Hey all, one day I was going through some videos and I found a disk I forgot I had, it’s from an old TV show from the 1960s called The Invaders. Thus, today’s classic reflection.
The premise of The Invaders is that an alien race secretly comes to Earth to take over, (their planet is dying) and no one knows except for David Vincent. He’s an architect who – one night – witnesses one of their space craft landing while pulled over after taking a wrong turn down a country road. He tries to warn his fellow Earthlings, but of course, everyone thinks he’s nuts. Although through the course of the series he does get some people to believe and even help him as he pursues and tries to expose the alien presence on Earth.
The main character of David Vincent is played by veteran TV actor Roy Thinnes who starred in several shows including The Psychiatrist (2 episodes were directed by a young Steven Spielberg), Falcon Crest (in the early 1980s), General Hospital and the 1991 remake of Dark Shadows. He also starred in several made-for-TV movies Satan’s School for Girls (with Kate Jackson) and The Norliss Tapes (1973), as well as appearing in more recent times as a guest star in Law and Order and The X-Files. He also appeared in The Invaders in 1995 when it was updated and re-made into a mini-series starring Scott Bakula (I missed this one!)
This series was short-lived, only two seasons were filmed. Maybe it’s because you can only go so far with a story-line of invading aliens and ignorant Earthlings. To folks watching it now for the first time it will seem dated and at times maybe a little corny, but as a child watching in the 60s, it was scary and a little creepy. This was due to several good ideas concerning the portrayal of the aliens:
- We don’t know much about them or where they come from,
- We only see their true form in one episode, and
- They don’t talk too much about themselves.
- They take human form, but must regenerate often in order to keep it,
- They don’t bleed and don’t have a pulse,
- They also have a weird bent finger.
And as mentioned before, they don’t have a lot to say. When they die, they automatically disintegrate making it hard for our hero to get physical proof. (If they die with or by any of their alien gizmos, they grab them and everything disintegrates. Well, at least they clean up after themselves.)
The Invaders was produced by Quinn Martin Productions, which is proudly stated at the beginning of each episode.
Those of us who grew up in the 1960s and 70s are very familiar with QM who produced many popular shows including The Fugitive, Twelve O’Clock High, The FBI, The Streets of San Francisco, Cannon and Barnaby Jones.
The show itself was a creation of Larry Cohen, a writer, producer and director who is famous or infamous for the camp horror classic It’s Alive, a movie about a killer mutant baby. He also created another cult 60s western show Branded staring Chuck Conners. He’s known for his wacky stories and low-budget production values when he’s directing and producing. But The Invaders stands out as one of his better or more serious attempts at a decent sci-fi drama.
As stated above, this is 60s TV, so have some patience and respect for your elders.
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