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The Visitors are a fictional invading alien race from the V science fiction franchise. The "Visitors" are reptilian humanoids who disguise themselves to look human but prefer to eat live prey, such as mice. In the 1983 and 1984 miniseries (but not the 1984 TV series) the disguised Visitors can be told apart from humans by a reverberating echo in their voices. The re-imagined 2009 versions lack that vocal attribute and thus appear more human. Since the Visitors of both versions are reptilian in origin and nature, females reproduce by laying eggs after mating that eventually hatch into infant aliens.
All Visitors are given human names for the humans' convenience. They are never heard to use their home-world names.
The Leader (or commonly referred to by the Visitors as "Our Great Leader") is the head of a military dictatorship that controls the population on Sirius 4 and controls every resource and ship-of-the-line in the entire Sirian Fleet through his ministers. The Leader was constantly mentioned, but never seen, in the series, except when he manifested as a purple glow in the series final episode.
Note, the following information was gleaned from the 2 fan made technical information manuals, and is not based on any information released by the studio, writers, producers, or by Kenneth Johnson, V's creator. Hence, it is not "canon"
Early in the Leader's military career, he was regarded as a military genius and quickly rose through the ranks, then the Visitors suffered a massive defeat in an interplanetary war with an unnamed alien superpower that resulted in the destruction of several Visitor colony worlds. This was the only defeat he ever suffered and he vowed he would have his vengeance. He then left the military and joined the political sector of their society.
His rise to power began when Sirius 4 experienced several extreme environmental and economic disasters (both natural and visitor-made) which left the planet critically short of food and water. He constantly blamed the weakness of their civilian leaders for lack of relief in the crisis and for their defeats in the war the Visitors were engaged in and used the populations' frustration at their current leaders to expand his powerbase. When the environmental and economic problems became critical, the Leader launched his coup and overthrew the original republic-based government and replaced it with a more military-favorable one.
With the entire military at his command; he began his war of revenge on the Visitors' enemy, but his resources began to dwindle. His science officers discovered the planet Earth 8.7 light years away, which contained an abundance of resources. He planned to steal every drop of water (leaving the planet a wasteland) and humans themselves for food and cannon fodder in the war. He sent a total of 50 Motherships, led by Supreme Commander John and his personal envoy Diana, to conquer and complete the mission.
The Leader was "most disturbed" by the defeat of the military force sent to Earth following the Red Dust's deployment, but with so few remaining resources left in his war machine he knew Earth was too valuable to abandon and he authorized Fleet Security Officer Lydia to lead another fleet back to Earth to recommence harvesting operations. He decided to keep a close watch on the invasion's progress, and sent several key military figures to Earth to assist in the invasion. This resulted in Charles' death and Inspector General Philip's defection to the Fifth Column (he remained unaware of the latter).
The Leader finally decided to personally come to Earth and declare peace, And to take Elizabeth as his mate, the reasons behind his reasoning were never explained or explored in the episode,only the script for the unproduced episode, "The Attack" does so, whether this script is to be considered canon is much debated by fans.
It is also notable that in the original miniseries, the Final Battle, and The Series, the Leader is often referred to as a man. However, in The Second Generation, it is revealed that The Leader is a woman.
John (Richard Herd) is introduced in V. The Supreme Commander of the fleet of Visitor ships. John is charismatic and likeable, evidently well-trained or well-prompted in public relations. John is the first Visitor that humans see, showing that the Visitors are just like humans. However, John is usually extremely busy touring the fleet attending to command issues, or reclusive when not needed to promote good will to the people of Earth. His appearance at the Los Angeles Medical Center on a worldwide broadcast to announce a cure for cancer is used by the Resistance to unmask him and show the people of Earth that the Visitors have been deceiving them.
However is quickly becomes clear that John is somewhat of a bureaucrat enjoying the limelight and privileges that being a Supreme Commander brings but is considered by some including Diana, "a fool who makes pretty speeches", while Diana organised the entire operation. John is later persuaded by Pamela to restrict Diana's command responsibilities. John is later killed by Diana when he refuses to carry out the Leader's order to destroy Earth when the Resistance routs the Visitors.
Pamela (Sarah Douglas) is introduced in V: The Final Battle. She is the squadron commander and Diana's superior. She takes over command of the L.A. Mothership. Pamela's ship arrives at Earth a year into the occupation and begins a project to speed up acquisition of Earth's water. Pamela scorns Diana's claim of the leader's special favor, pointing out that Diana's "lover" sent Diana 56 trillion miles away. Diana kills Pamela after being ordered to work strictly in the scientific field. Quote: We will rid you of this nuisance, once and for all.
Charles (Duncan Regehr) is introduced in V: The Series. Sent by The Leader to take over military operations from Diana and become the new Supreme Commander, Charles sets in motion the chain of events that lead to the death of Nathan Bates. Charles is a member of the House of Raman, a very powerful and influential family, possibly even royalty, he has the power to choose his own bride and marry her within twelve hours the betrothal. He has a renown reputation as a ladies man, appealing to all the women in the fleet, apart from Diana who resents him taking over her command. He is romantically attached to Lydia, although he drops her in favor of Diana, whom he decides to marry in order to force her to return to the Homeworld, and bear his offspring, having become annoyed at her defiance. However when he sees Diana naked in a ceremonial bath before their wedding, he decides that he would rather keep Diana around, Lydia attempts to poison her, but ends up killing Charles instead.
Diana (Jane Badler) is introduced in V. Sadistic, ruthless and brilliant, her ambition is matched only by her arrogance and cruelty, she is the second-in-command, as well as John's chief science officer of the fleet of 50 Visitor ships. She is commander of the mother ship over Los Angeles (although for the first few days after arrival, she is aboard the New York mother ship). In V, Diana is responsible for much of the Visitors attacks against the Resistance as well as ordering one of her lovers, Brian to impregnate Robin Maxwell as part of an experiment. In V: The Final Battle, which takes place a year later, Pamela, her squadron commander, arrives, reminding Diana of her inferior rank; Pamela decides to discredit Diana and remove her from any operational duties (its implied they have a history). Diana later murders Pamela. It becomes clear that Diana is the real power behind the Visitors as she organises much or their events and attacks. She convinces Christine Walsh to become the Visitors spokesperson and later murders her when she pleas for the Resistance live on television, after John's real face is exposed and she has the loyalty and support of most of the fleet, except for Steven and Pamela who attempt to discredit her to advance their own agendas. At the end of the Final Battle when defeat is imminent, Diana chooses to destroy Earth rather than letting the Resistance claim victory, telling John he is a fool and angry at his bureaucracy. After murdering John she attempts to escape with Elizabeth, but ends up leaving by herself.
When V: The Series begins, it takes place straight after Diana escapes, were she is quickly captured by Mike Donovan and imprisoned for a year before she is due to stand trial for crimes against humanity. However during protests outside her trial, she is seemingly shot dead and taken to a hospital. However ii is later revealed her capture was organised by Nathan Bates, owner of a large scientific institution, who offers her a deal, life and food and shelter if she shares Visitor knowledge with him, however she quickly escapes and is able to contact the Visitor fleet, who have been hiding behind Earth's moon in preparation for a second invasion. Diana immediately takes command of the fleet from chief security officer Lydia and leads the second invasion against Earth.
As Chief Science Officer of the fleet, Diana is a pioneer of the conversion process, a brainwashing technique used to turn humans to aid the Visitors, although it is not always effective. She has inoculated the Visitors against all known Earth diseases, and has developed a foolproof truth drug. Steven and Pamela see her as "on edge" when feeling threatened, when Father Andrew shows her a bible, it makes Diana realise she has vulnerabilities, which she sees as a weakness, she responds by murdering the priest and destroying his bible. Her vengefulness is also displayed when she rejects John's pragmatic approach towards an impending defeat, by murdering him.
Diana, also being stunningly beautiful has several lovers in V: The Original Miniseries, V: The Final Battle, and V: The Series; she is seen as using her sexuality and feminine wiles to have her way with men and to elevate her position, she was even involved with the Leader of the Visitors, prior to their arrival on Earth with Pamela suggesting that sex is "far too fragile a foundation" to handle Diana's ambition. Diana finds most of the men she is involved with disposable, killing one of them so she can blame him for misinforming the Leader and repeatedly reminding Lt. James she can find any other man to alleviate her boredom if he doesn't do as she commands.
In V: The Series, she was forced to marry Charles, whom she cannot bear for promoting Lydia ahead of her, before a botched assassination attempt by Lydia against Diana resulted in his death, for which Diana and Lydia framed Marta. Diana is obsessed with capturing Elizabeth, or creating a new hybrid through cloning or other methods. She distrusts Lydia and tried several times to either kill Lydia or one of Lydia's close family members. When last seen, Diana has been placed under arrest by Philip, who does not know that Diana secretly planted a bomb on board the Leader's shuttle.
Diana is considered the main breakout character of all three series of V and what made the show extremely popular and made Jane Badler an icon with the Sci-fi genre and the character of Diana an institution, her devouring of a guinea pig is considered one of the best moments in sci-fi television. In historical terms she can be considered an allegory to Josef Mengele, who conducted experiments on those in concentration camps.
In August 2010, ABC confirmed that Jane Badler will reprise her character of Diana. She later admitted that despite her prominence in the original series, she had to audition once more and eventually landed the part of Anna's mother, who has been locked up for 15 years. Her first appearance in the new series was in the ending of the season-opener "Red Rain." In the season finale, " Mother's Day, " Diana is killed by Anna after she is broken free from prison and tries to convince her people that the human soul is a gift.
Lydia (June Chadwick) is introduced in V: The Series. Blonde and English-accented, she is commander of the fleet when Diana isn't in charge. After the Visitor home world became a barren wasteland, Lydia, the fleet security officer at the time was promoted by the Leader himself and ordered to lead the fleet to Earth to commence the second invasion, at the same time Diana escaped and immediately took command of the fleet, causing some resentment. She is as power-hungry as Diana, but far less sadistic. Lydia tends to inform on Diana's exploits to The Leader and overseers such as Philip and Charles. Lydia finds Diana belligerent and defiant, ignoring rules and procedure, finally when she tortures Jacob, a pacifist man decorated by the Leader, Lydia decides to report Diana to the Leader personally, however Diana blows up her shuttle.
She survives the assassination attempt by Diana and comes back with Charles, a Supreme Commander who takes charge of the Invasion and Lydia becomes his adjutant. She later falls in love with Charles and experiences extreme jealousy when he decides to marry Diana. She fills Diana's cup with poison, but, to her dismay, Charles drinks the poison instead and Lydia only narrowly escapes, with Diana's assistance, of being convicted of killing him. She is forced to help Diana to frame Marta for Charles' death.
Lydia's exact loyalties are unknown, she claims to serve only the Leader, however she also acts in her own best interests, most likely to advance her own position or to get rid of Diana, however she lacks the cunning ruthlessness that Diana possesses. As Diana once told her, "I take charge of the situation and you wait for permission". When the Leader declares an armistice, Lydia attempts to befriend the Resistance members, and takes quite a delight in Diana's arrest.
Brian (Peter Nelson) is introduced in V. A young Visitor officer who becomes a leader of the Friends of the Visitors youth corps. As Daniel Bernstein continues to prove his devotion and loyalty, he becomes Brian's second-in-command. Brian befriends Robin Maxwell, and when she becomes a prisoner on the mother ship, Diana enlists him in an experiment in inter-species reproduction. Daniel is set up to be seen by the Visitors as Brian's betrayer when Brian is captured and used as a test subject for the red dust. As he tries to manipulate Robin into setting him free by trying to appeal to her "love" for him, a vengeful Robin uses the Red Dust on Brian right after showing Brian their child, Elizabeth.
Jake (Stack Pierce) is introduced in V. He has the outward appearance of an African-American man. His unit captures both Robin and Robert Maxwell when they emerge from the downtown Resistance hideaway after curfew. He extracts the location of the mountain camp from Robert, but betrays Robert by leading an attack on the camp with Diana riding along. Jake is still serving in Diana’s command a year later.
James (Judson Scott) is introduced in V: The Series. He is an opportunistic soldier and one of Diana's lovers. He is assigned to capture and destroy Resistance fighters no matter what the cost. He is loyal to Diana (though in fear of his life). He arranges an unsuccessful assassination attempt on The Leader and is last seen in custody alongside Diana.
Steven (Andrew Prine) is introduced in V. He is the security chief on board Diana's ship in Los Angeles. He establishes a relationship with Eleanor Dupres that he puts to use by bringing her into the fold as a collaborator and obtains information he feels is useful to his job. He engages in a power struggle with Diana. They differ in how they wish to handle the unexpected resilience of the Resistance. Steven apparently kills Eleanor when she attempts to flee the Visitor embassy and he is killed by Ham Tyler - who dumps a mass of red dust on Steven's face and leaves him to die.
Martin(Frank Ashmore) is a shuttle pilot who befriends Mike Donovan and his son, Sean. After the Visitors begin their reign of terror and Donovan is captured, Martin helps him escape. After Sean and his ex-wife Marjorie go missing—along with the majority of the townspeople—he goes up to the mothership again and confronts Martin about what the Visitors are really up to. He confesses that they've been stealing Earth's water supply, and that both Sean and Marjorie are alive. Unfortunately, he adds, they are being kept in suspended animation because, in addition to water, their planet also has another major shortage—food. Martin is opposed to the Leader's plans, but is afraid to offer Donovan any more than ancillary support, as the Fifth Column is not strong enough to exist openly. Much later, the Visitors use Sean to trade for Donovan. Once aboard Diana's mothership, she immediately tests out her new truth serum on him. Unable to resist, Donovan inadvertently names Martin as the head of the Fifth Column aboard her vessel. Martin manages to kill Diana's guard, but she gets away. With nowhere left to turn, he follows Donovan back to Earth where he joins other members of the Fifth column. Following the end of the war and Diana's capture, Martin becomes Donovan's cameraman. However, his sense of outrage that Diana will be tried at the Hague instead of executed outright gets the better of him, and he tracks her down, hoping to do the job himself. Unfortunately, Diana mortally wounds him, escaping with his last Red Dust pill and setting her jail on fire. Donovan arrives too late to save his friend.
Inspector General Phillip (Frank Ashmore) was introduced in the second half of V: The Series. He came to investigate Lydia's reports of Diana's behavior—and to find Mike Donovan, the man who murdered his twin brother, Martin. However, after confronting Donovan, he discovers that it was Diana who was Martin's killer. Eventually, he becomes friends with Donovan as well, and becomes a valuable tool for the Resistance.
Angela (Leslie Bevis) is introduced in V: The Series. A Visitor cadet, she killed another cadet during combat training and was dismissed by Philip for her sadism, thus preventing her from becoming an officer. Diana plays on Angela's resentment, assigning her as Philip's bodyguard on an assignment to capture Mike Donovan as part of her plan to have Philip killed. Angela is stopped from killing Philip when she is shot dead by Glenda.
Daniel (Robert Thaler) is introduced in V: The Series. He is a young officer who becomes Diana's lover. After the failure of one of her exploits, Diana kills him "because someone has to take the blame".
Due to the episodes being aired out of order, the episode in which Daniel dies aired before the episode in which he was introduced.
John Langley (Bruce Davison) is introduced in V: The Series. He is the undercover agent assigned to infiltrate the Resistance and impregnate Robin Maxwell in hopes of creating a second Star Child, but he is killed by a Fifth Columnist before he can finish his mission.
Marta (Gela Nash) is introduced in V: The Series. She is the mother ship's pharmacist. She provided Lydia with the cat poison Lydia tried to use to kill Diana, but which killed Charles. Diana despises her and, with Lydia's reluctant assistance, frames her for Charles' murder. Marta is sentenced to be shot into space for eternity alongside Charles' decaying corpse in a space crypt. Diana orders Oswald to ensure that Marta is alive and conscious ("if she stops breathing so do you"); Marta wakes up next to the corpse just before the crypt leaves the ceremony site.
Nigel (Ken Olandt) is introduced in V: The Series. Lydia's brother, he is brought to the Los Angeles Mothership as part of a scheme by Diana, who intends to have him sacrificed at a Visitor ceremony, but is thwarted by his sister and Philip.
Oswald (Peter Elbling) is introduced in V: The Series. An underling of Diana, he is a mortician and an interior decorator. Diana had him "procure" several sexual partners for her pleasure (a job which he enjoyed immensely). He is very flamboyant and very openly homosexual but had enough modesty and morals to steer clear of what he considered stereotypical gay behaviour such as "bathousing and barbarism" though that did not stop him from indulging in his taste for sexual pleasures as Diana did with her partners. He also favored human partners much in the same way as Diana as well as a host of unknown male visitors as a type of art to practice. He usually referred to his male partners as "Tender ones or sweet morsels" The character did shed a positive light on homosexuality during the 1980s by being more mature and moral about his promiscuous behavior.
Willie (Robert Englund) was introduced in the first miniseries. He was a worker assigned to Arthur Dupres' chemical plant in Los Angeles. At first he had trouble adjusting to his new assignment (according to the novelization, his original name was Ahmed) and he had originally learned Arabic because he had been assigned to Saudi Arabia, and his human supervisor, Caleb Taylor, disliked him immensely. That changed once Willie rescued him after a liquid hydrogen pipe burst. Willie befriended a human, Harmony Moore, who helped him learn English. Unfortunately, she was killed during the Resistance's assault on Diana's ship. Following the end of the war, Willie settled down and worked as a waiter at Elias Taylor's restaurant, Club Creole, and served as mentor to Elizabeth Maxwell, the Starchild.
Mary (Sybil Danning) is introduced in V: The Series. A Dallas-based Visitor, Mary attends a convention in Los Angeles to display the Encapsulator, a device of her own invention that will revolutionize the way in which humans are harvested for food. The resistance succeeds in blowing up the house in which the convention is being held, destroying the Encapsulator. Mary is killed in the explosion.
In the 2009 reimagining of V, the Visitors actually infiltrated governments around the world prior to their official appearance, and instigated most of the wars in the late 20th century to make them appear as saviors to humanity. Their technology has also advanced to the point of allowing them to simultaneously telecast to the entire world via the motherships in every known Earth language. Unlike the original series, in which the Visitors' human "skin" was a latex-like material that could be easily ripped off without much pain, these Visitors seem to wear literal skin which can only be damaged or removed forcefully and painfully. They also practice sexual cannibalism as seen in Anna's case. The Visitors' reproductive ability of egg-laying is retained in this series, although the egg sacks laid by Anna appear more womb-like, gestating in liquid substances than those having shells like normal reptiles.