Tuesday, March 25, 2008
V: The Second Generation - My review
V: The Second Generation
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (February 5, 2008)
As A kid there was only one show that came close to Star Wars in my love. That show was V. I had every hour of both mini-series and even the horrible weekly show all on Beta-max. I had a V pulse rifle that I could take apart, a visitor punching bag. I even had a mothership technical manual that I sent away for after I saw a classified ad in the back of Starlog. I was a V Geek.
Sure I loved the story, the gun battles, and the spirit of resistance even as a kid. I actually consider V a huge part of how I developed such a radical spirit. Over the years I returned to the Mini-Series in the nineties and found a totally different film. Suddenly I understood on a deeper level what Director Kenneth Johnson was trying to say about Nazi Germany.
Don’t look down on the Germans because it could have just as easily been us. This hit home even harder when I happened to watch it with friends in October 2001. Our country had lost it’s damn mind. Members of my very liberal family were calling for muslam blood and Indiana was awash with flags everywhere. GW was just starting to mold his bullshit Iraq agenda. V was more powerful than ever.
To this day I can always watch V. I always find something new. It’s like a song I love to sing along to because I know every word, every beat. So as much as I love the final battle (the official TV sequel) I was excited when Kenny Johnson the original creator told the world he was working on HIS sequel, based on his original vision.
I’m sure when he started thinking about the task of pulling all the actors back together and dealing with getting Warner brothers, NBC and everyone else back on the same page he thought a book would do it just right. So he wrote a novel.
Many people have complained that Johnson is being Lazy by throwing out the events of the final battle (Yep as far as this novel goes the final battle never happened) but personally I’m going to give this move a big thumbs up! Don’t get me wrong I love Ham Tyler and the final battle but it’s not gone. If you love the red dust, the star child, Diana’s brainwash chamber you still have your DVD’s. Personally I am glad we get to see the original creator’s vision. Personally I think Johnson’s vision while more bleak is better.
A better story, a little less cheesy and a bit more daring. You see when the events of the book start the resistance is on the ropes more than ever. Diana has lead a “great purge in ’99 and has almost dried the earth of it’s water completely. For reasons that I consider a spoiler The Vistors are on a time line and they need to finish up on earth soon.
That’s not to say the V:TSG is perfect it has some cheesy moments but nothing has cheesy as the star child. Infact the hatred and scorn thrown on the half breeds in the novel makes a lot more sense. As you read this you can tell Johnson is more comfortable writing for the screen and switches perspectives so fast it’s easy to get confused. This worked well for the original TV movie but in the book it is annoying. Johnson also had a habit of reminding us what the characters had done twenty pages earlier and I found myself wishing he trusted us to remember.
The only other thing that made me want to throw the book out the bus window (this was my commute book). Willie, you might remember as the loveable sweet alien (played by Robert England before he became know for being Freddy Kruger) in 1983 it was funny and cute when he messed up words, cut the Alien some slack he learned Arabic for going there. Johnson has Willie still screwing up english words, after thirty years in America and being married to a English speaking human. Johnson also missed a chance to give Willie a baddass sub-plot where he could have helped communicate with middle eastern resistance cells and perhaps help a jihadist muslam suicide bomber attack the visitors but I digress with my wishes. Willie had a cool role but not that cool.
In the end the book was a quick read for me because it was like being reunited with old friends. The characters have been forged by twenty years of struggle, they have hardened, changed but they are still committed to the fight and damn I am with them every page of the way.
V fans! Don’t be a poser. Read this book.