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October 9, 2015

ABC gives the green light for the green-skinned lizards of V to return

by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 27th 2009 1:04PM
VHey 4400 fans! Co-creator and executive producer of that series, Scott Peters, is back at it again. This time he's gotten the official go ahead from ABC to bring the remake of the 1980's V mini-series to pilot. This means right from the beginning they're thinking more long-term in developing the overall storyline. With the original, we had a mini-series that proved so incredibly popular that it spawned a second mini-series, an ongoing series, and even a book and comic series. I know all of this because I own all of it.

Yes, even though (or maybe because) I was a very young boy when the V phenomenon first hit, it blew me away. I was haunted by the image of Diana unhinging her jaw and devouring that rodent. And the first peeling of human flees to reveal the green scales underneath was chilling to my pre-adolescent imagination. To this day, I think the concept is brilliantly strong, and the first two mini-series were very well executed. It'll be interesting to see how these creators bring the concept into the new millennium. Clearly the "surprise" reveal that the aliens aren't as benevolent as they purported to be is lost.

At this point, we don't even know if they'll still be lizards suited up in human suits, but it would seem a pretty harsh reality change for that not to be the case. Presumably, though, what they will do is change the face of the world, perhaps with amazing new technologies or even abilities -- something that The 4400 was all about. After the disappointments of Invasion, Threshold and Surface a few years ago, I'm always nervous about a science fiction series on a major network.

And as Knight Rider and Bionic Woman have proven, even a well-known name is no guarantee of ratings success. That said, those remakes did get a tremendous audience in the beginning. It only eroded when they realized how horrid the show was. So maybe if ABC can actually put a good show on the air, its fate will be different.

Creator Kenneth Johnson is not involved in this remake. He was none too pleased with the progression of his creation through the second mini-series V: The Last Battle and onto the one-season television series, which he was also not involved in. Johnson was pushing for a sequel to the original mini-series that would ignore those episodes.

When that failed, he went ahead and wrote his own sequel, publishing V: The Second Generation in February 2008. From what I can tell, Johnson has yet to comment on this new development with his creation, so we've no idea whether or not he will be supportive of it, outspoken against it or will just stay kind of quiet.

There's also no word on whether any members of the original cast will appear in the new series or make cameos as Richard Hatch has done on the new Battlestar Galactica, but I wouldn't mind seeing Marc Singer or Robert Englund on the screen. Especially if the new V takes a proper inspiration from BSG and makes a much more complex and compelling series out of what was a good original concept.

Regardless, I am cautiously excited about this new variation. The new series is going to focus on a Homeland Security agent with an aimless son. He finds direction with the aliens after their arrival, causing tension at home. Hopefully they'll expand the cast and stories beyond this one family, as one of the strengths of the original mini-series was its wide cast. Considering this is a worldwide invasion, it's best not to stay too focused. Heroes has proven it can (almost) handle a huge cast around the country.

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Why ABC and not NBC? Strange as the original was on NBC...

January 29 2009 at 1:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Invasion is a great show.

January 28 2009 at 12:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved V when I was a kid. One of the standout moments for me was when the Holocaust survivor recognized what was about to happen.

If they do a remake well, I'll be more than happy to watch!

January 27 2009 at 10:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim McCleese

Nothing wrong with remakes as long as they are done well. It is my thoughts exactly about hoping a reimagined "V" to mirror Battlestar's success. I too, own the dvd's, books, etc. on "V". Loved it.

January 27 2009 at 9:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

ANOTHER remake? Doesn't anyone have an original thought anymore? I know we boomers are getting up there, but why have show after show that we've already seen? Come on, guys.

January 27 2009 at 3:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cincinnati Mike

I recall two images...
Jane Badler's unhinged jaw (of course!) and Richard Herd's bad combover. I know the aliens want to fit in, but a combover?

January 27 2009 at 2:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have to say, I have not been a fan of these re-imaginings. Battlestar Galactica is one hell of a drama, but as Bionic Woman and the cringe-worthy Knight Rider have shown, these remakes can easily and spectacularly fail. That being said, if Peters can take a cue from BSG or even his own series, The 4400, then there could be something here.

BSG used a science fiction setting to comment on the post 9/11 world we live in while at the same time being entertaining -- and in my opinion succeeded admirably. Where this new series will need to think long and hard about is the aliens. With BSG, the Cylons were turned into humans, and a new V will need an interesting change-up, as well. The aliens can't just be lizards hidden under fake skin. They may have riveted us to the small screen in the 1980s, but it won't work today.

January 27 2009 at 1:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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