V: The Original Mini Series

Season 1
 (3,479)
7.8198313+
The aliens say they come in peace. They call themselves Visitors. They really want to steal the earth's water, tame its population and harvest humans as food, in the groundbreaking science fiction miniseries V.
Genres
Science FictionSuspenseAdventureAction
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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  1. 1. V: Part 1
    April 30, 1983
    1 h 45 min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Visitors from another world arrive on earth and claim that they come in peace. People discover, however, that the Visitors may not be telling the truth.
  2. 2. V: Part 2
    April 30, 1983
    1 h 31 min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Donovan becomes a fugitive when he tries to reveal to the world the truth about the visitors.
  3. 3. V: The Final Battle: Part 1
    April 30, 1983
    1 h 30 min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Four months have passed since the visitors first arrived on Earth. They manipulate world opinion in their favor and are determined to eradicate the resistance.
  4. 4. V: The Final Battle: Part 2
    April 30, 1983
    1 h 32 min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Donovan is reunited with his son and joins the international Resistance headed by Ham Tyler and Chris Farber.
  5. 5. V: The Final Battle: Part 3
    April 30, 1983
    1 h 25 min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Donovan turns himself over to the aliens in order to save his son. Diana hears her colleagues are plotting against her.

More details

Directors
Kenneth Johnson
Producers
Kenneth JohnsonChuck BowmanPatrick BoyrivenBrandon Tartikoff
Season year
1983
Network
Warner Bros.
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Other formats

Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

3479 global ratings

  1. 81% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 12% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 5% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Ace-of-StarsReviewed in the United States on May 7, 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars
''V'' is for ''Visionary''
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*
"V," the NBC Television mini-series which first aired nearly two decades ago, was intended to be seen for its entertainment value though, admittedly, using some pre-mid 20th century historical elements to contribute to the overall plot and theme of the story -- specifically World War II Germany (the alien "national symbol" even resembling an incompleted 'connect-the-dots' swastika). Little did the writers, directors and producers of this mini-series realize that their sci-fi project was a late 20th century prophecy which would begin seeing fulfillment in the just few months shy of the dawning years of the 21st century.

The purchase of this DVD marked the very first time of my ever seeing this feature, and I was instantly hooked, especially by its dazzling high-octane opening sequence. The special effects were also nicely done considering the time period in which it was made, that it was a "made for television" movie, and the fact that it was made on the cheap. (It was also nice to see Robert Englund as something other than a flame-scarred tragedy figure.)

The story of "V" revolves around a race of seemingly benevolent space aliens who look, sound and act a lot like us. They convince the world that they are our friends and only wish to extend the hand of cooperation & unity and work toward a "common good" where all will benefit. But there are those who have some very gnawing suspicions about the "Visitors," that they are not quite everything they appear to be -- which is a serious understatement, for it turns out that the real agenda of the "Visitors" is to rape the planet of its most precious resources and enslave humanity.

"V's" creators obviously tried to parallel the story with National Socialist Germany, but in hindsight it becomes frighteningly obvious that "V" was as much a vision of the "historical future" as it was a view to the "historical past!" That unintentionally forseen future sneaked up on us and, just like in the mini-series, nobody took notice... until it was too late! That "future" which "V" foreshadowed occured during the "Campaign 2000" ("C2K") presidential [s]election! The similarities are too hauntingly similar:

> "V": "Visitors" came as "friends" promoting "brotherhood" and prosperity for all.
> "C2K": Republican nominee presented himself as a "compassionate uniter" who promised a strong, vibrant economy.

> "V": "Visitors" took control without being duly elected and under suspicious circumstances.
> "C2K": Republican presidential administration took control without being duly elected and under suspicious circumstances.

> "V": In order to usurp power, "Visitors" took advantage of impotent elected government officials.
> "C2K": In order to usurp power, Republicans took advantage of impotent elected Democrat government officials & politicians.

> "V": "Visitors" fabricated a non-existent energy crisis on their homeworld in order to plunder & exploit the precious natural resourses of earth.
> "C2K": Republicans fabricated a non-existent energy crisis in our homeland (in California specifically and in the whole of the United States in general) in order to plunder & exploit the precious natural resourses of the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve.

> "V": Major news media almost unilaterally gave supportive non-critical "pro-Visitor" spin to the news and did all they could to suppress independent media outlets and put a halt to, or discredit, any serious investigative news reporting.
> "C2K": Major news media almost unilaterally gave supportive non-critical "pro-Bush" spin to the news and did all they could to suppress independent media outlets and put a halt to, or discredit, any serious investigative news reporting.

> "V": Scientists were demonized by "Visitors" as unwholesome, unpatriotic, and even dangerous elements of society.
> "C2K": Environmentalists, corporate regulation advocates, and civil rights advocacy groups were demonized by Republicans as unwholesome, unpatriotic, and even dangerous elements of society.

> "V": "Visitors" preached peace and tolerance while instigating a very one-sided "endless war on terrorism," resulting in the repeal of certain rights guaranteed under Constitution-- including and especially 'free speech' --and labelling anyone critical of their unconstitutional actions as having sided with terrorists.
> "C2K": The Bush Administration preached peace and tolerance while instigating a very one-sided "endless war on terrorism," resulting in the repeal of certain rights guaranteed under Constitution-- including and especially 'free speech' --and labelling anyone critical of their unconstitutional actions as having sided with terrorists.

> "V": "Visitors" operated a 'secret government' from a base on their homeworld.
> "C2K": The Bush Administration established a secret government in an undisclosed location here in our homeland.

> "V": "Visitors" advocated a policy encouraging citizens to spy upon one another and report "anything suspicious" that could be construed as being linked to terrorism or terrorist organizations.
> "C2K": The Bush Administration advocated a policy called "Operation TIPS" ("Terrorism Information and Prevention System") which encourages citizens to spy upon one another and report "anything suspicious" that could be construed as being linked to terrorism or terrorist organizations.

It goes on and on! Where does one stop with all of the comparisons? The similarities are virtually endless! The only thing missing is a distinctive insignia to rally behind (that is, of course, if one doesn't already consider the American Flag to be it, especially since the unfortunate tragedy of "911"), designer costumes for the "Youth Brigades," and entire sweeps of towns and mass imprisonments.

In "V" the violators of our basic and most cherished liberties were lizard-creatures wearing human-looking skin; In 21st century America they are human through-and-through, but they do often speak with the 'forked tongue' of a reptile!

The makers of this mini-series probably had no idea they were developing a story with an eye on a direct future outcome, which makes this series even more enjoyable and even more disturbing to watch. Everyone should watch this video, not only for the entertainment value, but also as a warning and a wake-up call!

[Dialogue from the film]:
(Mike Donovan): "How did someone like that get to be your leader anyway?"
("Martin"): "Charisma. Circumstances, promises. Not enough of us spoke out to question him until it was too late."

* * *
6 people found this helpful
AJBAGReviewed in the United States on February 13, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
"To V or not to V"
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I know, I know, I know, this movie is campy, it's cheesy, it's even silly at times, right? However, having said that, let's consider some things about "V" that may change your minds. This show first aired in 1983 as a two-part television miniseries which was advertised as must see T.V. It didn't disappoint! I watched it with my wife and we were glued to the tube for two nights. We thoroughly enjoyed it! Viewed today, I'm sure that there will be those who criticize the special effects, and other aspects, but remember this was 1983; 34 years ago! But, the storyline is very relevant even today. Perhaps, even more relevant today considering the numerous U.F.O. scenarios and subsequent reports generated world wide in newspapers and television programs. Not to mention, our global political turmoil and dangerous military saber rattling and our sobering environmental issues and health problems, all of which threaten humankind with escalating and relentless pace. So, who knows, perhaps Alien intervention may be next on the horizon, which (thankfully) brings me back to "V". The movie begins with the sudden appearance of gigantic, saucer like space craft around the world. Fifty of these city-sized ships arrive simultaneously and hover silently over major cities across the globe. Eventually, contact is made by these visitors (as they come to be known) when they make a global simulcast in whatever languages necessary, announcing that they come in peace. The astounding, yet relieving message further invites the Secretary General of the U.N. to meet with their emissary on the rooftop of the U.N. building. The unprecedented meeting reveals to the anxious world that the galactic travelers are surprisingly humanlike in appearance, and have come seeking our aid. We learn that their invironment is in dire straights and that their very survival depends on certain chemicals and minerals found in abundance on the earth. In exchange for our assistance the visitors are willing to share advanced scientific, medical and technological knowledge which would benefit humandkind tremendously. Earth accepts their bountiful offer but it is soon revealed that our new interstellar friends are much more than they appear, and that we are getting much more (or less) than we bargained for! For one thing, it becomes increasingly obvious that they are a militaristic/totalitarian society which through propaganda and other means, quickly insinuates itself throughout our society on a global level. Their structure and tactics are strikingly similar to those of Nazi Germany from their singlilng out and subsequent persecution of scientist to their establishment of Visitor Youth Groups and media campaigns. Even their uniforms are reminiscent of Nazi uniforms right down to their "Jackboots"! The two night series is really a Nazi allegory portrayed in a science fiction format which I found both clever and thought provoking. And, BY NO MEANS do I suggest that there was anything intertaining about the Holocaust! I'm speaking relative to the premise and film style of this particular television show. And there are further even more sinister, shocking and frightening revelations about this race discovered by prominent and suspicious photo journalist Mike Donovan (Mark Singer) who manages to sneak aboard the gigantic mothership hovering over Los Angeles. There, Donovan manages to surreptitiously
film a few of the visitors and captures their TRUE nature in a startling scene which left me (and viewers) stunned and talking about the show around the water cooler the next few days! But that's just the beginning as Donovan, once again on board the mothership, learns the REAL reason for the vistor's arrival in a mind bending scene that leaves him reeling from shock, both visually and intellectually as his mind slowly absorbs what he sees and the unearthly insideous and horrifying plot becomes clear! A plan so vile, and vast in its scope and ambition that it even surpasses what happened in Nazi Germany, and makes abundantly clear the depth of humankind's peril as a consequence of intering into this unholy alliance with a superior extraterrestrial race.
Our leaders have signed our death warrants and it's up to Donovan and a ragtag resistance force led by a bright young med student/biologist named Julie Parrish played by the lovely Faye Grant (who I met and teased about her diminutive stature and tiny feet while doing security at a summer theater festival in the Berkshires) to stop these interstellar fascists who have infiltrated the highest levels of global governments down to the local levels of law enforcement. And, remember, the special effects as well as the miniseries itself, helped to inspire the blockbuster film "Independence Day" and many of the current Sci Fi television shows of today. So I give "V" a strong recommendation and hope you enjoy it too.
88 people found this helpful
CandymanReviewed in the United States on August 25, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
80s sci Fi
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Loved watching this when it came on as a kid with the family prettynama
Kevin R. AustraReviewed in the United States on March 31, 2010
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Original and a lot More
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V: THE ORIGINAL TV MINISERIES is now and will always be a landmark in television science fiction. The recent airings of the two miniseries on the SyFy Channel finally goaded me into buying a DVD copy for myself. I was not disappointed. Producer, writer, and director Kenneth Johnson had almost complete control over this production. The quality shows through with a good story, fluid camera work, thrifty film editing, and symbolism throughout the film. Even better is Kenneth Johnson's director commentary as a special features option. Johnson narrates from beginning to end. His dialogue is tied to the scenes at hand and is a virtual cornucopia of behind the scenes production information, trivia, and memories verbalized as clearly as if the film production concluded only yesterday. Johnson's explanation of film techniques alone almost seems to constitute a semester's worth of a film production class.

Overall a first rate production.

The plot for those who care to read it again: A seemingly humanoid race arrives on Earth with dozens of enormous mother ships Earth to assist mankind. All they ask in return is the ability to process synthetic chemicals to bring back to their planet. Quickly however the Visitors, as they are known, facilitate social unrest that is wholesale blamed on those employed in the science profession. Scientists are blamed for attempting to derail the Visitor's goodwill, open acts of sabotage, and are linked to an alleged world-wide conspiracy to withhold medical cures purely for the sake of extorting research funds. As such scientists are treated in much the way the Jewish population faired during the Holocaust. In the meantime people continue to disappear without a trace much like the Nacht and Nebel degrees of Nazi Germany. The Visitors even supplement their ranks with human volunteers in local Visitor militia groups much like storm troopers of the 1930's. The Visitors, having taken world leaders into their protective custody, enforce martial law.

All is not lost as a brave band of resistance fighters, led by Julie Parrish and Mike Donovan, methodically assemble a force to fight the visitors. Mike Donovan, formerly one of the news cameramen welcomed by the Visitors, has seen the Visitors in their true reptilian form. He quickly discovers that the aim of the Visitors is to rob the Earth of its water and enslave the population. Humans are primed by the Visitors as potential impressed soldiers for the leader's army, as well as a source of food for the Visitors. The resistance is not alone in its struggle as there are a handful of aliens who do not support their leader's aims.

The first miniseries concludes with the resistance having emerged victorious from a nominal battle and preparing for the next engagement.

The mini series moves along smartly. There is no useless dialogue or prolonged scenes to overly exhibit expensive sets. Much as I enjoyed V: THE FINAL BATTLE I readily admit that the original television series is far superior. THE FINAL BATTLE picked up where the first series left off, but quickly devolved into a more drawn out production. Lacking Kenneth Johnson at the helm and a reduced budget, the second mini series lacked the creative camera work, superb editing, and tight dialogue of the original. Kenneth Johnson pitched a sequel that would have ignored the second mini-series and weekly television production, but Warner Brothers (who own the television rights to the series) opted to remake the series for ABC. Johnson's sequel eventually ended up as a book.

For reasons that still escape me I missed the original May 1983 broadcast of V. I did not become a fan of the series until early 1984 when I saw V: THE FINAL BATTLE and was later able to watch a summer rebroadcast of both mini series prior to the airing of the weekly television series. Much as I admired both mini series and the television show, I admit that I always felt THE FINAL BATTLE's ending was rushed. The instant resolution with the simple release of red dust was too hurried and not in keeping with the original mini series.

Ultimately V: THE ORIGINAL TV MINISERIES is a superior effort. I recommend that after you watch the film that you watch it again with Kenneth Johnson's commentary.
10 people found this helpful
Frances FordReviewed in the United States on August 21, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Loved it
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Good series
RyanReviewed in the United States on August 9, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great to see this old series
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Seemed fine with me watching it. No complaints really
Randy StevensReviewed in the United States on June 10, 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars
Happy
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Happy
James ZakReviewed in the United States on July 11, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Awesome series back in the 1980s
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Personal use
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