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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
V: The Pursuit of Diana V
The Pursuit of Diana
Written by Allen Wold

(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, paperback edition, published December 1984)

Victory celebrations are put on hold as the L.A. Resistance has its hands full with recapturing the escaped Diana.

Didja Know?

The story of Diana's capture told in this novel differs greatly from that depicted in "Liberation Day", the first episode of the weekly series. In "Liberation Day" there is just a quick prelude that opens immediately after the end of "The Final Battle", as the novel does, but they almost immediately differ in that, in the episode, Donovan chases the fleeing Diana down in another squad vehicle and she is taken into custody on Earth. I prefer this novel's version of events in that it also discusses many other factors that Earth will have to deal with in the immediate aftermath of the Visitors' evacuation from the planet.

Story Summary

When we last left our heroes, Mike Donovan and Juliet Parrish, they were locked in a passionate embrace and kiss aboard the captured Los Angeles mothership as it headed back to Earth after the Resistance's successful battle to drive the Visitors from the planet. Now, they break their embrace as Elias poses the question, "Hey. Where's Diana?" Answer: she escaped in a squad vehicle. Julie realizes that Diana had somehow managed to use telepathic commands to influence her mind to let her go.

In the meantime, checking the computer console readouts in the command center, Martin realizes the mothership has suffered engine and structural damage due to the hasty and high velocity trip out of Earth's atmosphere (in "The Final Battle") as they attempted to get the ship as far from the planet as possible before it's gravity drive could go up in a thermonuclear explosion; they will need to make critical repairs before they can return to Earth. They manage to clear certain areas of the ship of the red dust toxin and convince some technicians and engineers to become "trustees" and help them make repairs. Others of the aliens refuse to help.

Meanwhile, at the Visitor Security Headquarters in L.A., Ham Tyler and Robert Maxwell lead the clean-up and evacuation after a quick victory party. The Resistance members take apart the Visitor computer consoles that had been installed in the building to salvage the technology for future human use.

Back on the mothership, some incidents of rebellion by a few of the trustees take place and Diana's distress call is detected but it is coded and indecipherable.

On Earth, the L.A. Resistance members arrive back at the lighthouse HQ, many of them drunk from the champagne they'd found during their celebration at the Visitor Security Headquarters. No one has heard from Donovan and Julie on the mothership to find out exactly what happened. A Resistance member named Linda realizes that some of the equipment brought back from the Security HQ is communications equipment and they set it up to scan for signals from the ship. While this is happening, Ham and Robert lead a group to the Visitor processing center in Pomona where humans had been processed into suspended animation for transport and storage aboard the mothership; they need to take over the plant to restore the humans that will, they hope, be returning on the captured ship. They encounter some minor Resistance from Visitor plant workers who were left behind during the exodus and who managed to don breathing apparatus to protect them from the red dust. Quick work is made of the resistors and the survivors agree to help revive the humans left there along with the ones hopefully on their way on the ship. They begin to revive 10 of the about 100 people cocooned in the plant but the police show up, surrounding the plant with the intent of arresting and taking the Resistance members into custody for "trespassing". But they manage to break out of the cordon in their vehicles and Ham decides they should set up a new HQ, this time in an abandoned municipal building in San Pedro while he heads off to connect with the Resistance network to find out who ordered their arrest.

Back out in space, Donovan and the others have tracked down Diana's escape shuttle, now out of power. They take it aboard and find Diana frozen and comatose from the lack of heat, but alive. In an infirmary room they manage to revive her and tell her they want to know how to deconvert the converted world leaders and other humans. Diana, of course, is defiant. Julie threatens to use the conversion process on her to force her to do it. Meanwhile, a "sixth column" of trustees plots a rebellion.

On Earth, news broadcasts report on the reestablishing of order, outbreaks of revelry or looting, and demonstrations by radical groups demanding input in a new government. Even some Resistance groups begin resisting their own governments, desiring power of their own. The news also reports the police disrupted an attempt by humans who were Visitor sympathizers to process more humans for food at the Pomona plant! (Of course, we know what really happened there.) Another report indicates that about 1 in every 500 Visitors has turned out to be immune from the red dust. California's Lieutenant Governor, in the Governor's absence, takes control in the state and declares martial law; but is he converted?

The mothership will take several months at least for complete repairs, but Martin now reports it far enough along to return to Earth. Julie asks Diana about the coded signal she sent; Diana claims it was merely a distress call, nothing more. Julie deliberately allows Diana to exert telepathic control over her and finds that, knowing it is happening, she is able to break it. One of Diana's conversion technicians explains what he knows of the telepathic side-effect they discovered and also says it should be possible to undo most of the effects of a conversion.

The sixth column turncoats launch an offensive on the ship. The Resistance and fifth column members put down the revolt and Martin gets the idea to use Diana's truth serum on all the trustees and fifth columnists to find out who is really on their side.

The Resistance network tells Tyler that all government officials must be considered suspect of conversion. Julie broadcasts from the mothership to warn the populace of their arrival in the mothership and not to be afraid; they are heading to the processing plant in Pomona to de-process the thousands of people podded in the ship. Unfortunately, this also alerts the government forces against them and Donovan, Julie, Martin and the rest are arrested upon arrival at the plant by military personnel and taken away. This is secretly observed by Tyler and others, but they are outnumbered and outgunned and decide to wait and see where the prisoners are taken.

Donovan and Julie find themselves and the rest taken to an abandoned sanitarium in Laguna Beach and held there, humans in one wing and Visitors in another, including Diana. Elizabeth, being seen as a harmless child, is cared for separately. Martin and Diana have an argument about the respective sides they took in the occupation of Earth. Before long, Diana complains to the guards that she fears for her life from the others imprisoned in the room with her and she is moved to a separate room along with a female called Zenia who decides to take her side.

In the middle of the night, Elizabeth uses her powers and frees the Resistance members and fifth columnists. They get the drop on the remaining guards and bind them. They learn from a sympathetic private that Diana and Zenia have been taken away, possibly by federal agents. Trying to leave the facility, they find it surrounded by military forces and a firefight begins. Several people are killed on both sides. Then Tyler and the Resistance come to the rescue and our group escapes. They all gather at yet another new HQ, this time an old mining complex in the hills south of L.A.

The Resistance manages to uncover where Donovan's stepfather, Arthur Dupres, had hidden with Sean and they are brought back into the protection of the Resistance HQ. Sean pretends to be happy to see his father but is still distant. Donovan is also informed of his mother's death at Steven's hand (in "The Final Battle").

The Resistance and fifth column members on Earth meet to discuss their next step. They've been trying to communicate with their allies on the mothership, but every time they get a clear signal somebody overrides it, possibly the turncoats aboard.

A decision is reached that the mothership is the safest place for them to be if they can get up there and eliminate the threat of the turncoats. They manage to steal back the three shuttles they had brought down to the processing plant earlier and head up to the mothership. They find their allies still in control but tied up with fighting the turncoats. Meanwhile, the antitoxin that was taken by their Visitor allies is starting to wear off and they begin to have trouble breathing; Julie rushes to make a new batch. Then Julie and Mike make a new video recording and broadcast it across the continent, warning the world about the converted humans and what to do about them. They also ask for any Visitors found left behind on Earth to be held without harm so it can be determined which are allies and which enemies.

In the compartments where the dead Visitor bodies were being stored, a few living ones are discovered, the ones who briefly went comatose but were resistant to the bacteria and awakened. One of them is Captain Jake (who appeared in both mini-series), loyal to Diana, and he kills Aaron before he is disarmed.

After the transmission of Julie and Mike's message, the Lieutenant Governor orders his National Guard troops to allow the Resistance and fifth columnists to return to the processing plant in Pomona to continue reviving the human captives. They start bringing more podded humans down from the mothership.

Needing someone to test the deconversion process on, Julie volunteers herself, but the rest raise objections that she is too valuable to the Resistance if anything should go wrong in the process. They decide they have no choice but to carefully test deconversion on Sean. Luckily, it seems to work out okay...he likes baseball again.

Meanwhile, the Resistance discovers that Diana is hiding out at the Governor's mansion. Turns out the Lieutenant Governor is converted after all and is helping her regain power. They also have a professor at Berkeley who has managed to recreate the antitoxin from the blood sample of a Visitor who received the antitoxin earlier. They discuss the scenario that the public may be willing to tolerate a Visitor presence again, but that Diana herself is too strongly identified with the occupation; she says she can simply create a new face to wear and adopt a different identity. Diana makes a power-sharing agreement for control of Earth with several of the Lieutenant Governor's military associates.

Donovan, Tyler, Robert and other Resistance members drive up to Sacramento to recapture Diana. They have the help of Chris' old motorcycle gang, the chief of domestic staff of the Governor's mansion and, later, Governor Riggsbee himself, who has been de-processed and remains unconverted. But, though they now have the real Governor back in charge of the state, Diana and her entourage have left by the time they arrive. She has returned to the processing center in Pomona and her military friends threaten to blow up the plant and everyone in it with their tanks if Diana is not allowed to return to her ship. Colonel Fletcher sends two tank shells into the outer wall of the plant during the negotiations, leaving the Resistance little choice but to acquiesce to Diana's demand. Diana agrees to allow the doomsday device to be dismantled first so she won't try to use it again. She also agrees to allow all of the humans to be removed from the mothership and for the fifth columnists to remain behind on Earth; but she plans to renege on the deal and destroy the plant with all inside as soon as she takes command of the ship.

When the evacuation of the mothership is almost complete, they think Elizabeth is missing until they find her in Diana's quarters, boxing up the bright transparent building blocks she had built with while Diana's guest previously (the "space Habitrail" as I called it, in "Test Subjects"). When Elizabeth finally disembarks from the final evacuation shuttle at the plant, Colonel Fletcher and Diana grab her up as a hostage. But she throws the box of transparent blocks up in the air and they all catch and scatter the bright southern California sunlight in such a way as to blind the Colonel's soldiers. This allows the Resistance members to get the drop on them and Diana with the help of the National Guard troops already at the plant. Diana, Colonel Fletcher, and his cronies are all arrested by the MPs. Julie promises Diana they'll see her again at the trial.


Didja Notice?

Throughout the book the author refers to Lorraine as Barbara. On page 123, Donovan mentions that he and Barbara tried to disable the doomsday device with a special computer unit; this describes the scene in "The Final Battle" in which he and Lorraine do this. I suspect that, as I speculated about the replacement of Brad with Mark throughout V: The Final Battle, the actress who played Lorraine was also originally hired to replace the departed actress who played Barbara in the first mini-series; the actresses do have a similar look. So, I suspect the original script of V: The Final Battle was written with Barbara in Lorraine's role and author Allen Wold was probably working with that script as a reference when he wrote this novel. So, for those continuity freaks among you, we probably should read "Barbara" in this novel as "Lorraine", especially since the V novelization tells us that Barbara was killed impersonating Donovan during the attempted assassination of Diana in "The Masterpiece".

Page 1 reveals that Martin was, in fact, the Fifth Column leader (but it's not clear whether that means just on the L.A. mothership or more widely as well).

Page 1 also mentions Elizabeth's "powers" which deactivated the doomsday device. This indicates the novel is following the mini-series events rather than the somewhat altered events of the V novelization in which Elizabeth uses her super-intelligence to program the device into an endless countdown loop.

Pages 1-2 reveal that Elias has no desire to return to his old way of life as burglar and drug dealer.

On pages 2-3 Julie tells the others that she allowed Diana to escape due to what seemed to be telepathic commands from the alien woman. Martin says he has not heard of any telepathic abilities imparted as a by-product of conversion. On pages 75-76, a conversion technician called Arnold explains that the telepathy was an unexpected side-effect of the conversion process, discovered "only a month or so ago." At that point, Diana had begun tests and found that a strong personality was necessary to transmit and it only worked cross-species. Visitors could send to human convertees and humans could send to Visitor convertees. Also convertees can only receive, not send.

Page 3 reveals that the engines and structure of the mothership have suffered damage due to the hasty and high velocity trip out of Earth's atmosphere (in "The Final Battle"). Perhaps that is why Martin and the other fifth columnists did not return home as they stated was their wish in the V novelization and why the ship is seen "parked" in the desert research grounds of Science Frontiers for study when the weekly series opens.

Page 4 reveals that large portions of the mothership were not contaminated by the red dust in "The Final Battle"; Diana had managed to seal off much of the ship once she realized what was happening.

Page 8 reveals the Resistance members who took the Visitor Security Headquarters in Los Angeles salvaged the Visitor equipment that was there.

Page 9 depicts Eleanor Dupres' body as being on the second floor balcony of the Visitor Security Headquarters as depicted in the V novelization and not on the ground outside as shown in the episode "The Final Battle".

In the mini-series, Chris' last name is only mentioned once, by Ham Tyler, who says he is Chris Farber. As far as I can tell though all other sources refer to his last name as Faber, including this novel.

On page 10, Resistance member Jason Cunningham shows Tyler the equipment being taken from Visitor Security Headquarters and speculates some of it may be for surveillance and espionage. Tyler is intrigued and says, "Clemmons will know what to do with this. I'll send a message to him over in Detroit." Who is Clemmons? A Resistance member? A fellow spook like Tyler? Both?

As Tyler and Chris debate whether to stick it out with the Resistance group for a while or move on, Chris says he would like to see Alice again, "Just like to say good-bye." Robert comments he thought he and Alice had been hitting it off ever since the raid on the pumping station (in "Matters of Trust"). Presumably Alice is the woman we see him kissing after the battle at the Visitor Security Headquarters in "The Final Battle", but then why does he say he'd like to see her again? Or maybe Chris has two girlfriends in the group?! Page 22 seems to suggest that Alice was at the lighthouse HQ the whole time.

On page 12, the initial group of trustees the Resistance members decide to let help with the clean-up and repairs on the mothership are individuals known and suggested by Willie as being trustworthy.

On page 13 Martin comments that the other motherships are on their way out of the solar system. Is he able to detect them with the mothership's instruments? Has he done a count? Does he know of the New York mothership which was captured by the fifth column and has stayed behind as well, at least temporarily, as depicted in East Coast Crisis? And what about the ships revealed in later novels and the weekly series to be hiding behind the moon?

Page 18 hints that the Visitor Jake may still be alive and page 142 confirms it. Captain Jake is a soldier loyal to Diana who appeared in both miniseries.

On page 18, an unsympathetic Visitor uses a word in his own language to describe humans: relavish. It refers to a mammalian vermin sort of like a rat, but inedible.

Page 19 states that as far as anyone knows, Diana's was the only escape shuttle launched during the "final battle".

Page 24 reveals that the Visitor's processing plant for humans which was attacked by the Resistance in "Unity" is in the city of Pomona, CA.

Page 30 reveals that the Visitors prefer to bury their dead when possible.

Page 32 reveals that most people in the world don't know the extent of Visitor manipulation that occurred during the occupation. With the news broadcasts being controlled by the aliens, most humans were left in the dark (page 57 says 95%). The public doesn't know about the conversion process and that many, if not most, officials have been converted. Hearing all this spelled out, Donovan says, "The shooting may be over, but the war isn't even half won."

Page 47 describes the mothership as being 3 miles in diameter. This contradicts the 5-mile diameter given in the V novelization.

Page 47 describes some Visitor technology not seen elsewhere: two tug shuttles that magnetically grapple onto Diana's drifting escape shuttle to tow it back to the mothership.

On page 51, a Visitor medical assistant called Aaron tells us that Visitor dials read the opposite of human ones; they move from right to left instead of left to right and with "danger" indications being on the left of the needle instead of the right.

On page 51, Caleb gives a name to the trustees who become turncoats to the fifth column...a sixth column.

Page 59 says that 1 in 500 Visitors is immune to the red dust.

Page 59 describes a news shot on television of Visitors that have been stripped of their synthetic skin and left hanging dead from lamp posts.

While discussing the problem of converted officials, Robert seems convinced that the President is converted. According to East Coast Crisis he is not, due to his own strength of will and help from Jennifer.

Page 60 says that the Governor and Lieutenant Governor of California are, respectively, Abe Riggsbee and Dennis W. Simon. In the real world at the time of V, the Governor was George Deukmejian and Lieutenant Governor was Leo T. McCarthy.

On page 68, Martin says that if Diana's signal was intended for the Leader, it would take almost 9 years to reach their world. This implies the Visitors do not have faster-than-light communication, despite indications of seemingly faster-than-light communication in "Test Subjects" and The Florida Project.

On pages 69-70, Diana again demonstrates telepathy on Julie, like she did in "The Final Battle".

On page 72, Willie reveals that conversion is used to turn political prisoners into willing workers on their homeworld. In previous installments of V, it had seemed that the conversion process was a relatively new procedure developed by Diana. Perhaps a form of it already existed but Diana advanced it through new techniques.

On page 73, Sancho interviews some Visitors who were conversion technicians. Two of them are named Philip and Kyle. During the weekly series we will be introduced to two entirely different characters with those names, though Kyle will be a human (Kyle Bates) and Philip the twin brother of Martin; I suppose with the number of Visitors aboard the motherships they would have to reuse names if they wanted to continue using traditional names of the countries to which they were assigned.

Page 76 reveals that Martin is a crack marksman.

On page 79 we meet a Visitor trustee called Jennifer. She is not the same Jennifer who is the leader of the New York mothership's fifth column from East Coast Crisis.

On page 80, fifth columnist Aaron reveals he was once Diana's lover.

Page 81 reveals that the Resistance is having trouble keeping their fifth column compatriots at the lighthouse properly fed. They've already bought out all the small animals at the local pet stores, including rats, mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, parakeets, rabbits and even (sob)...kittens!

On page 82, Tyler gives his report on what he's learned from the Resistance network. Again the belief is that the President has probably been converted. It's believable that they would think so, as East Coast Crisis states that he was missing (i.e. held on the Washington D.C. mothership) for weeks. Tyler also learned that countries with larger governments are hurting the most due to all the converted (and now rudderless) leaders and officials; countries with weaker governments have actually fared better in this situation. He also learned that Lieutenant Governor Simon, now acting Governor, was on a mothership for 3 days, so is probably converted.

On page 89, observing the events at the processing plant, Tyler and the others find themselves hiding among the same stacks of truck tires they used when they first hit the plant in "Unity". Gee, you'd think the Visitors would have hauled those tires off somewhere else by now, precisely to prevent them from being used that way again!

After being taken into custody and held at the sanitarium, Sancho comments on page 89 that it's better than some of the jails he's been in. I wonder what kind of criminal past Sancho has?!

On page 96 it is revealed that the Visitors never did actually get around to giving Earth the cure for cancer.

On page 97 an Army sergeant mentions that some of the Visitors they thought were dead from the red dust revived after a day or so. I assume these are the "1 in 500" individuals who are resistant to the bacteria.

On page 98, Caleb comments that Willie "ain't exactly bright." I'd never really thought of it that way before, I'd always just considered him shy and quiet. But I suppose that could be why he still has such trouble with English words a year later as seen in the episodes of the weekly series (and even 20 years later in The Second Generation!).

While incarcerated at the sanitarium, during Diana and Martin's discussion of their sides in the occupation, on pages 101-102 Diana comments, "We wouldn't be here at all if it weren't for you. We'd all be safe on our ship heading back home now. But no, you, all of you, decided that the survival of our planet, of our people, was not as important as helping these relavish." What does she mean "heading home"? If the "final battle" had not occurred the Visitors would still be occupying Earth, not heading home.

On page 103, Diana says that all may not be lost for their people in regards to Earth. The water could still be distilled, purified, filtered to eliminate the deadly bacteria.

Page 121 reveals that Chris used to ride with a rough motorcycle club some years back.

Page 125 seems to jibe with the V novelization's depiction that Arthur Dupres took Sean Donovan to safety during the events of V-day.

Page 126 tells us that, upon returning to Earth, Julie tries to abdicate leadership of the Resistance group during this new crisis but they won't let her; she's the one they believe in.

Page 127 discusses how converted officials are inconsistent in their decisions and actions without their alien masters to guide them.

Page 135 reveals that Visitor shuttles have an override button for the hangar doors of the mothership. Martin uses it when he receives no response from the flight controller on the mothership.

On page 158, it is reported that a professor at Berkeley has managed to recreate the antitoxin to the hybrid bacteria from the blood sample of a Visitor who received the antitoxin earlier. If it's that easy, shouldn't the Visitors, especially a scientist as brilliant as Diana, have been able to create an antitoxin as well during the events of the weekly series?

On page 164, Sean Donovan has seemingly been deconverted and likes baseball again. This seems to contradict what we later see of Sean in episodes of the weekly series.

On page 182, Elizabeth speaks the Visitor words "shemma terion" which means "toy blocks". She is referring to the clear blocks she used to build what I call the "space Habitrail" in "Test Subjects".

We've reached the end of the book and we never did learn what the coded message transmitted from Diana's escape shuttle was pointed out several times in the book that the signal was directed towards the moon; presumably this was due to the fleet having hidden behind the moon as will be later revealed in the first episode of the weekly series (and also in the novel The Chicago Conversion).

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