If you never watched V: The Original Miniseries you might not know who Donovan is. You may not know who Diana, John or Juliet are. But aside from the opening dream sequence that would make absolutely no sense to you it would be relatively easy to pick this one up and understand what’s going on.
Just as V: The Original Miniseries, V: The Final Battle was a made for TV event that played out over a few nights in the early 80’s (1984 to be exact). After the initial dream sequence, the story opens on the Resistance preparing for a raid against one of the Visitors processing plants. The Resistance is easily turned away and they are left to lick their wounds and complain about what went wrong and how best to proceed.
Around the same time two things happen. First, the Resistance captures a Visitor (Willie played by Robert England) and they learn that the Visitors are planning on unveiling a universal cure for cancer that they have created. The Resistance plan on “unmasking” their leader John (Richard Herd) for the world to see. Everything goes according to plan and John is shown on live television with his “face” removed. During this skirmish Juliet (Faye Grant) is captured by the Visitors and Kristine Walsh (Jenny Sullivan) is killed by Diana (Jane Badler) after she goes on TV and attempts to tell the world just how bad the Visitors actually are. Before Diana can kill Kristine, she sends out a plea to other people around the world who are willing to stand up and fight the Visitors.
After the victory by the Resistance they head back to their secret base only to learn that it’s not all that secret after all. Ham Tyler (Michael Ironside) is there waiting for them and informs them that that Visitors know about their base and they need to leave as soon as possible. He also tells them that he is part of a larger Resistance that is organized and preparing to move against the Visitors. At this point Juliet is in the grasp of Diana and is undergoing her conversion process which will effectively make her a double agent for the Visitors. Julie is rescued and returns to the Resistance only to begin questioning whether she has in fact been converted. The Resistance has placed Maggie (Denise Galik) under cover posing as Visitor Youth Leader Daniel’s (once again played by David Packer). Without going into too many details I’m happy to say that Daniel gets what’s coming to him in the end… great scene.
We learn that not all the Visitors are bad. Those that aren’t have organized and are known as “The Fifth Column”. Some of them able to contact Donovan (Martin specifically from the Original) as well as quite a few others. Tyler wants nothing to do with them but they learn to co-exist. The Resistance manages to capture another Visitor named Brian (Peter Nelson) who at the end of the Original series had impregnated Robin (Blair Tefkin) with the first inter-stellar baby. After Robin’s baby is born the Resistance uses the baby’s blood to create a toxin that is harmful only to the Visitors. Robin takes the toxin (a.k.a the “Red Dust”) and tests it on Brian… very successfully.
Things fall of the hinges a bit here and go from relatively believable to bat shit crazy. Robin’s baby (Elizabeth) begins to grow at an incredibly abnormal pace. In a matter of weeks she’s like 12. The resident Resistance priest takes her on board the Visitor mother ship and is promptly killed by Diana who takes the child under her wing and begins to try and teach her that Peace is simply not possible between the two races. Meanwhile, the Resistance is producing Red Dust by the truckload thinking that they’ll use this weapon against the Visitors and make them leave Earth. Fifth Column member Martin shows up to let Donovan know that even if the humans succeed, the Visitors have a super weapon that can destroy the Earth – the “Doomsday Device” (I shit you not… insert evil laughter here).
Donovan’s son Sean (Eric Johnston) has been rescued and obviously converted by Diana. The Resistance use this knowledge and feed him incorrect information which allow them to disperse the Red Dust nationwide and make Earth essentially useless to the Visitors. The Visitors set off their destruction device but never fear… Elizabeth is here with some hocus pokus to save the day. Diana shows just how evil she really is by killing John as well as his peer Pamela (Sarah Douglas) that was introduced in this storyline. It’s as if the Pamela character is only brought it so that we can show just how ruthless Diana is.
Where the first story was a pretty straight forward statement story, this one delves a bit more into the supernatural / action genres. There’s a completely worthless love story thrown in between Julie & Donovan complete with a sex scene (remember this was on TV) and a bunch of babble between the two of them. It borders on cheesy soap opera stuff here between the music, dialog and fact that Marc Singer’s essentially shirtless every time they’re on screen together.
Speaking of cheesy. For some reason they explore another relationship in this movie: Maggie & Mark (Sandy Simpson). The cheese factor is absolutely off the fucking charts here. They are preparing to go off into battle and decide to get married. Mark utters the line, “I can’t wait to marry you… let’s do it as soon as we get back” or some such nonsense. As soon as he says it you just KNOW he’s not coming back. Complete garbage that should have been left out.
There’s quite a few deaths here at the end… some good and some bad. I do have to say that the majority of them are very satisfying especially for the human traitors. The effects in this one leave quite a bit to be desired even for a flick made in the 80’s. I’ve heard rumblings that this is going to be remade here in the near future which could be interesting if done properly.
All in all I can’t say this is a great (or even good) movie if you don’t have the nostalgia factor in there. If you’ve sat through V: The Original Miniseries then you absolutely HAVE to watch this follow up or you’ll be left with little more than the first act of a play. All of that being said, this is one of those movies from my childhood that I have fond memories of and I’m glad I watched it again.