74 of 79 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
The Invaders - Season Two
Roy Thinnes stars in the second and final season of the excellent science fiction drama series developed by Larry Cohen called The Invaders. For those of you not familiar with this franchise, the premise deals with one man's discovery of and subsequent battle with malevolent aliens who appear human on the surface. The show combines elements of Quinn Martin's chase series The Fugitive with concepts developed in prior films like I Married A Monster From Outer Space and Invasion Of The Body Snatchers.
There are 26 episodes on 7 DVDs to be released in region 1 January 27, 2009. Extras at this writing most likely will include individual show introductions recorded this year by Roy Thinnes in New York City. Roy is a New Yorker now and working on matters to do with his artwork.
Some major character actors appear in the second season of the series, including Gene Hackman as an alien "seed salesman"; Fritz Weaver as an Iron Curtain ambassador; Carol Lynley as a collaborator with the aliens; R.G. Armstrong makes his second appearance this time as a cop; Diana Muldaur as a "good" alien; Michael Rennie makes another appearance as an alien posing as a Scandinavian ambassador; Ed Asner appears once again, this time playing a corrupt father; Richard Anderson of Perry Mason and Six Million Dollar Man fame stars as an alien who learns about human emotions and pain; and Suzanne Pleshette of The Birds and Bob Newhart fame reprises her role (of a sort) as an "emotional" alien. Many other key actors of that classic era of television make appearances, including Ed Begley, Wayne Rogers (who later found fame in M*A*S*H) and Laurence Naismith to name a few.
The show is known for having prioritized drama over special effects, with adult, plausible scripts. As with most, if not all Quinn Martin productions, the show took itself very seriously, with little humor and much melodrama. The music, primarily fueled by Dominic Frontiere's enigmatic theme, often propelled the show. The special effects were sparse, but intelligently done. The most famous visual elements were the alien immolation death scenes and the somewhat rare but trademark classic flying saucer appearances.
Season 2 is also notable for more adult themes, specifically some politics ("Summit Meeting" Part 1 and 2) and revealing banter in a court case ("The Trial"). Some scenes might be considered humorous by today's audiences. An example would be a scene in "The Pit" where a group of aliens bang their famous unbendable fourth fingers on the glass of a phone booth. Nevertheless, the show is solid drama with an interesting mix of science fiction elements.
Here are the episodes you will see in this set, in order of broadcast, which will be the same order observed in the set:
Season 2, Episode 1: Condition: Red
Original Air Date--5 September 1967
Season 2, Episode 2: The Saucer
Original Air Date--12 September 1967
Season 2, Episode 3: The Watchers
Original Air Date--19 September 1967
Season 2, Episode 4: Valley of the Shadow
Original Air Date--26 September 1967
Season 2, Episode 5: The Enemy
Original Air Date--3 October 1967
Season 2, Episode 6: The Trial
Original Air Date--10 October 1967
Season 2, Episode 7: The Spores
Original Air Date--17 October 1967
Season 2, Episode 8: Dark Outpost
Original Air Date--24 October 1967
Season 2, Episode 9: Summit Meeting: Part I
Original Air Date--31 October 1967
Season 2, Episode 10: Summit Meeting: Part II
Original Air Date--7 November 1967
Season 2, Episode 11: The Prophet
Original Air Date--14 November 1967
Season 2, Episode 12: Labyrinth
Original Air Date--21 November 1967
Season 2, Episode 13: The Captive
Original Air Date--28 November 1967
Season 2, Episode 14: The Believers
Original Air Date--5 December 1967
Season 2, Episode 15: The Ransom
Original Air Date--12 December 1967
Season 2, Episode 16: Task Force
Original Air Date--26 December 1967
Season 2, Episode 17: The Possessed
Original Air Date--2 January 1968
Season 2, Episode 18: Counter-Attack
Original Air Date--9 January 1968
Season 2, Episode 19: The Pit
Original Air Date--16 January 1968
Season 2, Episode 20: The Organization
Original Air Date--30 January 1968
Season 2, Episode 21: The Peacemaker
Original Air Date--6 February 1968
Season 2, Episode 22: The Vise
Original Air Date--20 February 1968
Season 2, Episode 23: The Miracle
Original Air Date--27 February 1968
Season 2, Episode 24: The Life Seekers
Original Air Date--12 March 1968
Season 2, Episode 25: The Pursued
Original Air Date--12 March 1968
Season 2, Episode 26: Inquisition
Original Air Date--26 March 1968
The price for this set is VERY reasonable compared to most other classic series being released. In fact, the price in Amazon's current pre-order (as of this writing) is $2 less than Season 1's 5 disc set.
The colors are rich and somewhat "technicolor" in appearance. While the mastering is from electronic sources as opposed to the original 35mm film elements, the episodes are clean intact as originally broadcast, averaging 51 minutes each, unlike many hour-long series of today, which range from about 42 to 44 minutes on average.
All in all, an excellent investment for a great show that met a premature end in 1968.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Reginald D. Garrard
- Published on Amazon.com
It's the second season of the show and those poor aliens still have to deal with their inability to shoot the broadside of a barn with human guns, that little problem with the finger, those fashion-challenged ugly teal-blue jumpsuits, and the relentless pursuit by that architect with obvious deep pockets, David Vincent (Roy Thinnes). This DVD compilation of the ABC series' 1967-68 season sports some nifty intros from Thinnes, along with stunning color and sound, and an easily navigable menu, with or without introductory comments on each episode.
In the second season, Vincent is joined by an evergrowing number of "believers," people that learn of the alien invasion and join him on his quest. But those are not the only changes in the story lines: the aliens themselves expand their own human images; this season, as opposed to the predominately white males of season one, there are black aliens, more females, and even a couple of kids sporting those tell-tale extended "pinkies."
The stories reflect the Cold War atmosphere of the time of the show's production, along with commentary on race relations, the "make peace, not war" outcries of the youth, and the changing politics of America. Though most sci-fi of the period was aimed at a younger audience, "The Invaders" didn't dumb down its stories, even tackling pre-marital sexual relations in one episode.
Best episodes: "Valley of the Shadow," "The Enemy," "The Trial," "The Spores," "The Prophet," "Labyrinth," "The Captive," "The Ransom," "The Possessed," "The Pit," "The Organization", "The Miracle," "The Pursued," and the final one of the series, "Inquisition." The only complaint about the latter is that it has a bad audio transfer, resulting in a slight "wavy" sound.
Unlike other sci-fi shows of the decade that were dependent on elaborate sets, "The Invaders" added a touch of "realism" through its use of location shots, ranging from countrysides to shipyards to amusement parks and others.
But, a true plus is the use of a stellar cast of guest stars, which could be divided into several categories.
There are the episodic television actors and "return players" (those that made more than one appearance on the show): Michael Tolan, Fritz Weaver, Nancy Kovack, Andrew Prine, Pat Hingle, Ford Rainey, Don Gordon, Susan Oliver, Booth Coleman, Linden Chiles, Laurence Naismith, Katherine Justice, Harold Gould, Ed Begley, William Windom, James Callahan, John Zaremba, Susan Oliver, R.G. Armstrong, Joanne Linville, Barbara Barrie, Ian Wolfe, Janet McLachlan, Ross Elliott ( in two episodes,with and without a toupee), Ken Lynch, Roy Poole, Chris Robinson, Phyllis Thaxter, Larry Gates, Frank Marth, Charles Aidman, Lin McCarthy, Joel Fluellen, Ron Hayes, Simon Scott, in addition to James Daly (father of Tyne and Tim) and J.D. Cannon who were both featured in the '67 pilot. Veteran Kent Smith has a recurring role as millionaire and fellow alien hunter Edgar Scoville. Alfred Ryder, himself a first-year guest star, has two turns as the alien "leader." Gene Lyons, John Milford, and Robert O'Brien, each, appear in two episodes in this compilation.
Then, there are the "up-and-comers," those whose star would shine brighter in future film and television roles: Gene Hackman, Sally Kellerman, Dabney Coleman, Wayne Rogers, Richard Anderson, Lynda Day, Karen Black, William Smithers, Ed Asner, Ted Knight, Michael Constantine, Diana Hyland, Suzanne Pleshette, Barry Atwater, James B. Sikking, Louis Gossett, Jr., Barbara Hershey, Diana Muldaur, Will Geer, and Barry Williams, a few years shy of his debut as one of "The Brady Bunch."
Then, there are the "inspired casting," which includes Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter, who themselves had battled aliens in the classic 50's "Invasion of the Body Snathers; Michael Rennie of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" fame; Whit Bissel, who made Michael Landon a "teenage werewolf; Roscoe Lee Browne and Raymond St. Jacques in a landmark episode; and Dawn Wells and Russell Johnson, who managed to leave "Gilligan's Island" to find their way in an "Invaders'" tale.
Finally, there are the actors that are probably known more for their voices than their faces: cartoon voiceover actor John Stephenson ("Mr. Slate" on "The Flintstone" for one); Ben Wright, heard in numerous films and television shows; Barney Phillips, another famous voice; and young Christopher Shea, who provided the voice of "Linus" for many of the early Charlie Brown specials.
Like the first in the series, this DVD also features an interview with Thinnes. This time, however, the actor provides a fascinating look at the making of the series, as well as other aspects of acting and celebrity.