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David Chase Speaks With The Mighty Kenneth Johnson About V: THE SECOND GENERATION!! (Part 1 of 3)

Merrick here...
...with the first installment of a three part interview with Kenneth Johnson.
Geeks may remember Johnson as a writer and/or producer and/or director of series like THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN and the original BIONIC WOMAN. He brought us THE INCREDIBLE HULK series (starring Bill Bixby), and developed the TV version of ALIEN NATION - for which he also produced, wrote, and directed (Johnson lorded over the five TV movies that followed as well). And, then there's V. Possibly Johnson's magnum opus, it's a hyper-allegorical tale of aliens coming to Earth as "friends"...only to be revealed as duplicitous, scheming, reptilian bastard enemies. Strongly evoking the rise of Nazi power in Germany, Johnson's miniseries spawned a sequel (the inaccurately titled V: THE FINAL BATTLE) and a subsequent weekly series. However, only the original miniseries reflected Johnson's full intent and vision. Politics steered him away from V: THE FINAL BATTLE, thus the resulting project (and everything that followed) differed significantly from the concepts and storyline he'd intended from the outset. The recently published V: THE SECOND GENERATION aims to rectify that; the book reflects how Johnson would've unfolded V had he remained involved with the franchise.
David Chase, a longtime associate of, source for, and contributor to AICN, recently had a chance to speak with Johnson at some length...regarding everything from V, to Johnson's assessment of newly revisited concepts like HULK and BIONIC WOMAN.
Here's David Chase...

Kenneth Johnson has quite the Hollywood career. For the past 30 years he has taken on the roles of a screenwriter, executive producer and director for some of the biggest and most popular TV series of the 70s and 80s. While his credits include the award-winning Bionic Woman and The Incredible Hulk (1970s), by the late 80s his name had become legend with his sci-fi hit Alien Nation. But a few years earlier, in 1983, the world was introduced to Johnson’s landmark NBC television mini-series; V. V told the story of reptilian aliens disguised as humans who came to Earth posing as peaceful visitors - with their own ulterior motives of robbing the planet of its resources and harvesting humans for food. It became one of the network’s highest rated programs, and an instant 80s pop-culture phenomenon. 25 years later mastermind Ken Johnson has resurrected the battle between the human resistance and the gopher gobbling reptilians with V: The Second Generation, the dark, action packed, eye-opening, social commentary sequel to his original sci-fi endeavor that picks up 20 years after his original story. This weekend I had the chance to talk to Ken Johnson and get the scoop on the secrets behind his new book, the possibility of a new V movie, his reactions on the recent remakes of some of his award-winning TV shows and much more. I have grouped the subject matter for this interview, which will be presented in 3 parts because, well, Ken loves to talk about his work. And, quite honestly, I was happy to have him share his experiences so openly and candidly. I hope you’ll enjoy what he had to say as much as I did. Here’s the 1st Q&A, in which Kenny and I chat about his new novel; V: The Second Generation which is in stores and on bookshelves now.

DAVID CHASE: Your work is well known to have lots of underlining political undertones and parallels that mirror certain…dark moments in human history. In your new book; V: the Second Generation, would you say that any of the story is influenced by current world events - like things going on in Iraq, or a post- 9/11 society? KENNETH JOHNSON: Well, 9/11 would never have had happened if The Visitors were in control - so I sort of skirt that, but what I wanted to do was literally pick up the story 20 yrs later and see what had become of the people that we loved or the villains that we hated…and how the Earth had changed. It continues to be a metaphoric allegory piece that I hope people will get swept up in. It’s sort of a brave new world piece where The Visitors have acknowledged the fact that they are reptilian, but they continue to wear the skins because they don’t want to come off as being offensive to us. They have cured Cancer and AIDS and Heart Disease, and have done a lot of wonderful things and really seem to have been the saviors of humanity. Yes, they admit they are taking our water, but their attitude is: ‘think of it as planetary Dialysis we’re gonna clean that water and then we’re going to bring it back and everything is going to be fine’. Because they control all the media, and censor all communications, the only side of the story we hear in the public is their side of the story.
DC: Now, where is the Resistance throughout all of this? KJ: The resistance has been fighting back for those two decades…trying to get the truth out. At the point where the novel picks up, they are kind of at the end of their rope and ready to give up. The Resistance has just been beaten down to a pulp, and then…when what seems to be their darkest hour comes… there’s suddenly this knock on the backdoor and there’s these 3 very peculiar people there who look pretty much like us. But as we’ll discover, they are not…and they say “Hi, remember that distress call you sent out 20 years ago? Well…we got it and we’re here to help” (…or are we!?!?!)
DC: For those who may not remember, can you set-up that clearly pivotal plot point from the original mini-series? The distress call… KJ: Sure, at the end of my original 4 hours, Faye Grant (Juliet Parish), my leading lady sent out a message into deep space trying to contact any enemies of the visitors, hoping that the enemy of my enemy would be my friend you know? And the question is…are they? Or do they have their own agenda and I thought that was a really interesting engine that could drive the story here.
DC: Have the underlining tones of the original V saga remained? When I wrote the original V, there were 2 superpowers vying for dominance in the world - us and the Soviet Union. Now there’s just one, and its not a super power - it’s a hyper power - and its us! So one of the things I wanted to explore in V: The Second Generation is the dangers of an unchallenged monolithic hyper power, where we, your wise leaders know what’s best for you - so stay the course and trust us and don’t ask too many questions or we’ll send you to Guantanamo Bay or worse . Just trust us. And I think in many ways, V is a more metaphoric novel now and story now then it was even when I started out…
DC: News of this book…and a possible re-make of the original V story…has been floating around the web for quite some time. What has been the delay in getting it finally released? KJ: I originally sold the story back in 2004 to NBC as a miniseries, and unfortunately it wasn’t the same experience as I had 20 years ago with Brandon Tartikoff who said; “I love it, here’s a check, come back when you’re done.” This was much more tangled, mostly because of the new corporate structure and integration and it was really quite the mess. By the time we got it to the place we really liked it and was all comfortable, they had run out of money, no one was making mini series any more, and I had already begun working on the novel because I really was so excited about the story…I had to tell about the new characters that I had created…that I really wanted to get the story out there to the hundreds of millions of fans (literally) around the world. That’s what prompted the novel.
DC: There a recent trend in Hollywood now of having later numbered “sequels”, or re-imagined visions of films picking up at a time-line earlier in the movie’s franchise. We’re seeing films like Superman Returns, or TV shows like Knight Rider, which dismiss spin-offs and established sequels. So, how does V: The Second Generation fit into the V universe amidst The Final Battle mini-series, the subsequent TV series, the comic books and numerous novels of the extended universe of The Visitors…? KJ: I think I know where your going with this…does this involve the material in the 1984 sequel and the later the really, really dreadful series? The answer is no, it skips over that material for a couple of reasons. First, I’m not even really sure what’s in that material…I know that the original 6 hour sequel I supervised the writing of back in 1983 was a really, really good script that were excited about, but I ultimately left Warners before it got produced. It ended up being handed off to other people who didn’t really quite get it. I heard from some of my actor friends who worked on it, they said “Kenny don’t ever look at it, it will drive you crazy because they just missed the whole point of what we were doing and what you had wanted to do”. So, to this day, I have only really seen about 30 seconds of “The Final Battle” - and that was by accident, channel surfing one day. And in those 30 seconds, I watched them make every wrong choice they could make in 30 seconds…and I knew I’d never be able to deal with seeing the whole thing. So I built the novel and Second Generation off what I had originally constructed in the 4 hour mini-series, and took it the way I always wanted to see it go, and I know it will be disappointing to some who had favorite characters who appeared in The Final Battle and such…but I had to really stick with my original vision.
DC: So as I picked up my copy of V: The Second Generation, I couldn’t help but flip thru it & look for certain character names. A few major ones I found scattered thru it, but I got worried, because no where did I see the name Mike Donovan… KJ: Ahhh, so “Where’s Donovan, where is Donovan!!?!” Well he was allegedly killed in a big purge that happened in 1999, when somebody gave out a lot of names and a lot of the resistance was taken down. And he was apparently killed before that in an uprising in London, but…don’t lose faith, keep reading…(laughs). You wont be disappointed, and by the way here’s a little trivia for you: both characters; Mike and Julie, are named after my 2 kids, Michael and Julie. I also like to put names of friends into this universe, so you’ll discover that 4 of my principle heroes in the book are Ayden, Nathan, Emma and Ruby, - and those are my grandchildren’s names.
DC: A theme that flows thru a lot of your work seems to be characters who experience discrimination, whether its an outcast scientist, or a race of marooned aliens. Do you carry that theme into V: The Second Generation? KJ: Well yes in The Second Generation, after 20 years, there’s been a lot of inner breeding between the aliens and ourselves - so there’s this whole underclass of half breeds in V: The Second Generation that are the offspring of visitors and humans. They are all under 20, of course, because The Visitors have only been there for 20 years. Like children of French mothers who had relationships with German fathers during World War 2, those children are without a world, because neither world wants them, and I thought that was a really wonderful thing to explore and see how it affected each of them personally…
DC: Well, you stressed that this book doesn’t contain some of the plot points that the later incarnations of the original mini-series had…but talking about ½ breeds of alien and visitors, can we assume then that there are all these “Star Children” hybrids running around Earth with powers like Elizabeth had? KJ: No, first off, in what we wrote originally, Elizabeth had no powers - that was all nonsense that was created by the people who took over the project after I left. And when I heard about it, it made me really gag. Because, you see, it was not logical…it had no organic nature and…no, these people are simply like…you and me, but they are ½ human and ½ reptilian…and it manifests itself in different ways with different individuals. You’ll get to the part in the book where we reintroduce the Robert Englund character; Willie, who we discover has been married to Harmy (the waitress from the plant in the original V). They have an offspring named Ted. With Ted, one of his eyes is human and the other is not, and he has scales on parts of his head - but the rest of his head looks human…one hand has an alien feel to it, the other a human feel to it. So, he’s literally a person that’s of 2 worlds. It’s not unlike what the offspring of Caucasians and African-Americans faced many years ago, and probably in many ways still do. It’s very intriguing I think and I hope people will enjoy it and see the social context I’m trying to put it into.
DC: Do you think that the die hard V fans who loved your original novel (and the original mini series) will jump right into The Second Generation novel & be able to get their long-awaited fix after 25 years? KJ: Absolutely. The challenge I faced was wanting to fulfill the expectations of the fans who were familiar with V originally, or have seen it over the years in some of the many times it was re-broadcast on TV…or maybe thru the DVDs. But at the same time, I also wanted to draw in anybody who had never heard a word about V before and very quickly get them up to speed and that’s what I really tried to do.Especially in chapter 2 of the book. We see San Francisco the way it exists today, and on the one hand you’re getting the propaganda stick that The Visitors are telling the world that is broadcast every Monday morning to every school child in the world…telling us how wonderful everything is. At the same time, though, I wanted to have the word coming thru from The Resistance…thru their bootleg videos…saying, ‘NO, NO, this is what’s true’, so the audience very quickly says ‘Ok, this is what The Visitors are saying, and they are obviously lies, and here’s what The Resistance is saying.’ By the time your into the 3rd or 4th chapter, you’ve really got the whole world laid out for you …much the same way Phillip K Dick did in Blade Runner, and as they did in the movie, because in that story you were entering a brave new world and you had to get up to speed pretty quickly. So, I’ve tried to make it virtually accessible to everybody - but also reward the fans who have stuck with it and had the story be a part of their consciousness for the past 20 years…

Johnson will be attending the Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention on Sunday, February 17, 2008, where he'll be signing copies of V: The Second Generation between 12-2:00pm. He'll also be speaking and signing at the Barnes & Noble in Encino, California on March 5th at 7:30pm.

Jump To Part 2 Of The Interview!!!

Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 13, 2008, 9:25 p.m. CST


    by Darkjedi523

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 9:25 p.m. CST

    My girlfriend was really a lizard too

    by commiepinko

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 9:32 p.m. CST

    (hand stays down)

    by Stevie Grant

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 9:33 p.m. CST

    Raises hand

    by moondoggy2u

    And although the first mini-series was far, far better then that V: The Resistance, the latter sure had a great theme song.

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 9:36 p.m. CST

    Also, I love how the guy try to spins the first V

    by moondoggy2u

    as some sort of commentary on the cold war when in reality it was clearly a nazi fascism piece. Now, of course, he has to make it a "Beware of the US" story. How unoriginal and bland.

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 9:39 p.m. CST

    David Chase?

    by Steve Trevor

    Is it just me or are the AICN nicknames cutting it too close.

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 10:02 p.m. CST

    Never saw the tv series

    by red_weed

    but i loved the original mini series. not so much the horrible ending of that 2nd part though. That freaky hybrid little girl going on about "peace" and a whole bunch of hot air balloons. Myeah.

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 10:04 p.m. CST

    V could have been an amazing sci-fi franchise

    by KnightShift

    But the corporate suits at NBC completely screwed that pooch. IIRC, after the first miniseries Johnson wanted there to be a series of V 2-hour TV movies that would be released every few months, that would have covered the Visitor invasion from multiple angles across the globe. Instead the NBC execs wanted a second miniseries and a regular series after that (all based in Los Angeles to cut costs, or so I've heard). If they had let Johnson handle it his way, V could have become something very special and no doubt one of the dominant sci-fi sagas of the past quarter century. Glad to see that he's getting to go back and show us HIS vision of V.

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 10:05 p.m. CST

    oh wait is the 2nd part the series?

    by red_weed

    Maybe i did see it all... If that's the case then yeah the series lost the plot a bit. Damn now i have that theme song stuck in my head. GAH!

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 10:06 p.m. CST


    by Droogie Alex


  • Feb. 13, 2008, 10:06 p.m. CST

    My hand is up. And I'm down for some interbreeding

    by kabong

    with June Chadwick and Jane Badler. <p> I'm looking forward to reading the book. <p> I'd like to be looking forward to that interbreeding . . .

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 10:08 p.m. CST


    by Deus Vult

    I was SO interested in this until I read his line about trusting our hyper-power fearless leaders or if we ask any questions we get sent to guantanamo. oh for fuck's sake when will this madness ends? when obama is prez and he shuts down our cuban prison so all the bad guys cross the border and come to houston to blow up the galleria? <p>although I loved V as a kid when it was a nazi allegory I cant buy into this. hopefully there's NO chance of this coming to television because it'll brainwash even more of our idiotic citizens into thinking we live in a fascist society. when was the last time you got carded by the gestapo to prove you were a jew? fuck off ken johnson you tool.

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 10:13 p.m. CST

    Raises Hand

    by Ted Brautigan

    I still remember Robert Englund's character getting shot. Willy I think. And the alien baby. Scary stuff when you're 7 or 8. Not sure how well it holds up, but it was awesome at the time.

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 10:18 p.m. CST

    before there was bsg, there was v

    by bacci40

    a show that was 20 years ahead of its may have been aleghorical to the nazi regime, but watch it now and compare it to what is occuring in the usa...for a little bit of comfort and security, people are only too willing to give up their rights...even if it means their eventual doom....the mini series were brilliant...the reg series...not so much

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 10:18 p.m. CST


    by darthvedder81

    This guy acts like the original "V" was "Citizen Kane" or something. The TV series was mostly lame but "V-The Final Battle" was equally as corny as the first series. They are both kind of fun to watch but are hardly this epic allegorical juggernaut he makes them out to be.

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 10:19 p.m. CST

    Deus Vult...

    by Stevie Grant

    it is obvious you have never been to DailyKos or the Huffington Post. We do live in a fascist society, because... because... Bush is Hitler! And what's worse is, conservatives don't like him because he isn't Fascist enough. He isn't like the WWII Fascist dictators who wanted a socialist, highly centralized government. Oh... my mistake, I meant liberals.

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 10:23 p.m. CST

    Ha I thought it was the dude from The Shield

    by messi

    Who rules by the way.

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 10:30 p.m. CST

    where is anchorite?

    by bacci40

    come on, we have heard from the wingnut peanut gallery, but not the head honcho yet...come on dude...bring it on...

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 10:33 p.m. CST

    oh, and i may be totally ignorant

    by bacci40

    but this isnt the david it? cuz if it is, can in part 3 johnson interview chase about john from c and ask him what in the hell was he thinking when he wrote it?

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 10:41 p.m. CST

    The US is the only superpower????

    by kingink123

    How about China? Russia? I saw all the V series when they were on NBC, and loved them...hopefully I can get into this new version.

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 10:41 p.m. CST

    lol this sounds like the moonbats' dream come true

    by Sir Loin

    I LOVED the original series, it was freaking awesome. But this update...egads. Johnson calls the US a "hyperpower"--hilarious. Guess China & Russia aren't any big deal, but hey...I blame Halliburton!

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 10:43 p.m. CST

    I dont think anchorite needs to show

    by moondoggy2u

    I personally would find it odd to label those who arent excited by yet another bush=hitler show premise as "wingnuts," but hey, maybe thats just me.

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 10:44 p.m. CST

    Sir Loin,

    by Stevie Grant

    part of the 20% of the annual Federal budget that goes to the US military accounts for about 80% of the Planet Earth's military research and development spending.

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 10:49 p.m. CST

    Stevie Grant

    by Sir Loin

    I don't think China and Russia are exactly defenseless, do you? He just comes off as a Berkeley-style loon but I'll withhold judgment until I read the thing. Think they're still eating rats whole?

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 10:49 p.m. CST

    V is for Giney...

    by Read and Shut Up

    V - lizard folk in rubber suits takin' over the world. Run!

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 10:50 p.m. CST

    I think its telling, stevie

    by moondoggy2u

    that when you are stating your case for the US's power, rightfully so, I might add, you concentrate on its military aspects and fail to mention economic, agricultural, and foreign aid influences, ie "power."

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 10:54 p.m. CST

    The Originals Were Metaphors for The rise of Nazi Germany

    by uss cygnus

    Most effectively, the original Mini-Series helped illumninate the often asked question of "How could the German people just sit by and let the Nazis take over Germany?" The Scientists stood in for the Jews. The Final Battle got increasingly ridiculous as it went...but Ham Tyler and some amazingly fun battle scenes carried the day. To even INFER in 2008 that the United States are now "The Visitors" is, in effect, calling this country the Fourth Reich. That is outrageous, idiotic, irresponsible, and just plain wrong. Kenneth Johnson seems to me to be just another member of the Stalinist "Blame America First" left. It's sickening to read this garbage from Hollywood lunatic after Hollywood lunatic. It really is.

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 10:58 p.m. CST

    United Skynet is not run by Hitler.

    by kabong

    Cylons, maybe.

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 11:02 p.m. CST


    by Stevie Grant

    agriculture doesn't matter... the US subsidizes agriculture way to much given comparative advantage and all. But, military spending is pertinent since I was responding someone questioning the US being the "hyperpower". And, alot, alot, of nations have gotten pissed off at the US in the last decade or so for cutting back on our unilateral current transfers (i.e. no more Soviet Union, not so much need to buy allies). Finally, the increasingly globalized economy makes the US economy even more pertinent. But, I'll spare the TB'ers who aren't economic geeks James Stock's and Martin Feldstein's current views and the counterpoints to them...

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 11:05 p.m. CST


    by Stevie Grant

    I don't take kindly to having Berkeley used in the same sentence as my moniker.

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 11:07 p.m. CST

    Message to David Chase

    by Supermans

    David Chase, If you read these talkbacks, I just want to let you know that the visitors are not an allegory for a hyper-powered US as you see it, even if you did write the story. Other countries or groups are far more similar to the visitors as you describe them in your book. For example, the brainwashing that is occurring is happening today by the likes of al qaeda, and China along with other countries and terrorist groups that really do brainwash all of the children to believe terrible things about other groups of people, especially American's. Remember, that America is the only country in the world that has never taken any land after defeating its enemies. In fact, the only land we ever took after a war was a small plot to bury our dead that we fought to liberate. We teach our children and our soldiers to respect other cultures and religions and the environment, along with teaching them who real heroes are. The Resistance very much holds America's ideal's and in your Miniseries (part 1) you wrote, the price of freedom was clearly spelled out. In your new Second Generation book, by ignoring the Final Battle and TV series, you left not only Mike dead but the resistance ready to give up. One of the reasons I like the TV shows was that American's did prevail in the end or were very close to driving the Visitors out. The direction I would have taken V was have your new alien race show up right when the visitors have been defeated by the resistance (after the TV show)and "The Fifth Column" took control of the entire fleet with the help of Mike and the Resistance. This would be more realistic since America does make friends with conquered foes and helped them rebuild as we did with Japan after WWII, so we help re-build the Visitor's military and even their planet in the same way America has dealt with our enemies who are now our greatest allies... You see where I am going with this David.. Then with the newly empowered Visitors who are now our allies, we help defeat this new alien race that answered our distress signal... a new TV series could have come out that is much more interesting than the new universe you created with this premise above.. I did like your book, but I would have taken things in a whole new direction based on my core values and beliefs..

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 11:10 p.m. CST


    by Stevie Grant

    i meant posting. But, in other, way cooler news, ESPN online has made Hunter S. Thompson's columns available for free again. I already know this is going to be a huge drain on my very limited free time.

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 11:10 p.m. CST

    OT... Kenneth's version of The Incredible Hulk is the only...

    by Pizza The Hut

    ...version I ever gave a crap about, mainly because it tried to stay true to the real world. I hate it when they inject too much comic bookishness into things.

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 11:12 p.m. CST

    Agriculture doesnt matter?

    by moondoggy2u

    That's a first I've ever heard. True, we're importing wheat now, in the light of ethonol production (or lack thereof), but there are still a good chunk of exports. <p>I'm glad to see you acknowledged that the US economy is pertinent, especially in the light of a globalized economy, because this only reinforces the "pertinence" of other massive economies, such as China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the EU. In other words, China's status of as a super power is applicable, especially when you understand that a nation's power is not restricted to its military. <p>Don't misunderstand me, the US is far and away the leading superpower of the world, but it is not the ONLY superpower. Your reference to the globalized economy makes my point, and ultimately, sir Loin's point. This is, of course, why I pointed out that you omitted the other obvious facets of power.

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 11:14 p.m. CST

    But mask-a-tron

    by moondoggy2u

    Those were just a bunch of minorites; they don't count, remember?

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 11:15 p.m. CST


    by Stevie Grant

    while you're not correct about the whole "never taken any land after defeating its enemies" thing, that shit was two centuries ago. I got your back, though.

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 11:21 p.m. CST


    by Stevie Grant

    back a few years ago, when the US economy was booming, we added the equivalent of the entirety of China's economy onto ours in three quarters. I don't want to look up the specifics, because I'm way too tired, and have already spent 4 hours today reading economic papers. But, yeah, no other economy is close to ours. If the US, Britain, and Japan withdrew from the UN, formed our own UN, paid the same amount, the new UN would have a larger budget than the old one.

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 11:27 p.m. CST


    by Stevie Grant

    not really, the majority of Native Americans died from disease. And, the tribes that remained independent were constantly in friction with everyone, including other Native American peoples. I know there are a lot of exceptions, but it still holds overall.

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 11:28 p.m. CST

    I'm not saying

    by Stevie Grant

    the entire affair wasn't evil. Just that it doesn't correlate to the Holocaust.

  • Feb. 13, 2008, 11:39 p.m. CST

    I meant Kenneth Johnson not David Chase

    by Supermans

    I meant Kenneth Johnson not David Chase.. Don't know, was typing too fast and had Chase's name in my head.. My post above was meant for the writer who also now believes the US is the Hyper economy and is now in the same league as the Visitor's. Bush is like Diana I guess to She's definitely better looking and I'm sure he believe she is much smarter than GW... In either case, If you haven't read my first post, please do as it is from the heart and coming from a true fan..

  • Feb. 14, 2008, midnight CST

    About the book

    by Supermans

    The book starts off with two typcast hicks in a truck that get killed off by two aliens (not visitors). They are naked at first and the book starts off pretty well.. The Nathan character is the star of the new book, however I would have much rather had Mike Donovan as the star of this book, 20 years later he would have been close to 50 and still in pretty good shape. He could have easily been leader of the Resistance and so forth.. There was no reason to kill him off... Just like in the first miniseries, there was no need to kill off Mike's partner and friend either... He would have been great comic relief in later episodes...

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 12:04 a.m. CST

    shoulda been in the book..

    by Supermans

    Mike Donovan and Ham Tyler were simply cool and collected characters that should have both been the star's or at least behind the scene's leaders in the book.. 20 years later they both would have still been effective against the evil Diana..

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 12:07 a.m. CST

    Last thing before,

    by Stevie Grant

    bedy-by-time: yeah, agriculture doesn't matter. The vast majority of US agriculture is based on subsidies that are a giant ripoff to the rest of the nation. I was born and raised in a rural area... and, it's a total ripoff to the nation in general. Most agricultural crops that were un-subsidized didn't disappear, their still around. Yet, the farmers magically make a profit minus everyone else's tax dollars. The difference is the nation paying additionally for the food, on top of subsidies paid in taxes Congress (State and Federal) uses to buy votes. And, I am from an almost entirely rancher/farmer part of the country. The "agents" who determine farming subsidies are up for sell in entirely too many cases. Unless you grew up in a agricultural/ranching area... you wouldn't know.

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 12:29 a.m. CST

    Creepy ain't lying

    by Stevie Grant

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 12:29 a.m. CST

    The Creepy Thin Man

    by bacci40

    thank you...i felt chills running down my spine...kudos to spielburg for letting indy age...the trailer made me feel somewhat young again...

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 12:32 a.m. CST

    Stevie Grant

    by bacci40

    native americans died of disease and alcoholism and suicide as a result of the united states policy in regards to the indian...we have treated them like shit and yes, its been pretty much a holocaust

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 12:41 a.m. CST


    by Stevie Grant

    "the holocaust" not a holocaust. and i'm going to sleep now. i'll try to check this tb tomorrow in case of anymore posts directed to me; but don't hold it against me if i don't get the chance.

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 12:55 a.m. CST

    This guy must hate his own creations

    by Sick Fixx

    to not include Donovan and Tyler.

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Awesome! Thanks For Posting This Interview!!!

    by ElectricDreams

    This was a real treat to read. As a fan of the V universe, (even the parts Johnson didnt like), to actually hear his own words about his vision, the under-lining themes and struggles in trying to re-ignite the franchise was great. He seems like such a grounded and down to Earth guy, cant wait for the rest of the interview. Thanks AICN for always providing fun Ques/Ans with celebs like Bruce Willis, Frank Darabont and Sylvester Stallone! You guys rock!

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 1:24 a.m. CST

    Sick Fixx

    by INWOsuxRED

    so you've read the book? This interview suggestions Donovan does play a part in the book, is that not correct?

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 1:58 a.m. CST

    hands up here! saw em all!

    by Maniaq

    Wow look at all the political morons come out of the woodwork! do you guys even know how to READ?? <p> OK for starters don't bother crying about how lame The Final Battle or the series was coz Johnson REPEATEDLY washes his hands of those efforts... <p> ...and don't get all defensive about your hero Bush - HE DOESN'T GET A MENTION! sheesh! let me try to SPELL IT OUT FOR YOU: it's not about an American president being like Hitler - it's about PEOPLE being DUMB enough, or at least complacent enough, to continue going about their business and PRETENDING that fucked up shit is not going on all around them... <p> Actually, the irony is there are people RIGHT HERE on this very talkback who are proving his point - YOU are who this story is about! <p> Don't get me wrong - NOBODY is trying to say America is some evil empire but to borrow a phrase, great power comes with great responsibility so TAKE some fucking responsibility and GROW THE FUCK UP - let me put it another way- <p> <p> THEY LIVE! <br> WE SLEEP!

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 2:12 a.m. CST

    That V-Baby scene

    by smackfu

    is burned into my brain forever. That was a pretty fucked up scene to watch when you were 7 years old.

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 3:39 a.m. CST

    the alien baby

    by GavinVanDraven

    was a crappy muppet. very crappy. i hope i got this right.... so, the original miniseries is the only part that is canon, and the sequel will pick up from where that storyline left off? johnson should re-release the first series with updated special effects first, because 90% of people today have no clue what V is and without updating it... nobody will tune in.... the cardboard cutout looking spaceships dont cut it anymore. oh, and "raises hand".

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 4:05 a.m. CST


    by Lemming

    I enjoyed V, but this book just sounds like it's being written in crayon, ffs: "Oh my god, and like, there are these other aliens, and they are like 'where's donovan!' And I'm like 'no ways!' o_O

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 4:13 a.m. CST

    the original miniseries traumatised me

    by Lost Jarv

    I was about 6-ish when I saw it. When that woman ate the hedgehog, well that gave me nightmares.

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 5:19 a.m. CST

    Guinea pig

    by pearlanddean

    ..not a hedgehog. I wanted Jane Badler to eat something of mine alright heh heh m heh.

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 6:04 a.m. CST


    by Itchy

    you're not alone. I think Jane Badler was the first chick I whacked it to. I remember stealing a sci-fi fanzine from my grandma's house because she was on the cover. Even when I was a kid, I knew that titties ruled.

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 6:20 a.m. CST

    The original V mini-series

    by kwisatzhaderach

    was amazing. I was 9 when it was on and it totally freaked me and my schoolmates out. I liked Final Battle but the weekly series SUCKED.

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 7 a.m. CST


    by Dazzler69

    I am glad they are bringing it back. But it's just too lazy to ignore Final Battle and series. They should just relaunch it and start from scratch.

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 7:01 a.m. CST

    Both V series were great, but it Jumped the

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    Lizard when it became a tv show.

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 7:02 a.m. CST

    On the other hand the Alien Nation tv show

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    was great,and I was disappointed when it got cancelled.

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 7:42 a.m. CST

    Maybe if the new project was reworked into a reality show...

    by Kid Z

    ...called "Guess Who's A Reptile?" it'd have a ghost of a chance of being picked up by NBC, "the all reality-show network"!

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 8:02 a.m. CST

    Okay, after reading the whole interview

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    I NEED to read this book. I'm glad Johnson dismissed the series, and I can live with him dismissing The Final Battle as someone took his concepts, and screwed with it. This sounds cool. The only downside is I guess we won't read about Michael Ironside's character.

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 8:13 a.m. CST

    I worship at the altar of V and Bionic Man and all...

    by xannibal

    ...but the Alien Nation stuff was boring soap opera crap.

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 8:14 a.m. CST

    Loved the V miniseries, hated the Hulk series.

    by Stalkeye

    I didn't care for The Incredible Hulk as a series mainly because,it was the same redundant shit over and over.<p>David (Banner) stumbles into a town,always lands a job, run into people who is involved in a situation, gets the shit kicked out of him, turns into the Hulk (during and after the first 25 minutes.) and throws the bad guys around then walks down a lonely highway while hitchhiking.( sad piano music in tow.)Thank gawd they killed him off in the final made for tv movies.<p> Sorry but Ang Lee's Hulk closer to the Comic canon than this campy series in which Hulk's portrayal was waayy too sensitive thanks to writer karen Harris. *shudders* <p>Oh was'nt Eliyas killed off in the V series?A friend of mine (at the time) ran into the actor (Micheal Wright)who played him in the miniseries who mentioned that he quit the series because of racism on the set. Anyway would a V remake be considered? If they can bring back the lame Bionic Woman, why not V?

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 8:41 a.m. CST

    Jane Adler... feeling warm all over again....

    by clan_rewired Still got a thing for that 80's hair....

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Oh and interbreeding...

    by clan_rewired

    ...well, it's just very funny how he get's all upset about how they gave Elisabeth superpowers even though there was no 'natural' reason for it... No really, the fact that an alien could even copulate and create offspring with a human is a ludicrous proposition to begin with, different species from our own planet can't even do that. Maybe he's taking his whole creation a teeny weeny bit too seriously? I agree it went downhill after the first series, but hey, it was no epic masterpiece to begin with, just very amusing and with some incredibly hot chicks with an extremely bad fashion sense.

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 8:55 a.m. CST

    Stop putting interviews nom de plume's in the titles!!!

    by Darth Bauer

    I come here thinking something was going on with the REAL David Chase and find out it's some nobody.

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 8:55 a.m. CST


    by Darth Bauer


  • Feb. 14, 2008, 11:49 a.m. CST

    Donovan is only mentioned in the book according to him

    by Sick Fixx

    And I'm not sure Ham Tyler is even in it. I'll still read the book, because I love V, even the much maligned regular series.

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Without Ham Tyler...

    by Sledge Hammer

    ...I just don't care.

  • What color is the sky in his world, I wonder?

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 12:58 p.m. CST

    True story...

    by BigTexas42

    When I was little and the V series was just airing, it was a little over my head ( I was like 6 or 8 or something), but man, did I love my Dukes of Hazard. ANyway, there I am watching Bo and Luke jump the General for like the 800th time when something shiny caught my attention and I was distracted for a minute. When I returned my gaze to what I thought was the Dukes, there are all these crazy lizard people running around! unbeknownst to me at the time but knownst to me now, my babysitter had changed the channel to V. "oh no!" he says "Bo and Luke ripped off their skin and turned into lizard people!". Well, I just freaked out and ran and hid and never watched the Dukes again. I oughtta sue for emotional distress. <P><P>anyway, what? No star trek till 2009? whatever.

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Sledge Hammer, it's Johnson's creation

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    and he can do what he wants, but man I will miss Ham if he ain't there. The resistance is in deep crap, he throws them some clips of the special ammo, the Visitor troops come in and get wasted. Gotta love that.

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Nastiest part of V was not the rubber face ripoff

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    moment. We think the Visitors are still our friends. There's some accident at whatever plant it was involving some coolant, maybe liquid nitrogen, I dunno. Some guy stumbles out grasping his arm in pain, slams it against a rail or wall and it shatters. Pretty nasty for a young tv audience. Willie saves the day. The thing is, since the visitors are reptiles you'd think they would be more suseptible to the cold. I guess they evolved into warm-blooded reptillians.

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Speaking of V and Trek, what if

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    The Visitors are really the Gorn who travelled back in time to stop the Federation from existing?

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Bionic Woman Cancelled

    by Stalkeye

    Ah, there is a god after all. XD

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Reptiles suseptible to cold.....

    by clan_rewired

    well, depends on the tempreature they are used to, cold blooded creatures have trouble maintaining their temperature on their own, so variances in temperature can cause trouble for them. What is more is that cold blooded animals can not succesfully sustain high energy organs like brains etc, so highly intelligent cold blooded reptile alians are bollocks anyway. Just saying... in case anybody is taking this series serious anyway... you know, like with the interbreeding thing?

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 2:36 p.m. CST

    I'm sort of confused

    by Angelus_420

    My V books which I've had since the first miniseries came out says that the author is A.C. Cripsin so why is Johnson taking all the credit for the series' vision?

  • Feb. 14, 2008, 6 p.m. CST

    Grammaton, course he can do what he wants...

    by Sledge Hammer

    ...but even so, without Ham I'm just not interested. That character, as played by Michael Ironside, is one of *the* memories of 80's tv for me. Don't know why it had so much of an impact on me, but it did. Maybe because I hadn't seen a character quite like that on tv before.

  • Feb. 11, 2010, 8:42 p.m. CST


    by orcus