V: The Original Miniseries (1983) Review
"Humankind's last stand!"
In the realm of modern science fiction, V remains a beloved and continually-relevant concept. In fact, an entire franchise has sprung forth from the mind of writer/producer/director Kenneth Johnson. Through a variety of projects spanning two miniseries and two full television shows, not to mention a series of novels that continue the adventures, V continues to endure as a rousing ode to the human spirit.
Warner Archive has now released the complete original miniseries that started it all on Blu-ray. The two-part event, which first aired on NBC on May 1st and May 2nd, 1983, still feels like a big deal, all these years later. The new disc allows us to look back with fresh eyes, thanks to a fantastic HD widescreen transfer that conveys just how cinematic V was and is. The miniseries combines hard-hitting performances with the best '80s special effects available to tell a story that would have been just as fitting on the silver screen as it is on the small screen. With action that takes place both on the Earth and in space, V is one of the most ambitious television productions of its time, costing around 13 million dollars in 1983. When the first part of the miniseries was broadcast, 40% of the television audience that night was watching V.
The story of V is a triumph for science fiction and a huge part of TV history. While certain aspects of the production very much feel straight out of 1983 (I want those sunglasses!), the ideas behind V are ageless. V allows us to view ourselves through a lens of fantasy, showing all of our hang-ups and foibles, but also presenting us as we CAN be: defiant, unified, and indomitable.