Once Upon A Geek – V: The Series

ONCE UPON A VISITOR (part 3 of 3)! 

We conclude our coverage of the classic 1980s sci-fi phenomenon entitled, “V”!  This episode features 10 different fans discussing: V: THE SERIES, the comic books, the manga, merchandise produced around the world, and why people loved "V"! Including a special interview with comics professional, Bob Greenberger, the DC Comics Editor on the “V” comic book! 

  • 0:09:31 - V: THE SERIES
  • 1:15:32 - Bob Greenberger on V the Comic Book
  • 1:32:16 - V the Comic Book Fan Discussion
  • 2:36:24 - V the Manga
  • 3:07:51 - V the Merchandise

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35 responses to “Once Upon A Geek – V: The Series

  1. Hey Shagg, great episode.
    Interesting note about the Visitor’s voices1
    In the Final Battle, Ham Tyler introduces a device to the resistance that allows them to mimic the reverberated voices of the visitors.
    Of course, this is eventually dropped as is the visitors voice reverberation .
    Flash forward 3- years or so, and the Flash starts airing on the CW.
    One of the tricks Grant Agustin’s Barry Allen uses to protect his identity from his friends is to hypermodulate his voice which sounds exactly like the visitor’s voices in V
    In the second season however, Bart has to give up his powers to Zoom in order to secure Wally’s release.(Zoom was holding Wally hostage)
    After Barry was left powerless Wally wanted to thank Flash for giving up his speed to save Wally’s life. During the meeting, Flash still spoke with the reverberated voice. After the meeting is over, Barry is seen removing the same device from around his throat that Ham Tyler used to mimic the Visitor’s voices.

    1. I consider this conclusive proof that V took place in the CW Arrowverse. Don’t bother me with your logic. I’m mentally formulating all the obvious counter-arguments and summarily dismissing them.

      1. I wouldn’t argue against the idea of a connected universe…..
        A simpler explanation could be that Cisco, a well known pop culture and sci-do geek, had been watching his V dvds and came up with a working version of the throat reverberatory just for fun and loaned it to Barry when he needed it!

          1. Mike – Thanks for listening! That’s wild about the same throat mic device being used!

            And yes to both Mike and Captain Entropy – Cisco used his Vibe powers to see open a barrier into the “V” universe. Then he snatched the throat mic device that Mike Donovan so careless chucked in THE FINAL BATTLE.

            It all fits!!

  2. Shag, for reasons even I myself cannot fathom, I was never a V guy. I mean, plucky insurgents fighting fascist aliens with superior firepower? What’s not to love? Was it the uniforms? Was I already hitting my pleather quota in my normal middle school routine? I don’t know. Material for a therapist to mine someday, I guess.

    Regardless, I wanted to weigh in on the long episodes. For whatever it’s worth, I don’t mind at all. If an episode is four hours long, it might take me a few days of commuting to finish it, but that’s fine. I wasn’t gonna cure cancer while I sat in traffic anyway. And I don’t get any false sense of accomplishment from finishing a podcast (with accompanying dopamine hit) the way I do from killing zombies in a video game. I think I do from commenting, of course, but I don’t have to wait until the podcast is over to write a comment. For example, I’m barely fifteen minutes into this one.

    That was all. Going back to real chores now, and hoping the dopamine’s just as good (sigh).

    1. Captain Entropy – Thanks for listening! And thank you for the kind feedback about episode length.

      Hmmm… now I worried. Maybe you are just setting me up for your eventual appearance on one of my shows. We are NOT doing 4 hours on General Glory!!

      1. Shag, the good news is you control the editing and how long you listen, even if you can’t control how long I talk. What’s more, like others of a certain age, I get sleepy much more quickly than I used to, so that’s a natural limitation you can exploit.

  3. Another wonderful episode. I wouldn’t have minded a podcast episode for each episode of the series . Just a few comments here with the pair who played my heroes. Faye Grant didn’t want to be a part of the TV series and tried to get out of her contract early on. I think towards the end of the series she was getting ready to marry Stephen Collins and got a role in Broadway’s Singin in the Rain. I’m amazed how Faye still poured herself into her Julie role even though she didn’t want to be a part of the show… BTW I was rofl at your assessment of Marc Singer’s wardrobe in the series. There is an awesome convention panel video on youtube where a female fan asked Marc about the tight jeans . His response is hilarious. (Thats the convention panel where he appears with Jane Badler.) Another convention panel on Youtube Marc appears with Richard Herd, Frank Ashmore and Greta Blackburn. Marc talked about him an Michael Ironside having “differences” and not getting along. … I hope to see more V podcasts next year in May as it turns 40. Thanks for the memories and insight.

    1. Hi Tamera – Thank you for listening and all your support over on Instagram! Faye Grant really was AMAZING!! She was clearly the star of the first mini-series, and while her role continued to diminish, as an actress she never gave less than 100%. Impressive lady!

      And glad Marc Singer can joke about his wardrobe! The man had the figure to pull it off. Good for him!

      Thanks again for the support!

  4. I will never forgive V: The Series for existing! I had mixed feelings as it was approaching. I absolutely LOVED V and V: The Final Battle. I did indeed want more. But… The Final Battle wrapped things up! How would they do more? I tuned in and watched the show, and felt like I was slapped in the face! They killed Martin!?! Why!?! He was a great character! Then the show meandered along killing off more characters and writing off others. I gave up on the show. When The Sci-fi Channel (now SyFy) Re-aired the show I have it a second chance, much to my regret. A cliffhanger ending!?! YOU BASTARDS! Why do you have to ruin EVERYTHING!?! If you were canceling the show, why not cut the whole bomb part out? The show could have ended with the possibility of peace. Then you dragged your feet giving us a resolution! I hate the series sand completely disavow it!
    No to be totally hypocritical… I loved the DC comic! Those covers were awesome! Personally I think they told better stories than the show. Of course, they weren’t limited by budget they way the show was. It only makes me hate the show even more knowing that DC was prepared to wrap up the show’s story, but the show makers blew that to!
    Shag, thank you got this extremely in-depth look at V. It’s a fantastic franchise and deserves to be loved. Even the aspects that I don’t carefor bring others joy, so it earns it’s existence there. I gave the 2009 reboot a chance, and didn’t care for that either, but, if they give V another try, I’ll absolutely be there for that too.
    In closing, did you discuss V: The Second Generation? I was listening for it, but if you did If you did I it.

    1. Hi Matt – Thank you for listening and the feedback! Based upon your frustration with the show, I feel our episode may have caused PTSD style flashbacks! Sorry!

      Thank you for the kind words about the coverage! I’m always glad to find another VEEK who enjoys a deep-dive into the franchise.

      We briefly mentioned THE SECOND GENERATION during the book segment. I just mentioned that I read the book when it was published, but didn’t really give it a fair chance. I owe it a re-read.

      Thanks again for listening and providing feedback!

  5. Wonderful non-index index show, my friend! You and your cohosts brought back A LOT of memories. Thanks for that!

    The original mini-series was the talk of the playground. We even played “V” as kids! I got stuck being Robert Englund’s character. Now I’m in therapy.

    1. Hi David – Thanks for listening! Being stuck as Willy isn’t that bad! If the other kids were mean to you, you could just invade their dreams!


  6. Excellent work, Mr M.

    Some thoughts as i listen – Aki Aleong is primarily a stuntman but one of his most famous roles in DIE HARD. He’s the terrorist who steals a Snickers when he should be hunting for John McClane.

    Kudos on you and Jarrod for being relentlessly positive in the wake of V: The Series, a truly awful show that doesn’t even deserve the description, tripe. Badler and Chadwick were a highpoint for 13 year old me (can’t imagine why!) but i honestly thought the show reeked of desperation and opportunism. I was going to say why, but Mr Greenberger mentioned covered it – the producers. There was an interview in Starlog with them in which they said, “we already have the sci-fi crowd, we need to attract the regular audience” and arrogant and baseless statement. (arrogance from a TV producer! Who’d a thunk it?) They didn’t “have us” just because they had lizards and lasers because we KNOW when something is terrible. V HAD a mainstream audience – you guys squandered it with your unimaginative crossover of The A-Team and Dallas.

    Finally, episode 20 was supposed to kill off Julie, which fits with other stories that Faye Grant didn’t want to do the series. Be this an acknowledgement that the series was dreadful or a loyalty to Ken Johnson, we’ll never know, but losing Ms Grant would have truly been the nail in the coffin of my interest.

    Excellent stuff. Looking forward to the next few segments.

    Andrew Leyland

    1. Hi Andy – Thanks for listening and the feedback! Regarding Mr Chiang as played by Aki Aleong, he was not in Die Hard. That role was played by Al Leong. Very, very similar names though.

      Good point about Julie being killed. That would have given Faye the “out” she desired. Would have been very sad for us fans though.

      Thanks again for listening and your contributions kicking this whole thing off!

  7. Great discussions Shag and crew! I’m not sure I ever watched “V” the ongoing series. I may have, but if I did, I don’t remember it. If it was up against Dukes of Hazzard, than that pretty much killed it in my household. I had lost Bo and Luke for a whole season to those scabs Coy and Vance, and I wasn’t going to miss another episode!

    I remember the ads for the comic, but I never tried it out. I dropped in and out of the DC Star Trek comics, which I enjoyed, so you think I would have been interested in at least sampling “V”. I had a weird aversion to comic adaptations of live-action shows or movies, aside from Trek. I can’t really explain it.

    In the past few years, I’ve somehow found myself collecting more and more vintage lunch boxes. If I ever come across that one, I’m giving you a call, Shag!

    1. Hi Chris – Thanks for listening! The comics were lots of fun and felt similar to other DC live-action adaptations. I’ve grown an affinity for those series as I get older.

      And yes, if you ever run across that lunchbox, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know!!


  8. This was fantastic! All 4 hours of it. And to speak of that, don’t worry about the length. The amount of joy that you and your guests excude in these shows more than makes up for any perceived long length. Also, what else am I going to listen to while I work at home?

    While all your guests were a joy to lisen to, I really enjoyed the interview with Bob Greenberger! I love listening to all those great insider stories of the comics business back in the ’80’s and this interview was no different. Well done, Shag!

    I also liked Devin’s story about pitching his book to the publisher. But that is the great thing about fandom. It stirs something in us that we want to contribute to our favourite things. WIth the resurgence of V merch in Argentina, has Devin thought about pitching any new stories???

    Puffy Stickers! So puffy! They were definitely tied with Scratch ‘N’ Sniff stickers in my classes as a kid.

    I also had a Commodore 64. It was our family’s first computer. I believe Ocean Software also did some Batman games that I loved but I don’t think I ever saw the V game.

    This was lots of fun! And, as someone who is JUST getting into Doctor Who (thanks to BritBox) I am looking forward to your next episode! Keep up the great work!

    1. Hi Mike – Thanks for listening! Bob Greenberger really was great, wasn’t he? Loved chatting with him about those classic comics.

      Scratch N Sniff stickers!! Hadn’t thought of those in years! Takes me back.

      Commodore 64 pals, represent! Summer Games and Impossible Mission were my “go to” games!

      Thanks again!

  9. Remember years ago when I campaigned for V podcast formats both legitimate and in jest that acknowledged the need for it to be, like it’s subject, an event mini-series? But ol’ Shag insisted that it must all be done in one episode. Not necessarily one four-hour-episode, and certainly not 10½ hours across three months! But it’s awful swell that you committed so many people and so much effort to celebrate the *checks dates* thirty-ninth anniversary, or as it’s historically known, “Unlike many other anniversaries, the 39th wedding anniversary doesn’t have a traditional gemstone or gift.” Now that you’ve completed this task of a quarter year, people in ten months can maybe reach back to find your tribute episodes, as long as they scroll past a bunch of Doctor Who and Blue Devil crap from the interim.

    We mostly covered this in my segment from the 39⅖ths anniversary episode, but I was initially scheduled for a different segment that I had no interest in, and at one point muscled my way into a partnership. Ahead of an international vacation during V+38 years, I took copies of the show to watch during my flight & many lengthy layovers. I texted Shag to prod him to get some progress made on the coverage before the Ruby Red anniversary (not unlike the Visitors’ uniforms,) or I’d just do it myself in 2023, the rose year. Mind, I’m only getting show viewing and a little light research done, as I’d taken a V book with me and could sometimes read a bit of the comics. So while I’m hiking and boating, Shag decides that was the time to line up 45 guests and record 19 segments in my absence. It was all to the good, as we were having creative differences, in that I wanted it to be good and Shag didn’t. I pictured a marriage of heavy research and sourced audio with anecdotal material, maybe even try to score some cast interviews, given that we had something like a year and a half to prepare. And Shag wanted to talk extensively about Japanese manga derekwc did all the work gathering that’s entirely dependent on visuals while not providing an image gallery. Meanwhile, I’ll get to push out all the dry and boring stuff on my take, while all the fun conversational stuff is here. Plus, without that Fire & Water Podcast Network clout, I’ve got no hope of scoring time with Marc Singer for some lousy, no good, pitiful Rolled Spine joint. I guess I’ll just record myself doing all the voices for a radio play adaptation of the Eli two-parter and call it a day.

    But seriously, or at least less passive-aggressively, Shag and his cohorts did a fine job on this extraordinary effort that I only listened to at 1.5x speed to really savor. But can we just give Bob Greenberger a show already? I tried to run down the same merchandise as Shag, and he outpaced me by leagues so early on that I was left hunched over wheezing, just watching him go. I know when I’m beat.

    1. Oh hey, after trying to Google the manga for like 15 minutes, I was finally directed to Shag’s Facebook posts. Jeez, 121 likes, 10 comments, and 11 shares? I guess it pays to be nice and sociable? Not my lane, obviously…

    2. Frank – Ahhhh… the 39th anniversary. Also known as the “Red Dust” Anniversary.

      Thanks for the kind words, and for giving me the push to finally get this done!!

  10. It took me forever to get through it – not that it would have been shorter if you’d split it into pieces, except psychologically – but every segment was worth the price of admission.

    I had a joke prepared about how lazy you were not to also cover the revival, but I can’t bring myself to say it with a straight face.

    And hey, if you ever want to do a C64 Memories group show, I’ll offer myself up as one of the tributes. A couple years ago, I got the C64 emulator console, and one of the games I most consistently play on it still is Impossible Mission! I like to pretend you control Ethan Hunt.

  11. You say the next topic is Doctor Who. What is this Doctor Who you speak of? Is it a weird trivia show where you try and guess Who the famous doctor was.

    This doctor was originally born in Vermont but then Miraculously was found to have born in Maine.
    Who is Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce?


    1. Sontaron – Thanks for listening! Sorry you’ve never heard of Doctor Who. It’s a little known import show. However, it does sometimes feature potato-head aliens named… hey, what a minute??!!?

  12. Another great episode, and overall this was a fun series. I still haven’t watched every episode of the ongoing TV show, although I did recently get the DVD set off of eBay (this is all your fault, btw), so I might tackle it in the near future. I’ve also been collecting the comic where I can find it and just have to track down the last four or five issues. It seems that the first several are easy to come by but the end of the run eludes me. Granted, I prefer to avoid eBay if possible and only check bins, so that might be a “me” problem. I’m waiting to see what this year’s Baltimore con brings me.

    LOVED the segment on the merchandise, btw. You two were like little kids with that energy and it was so great. And I was like you with the puffy stickers–I put them wherever I could (or was allowed) and eventually they would wind up peeling apart so that all that remained was the white backing (a silhouette of the shape of He-Man or whomever was on the sticker). I never did see any merchandise or toys for the franchise; then again, I was pretty young when it came out.

    1. Hi Tom – Thanks for listening and your feedback! I feel no sorrow about you buying the DVD set off eBay. I’m an economy driver!!

      Completely forgot about Puffy Stickers peeling away and leaving the white silhouette!! Bwah-ha-ha!!

      Thanks again!

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