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THE INVADERS The First Season

DVD Review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS:   933 minutes (17 episodes on 5 discs), episode introductions, audio commentary, Roy Thinnes interview, episode promos, and extended 60 minute version of pilot episode

VIDEO:   1.33:1 (Full Frame)

AUDIO:   English Mono

Subtitles:  English Close Captioning

 

STUDIO:  CBS DVD/ Paramount/ CBS Television/ Spelling Entertainment

RELEASE DATE:  5-27-2008

 

DISC 1-  BEACHHEAD/ THE EXPERIMENT/ THE MUTATION/ THE LEECHES

DISC 2-  GENESIS/ VIKOR/ NIGHTMARE/ DOOMSDAY MINUS ONE

DISC 3-  QUANTITY: UNKNOWN/ THE INNOCENT/ THE IVY CURTAIN

DISC 4-  THE BETRAYED/ STORM/ PANIC/ MOONSHOT

DISC 5-  WALL OF CRYSTAL/ THE DONDEMNED/ extended version of BEACHHEAD/ Roy Thinnes interview/ 3 Season One promos

 

THE INVADERS is paranoid sci-fi at it's best.  It's a paranoid sci-fi thriller.  What If you knew the aliens came to Earth to invade and no one believed you?  It would suck.  Architect David Vincent (Roy Thinnes who looks a little like Paul Newman) stumbles upon a landing alien spaceship when he stops his car at 4 am to catch a a little sleep after he finds a diner that went out-of-business.  What follows is a series of events that puts his life in constant danger and sets him on a quest to stop the invaders (and expose them).

 

THE INVADERS is a series that I was first exposed to in the late 1980s and early 1990s through the Canadian TV channel (part of the local cable system) and CBS Crimetime After Primetime.   I was intrigued by the few episodes I saw and now the first season DVD set shows a series that features solid scripts (with very few plot holes) and great direction with a slew of guest stars including Michael Rennie, Roddy McDowell, Ed Begley, Susan Pleshette, Ed Roper, Dabney Coleman, and Ed Asner.  THE INVADERS definitely had an influence on FIRST WAVE (that came three decadeS later) and maybe even THE X-FILES.

 

Most of the epsidoes on the set are in great condition except THE LEECHES (has one minute that is of lower quality from the rest of the episode) and few other smaller instances.  The extended version of BEACHHEAD is of lesser quality than the aired version.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Roy Thinnes has recorded introductions for each episode which can be played with the episodes and give a little info about the episode you're about to watch.   The almost 30 minute interview with Roy Thinnes (on disc 5) shows he has a great memory about the series 40 years later.  He talks about how he first didn't want to do the series, what he liked most about working on the show, when he saw his first UFO (three days before THE INVADERS aired it's first episode) and the shiow's Director Of Photography who had experiences with UFOs, and things he would have loved to see developed further if the series lasted longer.

 

Three Season One promos are on disc 5 in addition to the above mentioned 60 minute extended version of BEACHHEAD.  Creator Larry Cohen has recorded an audio commentary for THE INNOCENTS. He talks about his writing for TV and how he got into it. He also details where he wished THE INVADERS would have gone (chances in storytelling that the writers didn't follow up on enough)and why Quinn Martin shut him out of the series. Larry still hopes for the series to be revived as a TV series or as a movie. he also says why the 1990s mini-series wasn't special.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  THE INVADERS was one of the best sci-fi series to come out of the 1960s.  It still stands up today as a paranoid thriller. Now I begin the impatient wait for season 2.

this DVD Review is (c)5-18-2008 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.   send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com

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