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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
V: The Final Battle "The Final Battle"
V: The Final Battle (part 3, hour 2)
49:55-1:24:55 on Disc 2 of the DVD set
Teleplay by Brian Taggert and Faustus Buck
Story by Lillian Weezer & Faustus Buck & Diane Frolov & Peggy Goldman
Directed by Richard T. Heffron

Sean betrays the resistance while they prepare to unleash the red dust against the Visitors; Martin warns Donovan about the Visitors’ own ultimate weapon.

(This episode begins with Julie giving the red dust immunity pill to Martin and Willie and the Fifth Columnists and ends with the captured L.A. mothership returning to Earth after the Visitors' defeat.)

Read the story summary of the mini-series at the V Wiki

Didja Know?

For the title of this hour, obviously I used the title of the mini-series itself. This episode is where the final throw-down occurs...for now.

Didja Notice?

At 50:22 on the DVD, Martin throws his head back in a jerking motion while swallowing the pill that will give him immunity to the red dust. A nice touch by actor Frank Ashmore, suggesting the Visitors' reptilian swallowing pattern. Notice that Willie, however, seems to swallow his pill in a more human manner.

As Diana monitors the deployment of troops to military bases across the country, at 51:56 on the DVD we hear "Denver squadron reporting full deployment at China Lake." The only China Lake military base I'm aware of is the China Lake Naval Weapons Center (as it was known at the time of V), located in the northeast Mojave Desert of California. I know because I used to live there! So, why would a Denver (Colorado) Visitor squadron be assigned to it? There are bases in Colorado that you'd think would be covered by the Denver mothership.

At 52:18 on the DVD, there is an unusual star-shaped diagram on one of the screens in the command center of the L.A. mothership. What is it? It also looks like it may be Fifth Columnist Lorraine manning the console. star shape

There is a nice, fairly subtle, bit at 52:17-52:26 on the DVD that shows Elizabeth seated at a console in the command center and then, looking to see that the crewman next to her is not watching, getting up to follow and unobtrusively observe Diana and John from a distance as the panning camera follows their path across the set.

At 53:38 on the DVD, we see the lighthouse in action with its strobing light at the resistance HQ. This would suggest that the complex was not entirely abandoned when the resistance moved in, but may have been invited by the lighthouse keeper. If it was actually abandoned wouldn't the light be kept off so as not to attract attention from the Visitors or other authorities?

At 53:43 on the DVD, from the packaging seen, Chris appears to be loading Remington cartridges into his gun. Is Remington making the Teflon loads mentioned in "The Masterpiece" which cut through the Visitors' shock-trooper armor?

According to Filminamerica.com, the balloon scenes were shot at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico. This is what allowed the production to get many different hot-air balloon designs on film. I suppose the one with the big V on it was brought by the production itself! (The novel reveals that the V balloon was purchased by Ham Tyler specially for the occasion! I wonder if he got it back after the victory?)
hot air balloons

At 56:06 on the DVD, Tyler says the release of the red dust is to take place at 1100 hours at 10,000 feet altitude.

At 56:46 on the DVD, the Raven brand name is see on one of the hot air balloons.

At 56:55 on the DVD, one of the hot air balloons sports a patched-on sign for Ever Ready Oil. There are several companies throughout the world with a similar name.

At 57:05 on the DVD, the words "Air Step" are emblazoned on one of the hot air balloons. This is probably an advertising balloon for Air Step style shoes made by the Brown Shoe Company.

At 58:06 (and other places) on the DVD are what appears to be studio lights hanging from the ceiling of the hangar deck on the mothership! (On the left in the screenshot below.)
studio light in mothership hangar

The red dust immunity pill that the resistance scientists have developed for the Fifth Columnists seems to work well. If the resistance was able to formulate it so quickly, what makes them think the Visitors couldn't do it just as easily?

As Steven is packing a briefcase before attempting escape from Visitor Security Headquarters at 1:01:41 on the DVD, there is Visitor writing on the computer screen. V writing

In this episode we see that Eleanor will apparently take any side she can to survive, even betray her new friend Steven. Who, in turn, shoots her in the back!

When Lorraine meets up with the resistance forces aboard the mothership, Julie gives her a pill to protect her from the toxin. Shouldn't all the Fifth Columnists already have received and taken the pills by now?! If not, there must be a lot of dead Fifth Columnists on the L.A. mothership! (Page 386 of the novel reveals that Lorraine had not been able to contact all of the Fifth Columnists aboard due to increased security, so the resistance fighters who board the ship bring extra supplies of the vaccine and gas masks for any Fifth Columnists they meet who may still need them.)

There is Visitor writing visible on the tanker craft at 1:03:49 on the DVD.
V writing

At 1:04:24 on the DVD, there is Visitor writing on the computer screen next to a schematic of the air system on the mothership. V writing
   
V writing


V writing
At 1:05:27 on the DVD, there is Visitor writing visible on several places on the tanker craft. V writing
V writing V writing
   
At 1:05:43 on the DVD, there is Visitor writing or symbols visible on the pipes behind the shock-trooper. V writing

When Harmony gets shot from behind, it's clear Willie doesn't know what to do for her. It looks like he's about to grab her breasts!
V writing

At 1:06:50 on the DVD, Diana is conversing with the leader of the troops dispatched to Edwards Air Force Base and watching him over a video monitor. Would the troop leader really bother to set up a video camera in the grass pointed at himself?!
Visitor video

At 1:07:23 on the DVD, Tyler shoots down the Visitor flag at the embassy with a MAC-10 submachine gun.

After dispensing with all the Visitor troops at the Visitor Security Headquarters, the resistance members are seen shouting and celebrating with bottles of champagne. Did they pack a bunch of champagne with them or did they just find it stored in the building? (The novel The Pursuit of Diana reveals that they found the cache of champagne in the building. Steven had kept it there for entertaining the Visitors' human collaborators.)

At 1:07:32-1:07:37 on the DVD, during the celebration at the Visitor Security Headquarters, we see a resistance member pouring champagne from the balcony down into the mouth of another member on the ground! 

At 1:07:39 on the DVD, Chris is getting some "face-time" with a female resistance member! face time
   
V writing On the hangar wall behind the shock troopers, at 1:07:49 on the DVD, are seen what appear to be a fire extinguisher case with a Visitor symbol on it and a sign with some kind of instructions on it. V writing
<------ writing on the wall ------>
   
   
   
As Diana targets one of the balloons from the mothership at 1:09:34 on the DVD, Visitor writing is on the console screen below the targeting image. V writing

Watching the balloon passengers dumping bags of red dust into the atmosphere, at 1:10:49 on the DVD, one passenger, though we can't hear him speaking, seems to be telling the other person in his balloon to spread the dust out more...but they are 10,000 feet in the air! I think the dust will disperse quite nicely by itself at that height!
dispersing the red dust 

Looking up at the balloons releasing the red dust, at 1:11:08 on the DVD, we see Stanley Bernstein for the first time since the original mini-series (though Stanley has been present through it all in the novelization). And he has his arm around a woman who is not his wife!
Stanley Bernstein and mistress Mrs. Bernstein
Stanley Bernstein and mistress Mrs. Bernstein

The writers' inspiration for the bacteria that is lethal to the Visitors may have been the H.G. Wells classic novel The War of the Worlds (1898), in which Martians invade and essentially conquer Earth but eventually succumb to pathogenic bacteria in the environment.

During the scenes of celebration around the world at the departure of the Visitors, we see a water fountain turning on and some people playing in it. I suppose this is meant to symbolize that Earth's water is its own again, no longer being stolen by the aliens.

As the Visitors' ships begin to depart, a newscaster reports that there is a growing worldwide sense of excitement unparalleled since the end of the second world war.

At 1:13:20 on the DVD, the large viewport of the command center of the mothership can be seen in the background. It appears the ship must be enveloped in a cloud of red dust! Seems unlikely that enough red dust was released to accomplish that, even for a few seconds.
enveloped in red dust

At 1:13:30 on the DVD, there are a number of interesting monitor screens visible in the command center of the mothership. The large one in the background has a round image on it; perhaps it is some kind of schematic of the mothership itself? The screens on the console on the left and right of the screenshot look like levels from Donkey Kong or something! And the two console screens in the middle might be views of the inner corridors.
monitor screens

John refuses to participate in Diana's desire to devastate the Earth with the nuclear device before they flee, saying he will not be part of this obscene destruction. From what we've heard from Martin in the mini-series and the novel, the order to do so in this eventuality comes from the Leader himself. If John is willing to follow the Leader (hey, I made a pun!) in all of his other directives regarding Earth, why does he balk at this one? It does redeem him just a bit that he is willing to admit defeat and sees no reason to devastate the planet for petty revenge.

At 1:15:00 on the DVD, Diana's gun does not appear to have an opening in the barrel! I suppose since it shoots laser bolts of some kind there might be an explanation. But usually sci-fi films and television will have a hole or emitter on the end of the gun barrel even on a laser weapon.
solid barrel

When Diana arms the nuclear device, a pinging sound like that from many submarine movies or TV shows like Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is heard in the command center. Listen: ping

Also with the arming of the nuclear device, the ship's computer starts a verbal warning of the buildup to critical mass...in English! In earlier episode studies we've deduced that the Visitors themselves continued to speak the language of the country they're assigned to even when alone, for practice and due to the extreme difficulty of pronouncing Visitor words in the human masks they wear. But what is the reason for the ship's computer to speak it? We've already seen that text messages on the computer screens throughout the ship remain in the alien language.

Throughout the scenes in the command center of the mothership, monitors in the background can be seen that show an overhead view of Steven's corpse at the Visitor Security Headquarters on Earth! (Look at the monitor to Diana's left, screen right on the image below; plus Diana's gun now has a proper hole in the muzzle!)
holey weapon

At 1:16:45 on the DVD, as Diana lies injured on the command center floor, she looks away at the wall when Julie covers her with the gun. We see Diana continuing to look at the wall in scenes following until she finally turns her face back to us and seems to use a mental power to force Julie to let her escape. Why was she looking away? Was she too humiliated to face her foes? Or was she focusing elsewhere as a means of concentrating her mental power to a point where she could use it against the partially converted Julie? Do all of the Visitors have this ability to some degree? It was never mentioned before this scene. (The novel The Pursuit of Diana reveals that Diana and her conversion technicians discovered the telepathic control as an unintentional by-product of the conversion process just about a month before the "final battle".)

At 1:19:29 on the DVD, the nuclear reaction of the mothership has built to critical mass with 30 seconds left to detonation. And the computer's verbal warning is accompanied by the sound of an old-fashioned bell ringing! Kind of a low tech sound for the Visitors to use isn't it? Listen: final bell

What exactly did Elizabeth do to stop the explosion of the mothership? With less than 30 seconds remaining until detonation, Elizabeth dashes to the arming console, grasps the two inserted keys and begins to glow with light, seemingly sending some kind of energy through the console, disarming the device and presumably also reversing the critical mass that had been built up in the ship's gravity drive. To reverse the critical mass of an impending nuclear detonation is quite a strength to wield. Did that energy come from within her? Or did she tap into another source?

At 1:21:16 on the DVD, Diana makes her escape in a squad vehicle. As she flies out of the hangar bay of the fast-moving mothership, we see the stars flying by in an unrealistic fashion (similar to the effect used in the original Star Trek series).

 

V novel Notes from the V mini series novelization by A.C. Crispin

(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, paperback edition, published May 1984)

Pages 383-end cover the events of "The Final Battle"

Page 385 reveals that Donovan brought a small, hand-held video camera in the pocket of his Visitor uniform in the hope of shooting some footage. Apparently he is still a newsman at heart! At the end of the book though he realizes he forgot to shoot any video in the hectic confusion.

On page 386 Donovan wonders if his son will ever be back to normal after the conversion process he went through. In the following novel The Pursuit of Diana, Sean is seemingly deconverted aboard the captured mothership. However, later episodes of the weekly series show that it's going to take quite a while, if ever, to bring Sean back to human mental normality.

Unlike in the aired episode, the novel says that each resistance fighter that boards the mothership is wearing one of the voice-changing devices.

Pages 388-389 reveal that Arthur Dupres did not leave Eleanor as he did in the mini-series. But here he does decide to abscond with Sean to a cabin in the mountains they have to protect the boy during what could be the final battle.

On page 390, Martin says the shock-troopers helmets are equipped with built-in gas masks containing about 5 minutes of oxygen. This protects some of the shock-troopers, for a time, from the red dust being pumped into the mothership's ventilation system.

Pages 393-394 reveal that Eleanor was at the Visitor Security Headquarters because a mob was surrounding her home! I guess that with the Visitors being driven away, her neighbors were finally expressing their anger at her collaboration. Maybe that is also why Arthur made the decision to take Sean out of there.

On page 397, Diana takes control of Julie, but does not use mental powers to do so, she whispers to her while the others are busy worrying about the nuclear detonator. Earlier in the novel it is explained that Diana used Donovan's image as one of the figures who was chasing and trying to rape Julie in the conversion chamber, so Diana tells her to kill the one that hurt her and Julie turns the gun toward Donovan. Julie finally breaks the link however and shoves Diana down an open, laddered hatchway which happens to lead to a special escape shuttle for command center staff.

On page 397, Elizabeth stops the detonator, but not with a show of quasi-mystical power. She uses her super-genius level brain and the knowledge she has gained while aboard the mothership and reprograms the detonator countdown clock to continually loop back on itself until it can be properly disarmed. Elizabeth never utters the word "pre-te-nama" ("peace" in the Visitor language) in the novel as she does in the episode.

On page 399, after the nuclear countdown has been stopped, Donovan proposes to Julie! She says she will have to think about something so permanent and that maybe they should live together for a while first.

On page 400, Martin says he and Lorraine will be heading back to their own world to join with the Alliance to try to end the Leader's reign. He does agree to stay for a few days to help release the humans being held in pods in the belly of the ship. He also says that perhaps if they win back home, the humans podded in the other motherships can be returned to Earth someday.

Also on page 400, Donovan says that perhaps the authorities will allow Martin to take the water on board the L.A. ship back to Sirius as a gesture of goodwill to the Alliance.

V: East Coast Crisis Notes from the novel V: East Coast Crisis by Howard Weinstein and A.C. Crispin

The events of V: East Coast Crisis take place concurrently with the two mini series V and V: The Final Battle and details the goings on in the area around New York City.

(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, paperback edition, published September 1984)

Pages 262-end take place concurrently with the events of "The Final Battle"

Similar to a scene in the
V novelization with Diana, here, on page 280, a Visitor captain called Carl hisses an oath in his native language and causes his human mask to split at the mouth.

Page 287 describes a Visitor ground-rover tank never seen in the series. It's "low and squat, with a laser-cannon turret behind the driver's compartment...armored skirts covered its drive tracks." It's too bad the budget prevented the series from showing more Visitor technology like this.

Page 296 reveals that 6 hours after V-day began the still unconverted President was returned to his position in the United States.

Page 297 reveals that Jennifer and the Fifth Column captured the New York mothership and brought it back to Earth to return the human captives aboard. Like Martin in the V novelization, she plans to take the ship back to her homeworld to join the Alliance.

On page 299, Jennifer comments that many of Earth's leaders were killed or have been taken away in the motherships still controlled by the Leader's forces.

Page 302 reveals that President Morrow specifically requested the baseball commissioner to get the major leagues back up and playing as soon as possible to have something "normal" return to the public.


Memorable Dialog

I've tasted worse.wav
you shouldn't blame Sean.wav
say goodnight.wav
this could be a very short celebration.wav
the air force bases were the diversion.wav
the planet's food and water chain.wav
I don't relish the idea.wav
excitement unparalleled since the end of the second world war.wav
reports from Los Angeles.wav
queen of a poisoned realm.wav
critical mass.wav
get us out of the Earth's atmosphere.wav
you must listen.wav
it means peace.wav

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