The Invaders: The Second Season
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An alien invasion is one thing, but in this 1960s series the extraterrestrials are already among us! When architect David Vincent (Roy Thinnes) returns home from a business trip in the predawn hours, he spots the landing of a spacecraft containing visitors from another planet. Vincent learns that these beings are able to disguise themselves as humans. Now he must bring this unpleasant knowledge to the rest of humankind. And it will not be easy... This collection presents both seasons of the sci-fi series.
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The years of 1965 and 1966 had seen a peak of interest in UFOs as they were in newspaper headlines around the world(remember Allen Hynek's famous"swamp gas" explanation?).So while the subject matter The Invaders dealt with was a "hot" topic,the demographics of the folks who had the most say when it came to its'ratings(30 yrs.and up),didn't exactly warm to its'content at all.And so its' demise was rather swift but not unexpected given the times.
For those of us who "got it" though, this was a series to savour all the way through.A main component of this show was the paranoia factor;one man believing in and fighting against a terrible enemy,that no one else would believe in.The only other show I can compare it to in that era was "The Fugitive' with David Jansen;an innocent man accused of something he didn't do,trying to clear his name and constantly on the run from the authorities.In The Invaders though the paranoia factor goes up a notch because it is alien invaders set to conquer the world and only he knows it and no one will believe him.
That was the case in Season One especially.In Season Two the paranoia factor lessens considerably.He finally gains allies now,either through his own work or meeting others that have also stumbled onto the alien menace.In fact he forms a cadre of believers with an industrialist Edgar Scoville,played by Kent Smith.Vincent now has friends and resources to help convince the authorities that the threat is imminent and real.And in Season Two this is just what he does.Read more ›
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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.
A new team of composers popsup under the direction of jazzman Duane Tatro who writes six scores. A fine writer named Laurence Heath (former "Mission: Impossible" writer and story consultant) puts to pen four scripts: the mind control intrigue "Condition: Red" (guest starring Jason Evers, Antoinette Bower and Mort Mills), the Soviet-oriented plot "The Captive" (guest starring Fritz Weaver and Dana Wynter), "Counterattack" (guest starring Anna Capri and Lin McCarthy) and perhaps' the season most challenging story "The Life Seekers" (guest starring Barry Morse and Diana Muldaur) in which David Vincent meets a couple of pacifist invaders willing to reform the politics of their society.
Find a selection of shocking episodes dealing with mental cruel acts as "Valley of the Shadow" (an entire town is reprogrammed to forget the presence of the invaders, guest starring Nan Martin, Harry Townes and Joe Maross), "Dark Outpost" (in which four students are brainwashed to see one of them executed in different ways, guest starring William Sargent, Andrew Prine and Whit Bissell), "The Possessed" (in wich an alien conditions the brain of a scientist to kill at will as a Pavlov's dog, guest starring Michael Tolan, Michael Constantine and William Smithers), "The Pit" (in which the invaders fashion a dream machine to turn scientists into madmen inside a Research Center, guest starring Charles Aidman, Joanne Linville and Donald Harron) and "The Pursued" (the unofficial sequel to "The Mutation" in which a female invader is the victim of a failed experiment and cannot control her wild impulses, guest starring Suzanne Pleshette, Dana Elcar and Will Geer). Two episodes try to depict the true form of the invaders: "The Spores" (guest starring Gene Hackman) which makes a veiled reference to alien seed pods from Don Siegel's "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and "The Enemy" (guest starring Richard Anderson).
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.
Roy Thinnes played David Vincent, an otherwise ordinary fellow, an architect by profession, who happens to make the horrible discovery that we have been invaded by beings from another planet who have taken the appearance of being human, and whose intentions are to take over the planet. This sets in motion Vincent's initially lonely quest to root out and thwart the invaders' plans for world domination. In the second season, Vincent discovered that he was not alone, and that there was an underground network of human rebels that he joined in the fight against the aliens.
This was a wonderful show, and now it will be seen and loved by a much wider audience.
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