Story by David Braff and Colley Cibber
Teleplay by David Abramowitz and Donald R. Boyle
Directed by John Florea
As the Starchild Elizabeth is called by the
Leader to seal an accord between Earth and the Visitors, Diana plots
to see that the peace doesn’t succeed.
This was the season finale of Season 1 of
V and it ends on a
cliffhanger. Unfortunately, the series was canceled shortly
after this episode aired and there was no Season 2.
The letter column of issue #8 of the
V comic book states that DC Comics had
permission to wrap up the story begun in this episode if NBC
were not to renew the TV series. Well, as we know,
NBC did not renew V, but
later lettercols reveal that there was a lengthy attempt by
Blatt-Singer Productions to convince NBC to make a wrap-up
mini-series or TV movie which the network constantly delayed on,
until sales on the comic dwindled to the point that it too was
canceled. The cliffhanger of this story has not been
resolved to this day.
An alleged first draft of a script that would have been the
season premiere of the next season is summarized in the series
of informational fan books
The V Files by Edward
Gross. The script is titled "The Attack",
written by David
Braff and Paul F. Edwards, from a Story by Don Boyle,
and tells of Diana gaining the upper hand yet again and
launching an all-out attack on Earth. You can read the summary
V: The Series Interactive Website and the full script at
Second Views. Since it was not filmed or published
professionally, I do not consider it part of the timeline.
(There are also aspects of the script I have problems with!)
In 1989, Warner Bros. commissioned J.
Michael Straczynski (later known for creating Babylon 5)
to write a TV mini-series script continuing the
with the potential to expand into a new ongoing series for
syndication. The series was to be called
V: The Next Chapter, with the
pilot mini-series titled "The Rebirth". The first three acts of
part one are available to read at
The Internet Archive
and a summary of the mini-series script at
Since it was not filmed or published
professionally, I do not consider it part of the timeline.
Why is this episode titled "The Return"? No one returns from
anywhere. The Leader arrives on Earth, but this is his first
visit as far as we know. Maybe "the return" refers to the
Visitors supposedly returning to their own world after the peace
The battle in Los Angeles opens on Hennesy St. There is no such
street by that name/spelling in L.A.
At 2:13 on the DVD, the Hennesy
St. sign is hung on the
telephone pole, but another
street sign can be seen, sitting
upside-down, on the sidewalk
against the steps. At 2:18 is a
closer shot. It is easy to see
that it reads 8th Ave. This must
be another, interchangeable prop
sign used on the studio lot
and it somehow was left in the
At 2:21 on the DVD is one of the old Visitor propaganda posters,
The Future Together. This may be a foreshadowing of the peace
announcement to come.
At 2:31 is another of the USA Work Program signs previously seen in
"War of Illusions".
As Lt. James orders his troops to move in and kill
Donovan, Julie, Kyle, Elizabeth, and Willie in the alleyway, he
speaks Visitorese. It sounds like he says, "Abcor vatta!"
From 6:39-7:04 on the DVD, the Leader speaks in Visitorese in
his own voice through Elizabeth. I've edited the sound file down
to just his dialog. Listen:
the Leader speaks
How does Philip know to find
Donovan, Julie, Kyle, Elizabeth, and Willie in Ange & Frank's All
Nite Diner? He just shows up unexpectedly. Did the Leader know
where they were because of his mental contact with Elizabeth?
At 9:12 on the DVD, we see what is referred to by the
anchorwoman as possibly the final report of the Freedom Network
as the Visitor motherships pull out of their locations around
the Earth. Where did the ships go? Back to the homeworld? Or
just into Earth orbit? Apparently, however, the L.A. mothership
has remained in place to host the Leader in the peace
The Freedom Network report is presented by Tawny Schneider who
was a real world L.A. anchorwoman around the time of
V (she was also seen in
"Reflections in Terror").
At the time, she was married to actor John Schneider. I guess
Howard K. Smith wasn't available for his old Freedom Network
The Freedom Network report says that celebrations around the
world make those of VE Day and VJ Day (the Allied victories
ending WWII in Europe and Japan, respectively) pale in
comparison. Why no mention of V-Day, the day the Visitors
withdrew from the first Earth invasion after the dispersal of
the red dust in "The Final
tells Kyle he has taught her a lot about human love, but it is
limited because humans only know love as it is tied to their
almost seems to be in love with the Leader, based on her words
and tone of voice. She says that in the cosmos there is a greater love because
there are no bodies. Is this a suggestion that the Leader, in
some sense, has no body? At the end of the episode he seems to
appear from the doorway of his royal shuttle as just a point of
At 12:32 on the DVD, there is
Visitor writing on the bulkhead of
At 14:43 on the DVD, we see the same banner and symbol that was
seen during the Ramalan celebration in
"The Secret Underground".
While he and Donovan watch a Visitor fencing match, Philip
remarks that in real combat the swords would be charged with
nuclear disintegrators, making the slightest touch to the body
instant death. I guess they are the V
version of light sabers! Before their own exhibition duel,
Philip reveals that he was trained with the swords by a
Later, Diana refers to the weapons as nuclear swords.
Donovan mentions Errol Flynn before his duel with Philip. Flynn
was a popular film actor from 1933-1958, known for his
swashbuckling, sword-wielding roles.
In this episode, we learn that, even before they were hatched,
Willie was arranged by his parents to be married to Thelma, now
a crewmember on the L.A. mothership. Thelma didn't know that
Willie had defected to the Earth resistance; she had been told
by superiors that he was dead.
As he enters and waits in the arena for his sword duel with
Philip to begin, you can tell the normally cocky Donovan is
nervous because he keeps looking back at his friends sitting
nearby. A nice, subtle bit of acting by Marc Singer.
Speaking of Donovan's friends, why isn't Julie with the rest of
them in the arena? She's nowhere to be seen.
|There is Visitor writing
on the hanger deck catwalk at 23:24 on
At 26:34 on the DVD, it sounds like Lt. James speaks some
Visitorese, saying, "You'd throw me to the snakes? Luk mak ha?"
But the closed captions of his speech reads,
throw me to the wolves? Just like that?" Listen:
You'd throw me to the snakes?
As Philip begins teaching
Elizabeth about her Visitor
heritage, at 31:44 on the DVD
we see an image of what may be
the Visitor homeworld, with
Visitor writing accompanying.
Philip begins by saying, "The
history begins many cycles and
sequences ago...on Sullam Voe."
Presumably, Sullam Voe is the
name of the planet depicted. Is
it the Visitors' current
homeworld? Or did they originate
on a different world than the
one they currently call home? In
the second screen grab, a graphic of the solar system of Sullam
Voe is shown, with what appears to be the third planet from the sun highlighted by a
yellow box. Both
The Chicago Conversion
state that the homeworld is the
fourth planet from the star
At 32:45 on the DVD, Lt. James' two assassins are fitting plain,
dermoplast human masks over their faces and then press a button
on a device that hums and flashes a light. When the button is
released, the device stops and the generic masks have taken on
the aspects of two differentiated human men...complete with hair
that wasn't on the masks before! Possibly this device is what
was identified in the V
comic books as an
During the above scene, the two assassins are looking into a
mirror as they smooth out the artificial skin of their human
disguises at 33:10 on the DVD. In the reflection's background
can be seen a table with two martini glasses sitting on
it! Perhaps the assassins enjoyed a cocktail with Lt. James
before donning their disguises!
The Leader's diversionary skyfighter has Visitor writing on the
sides that the typical skyfighter does not. (When the Leader's
actual transport arrives, it is a larger shuttle, but has the
same markings on it.)
In the past, the Visitors' handheld lasers have killed living
targets while leaving the bodies largely intact. And it's clear
that that is what happens when James' troops shoot the two
assassins who attempt to kill the Leader in the landing bay. But
a voiceover of Kyle saying, "They're disintegrated! Now we'll
never know who they are!" is inserted immediately after! It
seems as if the writers forgot to write in why the two bodies
are not immediately identified as Visitors after Diana says,
"It's the resistance on the catwalk! I knew they couldn't be
trusted!" so a voiceover by Kyle was added. Sloppy.
When Diana orders the assembled resistance members arrested for
the assassination of the Leader, she tells James to "prepare
them for permanent orbit around an asteroid of your choice."
When Philip turns the tables on Diana and she essentially
reveals herself as the true culprit of the assassination
attempt, she, James, and a few of his troops make a run for it
up one of the stairwells of the landing bay and into the
corridors of the ship. But why do Philip and the rest of the
troops, presumably loyal to the Leader, just stand there and let
them run? There was plenty of time for them to get off some
shots. As it is, Diana nearly blows the ship's nuclear
self-destruct device after her escape.
At 36:16 on the DVD, James is attempting to use the door console
in the corridor to seal off all the corridors from pursuit and
the console does not seem to respond to his manipulations at
first. James appears confused by this and tries again. Suddenly,
after he comes under fire from Donovan and the others, he tries
yet again and the door closes as it should. But it's never explained
why the console didn't work right in the first place.
The troops awaiting the Leader's arrival in the landing bay
appear to be wearing some special ornamentation on their
As the bridge officer prepares
the nuclear infusion reaction at
37:18 on the DVD, Visitor
writing appears on the monitor
screen. But then, why does the
monitor start counting down in
In several of the close-up scenes of Willie and Thelma talking,
it is obvious they have human tongues, not reptilian ones!
Willie and Philip seem to think that wearing some white cloak
Willie has dug up will enable Elizabeth to initiate
communication with the Leader to get his help in thwarting
Diana. But it's never explained what the cloak is.
At 41:12 on the DVD, the production microphone is briefly visible moving
across the top of the screen.
At 41:20 on the DVD, Philip engages in a brief conversation with
the Leader through Elizabeth in Visitorese.
I've edited the sound file down to just their dialog. Listen:
the Leader speaks 2
While Philip is asking the Leader for help through Elizabeth,
Julie and Willie head off down the corridor to find a
ventilation entrance that might get them into the command center
(Willie reveals that he used to work in the ventilation shafts
as a crewman). But then there's no payoff on it, we're never
told anything more of the attempt.
After having Diana and James taken into custody, why does Philip
have them present in the landing bay (though handcuffed) for the
Leader's arrival? It's obviously just for our benefit, as the
viewer, so we can hear her gloat to James about her backup plan
to kill the Leader and end the peace accords.
After Elizabeth joins the Leader aboard his shuttle, Donovan
says, "I hope we did the right thing," and Julie responds, "We
did. I can feel it." If Julie's feelings are anything to go by,
then perhaps the Leader's peace gestures are legitimate. From
the events and dialog of issues 11-16 of the
V comic book story which
precedes this, it seems that the comic's writer, Cary Bates,
also interpreted the peace accord as legitimate.
After the Leader's shuttle takes off, Donovan, Julie, Willie, and
Thelma turn around and begin to walk away when they suddenly
realize that Kyle is not with them. Julie looks out the hangar
bay door as she comes to the conclusion, "He stowed away..!" But
when Elizabeth is boarding the shuttle, we see Kyle walk off
stage left, while his friends are watching the shuttle door
close. And then the shuttle immediately takes off. There's no
way Kyle could have got on board without being seen. I think he
just went to the restroom!
There is no credit given for who provided the voice of the
What is the nature of the Leader? When he beckons to Elizabeth
from his royal shuttle, all we see is a red point of light. In
the unproduced second season script "The Attack", the shuttle is
empty except for the pilot, the Leader having materialized
Elizabeth into some limbo with him. Is he a normal Sirian who
now spends most of his time in a pocket dimension for his own
protection from enemies?