V – The Series (1984) – Liberation Day, and Dreadnought

V – The Series brought the Visitors and the renewed battle for Earth to television on a weekly basis, and despite being a costly production (a calculated one million dollars per episode, which was unheard of at the time), it just seemed doomed to fail.

I mean with a budget like that, you think someone would have found a way to make sure the Visitor voice reverb (an iconic character trait) remained in the series,

Liberation Day was the series premiere, debuting on 26 October, 1984, it was written by Paul Monash.

Diana (Jane Badler) has been captured by the Resistance, and as flash forward one year, is being brought to trial. But things are going to start happening quickly, as the Visitors are able to return to the planet’s surface a year after the release of the red dust (maybe that’s what changed their voices), Los Angeles is declared an Open City, exempt from the Visitor’s plans, thanks to the wheeling and dealing of one Nathan Bates (Lane Smith) the nefarious CEO of Science Frontiers who wants the technological secrets the Visitors have.

The Resistance, led by Julie (Faye Grant), Donovan (Marc Singer) and Tyler (Micheal Ironside) are going to have their hands full.  Especially when Elizabeth (Jenny Beck and then Jennifer Cooke) continues her growth rate, and could now pass for Robin’s (Blair Tefkin) sister (something that will cause problems in upcoming eps), still has powers, and everyone seems to want to get their hands on her.

Elias (Micheal Wright) is now running a bistro, with Willy (Robert Englund) working as one of his waiters.

Diana escapes her trial, kills Martin (Frank Ashmore – don’t worry the actor will be back) to steal his antidote medication and regroups with her fleet behind the moon.

You know the series is already in trouble, when they are using clips from both mini-series for their action sequences in the first five minutes of the show.

And hey… Diana is shot down just after the events of The Final Battle when the red dust should still be in the air, but she seems to be fine…

Kenneth Johnson stills gets a credit as the series creator, but I’m sure he wanted nothing to do with the series.

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Dreadnought sees the departure of Robert Maxwell (Micheal Durrell), Robin’s father, as a continuing character in the series.

Written by Steven E. de Souza, this episode aired on 2 November, 1984.

Diana is reunited with the Visitor fleet, and plans to unleash a superweapon known as the Triax, to destroy Los Angeles (because now it’s personal). Why didn’t she use it before? Because it had to be sent from their home planet, but she’s organized it’s arrival asap.

In the lead up to the use of the weapon, the Visitors launch an all out assault on Los Angeles and other major cities around the world.

Elizabeth’s transformation is complete (with the addition of a religious mark on her body), and while the threat of the Triax weapon climaxes, the Resistance has a weapon of their own… their captured mothership, if they can steal it out from under Bates.

Robert takes the controls of the ship and uses it to destroy the Triax (and by extension himself and the stolen ship).

We are introduced to Diana’s new second in command, Lydia (June Chadwick – and talk about your 80s hair, and shoulder pads).

This is going to be a campy, cheesy watch, that won’t ruin my love for the originals, but will taint it a touch… but hey, only seventeen episodes to go.

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