The real V you never saw: No aliens and no spaceships

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012, 4:09 PM EST

The two iconic images everyone has from the 1980s version of V are the massive spaceships hovering over Earth's major cities and the seemingly human aliens who turn out to be reptiles. Those also happen to be two things that were never supposed to be in the original miniseries.

Instead, the early version of V featured a fascist takeover over of the U.S. with no aliens in sight. "What it was really about was power and people in power," V's creator, Kenneth Johnson, told Variety.

When then NBC head Brandon Tartikoff read the first draft of the alien-less script, he didn't think people would get the concept, so Johnson introduced the idea of visitors from another world. Although they didn't have the money or the tools to turn V into the massive sci-fi epic that the new script called for, that didn't seem to matter to the audience.

"It's funny, when you go back and look at my original V miniseries, there are a lot fewer special effects than people remember," Johnson said.