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SDCC 2019: Marc Singer and Kenneth Johnson on the past and future of V


In 1983, the V miniseries shook up the sci-fi landscape and quickly became a phenomenon. A sequel miniseries, a TV series, and even a rebooted television show followed. But the original tale remains very timely and the franchise is ripe for a comeback.

At San Diego Comic-Con, SYFY WIRE caught up with V creator Kenneth Johnson and star Marc Singer. Johnson has often said that V was inspired by the novel It Can’t Happen Here, but in our interview he recalled that he was not the one who came up with the idea of putting aliens into the show.

"I told [NBC President] Brandon Tartikoff what I was doing, and he said, 'That would be a great miniseries,'" related Johnson. "There were no aliens in it at that point. But he felt that Americans would have a little bit of difficulty getting into the fascism thing, and it should be an outside force like the Soviets or the Chinese. I didn't think they could pull off an occupation of the United States. Jeff Sagansky, who was the vice president under Brandon at the time, said, 'How about aliens?'"

According to Johnson, he was reluctant to go that route because he felt he was being pigeonholed by his genre experiences on The Bionic Woman and The Incredible Hulk. In the end, he relented and agreed that the idea was "brilliant."

Johnson also shared the behind-the-scenes story about one of the miniseries' most iconic moments, when Singer's Mike Donovan glimpses the Visitor known as Diana (Jane Badler) swallowing a guinea pig whole. He told us how the effect was pulled off in the pre-CGI days, and how he couldn't resist showing it off to the shocked cast.

Finally, Johnson told us some exciting details about the potential V feature film, but you'll have to watch the full video for those!