Julie Parish -
Mike Donovan -
Robert Maxwell -
Robin Maxwell -
Daniel Bernstein -
Ham Tyler -
OTHER V SEASONS
OTHER ALIEN INVASION SERIES
V THE FINAL BATTLE picks up where the previous year's V left off, though it was first seen in the UK in the same week as the original two-parter. The truth has been revealed about the Visitors' true purpose on Earth, to steal our water and harvest the human race for food and now the Resistance is starting to fight back. The extra episode gives this second series more time to tell its tale, allowing for more scope for set pieces.
All the groundwork has been laid in the original, so this series can hit the ground running, continuing the saga. The resistance is more organised now and they can strike back. There is much more action in this series as the humans unmask the Visitors live on television, stage a rescue attempt to free a leader from the LA mothership, take down a water pumping station and finally stage an all out attack on the Visitors that will either bring freedom or utter destruction.
Central to the plot is the story of Robin Maxwell's babies since they provide the means by which the humans can fight back, but they also provide the show's weakest points at one of the alien babies is dreadfully realised in a special effects disaster of memorable proportions and the other provides a final moment get out of jail free card that has to be seen to be disbelieved. These moments aside, though, there is some strong drama as Julie is subjected to bizarre torture, Robing takes revenge on her ex-boyfriend and Donovan gives himself up to save his son. There are also some seriously clunky dialogue moments along the way.
The first V was all about the humans and this series gives the aliens more of a chance to shine. Jane Badler's Diana becomes a strong villainess in her own right and the humans get an antihero to shake things up in the shape of Michael Ironside's mercenary Ham Tyler.
This series, though, is about the action and the payoff. The aliens still can't shoot straight, hitting just about everyone except the humans, but there are casualties on both sides adn tehshow is never frightened of killing off major characters.
Had this been the end of the story then V would have gone down as a landmark piece of television science fiction, but the weekly series came along to ruin all that. These two mini-series, though, provide an exciting, if flawed, piece of event science fiction.Top
Despite having been beaten in the first battle against the Resistance, the Visitors are still very much in control. A Resistance assault on a processing factory where humans are being packed into cocoons to keep them fresh is easily fought off. As his underlings bicker between themselves, the leader of the Visitors, John, decides to make a personal appearance at the LA Medical Centre to announce the cure for cancer that the Visitors are about to give to humanity. The rebels manage to stage an attack and, with the help of the Fifth column, unmask John live on TV. Julie Parish, though is taken prisoner.
The second mini series in the V saga gets off to a pretty good start. The defeat at the processing centre is not the kind of thing that we are used to seeing, the heroes badly beaten off by the bad guys. Robin's pregnancy with alien Brian's baby is bit overdone with Blair Tefkin spending the whole time on the edge of hysteria, especially after seeing the experimentation on nice alien Willie's revealed body. With all this going on the debate over the rights and wrongs of abortion all seems a bit ridiculous.
The assault on the medical centre is fast and furious, though the weapons they are using must all be pretty rubbish since nobody seems able to hit anything with them. That Julie does not get away comes as something of a surprise and sets up a nice cliffhanger.
The aliens feature much more in this opening episode than they did in almost the whole of the first mini series. Jane Badler makes for a bitchy villainess with power hair and takes advantage of every moment that she is given on screen.
There are none of the more ludicrous moments that marred the first mini series (how often did he get onto that mothership?) and everything else is firing on all cylinders.Top
Julie is being tortured by Diana in her conversion chamber aboard the LA mothership, but the Resistance come up with a plan to get her back. Tricking the Visitors into bringing her back to Earth, they stage an assault and free her, but the newly-arrived mercenary Ham Tyler is not convinced that she she hasn't been turned. A new arrival from Visitor Central speeds up the process of draining all the water out of California, so another attack is organised on a very heavily guarded pumping station. Meanwhile, Robin goes into labour.
If you want action then this episode really delivers. Not only is there the attack on the pumping station and Julie's rescue, but there is also a tense hostage swap and a desperate escape attempt aboard the mothership. None of this, however, is likely to be what this episode is remembered for.
That honour goes to the final few minutes when Robin gives birth to possibly the single worst alien creature ever seen on the TV. The green thing trying to crawl out of its mother is laughable, almost destroying all that the two mini-series have managed to acheive to this point.
The baby alien isn't the only problem as the lumpy script gives touching moments to some of the minor characters that serve only to mark out the ones that are going to die. There is also the introduction of Pamela, Diana's superior officer and someone who arrives merely to share some bitchy dialogue with Jane Badler and then disappears again.
Thank Goodness then for Michael Ironside as Ham Tyler, the cynical mercenary whose 'waste of good luggage' line heralds a whole revitalisation of the show. In just a few short scenes he teaches the heroes the realities of war and the actors just how to steal an entire show out from under their noses. It takes him only minutes to become the best character in all of both mini-series.Top
Robin's reptilian baby dies, whilst the human-looking one, now called Elizabeth, grows at a remarkable rate. Martin has a surprising way off the mothership for Donovan who picks up life with his son and Julie, but has doubts as to whether his son has been converted. The death of the baby alien proves to be a breakthrough that leads to a bacteria that is fatal to the Visitors, but harmless to humans. It could save humanity, except that the Visitors don't like to lose and if they can't have the planet then they will probably turn the mothership into a bomb capable of destroying the whole world.
You would have thought that they would have learned, but after the truly awful baby alien ruined the end of Episode 2, this episode starts off with it in close up. Fortunately, it's not around for very long, dying in what is actually quite a moving moment considering how terrible the creature effects are. that this should lead to a biological weapon is a great bit of plotting, certainly much better than the doomsday device storyline that is cooked up just to give an all-action finale.
To be fair, though, it is a pretty good all-action finale. Whilst Diana's troops are misguided to protect airfields that aren't going to be attacked, Donovan leads the assault on the mothership whilst Tyler attacks the ground forces at the LA headquarters and organises a much more original way of distributing the deadly red dust into the atmosphere.
The internal politics on board the mothership are not particularly interesting, but they do give Jane Badler a chance to give free rein to her inner villainess as Diana, whilst Michael Ironside gets the most chilling moment with the way that he cold-bloodedly despatches Steven.
And then, just when it was all going so well, the story paints itself into a corner and comes up with the most ridiculous Deus Ex Machina get out ever, a resolution that makes no sense at all. Fortunately by that time it's too late to ruin everything.Top
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