V: the series

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Nerdius Maximus, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    Thank you for that - while on the daily commute, I tried to work out some 'back of the envelope' figures for how improbable the water thing was when this came up here a few months ago, but gave up as I didn't have the necessary figures. Thanks for working it out, as it really brings the point home: the Visitors could steal enough of our water to damage our eco-system, but they couldn't possibly steal enough to save their own eco-system.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Not to mention that there are five star systems closer to Sirius than our own is, including Epsilon Eridani, which has a much denser debris disk than Sol and would thus probably have considerably more water ice. The total amount of water contained in such a disk would be millions of times more than a single inhabited Earthlike planet could possibly need.

    I discount Sirius itself because it could in fact be a very arid, waterless system due to the great heat of the A star and the fact that the B star has already gone through its death throes, which probably seared the system of any volatiles. Which of course renders it pretty much impossible that it could have a native intelligent species, but there's an off chance that the Visitors aren't native to the system but terraformed one of its planets for some reason, bringing in their own water to hydrate it. Perhaps if they're still in the process of terraforming, they'd need a source of extra water; but there would still be far more convenient and practical sources for it than Earth's oceans.
     
  3. Lookingglassman

    Lookingglassman Admiral Admiral

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    I dont understand why the Vs dont take what they want. What is the point of being nice just to gain our favor? If I was an evil alien race and wanted something from a planet that can't defeat me I will just take it and not waste the time getting to know them.
     
  4. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    I can't see the Visitors having told the truth to anyone on Earth about whether or not they hailed from any planet orbiting either component of Sirius - or anywhere else - to begin with. Does that make sense from any perspective?
     
  5. superstring01

    superstring01 Commander Red Shirt

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    You are welcome.

    More to the point, hydrogen is the single most common element in the universe (making up something like 90% of normal matter) and Oxygen is the third (making up about 5%). Presumably an alien race with the technology to build ships that can bend gravity to their free will, will have the ability to simply sit in front of their frakking star and collect the stuff. Then they perform the simplest and oldest technological feat of any intelligent species: make fire. The gas given off will be water. It'll be closer. Easier. Quicker. No need to mess with us pesky humans.

    THANK YOU!

    More to the point, it is not at all unreasonable to consider the fact that technological advancement eventually hits a parabolic arc where, within a short span of time, organic life will have--at its disposal--the ability to transcend flesh. Even if choosing to remain flesh, such life would more than likely use their uber-advanced technology to build gigantic space stations with perfect, climate controlled environments, tailor made to their specifications. Presumably, the ability to engineer giant space ships in one area grants one the ability to build bigger ones in others (it would probably start wit the very small: nanobots self-replicating and literally "growing" the ship from basic elements; such engineering would eliminate mistakes and small errors). The existence of space ships in the thousand-kilometer range would be preferable to, say, tectonic activity of a tenuous world.

    Sure. Humans have no ability to go there.

    But, in either case, it doesn't matter. Many quintillions of times more useful materials await the V's, far closer to home!

    ~String
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Tell that to the British in India. Sure, you can use brute force to take what you want, but it's easier and less expensive if you can win over the local authorities and get them to do it for you. The Visitors were suffering from shortages of food and water, so it made sense that they would need to conserve their resources and rely on indigenous labor and authority structures.



    I profoundly doubt that. If you're talking about posthumanism, everybody uploading their brains into computers, that's not very believable. Here's an excellent discussion of the subject:

    http://hplusmagazine.com/articles/ai/ghost-shell-why-our-brains-will-never-live-matrix
    Organic intelligences can't be anything other than organic. Our minds are inseparably intertwined with the meat of our brains and bodies. A mind capable of functioning entirely within a technological substrate would be something very alien. A race of "posthuman" AIs would not be us or our descendants, just our replacements.


    Point of order: Since this thread is about the original series, not the remake, the nickname "Vs" doesn't apply. The aliens from the original miniseries/show are the Visitors or the Sirians, never "the Vs." In the original, the letter V symbolized the resistance -- it was the iconic "V for Victory" of the WWII era. Even the theme music of the original series had a portion whose rhythm was based on the Morse Code symbol for V, which is also a reference to WWII symbology. So the new series' use of the letter V to represent the aliens is a complete reversal of the original's intent.
     
  7. superstring01

    superstring01 Commander Red Shirt

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    I respect the information you provide (and am aware of it), but disagree on the point that we have no idea what abilities will be opened up by nano-technology. While I doubt that it wouldn't take effect the first generation. With each progressive generation, the inclusion of inorganic parts and significantly improved genetics could allow for such integration.

    To wit, none of us knows for sure. But what we DO know is that any species that can transcend the stars would have to employ an energy source that is--in many orders of magnitude--greater than anything we can even imagine. Coupled with numerous other technologies, it's doubtful that there would ever be anything on this rock they'd be interested in, much less need.


    You are correct. Going forward I will endeavor to separate the "Sirians" from the "V's".

    Though, the point I made stands: In the case of either alien species, the need would not exist.

    ~String
     
  8. Level 2 Diagnostic

    Level 2 Diagnostic Captain Captain

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    Thanks for posting this. It's a good reminder that when watching a film or TV show, we should always keep the larger picture in mind. We should never get so hung up on inconsequential details or arcane facts and figures that we completely miss the essential point of the show/movie or lose sight of what the writers really wanted to say.

    Unfortunately, that's not what we do around here.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Except that in the new series, we don't yet know why the aliens are at Earth (though the promo for next week's episode claims their purpose will be revealed -- but promos aren't always trustworthy). Despite their cover story, it might have nothing to do with the acquisition of resources. In fact, I have a hypothesis about what their real purpose is, but this isn't the place to discuss it.
     
  10. superstring01

    superstring01 Commander Red Shirt

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    True.

    We already know that the V's (at least, not the spies) are all addicts to some "Bliss" that integrates them all.

    I think they are fleeing. . . something.

    ~String
     
  11. avalonmistmoon

    avalonmistmoon Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Don't forget that there was a Fifth Column with the "V" that helped us. I remembered because I had a crush on Martin. A blond, handsome and a hulk of an alien. "sigh" :drool:

    The miniseries was great and remember it fondly.
     
  12. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    The more you think it through, the more you have to conclude that - as hinted in passing in the original mini-series, or at least the novelisation, it's not really the water that makes Earth useful, it's an intelligent-ish population of 6 billion who can be kidnapped, brainwashed, and used as conscripts in The Leader's wars against The Enemy (which is about as deep as it got about who they actually were :-)).
    That would have been an interesting angle to take: perhaps, just as the chemicals the Visitors supposedly wanted turned out to be irrelevant, taking the water was only a means to an end: by causing crop failures the Visitors could force Humanity into refugee camps where they could be controlled? When you look at a lot of history, most recently the recruitment of child soldiers from refugee camps along the Rwandan/Burandan borders, it makes a nasty sort of sense.

    An after thought: Possibly, trying to think about the Visitors' plan in terms of scientific credibility is missing the point (waits for someone to point out that trying to think V through seriously is definitely missing the point).
    As Christopher points out, you have to see V as an allegory: if you take it as read that, as hinted more in the book than onscreen, that The Leader came to power through a populist movement in a failing democracy where ordinary people are having a hard time becasue of some recent defeat, akin to Weimar Germany, then his plans only have to make sense politically, in the mind of a dictator clinging to power.
    It doesn't matter that saving Sirius by stealing water from other planets won't work, what matters is that it shows The Leader has a Great Plan to save the planet, one which requires sacrifice and service from the people (under his control, of course). And as a bonus it even gives the nastier among these ordinary people a chance to lord it over 'lesser peoples' on other worlds.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2009
  13. darkwing_duck1

    darkwing_duck1 Vice Admiral

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    There's also the fact, mentioned by Martin in the first mini, that the Visitors have been (and are) at war with other races and/or factions. John's "little fleet" may have been all the Leader could spare for the project.
     
  14. 23skidoo

    23skidoo Admiral Admiral

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    Some general thoughts about the V series. I was and remain quite fond of it. I don't accept the "bad SFX" argument, though, because frankly there was no such thing as good SFX on American (or British) television until CGI got cheap enough to be used for TV. So in my opinion "good SFX" didn't arrive till only about 15 years ago. Even DS9's effects, in retrospect, don't hold up as well as we thought they might back in 1994.

    V the series was hurt by the fact that, in 1984, the only US shows that did arc storytelling were soap operas like Dallas and Dynasty. Therefore that was the only model they had to go on, which is why we started to see "soap opera" elements (as if those are somehow a bad thing) emerging in V. By soap opera, in the SF context that would appear to mean plotlines involving personal relationships over SF concepts ... the type of stuff Roddenberry wanted to do with Trek. But I digress.

    SF otherwise was expected to be delivered in bite-size stand-alone pieces that could be watched in any order -- which was a prime factor in Star Trek TOS being so successful in syndication (only since the 80s have broadcasters bothered to show that program in its original order). And that's why Doctor Who failed as a mainstream syndicated show (an attempt was made with Pertwee and Baker), but was accepted on PBS where serialized storytelling from the UK was commonplace.

    What that all means from my perspective is the writers at the time couldn't keep the momentum going, and you could tell they were starting to "toss everything in but the kitchen sink", such as bringing in Duncan Regher's character and introducing a love triangle between him, Diana, and Lydia. We also started to see characters brought back from the dead like Martin.

    The show also made a big mistake out of the gate by not having Michael Ironside's character Ham Tyler from the get-go. He was the best thing about the 2nd mini-series, and he was really missed when the weekly series began. By the time he came back, it was too late.

    I never had a problem with the casting on V. Faye Grant and Marc Singer were great, as was the pre-Freddy Robert Englund. Jane Badler and June Chadwick remain two of the sexiest gals to ever grace 1980s TV, and Jennifer Cooke probably would have gone on to be a big star if she hadn't retired from acting a year later to run the Celestial Seasonings tea company (no joke).

    From a long-term view, the show's reputation was also harmed by the ending of the first season (which I won't spoil), which hasn't held up well.

    I agree I don't understand the hatred for the V series (or the second mini), unless you buy into the "it's old therefore it's bad" mentality that seems to be plaguing our society. There's plenty to criticize in V, to be sure, and it probably didn't deserve to last more than a season, but I find it no better, no worse than the average American-produced network science fiction of the day.

    Alex
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    You have it backward. Ironside was a regular in the first dozen episodes of the series. He was then dropped from the final seven episodes, along with Blair Tefkin, Lane Smith, and Michael Wright, as a result of budget cuts.


    Nope, it was regarded as pretty bad even back when it was new -- which is part of why it only had 19 episodes. Maybe opinions of it are lower now than they were at the time, but that's because we've had more time to compare it to the original mini, to learn about how the sequels were taken away from Kenneth Johnson and retooled, and to see how much better and more sophisticated SF television can be.


    And that's part of the problem, considering how much better than that the original miniseries was. If V had been intended as nothing but mindless fluff from the get-go, it might be nostalgically appreciated as such, like Knight Rider is. But it started out as something so much smarter and more meaningful and then got aggressively retooled and dumbed down. It's a classic case of how network meddling can take something special and ruthlessly homogenize it.
     
  16. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    I've just realised now reading this that the significance V has been changed from the original. How utterly asinine. There is no hope for this show since it cannot even grasp the meaning of the letter V.
     
  17. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It still means V for Victory. The aliens' Victory. :evil:
     
  18. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Even the final act of the original miniseries eschewed character development for a plot-based narrative. And when you do that, you open your story to questions about the plausibility of the plot.

    Even so, the original mini-series was a story about something important. But once the inevitable sequel arrive in The Final Battle, the network chose to capitalize on the concept with plenty of action and melodrama (Donovan taking advantage of Julie, for example) -- at the expense of real character development or exploration. It's a shame. But the fact that the new V didn't learn the lessons from The Final Battle or the weekly series is inexplicable.
     
  19. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Commodore Commodore

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    Some quick thoughts on the original TV show...

    Good

    The idea of multiple sides in the war. Vistors & Resistance, but Nathan Bates playing both sides

    Julie pretending to be on Nathan's side/not Resistance

    Bad

    Every episode, Mike & the gang having to introduce themselves to people. Wouldn't Mike Donovan be he most recognizable man on the planet?

    The "love Triangle" between a guy , a just former teenager, and her 2 (two!) year old daughter

    The wrong characters being cut
     
  20. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Mr. Laser Beam is in the visitor's bullpen
    I only had two real problems with the series:

    - The cool echoing effect was gone from the Visitors' voices.

    - Martin/Philip. Unless the look of a Visitor's human disguise is somehow 'tied' to his/her actual reptilian appearance (which is not a bad idea, really), there is no way that anyone could immediately recognize Philip as Martin's twin brother. Any Visitor could be the one under that mask.

    I will say this, though. Something that really creeped me out about the series: When the Visitor 'Marta' is framed for Charles' death, and her sentence is to spend the rest of her life...floating through space, locked inside the pod with Charles' corpse. :eek: