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Yes, this is a reimagining of the 1983 two-part mini-series of the same name, created by Kenneth Johnson.
The original mini-series was followed in 1984 by the three-part mini-series, V: The Final Battle, and then by a weekly television series that lasted 19 episodes between 1984-85. However, the 2009 remake of V does not follow the same story as the latter two productions and only uses the original 1983 mini-series as a source. Edit (Coming Soon)
Although based on the original 1983 mini-series created by Kenneth Johnson, the 2009 remake of V contains various differences. The original V took place largely in Los Angeles, whereas this version is based in New York City. Also, the main non-alien characters in the original series were a medical student (Juliet Parish) and a television journalist (Mike Donovan), but in this version they are an FBI agent (Erica Evans) and a priest (Father Jack Landry).
In the original V, the Visitors were a race of reptilian aliens from a distant planet, sent by their Leader (who was never seen) to infiltrate Earth in order to steal its water and to harvest the human race as food. They disguised their reptilian appearance by use of artificial latex-like skin to make them appear more human. In the remake, the Visitors are still reptilian but have cloned human skin on top of their reptilian skin for a more convincing appearance. Removing the human skin is extremely painful for the Visitors and ultimately kills them. It is also made clear that the Visitors have been infiltrating Earth's societies for decades before their main arrival. Their leader is Anna, who is analogous to a queen bee in a hive. Anna also possesses the ability to control her people via a telepathic method known as "Bliss" which ensures their devotion to her. The Visitors' motives are also different, and it eventually becomes clear that the Visitors need humans to breed with in order to allow their race to survive. To this end, they have been covertly preparing selected humans for decades by altering their DNA before they were born so that they would make viable breeding material. Although the Visitors in the remake were never seen to eat humans, they are indeed carnivorous and have actually eaten each other. They have also been seen eating live animals as in the original version. Female Visitors also have a long tail (hidden beneath their human skin) that has a sharp pointed tip that can deliver a fatal wound.
Whereas the original V was an allegory of Nazi fascism, the remake of V opts for a slightly different approach and concentrates on themes such as modern-day terrorism and fanaticism, with alien "sleeper agents" placed inside the infrastructure of Earth's societies. The theme of the Visitors using Earth's media to spread propaganda and manipulate humanity is still there as in the original version, but their goals are achieved by using issues such as free healthcare and free clean energy to placate humanity. The Visitors' plan to breed a superior "master race" using Visitor and human DNA is somewhat reminscent of the Nazi plan to have the Aryan race dominate the world. Edit (Coming Soon)
As this is a reimagining of V, there are no characters that are completely alike to those from the original V, though some characters are reminscent of them. Kyle Hobbes, for example, is a mercenary figure very similar to Ham Tyler. News anchorman Chad Decker becomes the Visitors' spokesperson much like Christine Walsh in the original. Tyler Evans appears to be a combination of both Daniel Bernstein and Robin Maxwell from the original version. Amy, a human-Visitor hybrid child, is an analogue of Elizabeth from the original V, though her loyalties are very different.
Anna, the main villain of the series, is a character clearly inspired by Diana from the original series, though the characters differ in several ways. Whereas Diana was a scientist and ranking officer in the Visitors' military ranks, Anna is actually the leader of her people (who address her as "My Queen") and has a daughter, Lisa, who will one day take her place as Queen. However, like Diana in the original version, Anna hides her ruthless, manipulative and evil nature behind a mask of human beauty and seduction. Edit (Coming Soon)
In this version of V, while the Visitors are once again reptilian aliens underneath their human skin, their society is eusocial and more akin to insects such as bees, wasps and ants. They are led by a Queen who, after mating with a male Visitor, then spawns hundreds or even thousands of eggs which mature in large pools until ready to hatch. Visitor society is arranged in a biological caste system with Visitors being bred for specific purposes (workers, hunters, soldiers, etc). If the Queen mates with a soldier Visitor, she will spawn soldier eggs that will be bred for the purpose of becoming warriors with the necessary physical attributes and innate skills. Queens are also capable of producing "queen eggs", which contain the embryo of a future Queen, bred to perpetuate the species. Each Queen will spawn new generations of Visitors and when their fertility ends, a new Queen takes her place to continue the race. In the series, Anna is the current Queen of the Visitors, and her daughter Lisa will be the future Queen. Anna herself became Queen by overthrowing her own mother, Diana, whom she then secretly imprisoned in the bowels of her ship for many years. Visitors tend to show more loyalty to the Queen that spawned them. Although Queens are essentially the mother of all Visitors, only the Queens themselves refer to one another as "daughter", "mother", etc. The rest of a Queen's offspring refer to her "my Queen".
The Queen has the unique ability to exert a form of mind-control over her people, which is called "Bliss". This telepathic technique works on a mass level, ensuring loyalty and devotion from her people. Edit (Coming Soon)
No. This version of V is a remake and not a continuation of the original 1980s series. In the original version, Jane Badler played Diana, the main villain of the series. In the remake, she guest-stars in the second season as another alien character named Diana, but it is not the same character that she played in the 1980s version. Likewise, Marc Singer played Mike Donovan, the main protagonist in the original series of V. In the remake he plays a completely different character called Lars Tremont. Edit (Coming Soon)
No. Kenneth Johnson created the original V in the 1980s, but had no involvement in the remake. He is credited as creator in the remake, but this pertains to his creation of the original 1983 version on which the remake is based. The remake was developed by Scott Peters, who used the premise of Johnson's original 1983 miniseries but opted to create his own characters.
Johnson had actually been trying for several years to get a sequel to his original V made, but the rights holders (Warner Bros.) opted to remake the series instead. Edit (Coming Soon)