Article

THE INVADERS - THE FIRST SEASON

 



The Invaders - The First Season
 

Format: Box set, Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC
Language:
English
Region: 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33:1
Number of discs:
5
Studio:
Paramount
DVD Release Date:
May 27, 2008
Run Time:
933 minutes
 

Movie:
Disc:

 

In ancient Greek mythology the gods punished Sisyphus for being a general shithead by making him roll a huge boulder up a steep hill, only to watch it roll down again - and to repeat this throughout all eternity!

Hence the term Sisyphean task, something which is "endlessly laborious or futile" as my dictionary helpfully puts it. Frog philosopher Albert Camus of course likened the story to be an allegory for Life Itself. After all, we all have our off-days . . .

(You gotta hand it to those ancient Greek gods: they were quite creative when it came to meting out punishments for the afterlife.)

But before you complain that your particular menial job in life is Sisyphean, spare a thought for architect David Vincent, the character played by actor Roy Thinnes in the 1967 TV series, The Invaders. Late one night returning from a business trip, Vincent makes a wrong turn and decides to sleep in his car out in the field next to a deserted diner. That night he watches a very 1950's-looking flying saucer land.

When he tries to convince the authorities of this, no one believes him and he is of course dismissed as a crank. Investigating further, Vincent discovers that aliens disguised as ordinary people have actually already started infiltrating human society. Their aim? Their own planet is dying (obviously) and they seek to invade the Earth. (What else with a title like that?)

Vincent tries to uncover the truth as well as gather enough proof for the authorities to believe him. But who to trust? The aliens already know who he is and what he is up to, and they always seem to be one step ahead of him. He can't even come up with a decent two-lunged corpse or something because the aliens glow a bright red and simply leave dust behind whenever one of them dies. (Quite handy that when you're trying to secretly invade a planet with someone sneaking about trying to unmask you.)

Just like Mulder and Scully never could seem to satisfactorily solve a case, David Vincent also never seems to wind up with enough evidence at the end of each episode to convince authorities that there is an alien conspiracy afoot. But despite his Sisyphean task (see? there was a reason why we mentioned all that Greek myth stuff), Vincent never seems to tire or give up. After all, The Invaders had two full seasons to run . . .

Sort of an early precursor to The X-Files, The Invaders to this day remains highly beloved of ageing baby boomers who watched it as kids. One wouldn't be too surprised if X-Files creator Chris Carter also watched it as a kid. The show is quite reminiscent of popular The Fugitive television show (they shared the same producer) with the protagonist never seeming to make any headway with each episode.

Of course it is quite dated today. With all the cheap-looking alien technology on display and with everybody wearing suits and smoking, the show looks curiously like something out of the ?Fifties. Not a single hippy or pair of jeans on display ? even though it aired in the same year that The Beatles brought out Sgt. Pepper's . . .

THE DISCS: The show may be 41 years old, but the image and sound quality is pretty darned good overall, better actually than newer shows on disc such as Buffy - Season One for instance. All 17 episodes from the first season are contained on five discs.

RECOMMENDATION: Despite its age The Invaders isn't bad actually and sci-fi fans not allergic to vintage 1950s fare will appreciate it. Cultural anthropologists can also marvel at how this version of the 1960s differs from the one spoon fed to us by the likes of Oliver Stone and The Wonder Years.

The repetitive nature of the show however may prove tiresome and it is best that one views only one episode at a time instead of several in one setting seeing as each episode, after all, ends the same . . .


 



 

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