Name your "X-Files" mantra:"UFOs-I believe","Trust no one" or "The Truth is out there Somewhere".All of these and more apply to the Invaders,first broadcast in the early winter of 1967.If you liked the "X-Files" you'll love this show.This is one of my favourite TV shows of all time.
The show follows the exploits of architect David Vincent who one night on a lonely road witnesses the landing of a space craft.Of course even his closest friend doesn't believe him and soon after he finds out,much to his amazement,that the aliens are among us and are trying to take over the earth.He goes from episode to episode trying to find and defeat the aliens any which way he can and trying to convince a skeptical public of what he knows.He makes headway little by little gaining some converts here and there but knows he can't stop until the entire world knows the truth of what is happening.
The show had high production values throughout and Roy Thinnes who plays David Vincent is superb in his role.He is also more than ably supported by top notch stars and a myriad of supporting actors in every episode.As in the "X-Files",this show also maintains that constant atmosphere of tension and dread every moment which made the show so appealing in 1967 and still does today.
It is interesting to note the special effects used throughout the series.The biggies were the landing and taking off the space craft and the
death of the aliens themselves,who would dissolve in a sea of red.Other effects were minimalistic but VERY effective.For example the human appearing aliens would often have to regenerate themselves,if they didn't they would start glowing.To enhance this aspect the actors would raise their hands to their faces which held,unseen in their palms,a light which would enhance the glowing.Other small things like dressing in blue cover-alls or dark suits,or the way the actors portraying aliens would give a simple but solemn look.The mutated fourth finger which caused their pinkies to stick out was also a very simple thing to achieve.All these things and more simply enhanced the feel and look of the show.
Each epsiode was done in four acts with an epilog and had a spoken intro and final wrap up dialogue at the end.The series music was done by none other than Dominic Frontiere well know for his work on the original"Outer Limits".
Looking on the technical side of things we unfortunately find a bit of a let down,which is why the four star rating.
First this show is NOT remastered but definitely should have been.These were transferred from existing masters and the earlier eps especially show major colour differences/deficiencies associated with film that old.The transfer is adequate and fairly crisp but a good remastering from the original film elements with colour correction(much needed in parts where the colour is washed out or faded)and a good clean up would have made these look beautiful,like the great job done on"The Wild,Wild West" series.For example some shows like "The Time Tunnel" have not been remastered either,but look incredibly clean and crisp as if they had been.Others not remastered but BADLY needing it are shows like "McHale's Navy" and "The Addams Family".It all depends in what shape the masters are in.
Secondly,and more disturbing, is the teeny tiny fine print on the back of the DVD case which says:"Some episodes may be edited from their original network versions".This could mean ALOT of things.I looked closely at each one.Two things I found stand out.Any signs with a brand name product on it have been blurred out;and the end credit has been changed to reflect the new ownership of this product to Spelling Entertainment(2008) replacing the old Quinn Martin logo and date.There are many incidents of incidental music throughout these eps also and considering the way many companies these days,for some reason,seem to be replacing what was on there originally with a newer score,this MAY also be another area of editing.
Considering that this set hasn't been remastered I doubt very much whether the second and last season will be either.But I hope that the format this one has follows into the next.That is,Roy Thinnes himself is there to introduce each and every episode in his own inimitable fashion!It was a surprise but a REAL joy to see him on screen and see that he is looking very well.As an aside I recall that Mr.Thinnes after the show ended became very popular on the UFO convention circuit.The mid-60s was witness to a huge UFO flap and this show attracted many of those who witnessed and believed in the phenomenon.They could identify with the character who was always at constant odds with a disbelieving authority.
Also included in this set are special commentary tracks,an interview with Roy Thinnes(which I can't wait to see) and the rare extended pilot version of the first ep "Beachhead".The latter contains alot of deleted and extended scenes the originally aired version doesn't and is ultimately the better and more satisfying of the two.A great edition to the set.
In conclusion this the progenitor of the "X-Files",which has finally made it to DVD(a 5-disc set),will not disappoint anyone interested in that show,old fans of "The Invaders",the alien angle or just good Sci-Fi drama period.It made a huge impact on a lot of people,including myself, and I'm sure it will do the same for you.It is a shame that it was not remastered and cleaned up the way it should have been but the prints here are adequate and fairly crisp.
I can't wait for the second and final season.The truth IS out there,just look up and around you!!