It was made at the beginning of the eighties, a time when the world was waking up to science fiction in the main stream as a result of the Star Wars phenomena. Unlike Star Wars, Star Trek - The Original Series and alien/s films, this was set in modern day Los Angeles and not space. Instead of visiting the skies to meet the aliens, they came to see us. It did not take long to see that the aliens were based on the Nazis of the 1940s. This is evident in their red suits, its alien symbol and the fact that they were killing swathes of people. There were the traitors like those found during the Second World War.
The difference between the two organisations was that the Visitors wanted to enslave and eat the entire human population whereas the Nazi just wanted to exterminate certain groups of humanity. Its franchise lasted for three series, the original, the final battle and the mini-series. Its fan base has not diminished over the years, Kenneth Johnson who wrote the original series returned to the series and wrote a next generation sequel where the aliens had completely entrenched themselves into society. Whilst John's on was involved in the first mini-series, he was not involved in the Final Battle. In the UK, both the original two part series and the three part Final Battle episodes were shown over a full week giving the illusion that it was five part series whereas in the U.S., they were a year apart. After writing the original series, he left and made 'Alien Nation'
The main protagonist in the story is Mike Donovan, a news cameraman who sneaks on board the alien Sirian Mothership craft and captures on video one of the aliens taking off his fake human skin to reveal a lizard underneath. In the series, the aliens were referred to as Visitors not Sirians. The name Sirians comes from the fact that they come from a planet that orbits Sirius. After becoming the alien's most hated human, he joins a group of scientists led by Dr Juliet Parrish to become the Resistance.
The Visitors were led by John who was undermined and ultimately killed by his lieutenant Diana.
The series finally borrows heavily from H.G. Wells's story 'War of the Worlds where the scientists discover a virus that is harmless to Earth life but is deadly to the aliens. The virus is distributed in a red powder form and is just called 'Red Dust'.
There was a group of aliens who was opposed to the take over of Earth, they became known as The Fifth Column. Mike Donovan would meet frequently with one of these columnists, who in the earlier episodes was Martin. When the character was killed off at the beginning of the full length series, a petition was started to bring the character back somehow. The petitioners got their wish as Martin's brother Phillip turned up as an investigator who had been sent from their home world to investigate the death of a Visitor Leader. Fortunately for the Resistance, Philip held the same views as his brother and was soon passing information to the Resistance through Mike. The name 'Fifth Column' harks back to the Spanish Civil War when Emilio Mola, a Nationalist General told a journalist in 1936 that as his four columns of troops approached Madrid, a "fifth column" of supporters inside the city would support him and undermine the Republican government from within. 1. The term fifth column now refers to a movement within a larger movement that seeks to disrupt the activities of the larger movement.
That twentieth episode is buried because Julie leaving it on the 19th episode where a truce is agreed enabled them to close the story. The worst thing about the whole three series was the star-child's power. Why did they have to have some sort of magic person in it, it ruined it. Ken has indicated there will not be any people alien or human with special mystical powers. It had been scheduled for release in Autumn/Fall 2004 but that has been put back for a year (hopefully no longer). Clues to what will happen in the new series are given in the earlier series. In the first series, Martin, one of the alien collaborators tells Donovan that the Visitors are at war in their own solar system with another race of beings. The resistance sends messages into space asking for their help. The new series will consist of the earth enslaved but the Visitors enemies turning up to offer help. He has referred to them as 'Gay-aliens'. In the earlier series, the aliens were sneaky, we did not know what they were up to. Now that we do, can we expect the battle lines to be more explicit. Will we see a darker version but this is unlikely because of Warners Bros probably attempts at maximissing their earnings from it. In the previous series, the food processing centres were secret. The new series might have them totally visible. As the Sirians have complete control of the planet, they could simply do whatever they want so there's no need to hide their factories. Incidentally, the letter stood for Victory not Visitors.
They came as our friends but they had an sinister reason. They came from a planet orbiting the star Sirius and we couldn't tell the difference between them and ourselves. However under their skin, they were totally different from us, they were green lizards.
They wanted to make chemicals that was vital for their planet which could be manufactured here on Earth. People started going missing and scientists became pariahs. The truth was that they were carnivorous human eating lizards who wanted a new food source because they'd eaten all their own food. The Visitors also wanted to take our water as their water had been used up. In addition to humans being a food source, the Visitors wanted humans to be soldiers to fight their war for them. The Visitors were also at war with another alien race who are only mentioned as being at war with the Visitors but never their name. In the "Next Generation" book, the Visitor enemies make an appearance.
The creators of the V franchise were influenced by Nazi fascists of the 1930s and 40s. Instead of wiping people by mass exterminations like what the Nazi's did to the Jews, the Visitors are packaging the humans up as food and shipping them back to their home planet. Where the Nazi's used the Swastika as their symbol, the Visitors had their own symbol. The Visitors in the re-imagined V ( 2010 ) series, the aliens did not seem to be interested in wiping us out, their ultimate objective was unclear.
The Visitors adopt Earth names according to where they are based. The supreme leader of the Visitors on Earth calls himself John who is killed by Diana who believe if she had been in charge would have seen a Visitor Victory.
The Visitor Fighter craft is an one or two man fighter craft that the Visitors used to attack its enemies on the ground. A slightly bigger craft is used for transporting people and goods from the ground to the Visitor Mothership in the sky and down. The visitor fighter is able to travel long distances as Lydia uses one to return to her home planet to report on the failures of Diana and her failure to convert humans to food.
A giant circular space ship that can travel vast distances from its home planet in the Sirius solar system. They are able to hover high in the sky over many cities in the world such as Los Angeles, London, Paris and Moscow. The Mothership in Los Angeles is controlled by the Visitors chief science officer Diana. The alien crafts that are seen in Independence Day are of a similar build and was probably the influence for the latter film.
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