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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
V: Dreadnought V
TV episode
Written by Steven E. de Souza
Directed by Paul Krasny
Original air date: November 2, 1984

emerges transformed from the cocoon; an unfortunate truth about the red dust is revealed; Nathan Bates negotiates a deal with Diana.

Read the summary of this episode atV The Series Interactive Website

Didja Notice?

Like he did last episode, Donovan again asks Tyler what he was doing at the tracking station. Tyler answers that when he heard Diana had been killed he went to the morgue to check out the body and found that it was a year-old Visitor corpse, so somebody had pulled a switch to help Diana escape. So now Tyler is actively lying to cover-up his involvement in Diana's kidnapping.

The car Tyler drives in this episode is a Chevy sedan with CA license plate V752136.

The police car that goes after Tyler and Donovan appears to be a late '70s model Plymouth Fury with CA license plate 77243. But after the car is rolled after the chase, the license plate is 46708!

At 2:41 on the DVD, on the police car door, it can be seen that the LAPD motto "to protect and to serve" is actually on a magnetized sign rather than painted on the door. This is common of the generic police cars in Hollywood productions, so the car can be used to represent the police of virtually any U.S. city with the correct PD motto put into place. By the way, "to protect and to serve" is the correct motto of the LAPD.
LAPD motto

During the police car chase, Donovan pulls out his M1911A1 handgun for a second, but then Tyler hands him his MAC-10 submachine gun. Later, when Tyler tries to assassinate Diana, he uses the MAC-10 with a suppressor.

At 4:44 on the DVD, the passenger side rear window is half down to allow Donovan to grip the frame's edge to support him as he fires the MAC-10 while hanging out his passenger window.

When Elizabeth first emerges from the cocoon, she is seemingly covered with a hybrid covering of skin and scales. After fully emerging, she peels the covering off to reveal her adult human form.
Elizabeth emerges Elizabeth molts

After Elizabeth's emergence, Robert and Julie take her back to the ranch house, leaving the broken cocoon in the cave. Did they ever recover it for analysis?

Our glimpse of the Visitor fleet in this episode again shows just 7 motherships (as at the end of the previous episode, "Liberation Day").

As Diana returns to the Visitor fleet hiding behind Earth's moon, Diana meets the Fleet Security Officer, Lydia. But Jane Badler (as Diana) seems to flub her line slightly, calling her Security Fleet Officer.

Lydia has kind of a lame uniform, different from any others we've seen. Notice the very '80s-looking puffy shoulder decorations! Her uniform becomes less garish in "The Dissident" and the episodes that follow it.

Lydia tells Diana that in the past year, their homeworld has become a barren wasteland and that their search for a new world must continue. Diana replies that she plans to take Earth now that the red dust seems to have become ineffective. Do these statements mean the Visitors no longer plan to simply take food and water from Earth, but make it their new home? What about the other worlds they have allegedly conquered (according to the novels)? Couldn't they as easily make one of those their home?

At 7:30 on the DVD we get our first look at the command center of a mothership in the weekly series. A lot of color has been added to the consoles and some other cosmetic changes made to the set from what was seen in the mini-series. Maybe this is a newer model of mothership.
new command center Mini-series command center
Command center in the weekly series Command center in V: The Final Battle

At 8:31 on the DVD, there is Visitor writing below the image of Elizabeth on the display.
V writing

At 9:49 on the DVD, when Elizabeth first awakens in an adult body at her grandfather's mountain home, she is seen to be wearing quite a bit of make-up! I doubt Julie or Robert put it on her while she was asleep!

Julie says that Elizabeth has jumped 10 years physiologically. Since she was estimated to have the body of a 9-year old by the end of V: The Final Battle and one year has passed since then, it stands to reason that Elizabeth is physiologically 20 years old. However, as the series progresses we hear different physiological ages given to her from 16-18.

At 10:58 on the DVD, Elizabeth appears to have nicely manicured nails considering she just underwent a metamorphosis from a child to an adult!
Elizabeth's manicure

When the Visitors arrive at Robert's house looking for Elizabeth, he pulls out an M16 for Julie to use and a Smith & Wesson 3000 shotgun for himself. The sound effects of Julie's M16 sound as if it's a submachine gun, but it's a standard military rifle of the time.

At 13:04 on the DVD there is Visitor writing on the portable display card carried by the Visitor squad leader. V writing

The invasion begins anew as Visitor troops pour onto the planet. Diana and Lydia receive word that their troops are collapsing and dying in New York, Moscow, and Tokyo (due to the red dust's continued effectiveness there) but have been successful in Miami, Panama, and Rio de Janeiro. Does this also mean there are motherships over all those cities?

At 13:50 on the DVD, there is a succession of maps on the display that have Visitor symbols beneath. The second map shows red areas that indicate the ranges where the red dust is still effective in Earth's atmosphere.
Original dispersal of red dust Red dust effective zones still in red
Starting at 14:46 on the DVD, we get scenes of a burning Los Angeles after the Visitor assault. The screenshots below show that the producers borrowed effects shots from the 1953 classic film War of the Worlds.

Following the War of the Worlds scenes, at 15:00 on the DVD, the episode then borrows resistance battle scenes from the original V mini-series.

At 15:26 on the DVD, refugees are flooding into Elias' Club Creole for food and care. Elias is looking at a framed magazine cover now hanging crookedly on the wall. It is Tempo magazine and his portrait is on the cover, but it is too far away from the camera to read the cover blurbs. Probably it features Elias being profiled regarding his past with the resistance or the recent opening of his restaurant. There are a number of magazines called Tempo in the real world, but this one is probably made up as a generic title for a magazine prop.

At 15:50 on the DVD, as Robert, Julie, and Elizabeth enter the Club Creole, it is amusing to note that the now adult Elizabeth is clutching a teddy bear. During their discussion with Elias, she is seen stroking the stuffed animal as well, revealing to us that she is still very much a little girl in her mind.

Willie recognizes the now grown-up Elizabeth by the "mark of Zon" she carries...two ugly moles between the thumb and forefinger of her right hand! Presumably she had this mark all along since her birth and Willie never bothered to mention its significance to his human friends until now! Willie explains that Zon is an outlawed religion practiced by the Lords of Light who opposed the Leader of the Visitors until he had them killed. One Lord named Amon is said to have survived and that he has this same mark. The mark of Zon appears differently in "Breakout" and "The Dissident". Amon is later glimpsed as a hologram image in "The Overlord".
The mark of Zon

Tyler mentions that the Club Creole is on 4th Street. 4th Street runs through the Venice Beach area of Los Angeles, just a few blocks from the ocean. But it seems to be placed on different streets in later episodes: in "The Deception", it's said to be on Main Street, and in "The Sanction", on 6th Street.

Back in my study of the "Arrival" episode of the original mini-series, I started a list of cities over which the Visitors had one of their 50 motherships. Now that the Visitors have returned from defeat with a smaller, unknown number of craft (according to "Liberation Day"), I'll have to start a new list here! Presumably there are not any motherships hovering over the cities in parts of the world that are still protected by the red dust. Obviously there is a mothership over Los Angeles. Monitors in Nathan Bates' office show images of ships over San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The novel The Texas Run reveals a mothership over Houston; the novel Death Tide reveals there is one over Buenos Aires, Argentina, one in Iran (presumably Tehran) and that there was one over Beirut, Lebanon until locals detonated a nuclear device in the city, obliterating both the city and the ship; the novel To Conquer the Throne reveals there are ones over London, England, Paris, France, and Dublin, Ireland--though the red dust map above suggests that Ireland is mostly under the protection of the bacteria and the London ship is captured by the IRA at the end of the book! The novel Below the Threshold mentions one over Atlanta, Georgia. The series' final episode, "The Return", mentions ships withdrawing from Rome and St. Louis. The novel The Second Generation reveals that there is a mothership over Beijing, China and seems to imply it has been there from the start, when the Visitors arrived in "Arrival"; the novel also reveals there is a mothership over Honolulu, HI.

At 20:22 on the DVD, we see from the logo on the middle television monitor in the background of Bates' office that the newscast he was just watching had been transmitted over the Emergency Broadcast System.

Bates pulls out a blue folder marked Top Secret and shows Julie some photos and data of tests on animals exposed to high doses of red dust. They show sterility, mutation, and death. Since Julie initially tested the red dust on herself, might she now be sterile? Bates goes on to say that Earth is at the threshold of dangerous amounts of red dust right now, so more cannot be used.

At 22:12 on the DVD, we see that Elias' secret entrance to the speakeasy of the Club Creole is located in the middle unit of three walk-in freezers. (Elias guesses it used to be a bordello from Prohibition days, but that doesn't really make sense, it seems too small for a bordello and Prohibition refers to the ban on alcohol sales which speakeasies were designed to circumvent.)

While in the speakeasy, Elias comments that Elizabeth is an "intergalactic hot potato". Technically, he should have said "interstellar" as "intergalactic" means between galaxies; "interstellar" means between stars (or solar systems) which is the case between Earth and the Visitors, whose home system is Sirius.

When Diana makes the decision to have the particle beam triax weapon moved to Earth to annihilate Los Angeles and, thus, Bates' supply of red dust, Lydia says the triax is supposed to remain where it is to protect the main space lanes. Protect them from what? Are the Leader's enemies that close as to threaten the Visitors' conquest of Earth?
The particle beam triax

The television on which our Resistance heroes watch Bates'announcement is simply labeled "TV MONITOR".

When Bates makes his announcement to the city about the deal he has struck with the Visitors, he is at the broadcasting studio of KSJF-TV, channel 10. This is not a real TV station in the L.A. area. During the broadcast, we can see also that there appears to be a U.S. military officer seated to Bates' right; presumably he was involved with negotiations with the U.S. government to allow Bates to administer the city during this crisis rather than having the normal mayor's office do it.

While the resistance discusses stealing the old mothership from Bates to prevent Diana from recovering it, Julie mentions they may not be able to get it off the ground because Bates shut down the main reactor months ago.

Tyler rushes out of the resistance meeting intent on assassinating Nathan Bates to prevent him from making further deals with Diana. Might he also want to silence Bates, who could implicate him as an accomplice in freeing Diana from custody in the first place?

Trivia question: In what important way is Earth's solar system different in the V universe than it is in real life? Answer: In the V universe, Jupiter has only 3 major moons instead of four! Diana destroyed one of Jupiter's moons with the particle beam triax in this episode! Though the moon is not named in the story, from the screenshot below, it appears to be Europa.
Death of Europa

At 28:59 on the DVD, Bates appears to have a digital vector map on a large display on his office wall. The words on it are too far away and blurry to read but, from the contour shown, it may be a map of the greater Metropolitan Los Angeles area and its coastline from Long Beach in the south to approximately Malibu in the north.
Bates' map Google map of L.A. coastline
Bates' map Google map of Los Angeles area coastline

Speaking of maps, Donovan draws a map on the chalkboard of the captured mothership and its location. We see three areas on the mothership itself designated as power, lab, and control.
Donovan's mothership diagram

We learn that the triax actually has its own crew aboard and is not just a remote controlled weapon when the commander of the triax sends a message to Diana's ship that he wants to return it to its previous position or he will contact the Leader directly.

From Lydia's dialog, it seems that the white uniform that Diana wears to her meeting with Bates is a diplomatic uniform.

At 32:54 on the DVD, the boom mike can be seen in the top left corner.

When the resistance force takes command of the captured mothership, its command center has also been redesigned (obviously due to the production using the same set for all motherships). Too bad they couldn't have shot this scene before doing the redesign to make it fit seamlessly with the mini-series.

After getting into the command center, Willie reads and translates the Visitor writing on the consoles. He first speaks the guttural, throat-rasping Visitor words and then translates their meaning into English. He says "Arc circumf" which he says are the flight controls ("arc circumf" sounds like the buttons on a scientific calculator!). Then he says "hans zurach" which means autopilot.

There are Visitor symbols on the flight control console of the mothership at 34:08 on the DVD. V writing

As Elizabeth users her abilities to power up the mothership, Visitor writing appears on the monitor in front of her. V writing   V writing

During Bates' meeting with Diana, he announces that the open city encompasses the 50 square mile area of Los Angeles.

When Elias makes a comment on Willie's clumsiness, Willie reveals he was drafted into the Visitor army.

There is a bunch of Visitor writing on a display console at 39:43 on the DVD, but it is too blurry to make out.

Willie seems to lead Elizabeth in a Zon ritual to honor her grandfather's sacrifice of his life. The two of them wear white robes and Willie speak words of ritual. Listen: ritual

In the final scene of the episode we see Robin driving up to a Visitor checkpoint on the road. But she is driving a different car now than the one she left in in the previous episode! Although we didn't get a good look at the car she left in, it was a white car with a trunk. The car she is driving now is a white car with a hatchback (looks like a Datsun vehicle).

Memorable Dialog

barren wasteland.wav
today we conquer a world.wav
the mark of Zon.wav
clean up the mess and move on.wav
in bed with Diana.wav
something in my throat.wav
great zero.wav

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