01/05/2010. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Paramount/CBS DVD PHE 9847. 1282 minutes 26 * 50 minute episodes with no extras. Price: about £11.00 (UK) if you know where to look) stars: Roy Thinnes, Kent Smith and a multitude of guest stars.
check out website: www.paramount.com
Considering how long season one of 'The Invaders' was out, it came as a surprise when the second season suddenly popped up last year. A series that has been long over-due for a DVD release so if you want to have something to watch straight through now, all things are possible.
This 1967 series has often been compared to a fifth columnist communist plot except it's disguised with aliens masquerading as humans. You can spot them if you really look. Many of them have an imperfect fifth finger that can't bend, have no heartbeat, lack emotions and if you damage their cellulose skin, don't bleed. They also have an interesting habit of incinerating to ash when killed. They choose to die than be caught, often by taking a pill, too. It's also revealed in this season that these Invaders are essentially the military and that their own species does have those with emotions as well. They have a nasty habit of using one of their smaller devices to kill humans by brain haemorrhage, having a device to hypnotise you with and occasionally use one of their own weapons to incinerate you.
A lot of American shows from that period could be jumbled and put in any order and wouldn't have any effect on continuity. With Season Two, architect David Vincent (actor Roy Thinnes) and the Invaders' main protagonist is no longer a lone voice as a small group of Believers develops around him. Chief amongst these is munitions industrialist Edgar Scoville (actor Kent Smith), although it's neatly stepped over how they met and have so much faith in each other. Be careful if you join such a group, your life expectancy isn't particularly high. Not just from the Invaders but occasionally from humans themselves. Even the Invaders find some irony in this. No longer alone, Vincent continues his battle to stop the Invaders from their objective of wiping out life on Earth to make way for their own kind.
Thing is, they aren't quite ready yet. On a couple occasions, Vincent finds himself coerced into actually aiding the Invaders to save human lives than see them killed off or the aliens revealed to the world, which would have resulted in them doing a direct and deadly attack. They aren't ready to make any significant move and even they are wary of having too many deaths at one go and give themselves away. Again, this makes for an interesting twist in the plots and you shouldn't think anything is standard in these stories.
If you're old enough to remember 'The Invaders' when it was first shown, then this is a good time to re-introduce yourself to the series. If you've only heard about it, then you should be in for a treat even if it's played out in a low-key way. A lot of the time the more extreme SF aspects are toned down. It isn't regulation that you see the Invaders' spaceships each time. The Invaders are infiltrators who continually over their tracks which makes them all the more dangerous.
Looking at Season Two, it's a shame it never made it to Season Three as based on watching the progression then the war would have escalated and very likely come out into the open. Enjoy what you've got. A truly original show even if the Invaders did come a long way to take over the Earth.
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