Thursday, April 17, 2014

Discuss: The Invaders TV show


HannibalCat said...

Almost finished watching both seasons, as The Horror channel has been showing them for the first time in the UK since the 1980's BBC repeats. Enjoyable hokum - still like Roy Thinnes' proto Keanu Reeves acting style - surely a series ripe for a post millennial reboot? Or a movie at least.

david_b said...

It's yet another show I never saw much of growing up. But I seem to recall it back in the '60s when I was a toddler. The intro always scared me.

Thinnes is an awesome actor, loved his guest appearance as Croft on Battlestar back in '78. As for a lead, he seems to come across perhaps too wooden, but he was probably going for the David Janssen-aura from 'Fugitive'.

Would love to watch this someday soon.

Anonymous said...

There was a sort of reboot in 1995, a made-for-TV movie or mini-series starring Scott Bakula. Roy Thinnes made a cameo appearance as David Vincent, but the new version had no real continuity with the original.

I don't remember watching the show during its original run; I remember seeing ads for it, and being scared to death by them (I was such a wimpy kid). Years later, I saw some reruns, and it was better than I expected. I had expected it to be just a knock-off of "The Fugitive," with the aliens as a sort of McGuffin to get the protagonist on the road, but some episodes did have some interesting plots.

I think David Janssen and Roy Thinnes were both right to underplay their performances. Both characters needed an image of quiet and grim determination, rather than histrionics. (The same goes for Ed Bishop on "UFO.") (As I recall, Richard Kimble seldom showed strong emotion until the last episode, when he finally confronted the killer.)

Speaking of the last episode, I've heard complaints that The Invaders never had an official series finale, but, by the end, Vincent seemed to have convinced some government officials of the truth, they were at least preparing some countermeasures, and the aliens seemed to be in retreat, if not decisively defeated.

Pat Henry said...

With its stentorian score, unsettling effects, menacing voiceover, and McCarthyist Cold War overtones, it was probably the creepiest and most ultimately disturbing and underplayed SF series ever made. I believe it was the inspiration for BBC's UFO, and the two series could easily inhabit the same universe.

Slow, yes, like all TV of that era, but the slowness is effective in generating the creep factor. Every episode was imbued with paranoia and menace; and the absence of car chases and shootouts and gore to break the tension only feeds back into that chilly unease.

Still holds up rather well today.

One interesting aspect of the series is it was not afraid to grow and evolve, and by the end of its run Vincent had built up quite an organized army of believers.

Dr. Oyola said...

Wow. A show I have never even heard of, let alone watched!

dbutler16 said...

I've never even heard of this, but it looks pretty cool. Where's Namor, though.

Anonymous said...

LOL. Then there were two British TV shows, The Avengers and The Champions. Both were about secret agents, not Marvel's heroes, although the Champions did have some super powers.

And a 1950's TV series, The Defenders. About lawyers, not Hulk, Dr. Strange, and Namor.

And then there was the time (Avengers #83) when Roy and Jean Thomas met Earth's Mightiest Heroes at the Halloween party in Rutland, Vermont, and Jean asked, "Which one is Mrs. Peel?" :)

Logan said...

Mostly awesome show. I watched it as a kid, had (and still have) the Whitman novel, the Big Little Book and a couple of paperbacks with stories from the series. I ordered both seasons on DVD from Amazon a couple of years ago and enjoyed them...and yes, Pat, toward the end of the second season David had a group of influentials who joined him on the cause but there was no ending to the series.

One funny note: Ford was the sponsor, so every car you see is pretty much the same an alternate universe where no other brand existed.

It's a show which could really benefit as a remake was all about paranoia and distrust.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I think Roy Thinnes really did a good job in his role on the Invaders. Understated, but resolute. He doesn't have the leading man charisma you'd find in other actors but he had a real everyman earnestness and intensity in his performance.

Never saw the Scott Bakula series but I'm wondering if we'll see a big screen version soon. You never know with Hollywood; they're making reboots of everything these days.

- Mike 'watch those pinky fingers!' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Rip Jagger said...

Just finished watching the second season of this series earlier this year. Loved it. It's smarter than I remember, but then a lot of the episodes were new to me.

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