V: The Final Battle (part 3,
0:00-49:55 on Disc 2 of the DVD set
Teleplay by Brian Taggert and Faustus Buck
Story by Lillian Weezer & Faustus Buck & Diane Frolov & Peggy
Directed by Richard T. Heffron
One of Robin’s children lies at
death’s door, while the other lashes out; Pamela tightens the
noose on Diana; Donovan worries about his son’s disconnection
(This episode begins with Robin entering the
incubation room to see her children and ends with Diana
For the title of this hour, I modified chapter title 8 on the
DVD "Test Subject Brian". In this episode there are multiple
test subjects: the dead reptilian baby; the hybrid bacteria;
Brian, when he is killed with the red dust; Julie, when she
subjects herself to the red dust; Sean Donovan, who performs his first spy mission after his
conversion; Elizabeth while in Diana's custody.
It seems like the producers could have done a
better job with Elizabeth's shed skin. It doesn't appear to have
the openings cut for eyes, nostrils, ears, and mouth!
Willie mentions that his people do not shed their
skin until they are 6 years old.
Julie mentions that it has been a week since the
birth, yet Elizabeth has grown to the size of a 2-year old.
At 6:19 on the DVD, the reptilian twin (which,
apparently, was never given a name) is sick and dying and is
visibly paler than he was at birth.
After the reptilian twin dies, Harmony covers the body with the
blanket and we briefly see more of it's body. It has a belly
button, which a normal Visitor presumably would not have since
we see in a later episode ("The
Littlest Dragon") that they are born from eggs. The baby
also does not appear to have any visible genitalia; is that the
norm for the Visitors? Is so, how did Brian impregnate Robin?
In her own crib, Elizabeth starts to cry the moment her twin
dies. Julie comments that this is the first time she has ever
cried. It seems to suggest an early psychic component to the
After the reptilian child's death, Robert takes
some tissue samples and, comparing them with human and Willie's
samples, he and Julie realize that a hybrid bacteria was created
during the pregnancy, half human E. Coli from the human
mother and half of the alien bacterium from the father. This
hybrid bacteria seems to be what killed the child and is the
basis of Red Dust that later proves deadly to the Visitors.
E. Coli is a normally harmless
bacterium found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded animals.
Though we don't see the actual attack, it is clear that
Elizabeth has attacked Katie Maxwell to get the doll away from
her; we see Elizabeth approach Katie in the sleeping area and
then moments later, Katie is found unconscious, her face red and
swollen with traces of venom spattered on it. The part that's
even weirder is that Katie is found under her bunk, just one
foot sticking out to give away her location. So Elizabeth not
only has the venom spitting ability of the Visitors but she also
has the macabre foresight to shove the young girl under the bed
in an attempt to hide her victim!
|As Diana spies on the meeting between John, Pamela,
and Steven at 11:26 on the DVD, Visitor writing is
visible on the monitor panel.
In the scene beginning at 14:53 on the DVD, it appears that
Brian has a human date at dinner with Daniel and Maggie
at the Bernstein house. We even see him caress and kiss her
hand. From this and his earlier comments about
Robin, it seems that Brian shares Diana's interest in
cross-species sexual relations.
When Caleb, Tyler, and Donovan make their faux delivery of two
boxes of wine to the Bernstein house, Caleb's box isn't even
sealed, the flaps are tucked around each other by hand! That
could have been a giveaway if Daniel or Brian had been just a
little quicker on the uptake. Notice also during this scene that
Donovan keeps his face obscured by the box he carries on his
shoulder so he won't be recognized as one of the Visitors' most
After Caleb sets up Daniel as the one who orchestrated the
kidnapping of Brian, Steven has the teen tortured and
brought before him. When Daniel asks what is going to be done
with him, Steven replies, "Send you where you'll serve us
well...on a serving platter." This dialog may be an homage to the
classic Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man" in which
aliens come to Earth claiming peace and sharing their advanced
technology to solve Earth's problems. An alien book is
discovered and the title is found to be To Serve Man,
which makes Man very happy. Upon further research, however, the
pages therein are translated to be a cookbook!
At 23:07 on the DVD, as Brian is dying from the exposure to the
Red Dust, his right contact lens is suddenly gone as he grasps
and tears at his false skin. But it doesn't appear that he has torn
his face away from his eye to have done it.
While Donovan and Tyler are discussing how to test whether the
Red Dust is toxic to humans, Tyler comments "Too bad we didn't
bring our little brownshirt back," referring to Daniel in his
brown uniform. Is "brownshirt" a term the resistance has
commonly come to use for a human who has joined the Visitor
ranks? PopApostle reader A. Garland also points out that the
term "brownshirt" was used to refer to members of the
Sturmabteilung (Storm Detachment), the original
paramilitary division of the German Nazi Party, founded in 1920
and clothed in brown uniforms.
Just as I mentioned in "The
Masterpiece", here Diana again handles one of the caged
birds and they are all perfectly calm in her presence unlike
what we saw with Steven in "Arrival".
Only after biting off the bird's head do the other birds in
the cage start
to act panicked. Maybe after they are in the Visitors' presence
for a period of time their fear goes away until given a reason
to be fearful again.
After Father Andrew flees with Elizabeth, the resistance is
forced to move headquarters yet again, this time to the grounds
of a lighthouse.
Filminamerica.com tells us it is Point Vicente in Rancho
Palos Verdes, CA.
At 31:08 on the DVD, Elias comments that just handling the vials
of Red Dust gives him the shakes, bringing up past "harmless"
substances such as DDT, Agent Orange, and dioxin. He may have a point. The
resistance's conviction that the Red Dust is harmless to humans
comes from only a brief exposure to the stuff by Julie; what
about the effects of long-term exposure? And what about the
effects it might have on creatures beyond humans and the limited
reptiles on which they've tested it? When the ongoing TV series
starts, it is revealed that there has been some effect
on Earth life over the year after the Visitors' departure.
The Texas Run mentions
a two-headed rattlesnake in the desert caused by Red Dust
mutation. The substances
DDT, Agent Orange, and dioxin mentioned by Elias are all
well-known toxic substances that were originally proclaimed
harmless to humans and the general environment.
It's interesting to note that Elizabeth does not start to speak
during her time with the humans, but does speak a limited amount
while with Diana!
At 33:53 on the DVD, Elizabeth has typed "pre-te-nama", the
Visitor word for peace, on a computer screen. Unfortunately, the
screen is too far from the camera to make out the Visitor
At 34:39 on the DVD, Elizabeth has built...something...that
looks rather like a space
Commenting on Elizabeth's "space Habitrail", Diana says, "Very
nice, dear. But remember, what you worked so hard to build,
others take great pleasure in tearing down. You must never give
them the chance." And she knocks down a portion of the
construction. This statement of Diana's may give us some insight
into her personality. She is probably at least partially
referring to the word she just received that all security and
military commands from her must pass through Pamela first. But
it may also be revealing of events in her past that have helped
make her the diabolical being she is.
During the resistance debate about whether to use the Red Dust
and risk nuclear annihilation at the hands of the Visitors, at
37:44 on the DVD, when Elias begins his speech that there is no
other way, Chris gives a silent hand clap of applause.
For some reason the hallways at the resistance HQ are adorned
with posters of other countries. China and Italy posters are
visible. Maybe the resistance members wanted to decorate and
just had to use whatever was handy. Or maybe the international
posters are to remind them that they are fighting for more than
just their local cell.
At 42:13 on the DVD, Father Andrew, while speaking to Diana
about the Bible, actually volunteers to go to the Visitor
homeworld to spread the word of God!
|There is a bunch of Visitor writing visible on the
exterior of the Fifth Column shuttle at 47:25 on the
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 324-381 cover the
events of "Test Subjects"
In the novel, Donovan and Martin must hide in the cold, dirty
crawlspaces of the lowest levels of the mothership for days
before making their escape. Donovan witnesses some of Martin's
reptilian characteristics like the prolonged cold making him
sluggish and disoriented; in fact, Martin comments that without
Donovan to keep him awake and share body warmth, he would have
slipped into hibernation involuntarily. Martin is also able to sense the
vibrations of approaching troopers before Donovan hears their
footsteps. And, of course, escaped rats have made a home even on
the mothership and Donovan sees his friend swallow some whole.
On page 325, Martin mentions the Alliance (also mentioned in the
Coast Crisis) as the
opposition to the Leader on the home world.
Page 326 reveals that it was Barbara who disguised herself as
Donovan in an attempt to assassinate Diana in
In the episode, it seems as if the Fifth Column had planted the
parachutes used by Donovan and Martin to escape from the
mothership for just such a contingency. In the novel, Martin
finds them by accident; they are 20-year-old leftovers from an
obsolete escape system.
In the episode, Sean is a spy working for both Diana and Steven
to bring information back on the resistance. In the novel, Diana
plants him without Steven's knowledge and he and Pamela have
concerns that Sean is working for Diana more than for the
Page 334 reveals that after escaping from the mothership,
Donovan and Martin made their way to the Bernstein's home and
Stanley takes them to the resistance HQ. It is also revealed
that the HQ is in San Pedro, the vacated town in which Sean and
his mother had formerly lived (the novel never mentions though
whether it is an old jail or prison as it is at this point in
On page 335 we learn that Elizabeth molts every few days, eating
like a piranha every other day, then going to sleep and molting.
Pages 339-340 reveal that she sits and looks at books, flipping
pages for hours on end, even taking in technical manuals; while
playing with a spelling toy, it becomes obvious she has learned
how to spell words, though she doesn't speak. After Father Andrew
delivers her to the Visitors, Diana at first speculates she may be able to
slow the child's physical growth to a safer rate, perhaps by
controlling the secretions of the pituitary gland; later Diana
states she has managed to slow the girl's growth, but doesn't
specify how it was done (perhaps this is why Elizabeth still
looks the same from this point up to the first episode of the
weekly TV series, "Liberation Day", which takes place a year later in the timeline). Diana's tests reveal that
Elizabeth's intelligence goes off the scale; she is likely a super-genius and
has already learned to write computer programs in the Visitors'
own language. Diana admits that Elizabeth's intelligence has
made her question her belief that the Visitors are inherently
more intelligent than humans.
Page 336 reveals it is the waste products of the hybrid bacteria
that is deadly to the Visitors and which makes up the red dust. Page
355 describes how the resistance cultured the toxin in vats of
yogurt at a dairy; later another plant in Switzerland joins
them in the production effort.
The dinner scene at Daniel's house is quite a bit different in
the novel than depicted in the episode:
Daniel's parents are also present for the meal. On page
341, Daniel's father proposes a toast to his son's latest
promotion to Junior Security Chief of the Visitor fleet; Daniel
later comments he is the first human to be made an official
Visitor officer. As the resistance springs its trap, Stanley and
Lynn share with Daniel the contempt they now have for him,
calling him a stranger who moved in and killed the son they
loved, disgraced the Bernstein name, betrayed their faith,
caused his grandfather's death, and cold-bloodedly murdered one
their friends (Ruby); Stanley concludes with, "We have no son."
Tyler and Caleb are pretending to be hired servants,
cooking and serving the meal. In the episode it is Tyler who
smashes a wine bottle over Brian's head; in the novel it is
Caleb who does it. Conversely, in the episode it is Caleb who
calls Steven at the Visitor Security Headquarters to frame
Daniel; in the novel it is Tyler's idea and Maggie who makes the
Brian's date, which is revealed to have been arranged by Maggie, is named
Carol Ann and she is a member of the resistance; in the episode
she seems to be an innocent bystander caught in the middle of
the situation, but here in the novel, she actively participates
in Brian's abduction. Carol Ann was a hairdresser before joining
the resistance and at one point she touches Brian's hair and is
able to feel the synthetic quality of it.
Tyler calls Daniel a Judas, after the disciple who
Pages 350-351 reveal that Robin asked Father Andrew for
absolution after killing Brian.
On page 352, when Father Andrew tells Diana that Elizabeth's
existence proves that humans and Visitors are made of the same
genetic stuff and suggests that the Visitors making food of
humans is nothing short of cannibalism, he then asks if the
Visitors are in the habit of practicing cannibalism. Diana
answers no, "at least not in several hundred years." That seems
like a short amount of time to have not been eating your own
After Father Andrew's departure, instead of moving the
resistance HQ to the complex of a lighthouse as in the
mini-series, they move to the Johnson Dairy outside of Los
Page 355 describes that after a week, Julie, Robert, and Cal
manage to come up with an immunization to the red dust for their
Fifth Column allies, but they don't know how long the immunity
lasts and all Fifth Columnists are advised to wear oxygen masks
if possible and avoid breathing the toxic substance of the red
dust if possible. Also, in the mini-series, the immunization is in the
form of an ingested capsule; in the novel it is an injection.
In the episode, when Martin delivers the warning to Donovan about the
thermonuclear device on the mothership, the scene
takes place in the warehouse of a theatrical storage company; in
the novel the meeting takes place in a Chinese restaurant.
Martin reveals he knows the resistance is up to something big
because he went to visit their HQ and was turned back at the
gate by Sancho. He goes on to say that on one ship in any Visitor fleet is a device
that can tap into the gravity drive and turn it into a
thermonuclear device capable of blowing a hole in the Earth the
size of a continent and equivalent to hundreds of thousands of
megatons (compared to the maximum theoretical yield of 100
megatons on the largest known nuclear bomb tested on Earth). He
says that Diana is one of the scientists who helped design it
and most likely she, John, Pamela, or Steven would be the only
high ranking officers on the ship, which just happens to be the
L.A. mothership, who could call up the destruct program and
implement it. Martin believes that John and Pamela are not
psychotic enough to go through with it and Steven too gutless;
only Diana would likely follow through on the threat.
On pages 359-360, when Jake explains to Diana that new orders
are to run all military or security commands from her through
Pamela first, he says that the Leader has apparently concurred
with Pamela's precautions. This would imply that the Visitors
have faster than light communications technology.
The resistance refers to the impending dispersal of red dust
throughout the world and raid on the L.A. mothership as V-day,
shorthand for Victory Day. In the first episode of the weekly TV
series, the anniversary of the day is a holiday called
Liberation Day (in "Liberation Day").
During the resistance debate on whether to follow through on
V-day, Robert comments on the lives lost up to this point and
mentions that Chris was killed in a raid "last week"! In the
mini-series Chris is alive and uninjured and even goes on to appear in
the weekly series, comic books, and novels! (Particularly odd,
since the novel Death Tide,
co-authored by Crispin, features a living Chris Faber!) Another difference in
the debate is that Elias opposes going forth with V-day after
the revelation of the Visitors nuclear device, the opposite of
his opinion in the episode!
On page 363, Julie argues against the risk by suggesting that
the growing Fifth Column may turn the tide themselves against
their militant superiors and give the Visitors a chance to
evolve out of being a threat to Earth. Robert counters that
Neville Chamberlain (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from
1937-1940) said the same about the Germans and Hitler before
On page 365, Julie acknowledges to herself that part of her
opposition to V-day may be her own childhood fears of nuclear
war; as a child she was much more fearful of the likelihood of
it than her peers and had nightmares of such an event and being
forced to lead and organize the survivors afterwards. In
childhood bedroom is seen to have a variation of Lorraine
Schneider's anti-Vietnam War art piece of 1966, War is Not
Healthy hanging in it.
On page 370, while playing catch with him, Donovan notices that Sean has seemingly lost his
baseball skills. Trying not to
appear alarmed, Donovan comments, "Even Brooks Johnson had to
warm up for a minute." Who is Brooks Johnson? I was not able to
find a reference on the web that seemed applicable to baseball.
Page 372 mentions some of the Air Force bases the resistance is
planning to hit around the country: the L.A. group has Edwards,
the D.C. group Andrews, Portsmouth has Pease, St. Louis has
Scott. These are (or were at the time) real Air Force bases in
the United States.
Page 373 has Julie admonishing Caleb to make his peace with his
semi-estranged son, Elias, in what could be their last days.
Page 376 reveals that Willie has told Robin that a Visitor child
could not really be raised the way humans raise children because
Visitor children grow up too fast. This implies that, while
Elizabeth's growth is unprecedented, some accelerated growth
from her would be expected.
Page 377 reveals that Eleanor is reading Machiavelli's The
Prince, a guide on how an individual may gain and maintain
power. Upon seeing it in her possession, Steven gives her a
veiled warning not to become ambitious and tells her he had to
dispense of Daniel Bernstein for that reason. (Interestingly, in
the novel we are never told of Daniel's fate. When Eleanor asks
Steven about it he simply responds, "I assure you, dear lady,
you'd rather not know.")
Pages 378-381 feature a scene not in the mini-series. The night
before V-day, Julie throws a small party for the resistance
members and they are even treated to a glass of beer apiece, a
rarity due to food rationing by the Visitors.
Near the end of the evening, Elias plays one of his favorite
songs, dedicating it to Diana. The song is "Beat It" by Michael
Notes from the novel V: East
by Howard Weinstein and A.C. Crispin
The events of V: East Coast
Crisis take place concurrently with the two mini series
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 240-262 take place concurrently with the events of "Test
On page 241, Dr. Donnenfeld mentions that there are no pro
sports taking place anymore and no amusement parks open.
Pages 242-246 depict a visit to the
east coast by Julie, Tyler, and Maggie shortly after the death of Robin's reptilian child
but before Robert has discovered the hybrid bacteria that killed
On page 242, Dr. Donnenfeld congratulates Julie on her group's
success at unmasking Supreme Commander John on worldwide
television. Despite the Visitors' staged cover-up of the
incident, it brought in more new recruits than the resistance
On page 243, Tyler uses yet another slang term for the Visitors: scalies.
Also on page 243, Dr. Donnenfeld calls Tyler an "MCP". I haven't
been able to figure out what that stands for. Email me if you
know! Remember, this book was published in 1984, so it doesn't
stand for Microsoft Certified Professional! (And I'm pretty sure
it's not a reference to
Tron's Master Control Program
This book seems to jibe a little more with the events and
timeline of the mini-series than does the
novel. East Coast Crisis mentions that Robin was held
aboard the L.A. mothership for several hours instead of days.
Tyler also mentions that Robin's reptilian baby died within a
day as in the mini-series, not a week after birth as in the
On page 245, Julie says that Robin gave birth early, in her 8th
month of pregnancy.
Page 247 reveals that the White Christmas team helps with the L.A.
resistance's study of the toxin, using their computers and
scientists at the Brook Cove lab. The computer analysis seems to
confirm the initial findings that the toxin was unlikely to harm
On page 248, the Brook Cove team nicknames the mass produced
toxic powder "Cherry Tang" rather than calling it red dust.
is a powdered juice beverage.
Pages 249-250 reveal that Dr. Donnenfeld of the White Christmas
group came up with the idea of using balloons to release the red
Page 250 reveals a bit of Ham Tyler's past. When he first joined
the CIA, he believed in good overcoming evil. In a way, he was
the "gooder" he now refers to Donovan as! As his career as an
intelligence operative progressed and he faced the parasites of
world society he came to the conclusion that good could only win
by adopting the same strategies as evil.
Page 250 also reveals that much of the transportation of the red
dust to resistance groups around the world was done by drug
dealers since they already had routes in place. This was
arranged by Ham Tyler (in an example of his current world view!).
Page 251 reveals that many members of the L.A. resistance
traveled around the world to explain the master plan to other
groups. The strategy was to keep things from being written down
or communicated over the airwaves so as not to be intercepted
by the enemy.
Pages 260-261 reveal that the Visitors mate while young, with
multiple partners, when their bodies are at the strongest. Male-female matches are made based on genetics. Later in
life a Visitor might choose to stay with a single mate.
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