V – The Original Miniseries
Out of nowhere, all large cities of the earth are faced with giant space ships appearing. Has an invasion on earth begun ? Mankind awaits until the first move of the aliens is made.
On top of the building of the United Nations, the first encounter is done between the aliens and several human scientists and politicians. The Visitors appear to have a human appearance and their motives are friendly: they have come to earth to help mankind and give their technology in exchange for raw material which they can refine out of our garbage and water and which they need for saving their heavily polluted planet. Everything seems to be ok when suddenly all scientists are outlawed as the visitors claim they are working on terrorist acts. When the visitors start to get more and more control on the actions of mankind and they start to recruit teenagers to become “Friends of the Visitors”, some people start to get suspicious. One of those people is Mike Donovan, a reporter who has visited one of the alien space ships and who believes the visitors are not who they claim to be. Together with a small group of freedom fighters, he starts to act, trying to save mankind from the evil plans of the Visitors.
Sound and Vision:
Although this is a pretty old tv series and the original format was 4:3, the transfer to DVD and widescreen format has succeeded pretty well. There are no apparant compression errors or flaws to be seen although the age does show with grain which makes the details not always as clear as they should be.
The original series were recorded in mono, but for this DVD the soundtrack has been remastered to Dolby Digital 2.0. Don’t expect too much as the sound appears dated, but all in all for what it’s worth it’s pretty good.
We get a commentary track by director Kenneth Johnson and a “Making of” documentary with interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. Nothing really special though.
V is a really classic tv series from the eighties and although it never became some kind of Star Trek, it did have enough success for a new season to be made along with smaller episodes later on.
There’s definitely a moral present and it’s very straight-forward : don’t forget the past but learn from it. The hints towards the Nazi empire are omnipresent (the sign of the Visitors looks véry much like the Nazi cross) but don’t spoil the fun.
Having this DVD available will make loads of people that can remember this series (which was very expensive for its time, hence the special effects which were revolutionary for the eighties) very happy. One thing though : this is not the full series, only the first 2 episodes, meaning that when the final battle begins, the DVD ends.