If you were disappointed by, or delighted with the the reveal of the aliens in the 2009 reboot of V they could have looked very different.
V is an American science fiction television series that ran for two seasons on ABC, from November 3, 2009 to March 15, 2011. A remake of the 1983 miniseries created by Kenneth Johnson, the new series chronicles the arrival on Earth of a technologically advanced alien species which ostensibly comes in peace, but actually has sinister motives. V stars Morena Baccarin, Lourdes Benedicto, Morris Chestnut, Joel Gretsch, Logan Huffman, Charles Mesure, Elizabeth Mitchell, Laura Vandervoort and Scott Wolf, and was executive produced by Scott Rosenbaum, Yves Simoneau, Scott Peters, and Jace Hall. - WikipediaSo, what would the aliens look like? We heard a lot about "skinning" Vs (the nickname for the aliens),and the anticipation was pretty high. In the final episode, after months of hints, peeks and skeletons we finally got a look at them in the season finale "Mother's Day." But, it could have looked very different.
John Gallagher's portfolio has a bunch of concept paintings of the aliens, ship and hybrid baby. When asked about his inspiration for the designs, here's what he said.
A fairly conservative marching order. Given that the series was a reboot of the Kenneth Johnson 80's series, it was clear from the outset that there was a creature under that harvested human suit. This wasn't a closely guarded secret or prestige reveal: they're green aliens. So the conceit in our minds had to evolve out of a no-surprise scenario. We played with multiple iterations, from reptilian to insectoidal to a protean mixed bag of looks. We wanted at least some cool creepy surprise. a visual hook. There were certain constraints however. The alien was required to be slightly slimmer and smaller than humans, bilaterally symmetrical, either appropriate for an actor in an effects suit or a CG counterpart. They were to share the same engineering as humans.
So from that we extrapolated some versions where they folded their legs up to their chest and cocooned, with the legs functioning as prosthetic appendages, others where the arms and legs were reversed, vestigial arms, two legged, four legged etc. All fell within the limits of the conversations and usually discarded through cost or time or just too outside the lines.
The inspirations were to create within those parameters and offer a fresh spin on what would amount to an updated version of the original Sleestak style creature. Conventional and interesting but we weren't jumping into the magical, esoteric, dark horror or wild spaces. It wasn't the type of show for that sort of exploration.
So we pushed around all sorts of variants until we arrived at what made it to screen which became the spirit of what we'd designed combined with television effects delivery schedule and budget.Here are my favorite Visitor concept designs. First, what the V actually ended up looking like.
Thanks to Gallagher for the images and the quotes. You can see more of John Gallagher's work at http://uncannyknack.com
This post is part of the month long "A-Z Challenge." For 27 days, I'll be choosing a letter from the alphabet and crafting a post around it. To read more of the posts in the series click here. To find out more about the challenge go here.
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What do you think of the illustrations?