Diana and James were under arrest, Willie and Thelma to be married on Earth, and Philip bidding farewell to Donovan and the Resistance.
What follows is a look at an episode designed
to air after "The Return". It gives strong indications of the show
drastically shifting its focus, perhaps in an attempt to breathe new life
As the Leader's shuttle departs, Philip expresses his pleasure that there will now be a continuing peace between the humans and Visitors. Lydia is unsure, as she will always be doubtful where Diana is concerned. He reassures her, explaining that this time Diana's treason was against the Leader, and will therefore be dealt with severely, as told by the Galactic Codes. Both she and James are to be sent into the Cyclo Purgers, a point which delights Lydia to no end.
"Lydia," Philip warns, "do not enjoy these executions too deeply. My instinct tells me that's exactly the way Diana began."
Willie and Thelma run in explaining that they can't find Kyle anywhere. This reaffirms their fear that he stowed away on the Leader's shuttle. Donovan wants to go after him, but Julie warns that by doing so he may start the war all over again. Perhaps, she says, Kyle may convince himself that Elizabeth is doing what she wants, or has, to do. Willie emphasizes that no matter what, the Leader is too great to ever harm him.
"Really?" asks Donovan. "Then if he's so 'great', why does he have Elizabeth?"
A deafening silence is the response.
Meanwhile, Lydia checks on Diana and James' handcuffs, sarcastically noting that Diana has finally lost. As usual, Diana's confidence swells up, aggravating her rival.
In the Leader's shuttle, Kyle comes out of his hiding place in a compartment, and finds, with the exception of the pilot, the vessel to be empty. Armed with a gun, he approaches the pilot and demands to know where Elizabeth is. Suddenly he hears her voice in his head, and she explains that the Leader will allow her to bring him where they are.
Kyle slowly disappears, only to find himself in a limbo of darkness. Searching for Elizabeth, he sights, at some distance, the Leader, a towering reptilian with four arms (sounding like something out of Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars).
Kyle demands to have Elizabeth returned, and when there's no response he raises his uzi, which mysteriously vanishes. She appears, telling him with her the Leader is "the sum of one. The total. The complete."
Apparently eons earlier the Leaders of Saurus were fearful that one of their people would grow too powerful, and so the Anyx, the source of their individual and combined power, were broken. A portion of the Anyx was brought to Earth by what has been termed the Ancient Astronauts. As half human and half Visitor, Elizabeth is able to make their Leader whole again.
On the Mothership, Lydia, currently in command, is informed that the Leader has rejoined his escort and all seems well. Alarm klaxons sound off at that point, however, just as contact is broken with the shuttle.
In the ensuing chaos, Diana orders Oswald to free her and James, to which he reluctantly agrees.
Monitors detect the explosive device just as Diana enters the bridge. Lydia sees her and begs her to stop this if it's another one of her power plays, and says she'll do anything to save the Leader.
Diana plays innocent, and a moment later the shuttle explodes. She immediately puts the blame on the Resistance, this despite the fact that there would seem to be no sense in their doing such a thing at a time of peace.
Diana (and the method is a bit unclear here) puts herself in command, and states that Philip is in cahoots with the enemy. She wants to know if Lydia is with her, which she is -- provided her authority is no less than Diana's. Delighted, Diana puts out an order of martial law and an all out attack on Earth.
The ship's detention cell holds Donovan, Julie and Willie, all of whom suspect something must have happened to the Leader for them suddenly to be locked up again. Thelma brings Willie a ceremonial engagement cake, in which she's hidden magnesium strips. Kyle suddenly appears in their cell, vague as to exactly how he got there.
Using the magnesium strips, they blow the cell's door and move, alarms instantly signalling their escape. A door opens, with Diana and James standing there with lasers aimed. A blast finds its mark on Julie and she disintegrates (!). The others move back the way they came.
Donovan leads them to a series of air ducts, while an anguished Willie yells out something about Julie. Donovan sadly says that she's finished, and that she would want them to go on. They escape into the duct.
"Damn them," swears Diana. "I want this
ship torn apart to find them, do you hear? Capture them at all costs!"
James acknowledges her, and races off.
Later, while shuttles are readying to attack Earth, Philip is in the midst of a confrontation with Lydia and Diana, arguing that their suspicions against him are groundless. They agree to settle the matter at another time.
Donovan, Kyle, and Willie, dressed as pilots, approach a shuttle when Elizabeth appears on a balcony in the bay. Diana, seeing her, orders that she be captured. Troopers approach the Star Child, but she disappears again, only to reappear on another balcony. Frustrated, Diana says they'll capture her later -- after the attack on Earth.
But Elizabeth appears and vanishes again, with Philip explaining that he'll take some men and find her. He picks the disguised Donovan, Kyle and Willie off the line, and they depart. A moment later Donovan demands an explanation. Philip will give them one once they're in his quarters.
In seclusion, Philip explains that Diana's assassination attempt on the Leader must have failed, and that right now the first thing he has to do is to get the humans off the ship. They're concerned about Elizabeth, but the Visitor swears he will locate her and get her back to Earth when things are safer.
Donovan pulls a gun on Philip, saying that if they're caught he wants Philip to look like a hostage. "You don't have to protect me, Mike."
"I know," he replies sincerely. "I want to. We're still going to need a Fifth Column." Willie concurs, interjecting "Now more than ever."
On Earth, the attack has begun with skyfighters and laser jeeps unleashing savage destruction. Diana is pleased, noting that things are going much better than they expected.
As Philip and the Resistance members make their way through the ship, they hear Elizabeth's voice calling softly to them.
From the bridge, Diana and James see Philip being led at gunpoint, but she doesn't believe it for a moment, feeling that he is as much a traitor to their people as his brother Martin was. As the group continues, Diana hits a control switch which opens the floor, sending the four of them into the Mothership's compacting room (shades of Star Wars). The walls begin to close in on them. Elizabeth appears for a moment and attempts to help, but then disappears against her will.
In the area of darkness, she finds herself before the Leader again. Elizabeth wants Kyle to be with her, but he replies that this cannot be.
"You led me to believe Kyle could stay," she cries out. "You deceived me."
He replies that she should be more patient for she is a ruler now, or will be when she brings him the Anyx. Elizabeth refuses, citing the fact that she is of two worlds, and that she chooses Earth. With a cosmic effort, she dematerializes.
In the compacting room, Elizabeth appears and uses her powers. The walls stop their movement, and she passes out. Carrying her, they make their way through the panel through which they entered the room (of course, one ponders their reason for not doing so in the first place).
Witnessing their escape on the bridge monitor, Diana orders the landing bay secured as that's the only way off the ship.
Using Philip as a hostage, Donovan points out to James that the Inspector General is the Leader's best friend, and shouts that he'll kill the Visitor if they're not given free passage. Willie moves Elizabeth into a skyfighter, then leans out and fires a laser blast which finds its mark on James, who collapses to the ground. Donovan releases Philip and moves with Kyle into the skyfighter. The craft takes off under a barrage of laser fire.
Diana and Lydia enter the landing bay just as the shuttle leaves, and board a second one in order to pursue. Both approach ground level, with Diana firing several shots which find their mark. Donovan's shuttle crashes behind a hill. Diana (foolishly) believing her quarry destroyed, heads back to the Mothership, while the four survivors get out of the grounded shuttle.
As they approach the road, they see a so called "Road Warrior" type vehicle, and its driver: Ham Tyler. There is an exchange of reunion greetings before they tear off down the road.
On the Mothership, Diana is told that there has been victory on all fronts with it being only a matter of time before all key areas are secured.
"The armistice," says Lydia, "lulled them into a false sense of security."
Diana is curious as to Philip's seemingly ill-at-ease mood. The Inspector General stands strong, explaining that he is her superior officer, and that neither he, nor his actions, are accountable to either Diana or Lydia.
In her quarters, Diana is contacted by the Leader, who brings her before him in his limbo of darkness. He tells her that Elizabeth has stolen the secrets of the Ancients and knows of the Anyx, source of all great power. With it, he emphasizes, she will become even greater than he is. In addition, the Star Child has the Syllabus of the Ancients, which allegorically reveals the location of the Anyx. If she finds it, Earth will rule over the Visitors. It is Diana's job to stop her from discovering it.
"If you fail," sneers the Leader sinisterly, "I will not be the first to die. You will go before me."
She understands completely.
On Earth, the remnants of the Resistance stare at the disaster the Visitors have wrought. Donovan asks Elizabeth about the Syllabus. She hands it to Willie, who reads aloud: "Follow the wind for the source of all knowledge. To a place that lasts forever. Where your heart will sing."
She does not know where this place is, so it's going to be their job to work their way to it, through every city, town, farm, and village until Elizabeth's heart sings.
They acknowledge the war taking place out there, and also that there will be times when they'll be caught within its midst.
"That's the future out there," says Donovan.
"Let's go live it."
The first thing one has to do upon considering "The Attack" is take into account the fact that it is a first draft script. There are quite a few inconsistencies and contrivances, but these would, presumably, be corrected in future drafts. For instance, why kill Julie, one of the central characters and then have no one express the slightest hint of remorse after she's gone? That certainly doesn't make a lot of sense for all that's come before. What happens to Thelma, who just disappears in the midst of the action? After all, she was supposed to marry Willie. Also, how did Ham just happen to be at their crash site? Again, one can only hope that these things would be corrected.
"The Attack" does, however, present an approach to V, which might have revitalized the show, and given it a fresh path to follow and potentially, a new realm of storyline possibilities.
V had become a Mission: Impossible type series, and this change of focus would have turned it into a "road show" along the lines of The Fugitive, Planet of the Apes, and Logan's Run, with our heroes moving from town to town in search of a specific objective, in this case the Anyx. It's easy to assume that Diana would have to pursue them without the Mothership, probably forced to travel via shuttle; and Philip would continue his efforts with the Fifth Column.
This episode would have (finally) introduced more science fiction elements, many of which could easily fit into the Star Wars universe. Can anyone deny that the sequences between Diana and the Leader sound amazingly similar, at least in tone, to those between Darth Vader and the Emperor in Return of the Jedi? Still, this would have been a welcome addition to the show, and one which might have kept it on the air longer.
If V ever does come back to television, the big question is whether they would go in this direction, come up with something new or go back to Ken Johnson's original concept for inspiration. Once again, we must patiently wait for the future to unfold.
Previous Episode: The Return
Back to V: The Series HOME