V: The Original Series”, a close encounter with ham and cheese
V: The Original Series, a close encounter with ham and cheese
(197 minutes, 2 parts)
Directed by Kenneth Johnson
Written by Kenneth Johnson
1983, US, NBC
From the get go, V does itself a slight disservice. In a move that would drive even the barely conscious to leap up and yell “thief!” this two-part miniseries rolls its opening credits to a rip-off of Bernard Hermann’s inimitable theme for North by Northwest. The mischievous, whirling melodies and propulsive brass of that great score are unmistakable and no amount of tinkering and fudging and key manipulation can excise the Hermann from the music. So, as a series of largely unfamiliar faces (at least presumably unfamiliar, back in 1983) is introduced in a manner bordering on hammy, one is left with the uneasy feeling that they are in the hands of either a witless parodist or a guileless plagiarist. In light of this, some relief can be found in the knowledge that V: The Original Series is neither witless parody nor guileless plagiarism. Not entirely.