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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
V: The Conversion V
"The Conversion"
TV episode
Written by Brian Taggert
Directed by Gilbert Shilton
Original air date January 4, 1985

Diana is caught by surprise when she finds the Leader has sent a war hero as a replacement for her as commander of the invasion.

Read the summary of this episode at V: The Series Interactive Website

Didja Notice?

The Freedom Network reports that a huge battle is taking place near Rome, Italy where resistance fighters are dug in all along the Appian Way; in the U.S., resistance fighters destroyed an important Visitor supply depot near Tulsa, OK; fighting continues on the Mogollon Rim where the Ron Bishop Commandos are hemmed in by the sheer cliffs of the Grand Canyon; high school science teacher Dixie Reilly earns the Freedom Network's Medal of Valor for using his home computer to patch into the Visitor security system which provided information that prevented a surprise attack on Memphis, TN.

The Freedom Network report mentions the Appian Way in Italy. The Appian Way was an important and strategic road of the Roman Empire and portions of the original still exist in parts of the country. It began construction in 312 BC.

The Freedom Network report also mentions fighting occurring in the state of Oklahoma. But from both the map in "Dreadnought" and comments in the novel The Texas Run, Oklahoma should still have red dust efficacy and thus no Visitor presence. Perhaps the same extended summer weather of northern Texas in the novel has now caused a die-off of the bacteria in Oklahoma as well?
Red dust effective areas

The Mogollon Rim mentioned in the Freedom Network report is the southwestern escarpment of the Colorado Plateau, running east-west through most of Arizona and named after the Spanish Governor of New Mexico from 1712-1715, Don Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollón. Part of it runs along the Grand Canyon. Howard K. Smith seems to pronounce it here as "Mongolian"!

Finally, the Freedom Network also reports on a thwarted Visitor attack on Memphis, TN. But, again, Tennessee should be well within the red dust effective area! It must have been a long, bad summer in the U.S. in 1984!

In a street view of the alley next to the ruins of the Club Creole at 3:41 on the DVD, we see that graffiti vandals have spray-painted on the walls there. It's a nice production touch to indicate the "abandonment" of the restaurant. In this same scene an old jacket appears to have been thrown across the screen! I guess it's supposed to suggest a strong gust of wind blowing trash around.

At 3:45 on the DVD, Donovan, in anger, smashes his hand into a large aluminum container on the shelf! I bet it was Marc Singer's idea, he enjoyed bringing a physical element to his performances.

Chris tells Donovan they got word from Indio that the Visitors were slipping the converter through to the legation tonight. Unless he's referring to a person, Indio is a city in the southeastern desert of California, 26 miles east of Palm Springs and 125 east of L.A. But why would Indio, per se, have knowledge of the Visitors moving the converter to the L.A. legation?

At 5:02 on the DVD, a subordinate brings a pad for Diana to sign. The pad is vaguely science-fictional looking, with buttons at the top. It's similar to the pads Captain Kirk would sign on the classic Star Trek!
Visitor pad 

At 5:44 on the DVD, Visitor writing appears on the monitor screen as Charles' ship, the Prospero, approaches. From Diana's dialog, it would appear this line of text indicates the Prospero's name; in fact, the second word shown actually does translate to "Prospero" when compared to the Visitor alphabet chart! Most of the Visitor writing seen in V80 does not translate directly into English words (unlike V2000, where they do).
V writing Visitor alphabet

Why is Charles' ship named Prospero? It doesn't sound like a Visitor word. Surely it wouldn't be named after the character in Shakespeare's The Tempest. Then again, maybe it haven't experienced Shakespeare until you've read him in the original Visitor.

At 6:19 on the DVD, Visitor writing appears on the monitor as the Prospero approaches.
V writing V writing

Charles' shuttle crew and bodyguards wear a white version of the standard Visitor uniforms.

Diana says that she has moved the conversion chamber to the legation in Los Angeles. Why? Wouldn't it be safer on the mothership? For that matter, why not just build a new one if she wants one at the legation?

Charles declares that he is now in command of the fleet at Earth, with Lydia as his adjutant, and that Diana is to be merely the science officer and that her commands must be cleared through him or Lydia first. This is similar to the declaration made by Pamela in "The Masterpiece". Pamela didn't live long after that.

There is Visitor writing visible on Lydia's shuttle at 11:12 on the DVD. V writing V writing
The conversion chamber seen in this episode is quite a bit different than the one seen previously in "The Masterpiece". This one is much brighter and has the victim seated in a chair, watching a video screen that shows the images which are being placed in the victim's mind. The original chamber had the victim standing, locked in place by an invisible force while a blue beam of light swirled around them.
There are Visitor characters on the keypad of the conversion chamber at the legation at 12:54 on the DVD. Interesting to note that the size and shape of the keys conform to a standard human numerical keypad! Visitor keypad
Charles is seen to wear a cheap plastic ring on his left hand that triggers conversion commands in those he has converted. He also wears an earring on his left ear.
Charles' ring Charles' earring

In the conversion chamber, we get our only glimpse of Tyler's wife and daughter. Their names are still unrevealed.
Ham Tyler's wife and daughter

We see a new piece of Visitor technology in this episode. While captive in the mothership, Kyle is kept in a gravity chair which keeps him in place without visible restraints. It may be similar gravity technology that was used in the original conversion chamber seen in "The Masterpiece".

At 25:59 on the DVD, Willie is wearing a Visitor sign that, according to him, reads, "Live rodents, all you can eat."
Live rodents, all you can eat.

At 27:14 on the DVD, there is Visitor writing next to the air duct. V writing

At 27:47 on the DVD, there is Visitor writing on a stack of papers Diana finds in Charles' quarters.
V writing

Julie tells Ham she's been through the same thing he has and if she can get through it, he can. Julie spent time in the conversion chamber in "The Masterpiece".

    When Kyle ducks into a Visitor workout room on the mothership, one of the lizards in there is wearing a sweatjacket with a little humanoid figure on the left breast. What's that all about? I suppose it's a play on the little crocodile that appeared on the breast of Izod-Lacoste polo shirts in 1980s, seeing as how the Visitors are reptilian!
   The Visitor and his buddy are discussing what they are going to do during their furlough. He asks Kyle where he's going and Kyle responds with "the Galápogos Islands." The Galápagos are an island chain at the equator and part of the country of Ecuador; they played a large role in the development of Charles Darwin's natural selection theory of evolution.
Visitor sweatjacket

When Kyle is brought to Charles for the televised message, shouldn't Chalres be wondering why Kyle is wearing a Visitor uniform? The only reason he's wearing it is because of his escape attempt, which Diana has prevented Charles from finding out about!

At 34:26 on the DVD, Kyle nervously loosens the collar of his Visitor uniform tunic and it is seen to be held closed by Velcro! Presumably, this is the standard for all the uniforms.

During the television broadcast, Kyle tells Elizabeth he loves her. Great! Now Diana knows it, too!

Julie tells Donovan and the others they should arrange for the hostage exchange to take place at the abandoned sports stadium at Riverhead. I am not aware of an area in California called Riverhead, so the stadium would seem to be fictitious.

Donovan says he can get his friend Dee Karras at KDHB television to rig a hookup of their own to broadcast the prisoner exchange in conjunction with the Visitors' broadcast. KDHB is the station Donovan was working for in "Liberation Day" and "Dreadnought".

Since the hostage exchange will be televised, Donovan doesn't think Bates would be able to violate a truce in front of 40 million people. I'm not sure what he means with the "40 million" figure. It is far more than the population of Los Angeles and even the state of California did not have that many people at the time.

At 38:07 on the DVD, we see Diana sitting in the legation at a desk with five old books sitting up on it. What are these books? Why would the Visitors have them there?

Bates remarks to Diana, "They say that red blood is thicker than green." Is that an aphorism that has developed since the Visitor occupation? And is it true?

At the prisoner exchange, Donovan carries an Uzi. An unnamed Resistance member carries an Ithaca 37 shotgun. Tyler carries his MAC-10 with suppressor. Julie and some others carry M-16 rifles.

At 44:33 on the DVD, a U-Haul box is seen among the trash in the stadium.

As the Cadillac limousine carrying Charles and Diana cruises down the street at 40:29 on the DVD, it can be easily seen that there is no one in it besides the driver! It happens again at 45:28 (in fact, you can tell from the storefronts that it's the same shot repeated). Also, the rear window of the vehicle shows no background through it in all interior shots.
Visitor limousine

Memorable Dialog

runaway train.wav
instant promotions.wav
dine on the tender.wav
that must be it.wav
I come to conquer.wav
as long as it takes.wav
some work while others intrigue.wav
the conversion chamber.wav
fairy tales.wav
mating rituals_(edit).wav
don't hurry on my account.wav
it's in my blood.wav
our perceptions of her are very different.wav
always up to something.wav
red blood is thicker than green.wav

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