Wednesday, August 06, 2014

At Flashbak: Diana vs. Lydia




My newest article at Flashbak tallies my five favorite moments of the Diana/Lydia rivalry on V: The Series (1984-1985).





"V: The Series (1984 – 1985) -- the continuing saga of reptilian alien “Visitors” occupying 20th century Earth -- aired on NBC in America thirty years ago, and this anniversary affords us the perfect opportunity to remember the series and its often over-the-top (but nonetheless delicious…) brand of storytelling.

In creator Kenneth Johnson’s hands, the original V mini-series (1983) was a serious, thoughtful allegory about fascism taking hold in America, and it aped Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel It Can’t Happen Here.

Yet by the time the weekly series aired, Johnson was gone, and the new producers opted for a more soap opera approach to the alien and human intrigue.

In short, the series suddenly had to compete in the mid-1980s with the likes of popular programming like Dynasty, Knots Landing, Falcon Crest, and Dallas. 

So while the mini-series had focused on the ways that the sneaky Visitors assumed control of our hearts and minds (via the media, government, propaganda, and scapegoating), the ensuing NBC series focused on fireworks of a more personal nature. 

In particular, many of the series’ most dynamic and involving moments involve the sparring matches between Jane Badler’s brilliantly-drawn villain, Diana and June Chadwick’s equally charismatic Visitor opponent, Lydia. 

The primary reason to watch the series -- especially following a behind-the-scenes cast massacre mid-way through -- very quickly became this character interaction.

Diana and Lydia battled over war strategy, peace, and romantic lovers like Duncan Regehr's Visitor, Charles.  They always attempted to gain ultimate power, making their opponent look bad in the process.

Tallied below are the five of Lydia and Diana’s best moments from the program."


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