News V - 1983 Miniseries coming to Blu-Ray in August (27th)

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Cutie McWhiskers, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. Cutie McWhiskers

    Cutie McWhiskers Commodore Commodore

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    https://www.hdmoviesource.com/product-p/12630.htm

    Digitally remastered, reviews I'd read on other sources cite look marvelous - even revealing details in the f/x (e.g. laser blast) scenes. As a kid, certain scenes were more effective compared to rewatching as an adult but it's amazing how extremely well the miniseries has held up since then. Today's kids might not understand how people communicated when there were no cell phones, etc...

    Is apparently in its original aspect ratio as well - which is nice, even though Kenneth Johnson claimed he framed the footage so it could work in 1.33:1 or 1.85:1. (The Final Battle, which I am hoping also gets get released, was in 1.33:1.)

    One disc covers both episodes. Which makes sense, 5 TV episodes at 43 minutes each (after commercials) fit nicely without much in the way of artifacting so 196 minutes will be a breeze, leaving a fair amount of space for extras (if any) such as promos, making-of docos, etc, at the time.

    https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/V-The-Original-Mini-Series-Blu-ray/134530/
    (claims aspect ratio 1.85:1 and whose screencaps seem to confirm it. Close-ups of Visitors with those lizard eyes look first rate, showing how much care went into costuming. The one shot with the mothership approaching the archaeological dig always looked vacuum-formed in the middle, but there's detail on its underside that wasn't possible to see before now that astonished me. )

    The miniseries had spectacle for its time as well as engaging, well-crafted characters, premise, presentation steeped in claustrophobia (in a dramatically good way), and plot with few holes that don't readily stand out.
     
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  2. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    From here, the future, looking back, all those yanks from the 80s, are food.
     
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  3. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    A fun thing to watch the very first time, and should probably be just as much fun on blu-ray. Plus Diana in HD:drool:

    Looking forward to getting this. Thanks for the heads up.
     
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  4. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well this is terrible timing...I just found the old DVD of the original a month ago at a Hobby store and bought it, and ordered a copy of Final Battle like 2 weeks ago.

    If I'd known about this, I wouldn't have bothered!
     
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  5. Cutie McWhiskers

    Cutie McWhiskers Commodore Commodore

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    I wish I'd stumbled on the article sooner, it was completely unexpected to find!

    The Final Battle (TFB) miniseries may not end up on Blu-Ray at all, so don't cancel your order yet. Surprisingly, Blu-Ray.com does have a page devoted to it (definitely add your name to the "Notify me" list, every tally helps.) --> https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/V-The-Final-Battle-Blu-ray/248092/ So it's just possible its in development for a possible release.

    TFB has some moments of pure greatness, even if it also relies on a few contrivances that start to stretch credibility - but the cast really hold the thing together during even the most cringey parts and, again, those great parts more than make up for the cringe.

    The 1985 season-long ill-fated series is far less likely to be released compared to V and TFB, but I'd buy it if remastered. The early episodes aren't exactly bad, take some odd but interesting risks, many do have potential, even despite the show's bare bones budget having to give up the reverb voice effect, eventually too-frequent f/x reuse, etc. It ended up being a hot mess but they did have some mojo early on. The premiere alone is working its tail off, trying to restore the sense of threat and claustrophobia the original had (good move) but the series did overly rely on the starchild's dopey magic (not a good move).
     
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  6. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They have placeholder listings in place for all kinds of things, both mainstream and incredibly obscure...it doesn't necessarily imply movement on a title. Unfortunately.
     
  7. Orac

    Orac Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The original mini series is good, the 1 season TV series and the Final Battle are just terrible! I love them all.
     
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  8. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, I misread your first post. When you mentioned "5 Episodes" I thought this would be the original Mini AND The Final Battle Mini. But you just meant that the Original Mini is the same length as 5 normal TV hour-long shows (and it is, as it's 2 90 minute long chapters).

    In that regard, I don't feel like it's a waste to have ordered Final Battle!

    I heard that. Apparently the original showrunner left after the original mini because the focus became less on story and characters and more on action.

    Admittedly, even the original mini had its issues. The stock characters and how they had the "secret scientist conspiracy" as if Scientists were some ethnic group (yes yes yes, Nazi parallels, but still...).
     
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  9. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Kenneth Johnson. Who even went on to write his own sequel to the original mini, the novel "V - The Second Generation".
     
  10. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^
    Said parallels were intentional as that's exactly what he intended (IE to retell the events leading up to the Holocaust using a science fiction based allagory).

    I don't think he's talked directly as to why he left the production of the follow up "V: The Final Battle" miniseries beyond "Creative differences with the Studio Execs..." - but I believe the studio wasn't comfortable with the allegory, which is why things are p[ortaryed a bit differently (IE - the Visitors are now just after anyone who doesn't believe they're benevolent, or has evidence of what they really are.)

    I found a Sci-Fi pulse interview where he makes one comment RE: "V: The Final Battle":

    http://www.scifipulse.net/exclusive...ut-his-tv-work-v-the-second-generation-novel/

     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Back then, TV executives didn't believe audiences could handle smart, challenging science fiction (despite the proven success of Star Trek and The Twilight Zone in syndicated reruns), so there was strong pressure to keep it lowbrow and kid-friendly.
     
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  12. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    You're full of it. I always laugh at people who (every time they look at something in the past) think; "Oh, it's simple because audiences of the day wouldn't/couldn't understand it - Bullsh*t.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm not talking about what I believe -- come on, I've been a Star Trek fan since 1974, so obviously I don't agree with the low opinion of SFTV that I'm describing. But it was what network executives at the time believed, and that's why SFTV in the '70s and early '80s was so consistently lowbrow. Do the research and you'll find numerous examples of shows that tried to be smart but were rewritten and dumbed down by network fiat.
     
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  14. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I get that. It's just kind of silly the way everyone acted like "Scientists" were some visible ethnic minority. He was going for a Holocaust Analogue but to me it just didn't work out. It would've been better if they'd kept the "Conspiracy against the Visitors" vague enough so they could go after and persecute anyone they deemed a threat, which is what eventually happened anyways.
     
  15. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    I remember a Starlog magazine article from the time. One of the creative differences centered on the religious minister/character. I can't remember exactly which way was which but one version wanted the minister to be young and inexperienced which is what lead to some mistakes and character development. The other version had the minister a much older character. The writer just didn't think one of those ideas or versions was going to work but was overrode by the higher ups.

    I think there were some other gutting changes/reworking. Can't remember. Might have centered on the star child.
     
  16. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So my copy of "Final Battle" arrived and I'm halfway done the first episode. Admittedly, not as much character stuff as the first series but to be fair that one had more peacetime to set up the characters and their world whereas here the war has begun and there wouldn't be as much time for slow character stuff.
     
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  17. Koric

    Koric Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Hey all,

    If you can find or buy the original 1983 novelization of V with an all black cover the V mothership and V logo in red. It has sole credit by A.C. Crispin. It is a larger novel with BOTH V the mini-series and V the Final Battle in one book. I have it but havent read it yet.

    I dont know if the story for the final battle is different but HALF of the book is OMITTED in the 2008 reprints, because Kenneth Johnson wanted to ignore the events of the Final Battle for his continuation novel the Second Generation.

    I still remember watching V the mini series over three nights on NBC in 1983 what an event! Even at 10 years old it scared the bejusus out of me. The same with the Final Battle to a degree. It really was mind blowing. It was a truly unique experience as a kid, but then as adult the references to the Nazi's, facism, etc. Recently, I saw the old 1960s Twilight Zone episode "To serve Man" and wondered if Johnson was influenced by it in some way.

    V had sex, violence, allegories. All in a prime time mini series. I'd like to think that it stretched standards and practices for prime-time. Recently with the reminders of hatred and intolerance I feel like the old Jewish grandfather in the show who survived the holocaust. Never forget, I guess. Still timeless in my mind.

    I need to watch both miniseries now. Oh and David Packer was and is still a jerk in the show and real life for the young death of Dominique Dunne. Sad. Rest in peace.

    Thanks for the memories all. The old addage is still true. They really dont make them like they used to, both in movies and t.v.

    -Koric
     
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  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I wouldn't be surprised (either by the TZ episode or by the 1950 Damon Knight short story it was based on). Johnson's work often shows clear influences from earlier fiction -- for instance, The Bionic Woman's "Doomsday is Tomorrow" features a mad computer named ALEX that's a blatant knockoff of 2001's HAL. And the initial setup of V is strongly influenced by Arthur C. Clarke's novel Childhood's End, with gigantic spaceships hovering over cities and the mysterious aliens within offering us benevolent aid while hiding darker secrets (although the secrets in the novel are very different).
     
  19. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    I thought Packer was defending Dunne from the man who strangled her at the time.
     
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  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Wikipedia says that he called the police from inside the house when he heard the assault going on outside.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominique_Dunne#Death
    It sounds like he was just an unfortunate bystander who tried and failed to summon help in time. Though this is the first I've ever heard of the incident, as far as I recall.