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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
V: Unmasked "Unmasked"
V: The Final Battle (part 1, hour 2)
50:13-end on Side 1, Disc 1 of the DVD set
Teleplay by Brian Taggert and Peggy Goldman
Story by Lillian Weezer, Peggy Goldman, Faustus Buck & Diana Frolov and Harry & Renee Longstreet
Directed by Richard T. Heffron

The resistance makes a bold move against the Visitors; Willie is captured and studied by the resistance.

(This episode begins with Kristine Walsh being interrogated by Steven and Diana and ends with Julie in the conversion chamber.)

Read the story summary of the mini-series at the V Wiki

Didja Know?

For the title of this hour, I took the prime word from chapter title 21 on the DVD, "Unmasked on the Air".

Didja Notice?

Kristine claims to Steven and Diana that she just made a wrong turn after she was found in a restricted area of the mothership. But the only way to get into that area is to have a key. So, how could she explain having the key Donovan gave her (in "Unity")? In fact, they never even ask her about a key!

At 51:27 on the DVD, there is Visitor writing on the door panel leading to Diana's lab. V writing

Notice throughout the opening medical center sequence that the Resitance members are planting guns in hidden locations at the same time they are stealing medical supplies.

I hadn't noticed it before, but Willie tends not to use contractions in his English speech. Probably a consequence of his rush to learn English, he didn't learn to use contractions.

At 54:40 on the DVD, Donovan is driving a 1973 Ford F-Series pickup with CA license plate 2B70204. There are KC headlight covers on the truck's foglights. Martin's vehicle in this scene is a Dodge 600.

At 57:05 on the DVD, Elias wields a MAC-10 submachine gun.

Caleb keeps going back and forth on his feelings about Willy. First he called Willy a "stupid alien" in "Arrival", then praised him for saving his life in "Visitors, Victims, and Victory", hating him in "Betrayal and Reward" for being an alien like the ones who killed his son, Ben, to having empathy for the captured Willy in this episode.

At 58:43 on the DVD, Robin is wearing a handkerchief around her neck to cover the green, scaly skin around the base of her neck during her pregnancy. Despite this, Willy notices the band around her neck and asks when she is expecting. At 1:01:33, she has put on a turtle-neck shirt to better hide the alien band!

Mark asks the sceptical Harmony if she's seen the tape that Donovan shot of the Visitors as reptilians. Donovan shot the footage after he sneaked aboard a mothership in "Visitors, Victims, and Victory".

At 1:01:10 on the DVD, it can be seen that the underside of the syntho-skin worn by the Visitors is marked by the indentations of their scales.
Willie's scales

Julie remarks that Martin told them the Visitors have been imuunized against all known Earth diseases.

Father Andrew remarks that Robin is 17 years old.

At 1:04:57 on the DVD, as the abortion procedure is beginning, Robert refers to Julie as "Doctor" even though she is not one yet. Julie exchanges a look of surprise and appreciation to him for the gesture of confidence.

At 1:07:07 on the DVD, the medical monitor seen during Robin's attempted abortion is an M565 Colortrend.

As Donovan is comforting Julie at 1:09:51 on the DVD, Julie chides herself for not knowing everything by saying, "I guess that's pretty arrogant, huh?" and Donovan replies "I'm too self-centered to notice." Donovan's self-deprecating reply goes back to Julie's remarks in earlier episodes where she says that Donovan thinks pretty highly of himself and that he's not big on unity.

The limousine with CA license plate 1GLN419 seen at 1:11:12 on the DVD appears to be a 1977 Cadillac Fleetwood.

As the guests arrive for the Visitors' special announcement at the medical center, we see the same couple get checked in twice by Brian and Steven at both 1:11:31 and 1:11:58!
A couple at the party A couple at the party
1:11:31 1:11:58
As Robert and Julie hand over their (forged) invitation to enter the gala, Steven stops Brian and examines the pass himself first. Why? Is there something suspicious about Robert and Julie in the first place? I suspect the real reason was the script called for some suspense at this point! Such scenes are a frequent trope of Hollywood scripts. It would have made more sense if Steven looked at it after it had been scanned since the scanner did seem to hesitate briefly before accepting it.

At 1:13:21 on the DVD, the three Maxwell daughters are seen whatching the medical center event on TV. Notice that young Katie has grown significantly from her size in the first mini-series even though, in the story, it is only a few months later!

At 1:14:35 on the DVD, Kristine Walsh really looks jolted as she scrambles to get her lighting and camera people set up for her announcement. It must have been just the moment before then that John and Diana told her that the Visitors' special announcement was a cure for cancer and she would get to announce it first.

At 1:15:13 on the DVD, there is Visitor writing on the control room door at the medical center. V writing

A handheld television device is in Elias' hand at 1:15:16 on the DVD. It may be a disguised Sony Watchman.

During the fire diversion the Fifth Column has created on the bridge of the L.A. mothership, Martin switches out a circuit board which later prevents the Visitors from cutting off the broadcast from the medical center. The circuit board appears to be made of a clear material. Visitor circuit board

Throughout the sequence from 1:16:47-1:17:21, Arthur Dupres appears to be anything but enthused about John's announcement. He doesn't even clap when the rest of the crowd does! And as John is making his announcement he also appears to be looking bewilderedly at the balcony above and around the Visitor Supreme Commander. Did he recognize someone, possibly Robert Maxwell (who formerly lived in the Dupres' neighborhood), and suspect a resistance attack was about to take place?

At 1:17:24 on the DVD, Julie pulls out a hidden Heckler & Koch P7 pistol at the beginning of the medical center raid. Also during the raid, a number of the Resistance members wield MAC-10 submachine guns, but old Ruby wields a sawed-off 12 Gauge Double Barreled Shotgun!

At 1:17:31 on the DVD, we get a quick glimpse that Father Andrew's gun was hidden in the cake he went to get a taste of earlier!

At 1:17:41 on the DVD, we see that the Visitors had sliding electronic doors installed in the medical center as a security measure. Unfortunately for them it was turned against them!

The resistance attack on the medical conference seems to mow down Visitor security personnel left and right. Yet this is before Ham Tyler shows up with the special armor-piercing ammo to penetrate the Visitors' armor! Is it because the fight is at close quarters that normal bullets are able to penetrate? Or is it only the black-clad shock troopers who wear the armor?

At 1:18:01 on the DVD, we see Ruby hold her gun on Kristine, saying "All right, pretty face, grab some air!"

As Julie rips off John's false face to reveal the lizard underneath, the guests at the medical center all react in horror or disgust at his appearance except for Dr. Walker (whom we know has been converted)...and Eleanor Dupres! While we do know that Donovan's mother is prone to sucking up to the Visitors and their power, could she really have controlled her instinctual revulsion that way on her own? Is it possible that she has been converted as well? That would answer Donovan's question in "Plan for Resistance" in which he relates that a woman (obviously referring to his mother) taught him the difference between right and wrong and he wonders "whatever happened to her?"

We see a few yellowish spots on John's reptilian skin after his human face is ripped off. The spots appear to be pieces of the underside of the syntho-skin that have remained glued to his scales.
John's real face

At 1:18:39 on the DVD, we see a Visitor weapon or tool we've not seen before, a laser mounted on a tripod.
tripod laser

At 1:19:40 on the DVD, the staff and patients of the medical center have apparently heard the gunfire going on in the conference area because they are already cowering in the hallway before Donovan runs through followed by Visitor security!

At 1:19:57 on the DVD, actor Andrew Prine as Steven seems to slide across the floor on his boots a bit as he prepares to round the corner in pursuit of Donovan.

The novelization makes several mentions of a strange, ululating death cry from the Visitors when they get killed. At 1:20:37 on the DVD, a Visitor is caught in a grenade blast and engulfed in flames and we hear screams that seem part human and part animal. Listen: death cry

The ambulance with CA license plate 8Y8376 taken by Fred and Julie at 1:24:36 on the DVD is a 1975 Ford Econoline E-150.

At 1:22:44 on the DVD, a nice touch can just barely be made out: Donovan's name badge says Ben Taylor, MD! Dr. Ben Taylor is the brother of Elias and son of Caleb who died in "Visitors, Victims and Victory". Ben Taylor, M.D. badge

The Pursuit of Diana reveals that Earth never did get the cure for cancer from the Visitors.

I've noticed every time we see the outside of the resistance headquarters it's always the same shot with the same cars parked on the street nearby!

At 1:48:22 on the DVD, there is Visitor writing on the computer screen as Diana begins the conversion process on Julie. V writing


Notes from the V mini-series novelization by A.C. Crispin

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

Pages 242-269 (plus some scenes from pages 224-239) cover the events of "Unmasked"

Many scenes from the first two hours of this mini-series are scrambled around or combined or altered in the novel for some reason.

On page 225 ex-cop Brad/Mark says that Visitors killed his partner.

Page 233 reveals that Julie has taken X-rays of the captive Willie and found that Visitor physiology is not all that different from humans; heart, lungs, kidneys all in about the same place with just a little variation in shape. (Perhaps this is another indication that humans and Visitors are somehow related?)

On page 239, after Brad/Mark has peeled the syntho-skin from Willie's hand to show Harmony his reptilian nature, Willie's fingers are described as too-slender and overly-jointed.

Page 243 says that Willie has shown Julie how to peel back the syntho-skin and then repair it again. It also mentions that his hand is now covered again with the artificial skin. How were they able to repair the patch that had been literally torn off? (In the mini-series Willie starts wearing a glove over the exposed hand instead.)

While discussing the possibility of a human-Visitor hybrid on page 246, Julie, Robert, and the doctors at the medical center discuss a real-life successful cross-species gene splicing experiment conducted by the USDA and the University of Wisconsin in 1981. The experiment was a cross of a French bean and sunflower plant.

On pages 250-251, Julie explains that she studied acupuncture in China and she uses the technique on Robin during the laparoscopy procedure.

When Julie and Robert attend the medical center gala with their forged invitation, Steven does not stop them to look at the invite card first. However on page 258, the two do witness a young couple getting hauled away by Visitor security after their pass fails the electronic scan. Who were these two people and how/why did they have a fake invite?

Page 259 mentions that Robert Maxwell intentionally avoids being seen by the Dupres' at the gala because he knows they would recognize him as their former neighbor.

Page 262 reveals that Martin's cohort who sets off the computer fire in the bridge of the mothership is called Lorraine.

In this episode there were apparently some Visitor Fifth Columnists present on the roof of the medical center to lend realism (and a reverberating voice) to the apprehension of the resistance members. In the novel it is Willie acting as the pilot of the ship and lending his voice so that Steven will believe the humans have been caught and are being transported to the mothership.

On page 266, as Eleanor films the Visitors' staged version of what "really" happened at the medical center, she claims that Visitor spokesperson Kristine Walsh was killed by the terrorists during the filming of their "faked" broadcast. We know, of course, that Diana killed her.

On page 267, after completing her role in the broadcast, Eleanor implies to Steven that she wants some kind of position of power in reward for the things she has done for the Visitor cause. Steven makes her the new World Spokesperson for the Visitors. (In the mini-series Steven offers it to her on his own during a visit to her home in the next episode, "The Masterpiece".)

In the episode "Unity" Daniel tells Elias that he has been made the leader of the L.A. chapter of the Friends of the Visitors. On page 269 of the novel he tells Maggie that he is the Second-in-Command of Visitor Youth Activities worldwide. Did he get another promotion so soon? Or is he exaggerating to impress Maggie?

Memorable Dialog

glad to be looking at you.wav
one more thing.wav
don't be so negative.wav
he saved my life.wav
just like back in the force.wav
we're the resistance.wav
all life but this kind.wav
it's one of them.wav
it's not going to be a baby.wav
we're going to have to deliver it.wav
I'm too self-centered to notice.wav
the Visitors are not our friends.wav
they must be defeated.wav
congratulations on selling out your people.wav
you need an attitude adjustment.wav
America will buy it.wav
she's going to be my masterpiece.wav

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