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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138-at-popapostle-dot-com
V: Unity "Unity"
V: The Final Battle (part 1, hour 1)
0:00-50:13 on Side 1, Disc 1 of the DVD set
Teleplay by Brian Taggert and Peggy Goldman
Story by Lillian Weezer, Peggy Goldman, Faustus Buck & Diana Frolov and Harry & Renee Longstreet
Directed by Richard T. Heffron

After a demoralizing defeat, the resistance begins to wonder how they can score a significant victory that will help turn the tide against the Visitors; Robin frets about her inhuman pregnancy.

(This episode begins with Donovan's nightmare vision of Sean being killed and ends with Kristine Walsh getting caught by Steven in section 34.)

Didja Know?

I took the title of this episode from Julie's comment, "Not real big on unity are you, Donovan?" ("Not Big on Unity" is also the name of chapter 2 on the DVD.) This hour has a bit of a theme of unity among people.

Joe Harnell is replaced as music composer on this mini-series by first Barry De Vorzon and Joseph Conlan on part 1 and then Dennis McCarthy on parts 2 and 3. De Vorzon and Conlan's opening theme here is probably the one most familiar and recognizable to fans as the V theme.

Though Kenneth Johnson is given only a "Created by" credit, some of his ideas for a sequel mini-series are incorporated in this script and he is actually given a co-writing credit under the pseudonym Lillian Weezer. Johnson, on the audio commentary on the DVD of the first mini-series, says he chose not to participate in the sequel after it became clear to him that Warner Brothers was not going to provide enough money to do it the way he wanted to.

The novelization reveals that this episode opens 4 months after the end of the original mini-series. Another indication of this is that Robin's pregnancy has obviously progressed. It's surprising that none of the novels filled in the four month gap with an adventure or two of the resistance during this period.

Didja Notice?

When Julie accuses Donovan of not being big on unity, he replies that he's used to working alone. Since when? As a cameraman he always worked with Tony Leonetti.

Notice the look exchanged between Donovan and Sancho at 4:36-4:38 on the DVD after Julie scolds Donovan that he better get used to working as part of the team. It's a sort of "Oh, Mom's flying off the handle again" look that men often share around women in positions of power.

There are some new Visitor uniform designs in this mini-series. Many of the officers now have gold stripes on their collars or shoulders and some of the security personnel now wear gold helmets instead of black. See Steven's change of wardrobe below.
Steven's old uniform Steven's new uniform
Old uniform New uniform

In the first mini-series, Diana wore several different hairstyles during the course of it. Here, she has longer, straight hair and it stays this way throughout.

Starting in this episode, we see the Visitors making use of Earth vehicles with the Visitor symbol applied to them for transportation.

The Visitor food processing plant hit by the resistance in this episode is revealed to be in Pomona, CA in The Pursuit of Diana.

As the resistance hits the Visitor's food processing plant, we see that Donovan still has the laser pistol he obtained from the Fifth Columnist, Barbara, in "Betrayal and Reward".

During the battle at the Visitors' food processing plant, at 10:56 on the DVD, one of the Visitors taking cover is seen wearing an earring!
Visitor earring

As the resistance group returns to their headquarters, we see that they are still in the abandoned wastewater processing plant they took over in "Betrayal and Reward".

When Donovan argues that the group's hit-and-run raids are useless, that they need a bonanza, an event, Elias counters, "What do you mean we, huh? I mean, since when did you join up?" If this is four months after the end of the previous episode (as stated in the novelization) and Donovan is still considered something of an outsider, then what has he being doing in that time? Maybe this unrevealed time period explains why Donovan earlier said he's used to working alone. Again, it would be nice to see a story set during these missing four months in novel or comic book form.

It's ironic that Polly is teasing her sister, Robin, about kissing the lizard the resistance keeps for research, saying "He loves you." This is before any of the resistance members know that the father of Robin's baby is the Visitor Brian (although Polly did know that Robin was attracted to Brian when he was the Visitor Youth leader in their old neighborhood).

At 17:19 on the DVD, we see a Visitor driving a small cart across the hanger deck that looks suspiciously like an Earth golf cart!
Visitor gold cart

At the medical center, Daniel tells Elias that he's been promoted to youth leader, in charge of the entire L.A. chapter of the Friends of the Visitors.

The Los Angeles Medical Center that the resistance steals its supplies from does not exist in the real world. The exterior scenes of the building appear to actually be the NBC Studios complex as evidenced by Chadney's restaurant right across the street at 20:01 on the DVD.
Chandey's

During his confrontation with Kristine Walsh, Dr. Walker mentions the Nuremberg trials. For those of you not up on your world history, these were the trials of Nazi war criminals after WWII in Nuremberg, Germany.

At 21:16 on the DVD, the Visitor called Gary appears to be smoking a marijuana joint. A scene like this was a rarity on prime-time television at the time (and still, really!). It also seems that marijuana has the same effect on Visitors as on humans; not only a high but also giving him the munchies as evidenced in the famous "mousie" scene at 22:46-23:52.

Daniel seems to have suddenly changed uniforms! At 19:33 on the DVD, he is wearing a plain, brown Visitor jumpsuit. At 21:41, we see that he now has a gold collar and armband! And then at 26:21, as he arrives at the Los Angeles Visitor Security Headquarters, he is back in the all-brown uniform!
brown jumpsuit brown and gold jumpsuit
19:33 on the DVD 21:41 on the DVD

During the conversation between John and Diana aboard the L.A. mothership, they reveal the President is currently undergoing conversion by the Visitors.

During the conversion process as seen a number of times during this mini-series, the human candidate is dressed in a skin-tight, flesh-colored garment that almost makes the person appear to be nude. Similar types of garments are often used in Hollywood productions as a symbol for nudity when broadcast standards will not allow the real thing. Essentially, we should interpret the characters as being naked, adding another level of vulnerability and discomfort to the ordeal they are going through. We also see this same garment on the people being stored in pods. (In the novelization the people are described as naked in both situations.)

At 26:57 on the DVD we get a wide shot of the neighborhood in which the resistance headquarters is located. There is a street running by it with a number of cars parked and a building that may be an apartment building. In any case, it appears to be a location where there are other people around. It seems like the resistance members comings and goings from the abandoned wastewater treatment plant would be noticed and possibly reported to authorities. It doesn't seem like a particularly safe harbor!
Resistance HQ

In this mini-series we meet a newer member of the L.A. resistance, an ex-cop named Mark (played by Sandy Simpson). Though taller, he has a similar look to Brad, the ex-cop from the first mini-series (played by William Russ). Brad is not seen again after the first mini-series, but in the novelization, all of Mark's scenes go to Brad, who is still around! Also the soundtrack CD of V: The Final Battle refers to Brad and not to Mark on two of its tracks. It would seem the script was written with Brad in mind but, apparently, the actor, William Russ, was not available, so a new actor with a similar look was brought in to play him. I guess at some point the producers decided they didn't want to cheat it by calling Sandy Simpson's character Brad, so it was changed to Mark.

At 34:00 on the DVD, Visitor writing is visible on the invitation to the medical center ceremony. V writing V writing

At 34:56 on the DVD, the sound made by Pascal's counterfeiting computer is composed of the same sounds made by the Enterprise bridge computers on the original Star Trek! Listen: counterfeiting

When Pascal's computer scans the invitation to the medical center ceremony at 35:02 on the DVD, Visitor writing appears on the green-screen. V writing

While Pascal's computer scans the invitation to the medical center ceremony, a couple of the screens that come up look like something from a game on an Atari 2600 game system!
Atari? Atari?

At 41:59 on the DVD, at the resistance headquarters we see a cabinet with the words "CONSERVE FOOD" and "THINK OF OTHERS" written on it. I guess it's to prevent mooching!
Conserve food

At 48:05 on the DVD, there is some Visitor writing on the door panel. V writing

In the original mini-series, the restricted corridors of the mothership have white lights at the support points, while in this mini-series the lights are green. I think the green does actually lend a creepy Alien feel to the already Nostromo-esque dark hallways.

 

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 215-242 cover the events of "Unity"

Many scenes from the first two hours of this mini-series are scrambled around or combined or altered in the novel for some reason.

The novel mentions a few things that occurred during the otherwise undocumented four months between the two mini-series:
     Donovan continues to exchange information and encouragement with Martin.
     Martin expands the Fifth Column, with significant help from Jennifer (from the novel East Coast Crisis) on the New York ship.
     Visitor security is at an all-time high since Donovan's theft of the squad vehicle.
     The Visitors develop the improved body armor, making their troops largely impervious to small arms fire.
     The Visitors defeat many resistance raids around the world.
     Now completely in charge of human society, the Visitors have abandoned the desalinization plants and are tapping directly into freshwater reservoirs.
     Donovan brings in new recruits and teaches many others how to pilot the captured squad vehicle.
     Thanks to Elias' targeted dealing, several Visitor troops have discovered human drugs that give them a high.
     Robert Maxwell and his daughters have informally adopted young Josh.
     Robin's infatuation with Brian has slowly evolved into something akin to hatred after their interlude.
     Robin has refused to view Donovan's tape of the Visitors' true form.

Page 219 reveals that Maggie Blodgett had previously run an air transport company with her late husband.

Page 221 reveals that Eleanor Dupres has been named the Honorary Chairwoman of the conference to take place at the Los Angeles Medical Center.

Pages 228-230 cover Donovan's encounter with his mother, Eleanor, when she catches him in her home. The encounter is a combination of the scene in this episode and the one at the end of "Plan for Resistance" (from the first mini-series). Also, in this version, Eleanor does not shoot at her son as she does in the televised scene, though she does alert her Visitor guests that he has just escaped.

On page 231 Father Andrew begins his story of protecting the family in Africa who are accused of being guerrillas. On the DVD, he says the little boy was 10 years old. In the novel he says the boy was 11 years old.

Pages 234-235 depict Donovan's meeting with Kristine Walsh to ask her help in retrieving Sean from the mothership. But instead of meeting on a path at the equestrian club, they meet in a supermarket!


Memorable Dialog

not real big on unity.wav
processing plant.wav
rousting this rabble.wav
what does a priest know.wav
give him a kiss.wav
kids tease.wav
not a newswoman.wav
Nuremberg trials.wav
you no longer have credibility.wav
mousies.wav
we may not be much.wav
Donovan's the expert.wav
the exes.wav
think for yourself.wav
your company has spoiled my appetite.wav
you're just as free as the leash you're on.wav
you'd shoot your own son?.wav
high opinions.wav

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