back on the originals saying 'yeah, those were the best'.

Even though I just started watching "V: The Final Battle" last night, I really want to go back to "The Original Miniseries" later and watch it with the commentary on. Kenneth Johnson gives the best behind the scenes rundown in meticulous detail. His commentary on the pilot for "The Incredible Hulk" is so full and rich and his memory is amazing.

Kind of sad that he left "The Final Battle" in mid-production. His conflict with the studio over direction is notorious and you can see that in the tone of the final film. Even more so when the weekly TV series started looking like Gil Gerard's "Buck Rogers". Diana practically became Princess Ardala with her big hair and outrageous outfits.

 

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