The Sun's Shadow

Stumbling to find a light switch in the dark

V The Second Generation

Seems like I am on a Sci-Fi tear lately. I recently picked up V The Second Generation By Kenneth Johnson. Kenneth Johnson wrote and created the original mini-series. The book was published earlier this year as a sequel to the original NBC V Mini-series. The book disregards any events of V the Final Battle and the subsequent TV show (Johnson had nothing to do with either of these). Here are some excerpts from wikipedia to give you a reminder of the story.

Aliens arrive on Earth in a fleet of 50 huge, saucer-shaped motherships, which hover over key major cities. They reveal themselves on the roof of the United Nations building in New York City, and are human in appearance, but require special glasses to protect their eyes and have a distinctive low resonance to their voices. Simply referred to as the Visitors, they reach out in friendship, ostensibly seeking the help of humans to obtain chemicals needed to aid their ailing world. In return, the Visitors promise to share their advanced technology with humanity.

However, strange things are soon noted. Scientists find themselves facing increasing media hostility, and government restrictions on their activities and movements. Others, particularly those keen on examining the Visitors more closely, begin to disappear or are discredited

Journalist and TV cameraman Michael Donovan (Singer) sneaks aboard one of the Visitors’ motherships and discovers that beneath their human like facade, the aliens are reptilian in nature, and carnivorous – preferring to eat live food, like rodents and birds

A resistance movement is formed, determined to expose and oppose the Visitors as much as possible…The true purpose of the Visitors’ trip to Earth is to conquer and subdue the planet, steal all of the Earth’s water and harvest the human race as food, leaving only a few as slaves and soldiers/cannon fodder for the Visitors’ wars with other alien races.

 

The book picks the story up 20 years later the resistance has been badly crippled and earth is under total Visitor rule, 50% of the Earth’s water has already been taken by the Visitors and millions of people have disappeared. At the end of the mini-series one of the Resistance tactics is to transmit in to space a distress call in the hope that the visitors have enemies that will come and help. Well it took 20 years but the visitors do have enemies and they make contact with the resistance. As you can imagine not a moment too soon… in classic sci-fi drama they show up in humanities darkest hour.

The story and prose are both good for sci-fi, perhaps that is because its not so much sci-fi as it is a story about life under an oppressive fascist regime and people working in common cause for freedom. It brings back some of the characters both good and bad from the original mini-series and updates you what has transpired in the last 20 years.

This is an enjoyable summer read you certainly feel caught up in the cause. I do have doubts if this book can stand on its own… not that it is a constant reference to the original mini-series but having recently re-watched the mini-series it certainly added to my enjoyment of the novel and provides a stark contrast from the visitor take over to them being entrenched in dominion over the earth.

If you enjoyed V in the 80’s this book will likely not disappoint.

V is for Victory

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July 29, 2008 Posted by | Books, Entertainment, Sci-Fi | , , | 2 Comments

STAR TREK Fan Productions

I must of lost my trekker licence years ago when I stopped going to conventions. I always enjoyed Star Trek unfortunately like many “at one point dedicated fans” I’ve seen every episode of anything to do with Star Trek probably multiple times. I have grown weary waiting for new series and want some new trek… which is not coming any time soon. Everyone should judge their own the level of fandom.

      The other day I remembered George Takei in his role as the announcer for the Howard Stern Show mention that he had recently filmed a new Star Trek episode (this is a memory from a long while ago)… not a Paramount production but one that was created for and by fans of the Star Trek… the comment on the show was only entertained briefly and was dismissed with out much discussion the idea can almost seem absurd… it actually did seem absurd until yesterday when I recalled this little nerd nugget in my head like a sleeping trek-bomb that explodes and I do a search for Star Trek Fan Productions and POW! There is a stunning amount of it. I was having mixed feelings but I trusted my gut, normally I punch it but I checked it out.

STAR TREK PHASE II (Formerly New Voyages) This picks up at what would be season 4 of the original series, obviously all the actors have been recast. The production value is high the effects are by far better than in TOS. The acting is weak… but that is alright I can see how tough stepping in to any of those characters would/could/should be. The Story is… not bad… in fact it is pretty decent. I won’t bother with a synopsis you can check the link for all the info on it. I did have a feeling of watching Star Trek maybe the college play version of it… but did I mention the Story and the CGI. Plus its fun, the idea of Kirk, Spock and McCoy had many further adventures together and we get to see more of them… sweet but alot to live up for a fan. They also have Walter Koenig and George Takei guest star as Chekov and Sulu in different episodes and that is sweet the really worked them back in to the story. Very enjoyable!

I also watched another of one of the fan film productions

Star Ship Exeter This show is also set during the time frame of TOS, however it centers around the USS Exeter NCC-1706 another Constitution Class Star Ship. You follow the adventures of the Exeter’s crew as they muddle their way through space on their mission of exploration and being the first guy to see or do something. The second episode has better overall production value than the first, however the first was a work in progress and they are clearly progressing. The Andorians antenna still needs to be in the front of his head… The CGI is excellent by mid 90’s standards. This concept I find exciting if they can develop the stories a little more and the acting… well I guess we will just live with that… but tales from other ships in the fleet and their perspective on events and interactions with elements already familiar to the audience could be appealing and make for some good Trek adventures.

This only scrapes the tip there are many others… apparently there is something called Star Trek Hidden Frontier that has produced 50 episodes which is set during the TNG post the Insurrection movie… I think… I haven’t watch any of these yet… but to make 50 of them their has to be some promise to them.

I don’t know who or how these are being made the clearly it takes time and effort by a lot of people and that is to be commended from what I have see so far the production values they are much higher than I imagined. Its a good feeling to be impressed by something like this mostly because I understand none of this is done for profit. This is just made by fans for fans and distributed freely to anyone. Paramount allows tolerates the use of the Star Trek Trademark….It is likely subtle and more complicated…but to who ever is putting up the money and to all who dedicate their time… THANK YOU!

If you were a fan of Star Trek… like me you once had the sickness of being obsessed with it,  maybe this is worth your time… OH BOY AM I LATE TO THIS DANCE

UPDATE:I have watched the first few seasons of Hidden frontier and this is closer to what I was expecting but still better than I originally thought it could be. These episodes are filmed entirely in front of a green screen and the CGIis more on the Video Game side. The green screen setting limits some of the actors interactions with their surroundings, for instance you won’t see a helmsman actual touch the helm… All and all not bad and gives me further hope for stories from fans that are set in the Trek universe.

I wonder if there are fans of other shows that have made the effort to produce this level of quality fan fiction?

July 29, 2008 Posted by | Entertainment, Personal, Sci-Fi | , , , , | 3 Comments