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The Enduring Legacy of V, the Hit Sci-Fi TV Series That Used the Alien Invasion Trope to Explore the Dangers of Fascism w/ Kenny Johnson – Parallax Views

On this edition of Parallax Views, 2023 marks the 40th anniversary of the release of V: The Original Miniseries. A two-part sci-fi television event that brought in around 33 million homes, V was ostensibly the story of reptilian alien invading earth to steal it’s resources and turn the human population into a food source. However, beneath the surface it acted as a parable about how fascism and authoritarianism can take hold in a country. In fact, it was inspired by Sinclair Lewis’ classic novel It Can’t Happen Here and was initially not about malevolent extraterrestrial invaders at all.

In this conversation we discuss how V came to be, the conspiracy theorists who take the miniseries and it’s reptilian invasion literally and Kenny’s response to them, V as a parable about fascism, Kenny’s work with Vincent Price on An Evening With Edgar Allen Poe, what Kenny thinks of being compared to The Twilight Zone’s Rod Serling due to his interest in sci-fi that deals with social issues, the TV how Alien Nation, the cast of V (which included such names as Marc Singer of The Beastmaster franchise, Robert Englund of Freddy Krueger fame, Jane Badler, Andrew Prine, and many others), the Holocaust and how it tied into the story of V, racism and diversity and the way those topics figured into V, Kenny’s sequel novel to V entitled V: The Second Generation, the possibility of a big screen movie remake of the miniseries, looking back on V in the era of Trump (and anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theories), V’s dealing with the topic of anti-science sentiments and how they can be damaging to society, the way in which V is about two powerful women (the heroine Juliet and the villainous reptilian alien Diana), the cinematic quality of V and its European theatrical release, the studio’s lack of faith in V and belief that it’s dealing with social issues of the time would be too intellectual for American audiences, and much, much more!