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Re"V"lections with Marc Singer, Part 2

Like everyone else involved with the original "V" miniseries, Marc Singer was shocked to learn that writer/director Kenneth Johnson would not be returning for The Final Battle. In this part of the interview, he discusses his feelings over the situation.

What follows is the second part of an interview with actor Marc Singer (Mike Donovan) conducted by Visitors Among Us editor Edward Gross, in which he reflects on his experience in the "V" universe.

V - Ken Johnson with Singer VISITORS AMONG US: When you got the script for the first "V" miniseries, was your reaction a strong one?

MARC SINGER: I would love to say that I was hip enough, wise enough, sharp enough to understand the far-reaching implications of it, but that wasn't the case. I saw it a a story about a man being overwhelmed by an enormous dark force that he felt alone in attempting to describe to his fellow man, and it was only when I saw the first screening of "V" after many months of work on it that I understood the full implications. In a large way this has to do with the creative energies of Kenny Johnson. When I say creative energies, I use the word energy in its all-encompassing form, because I never saw any man work as tirelessly for as many hours of the day at such a fantastic level of energy as I saw Kenny Johnson working on the set. He's an amazing man.

V - Marc Singer 3 VISITORS AMONG US: What was your response, then, to the script of "V": The Final Battle?

MARC SINGER: I think there's no question that when the originator is no longer with the project, the project is going to have a different focus and philosophy guiding it. Personally, I prefer the original concept; the concept that shed light on how society can be subverted and how people are cast into turmoil by political events. "V" in its ultimate form, The Final Battle, was more of an adventure series and I feel that we did not focus as strongly as we had on the same intellectual underpinnings that we did originally. I have to say that the proof is in the pudding. The problem with all science fiction is that it resist the temptation to be turned into The Dukes of Hazzard in Outer Space, because once it becomes that, it is limited in its appeal and focus.

VISITORS AMONG US: What was the reaction when you realized that Ken Johnson wasn't coming back for the second miniseries?

MARC SINGER: I knew what it meant. I knew intellectually that it meant we were going to be more corporate and less personal in our approach toward the production of the film. Papa would no longer be with us. I don't think I had enough experience in those days to understand how radical a change that could be. I felt that it was indeed quite a chance once we became more corporate in our goals. We were simply no longer the baby of one single person. We were ow the baby of a large institution and in a large institution many people have differing ideas as to what's good for the baby. If there was the original parent of the baby watchdogging the child, that original parent would say, right, wrong or indifferently, 'No, this is the way it's going to be done.' Instead you have many voices saying many different things. I guess the child gets confused. On the floor, as I refere to it when you're in the trenches and actually filming, you have very little time to reflect on such things. In those days we were filming 16-18 hour days week in and week out and basically you were like an athlete attempting to run a race and the terrain was constantly changing and you had never had a chance to run the course before, so all of the landscapes were new to you.


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