Picks and Pans Review: V: the Final Battle

UPDATED 05/07/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/07/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT

NBC (Sunday, May 6, 8 p.m. ET)

When last seen on the original V miniseries a year ago, cannibalistic Nazi lizards from outer space had taken over Earth. With great makeup jobs, these "Visitors" managed to look like suburbanites instead of reptiles, and they convinced us humans that we should be their friends. In truth, the lizards were hungry—they eat humans. And they were horny; a lizard boy made it with an Earth girl, impregnating her with God knows what. That's where the original ended, ever so cruelly, with more loose ends than Boy George's hairdo. Now the sequel picks up the dangling plot lines. The same cast of little knowns is back, led by Faye Grant, as the immensely likable and lovely med student who organizes the rebels (at last it's a woman who saves the world), and Marc Singer, as a fellow rebel (though he looks rather reptilian himself). With a few exceptions—notably, the brownshirt Daniel (David Packer) and the unwed mom (Blair Tefkin) carrying the half-lizard babe—the cast is professional and engaging. The special effects are once again wonderful, just the right scale for the small screen. The Visitors' spaceship, for instance, looks impressively large hovering over L.A.(what an appropriate place for it). The writing is not spectacular, though it does have its moments. Judging from the first full episode and much of the second, all that was available for viewing last week, this V is just as mesmerizing as the original. However preposterous the plot, it holds your attention with its imagination. Who would think of sparking the first debate on intergalactic abortion? (Not surprisingly, TV cops out on that issue.) This is good, engrossing television, sci-fi with moral lessons, like 1984. There's still talk that V could become a regular series, and that would be welcome. Here's hoping, though, that NBC doesn't leave too much of the plot dangling this time. (Part Two airs Monday, Part Three Tuesday)

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