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.