For the Adherent of Pop Culture
Battlestar Galactica ] Buckaroo Banzai ] Cliffhangers! ] Earth 2 ] The Expendables ] Firefly/Serenity ] Galaxy Quest ] Jurassic Park ] Land of the Lost ] Lost in Space ] The Mummy/The Scorpion King ] The Prisoner ] Star Trek ] Terminator ] The Thing ] Total Recall ] Tron ] Twin Peaks ] UFO ] V the series ] Valley of the Dinosaurs ] PopApostle Home ] Links ] Privacy ]


Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
V: The New England Resistance V
The New England Resistance

Written by Tim Sullivan

(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, paperback edition, published June 1985)

Willie arrives in New England to assist a scientist with developing a new toxin against the Visitors, but the aliens are ahead of him.

Story Summary

Willie arrives by bus in the small Maine town of Cutter's Cove. He is there to help Dr. Randall Brunk test a new toxin and antitoxin against the Visitors. But due to the long Indian Summer, the Visitor forces are creeping up into New England as well and he is met with suspicion. When the townsfolk tear a piece of dermoplast off his face and reveal his green scales they decide to hang him. But he is saved by the new town sheriff, old Pythias Day.

Pythias agrees to take Willie to see Dr. Brunk, but his office is deserted. Then a Visitor strike force arrives, led by Captain Ronald. He takes the two prisoner. Willie helps Pythias to escape, but remains captive himself.

Meanwhile, Dr. Brunk and his assistant, Sarah, arrive by rowboat at a small island off the coast owned by the doctor. He received word from the resistance that the Visitors had learned of his research and were arriving to take it. Now he and Sarah intend to hide out at his cabin on the island until the late winter revivifies the red dust bacteria and forces the aliens to retreat back to warmer climes.

In town, at the local watering hole, resident John Ellis reports the incident at Dr. Brunk's lab and that the sheriff was taken or killed. He riles the crowd of men up to go after the aliens. As they drive up towards the lab in several cars and trucks, a skyfighter soars overhead and fires upon them, destroying the vehicles and killing the fleeing resistance fighters. Only John gets away and Pythias, having witnessed the carnage from the woods, realizes John is a traitor working with the Visitors.

Later, Pythias is picked up on the road by Jane Foley, Sarah's mother. He tells her what he knows about the day's events.

The next day, Pythias checks in on the mayor and finds him and his entire family murdered in their home. He heads to the tavern and tells part of the story to the locals and takes John in for questioning. At the jail, John's cousin Bill, from out-of-town, pays his bail. Before leaving, the two overhear Jane speaking to Pythias when she arrives to tell him she thinks Dr. Brunk and Sarah must be hiding out on his island. "Bill" is really Captain Ronald in human disguise and he orders his men to search all the nearby islands by air.

Two hunters named Charlie and Jake from Manhattan arrive in town and hire John to guide them through the woods. But John turns them over to Ronald.

Pythias searches the hall of records to find out which island Dr. Brunk owns, but is unable to find a record of purchase. The woman at the front desk suggests that, being a recent arrival in town, the doctor may have had someone local make the purchase for him since locals can usually get a lower price than strangers. But who?

On the following day, the town has a funeral for the murdered mayor and his family. Then Pythias and Sarah rent a boat to begin searching the local islands one-by-one, but there are over 70 of them. They find nothing and finally have to call it a day. But at the tavern they learn from the bar owner that he is the one who made the real estate purchase for the doctor and he tells them which island to search. On the way back out to the island, they see a skyfighter land there and decide they must turn back and get reinforcements. But two Visitors on hover-disks fly out over the ocean after them. Pythias manages to take them out with the laser sidearm he appropriated during his earlier escape from the Visitors.

On the island, Ronald has brought Willie and the two hunters, Charlie and Jake, in to all engage in a hunt of each other on the island in the warrior ritual of ninj-ki-ra, his idea of counterbalancing Willie's constant preta-na-ma prattle. The hunt is to end with the capture of Dr. Brunk in his cabin in the middle of the island. To move more freely and quickly during his pursuit, Willie removes his synthetic skin and runs in his true reptilian form. As he runs, Willie comes into contact with a bear, but he is able to use his focusing skills of preta-na-ma to telepathically reach the animal and befriend it.

Waiting at the edge of the island for the hunt to complete, John spies Willie and captures him, tying him to a tree. Then he heads into the woods to inform Ronald. But the alien captain is not too happy that John has interfered with the ritual of ninj-ki-ra.

At the tree, the bear has showed up and Willie again manages a strained mental contact with the creature, successfully suggesting that it chew away the twine that is binding him. Soon, "Free Willie" has run to the center of the island and finds Dr. Brunk's cabin. Not realizing who he is, Dr. Brunk throws a vial of toxin in Willie's face and the friendly alien starts to spasm and froth blood. He chokes out that he is with the resistance and the doctor and Sarah manage to give him the antidote before he dies. Now they have only one vial of toxin left.

Finally, Ronald and John arrive at the cabin with a squad of soldiers. Ronald allows John to advance on Sarah, whom he has desired since high school, and he attempts to rape her. Dr. Brunk pulls John off of her before Ronald orders his soldiers to grab him. Brunk breaks free of their hold and attacks Ronald who, in turn, grabs the doctor by the neck and breaks it, killing him. But Ronald is enraged at his own recklessness because now he can't get the toxin's formula out of him.

Ronald chastises John and the man feels humiliated and even ashamed at what he has done to curry favor with the Visitors. He runs from the cabin and into the woods where he encounters the two hunters Charlie and Jake. Charlie shoots him dead with his rifle.

In the cabin, Ronald tortures both Sarah and Willie with a handheld device to pry either the formula or a toxin sample from Sarah now that Dr. Brunk is dead. Sarah is secretly holding the final vial of the substance, but tells Ronald it is at her house on the mainland.

Pythias and a rag-tag group of men and women arrive on the island, armed with whatever they could find, to stop Ronald and his men from obtaining the toxin or Dr. Brunk. They surround the cabin and a firefight ensues, with all of Ronald's soldiers killed or injured. But Ronald threatens to kill Sarah if they make a move and tells them he must be allowed to leave in the skyfighter with his hostages, Sarah and Willie. Reluctantly, Pythias agrees and Ronald makes his escape.

The alien captain makes Willie pilot the craft while he holds a gun to Sarah's head. They head to her house in Cutter's Cove. Entering the house, Sarah tells Ronald the vial is in a desk and, while Ronald searches the desk for it, she pulls the vial from concealment in her clothing and smashes it in his face. He dies, spasming and gurgling blood.

Later, Sarah gives Willie an examination and determines the antidote has protected him and he will be fine. But the toxin is gone for now until another scientist can rediscover the formula. The resistance sends one of their captured skyfighters to pick up Willie and he leaves Cutter's Cove, still minus the pseudo-skin he had peeled away on the island.

THE END

 

Didja Notice? 

The book cover features a Visitor face with the dermoplast skin peeled away. But the eyes are still blue human ones. It would seem it is meant to represent Willie after having removed his human pseudo-skin, as occurs in the book. Willie is described in the book as having blue eyes and the actor who portrays him, Robert Englund, does, in fact, have blue eyes.

We've discussed previously that the outlawed Visitor religion called Zon on the TV series seems to be referred to as the preta-na-ma religion in the earlier novels The Alien Swordmaster, The Florida Project, and Prisoners and Pawns. Here it is referred to by both names.

The town of Cutter's Cove, Maine in which most of the action of the book takes place, is a fictional town.

On page 11, Ronald speaks to Willie in their own tongue which here is described as "the tongue of the preta-na-ma corrupted by rampant militarism and cruelty". This would seem to suggest that the preta-na-ma was once practiced worldwide on their homeworld and is considered the origin of their language.

On page 17, as Willie is about to take a risky chance at freeing Pythias, he commends his soul to Zon. Later, on page 122, he again does so. Might this suggest that "Zon" is actually the Visitor word for God?

Page 21 features the first mention of Amon in the novels. Amon is the exiled priest of Zon glimpsed in the episode "The Overlord".

On page 33, Willie muses that it is his peoples' own inner turmoil that has made them bring suffering on the more primitive society of Earth, not the need for water and food which is available elsewhere in the galaxy.

On page 34, Willie seems to believe that his knowledge of the preta-na-ma would allow him to withstand the conversion process if he were subjected to it.

Page 45 reveals that Willie devoted himself to the preta-na-ma after joining the resistance.

Page 45 also reveals that Willie became a vegetarian because in the preta-na-ma the eating of flesh is forbidden. It seems unlikely that the preta-na-ma religion could be both vegetarian-based and a dominant religion of his homeworld in the past. It seems unrealistic that his people would have been willing to be vegetarians on a wide scale. Perhaps the vegetarian doctrine of the religion is a recent change?

Also revealed on page 45 is that Willie was raised in "the provinces" where the old religion was still believed in.

A couple of times in the book, Ronald utters a subvocal command to gain access to the skyfighters. Is this the norm on all skyfighters? And do the Visitors frequently use subvocalizations? If this is how they gain access to a "locked" skyfighter, why don't they institute such a mechanism for the ignition as well to prevent human theft of the vessels (as has occurred time and time again throughout the series)??

Page 47 describes the process through which the Visitors are covered with their human pseudo-skin. They lay inside a sarcophagus-shaped tub and a chemical bath washes over them while tendril-like filaments work the fluid over the body as it "hardens" into a substance with the look and feel of human flesh.

Page 48 describes the Visitors as having yellow eyes. They might be more accurately described, from the human viewpoint, as red with yellow irises.

Page 53 mentions both Bangor and Rockland. These are real cities in the state of Maine.

Page 64 mentions the ACLU. The ACLU is the American Civil Liberties Union.

Page 64 reveals that the false human eyes worn by the Visitors are more than just lenses, they are sensory scanners.

Page 69 mentions that Visitors have made moves into New York due to the extended summer that has engulfed the region.

Page 85 reveals that the atmosphere of the Visitor homeworld has a slightly lower methane count and slightly higher nitrogen count from that of Earth.

Page 85 mentions that the Visitors' home star of Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky as seen from Earth. This is true.

Page 86 reaffirms what Willie said in the episode "Dreadnought", that he was conscripted into the military.

Page 86 also mentions that the Visitors had militarized their solar system and then moved outward, always on the search for water and food.

Page 88 depicts two Visitor soldiers chasing after Pythias and Jane on silvery hover-disks. These match the description of the disks used in the novel The Florida Project, also by Tim Sullivan.

Page 95 describes the unusually warm weather being experienced in the New England region as an Indian Summer. A true Indian Summer is when temperatures stay over 70 degrees Fahrenheit in October/November after one frost has occurred. This would seem to indicate this story takes place in November at the latest.

On page 98, Ronald makes clear to Willie his intention to begin the ninj-ki-ra, a ritual of death practiced only by the military and only in extreme cases involving treason. From the events depicted in the novel it would seem that, in this ritual, the accused, unarmed, is allowed a head start into the wild before they are chased by a number of hunters who are determined to kill them. At the end of the book, Willie also describes the ninj-ki-ra as Ronald's religion, just as the preta-na-ma is his.

On page 101, on the run from Roland during the ninj-ki-ra, Willie removes his clothing and his human disguise in order to move more freely. Willie remains this way for the rest of the novel. How does he get re-covered in dermoplast after returning home to L.A.? Presumably the captured skyfighters maintained by the resistance would have the same type of tub that Ronald makes use of aboard one his skyfighters.

Page 103 depicts Willie being able to establish a sort of mental communication with a bear due to the heightened perception he has attained from his practice of the preta-na-ma. This may also account for Willie's possibly telepathic help given to Elizabeth to help her vividly recall past events in the later episode "The Rescue".

Page 105 mentions that Ronald has conducted the ninj-ki-ra on a handful of planets.

Page 105 also mentions that Ronald was raised in the great city of Tontran.

Page 106 reveals that the Visitor homeworld has a thicker layer of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, making the light of the sun dimmer and the planet as a whole a little warmer than Earth.

There are several references in the book to Ronald's throat swelling when he grows emotional, especially with anger or agitation. Is this a preparation by the Visitor's body to generate and spit venom?

On page 121, John Ellis holds Willie at gunpoint, saying, "Hold it right there or I'll blow a hole in you the size of Aroostook County." Aroostook County is the largest county in the state of Maine.

Page 122 mentions that the ritual of ninj-ki-ra is millennia old.

Page 126 reveals that the priest Amon has been exiled from the Visitor homeworld. Presumably then, the holographic broadcast of him in "The Overlord" originated from some other world or place.

As Willie is suffering the effects of Dr. Brunk's new toxin and about to die, on page 131 his labored breath escalates into a death scream. Presumably this is the same sort of death cry referred to a number of times in the V mini-series novelization and which may have been heard in "Unmasked".

It was established in "Arrival" that Willie's problems with the English language arise from the fact that he was originally taught Arabic for assignment in Saudi Arabia before it was changed to Los Angeles. I had always been under the impression that Willie never made it to Saudi Arabia in the first place, but on page 136 Willie says that he was stationed there when he first arrived on Earth. In that case, did his dermoplast skin have more Arab features rather than Causcasian?

Page 153 reveals that the Visitors have a pointed hand-held device that emits a green beam of light that brings immense pain to any creature touched by the beam.

On page 160, Jake mentions the Lone Ranger. The Lone Ranger is a fictional masked Texas Ranger of the American old west who has become an American icon.

On page 168, Ronald is angry that he has been unable to make Willie hate him, having been "seduced by the myth of the apes of ancient times". Previous V novels such as The Alien Swordmaster have mentioned the Visitor myth of an ape race that once existed on the homeworld before the rise of reptilians, but I don't know what connection is meant to be inferred with Willie's philosophy. Is it meant to imply that the preta-na-ma religion originated with the ancient apes? Or, possibly, it is a reference to Willie's respect for the humans of Earth.

Page 178 reveals that Dr. Brunk's toxin is based on a virus. Similarly, the red dust is based on a bacteria. 

Back to Episode Studies