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 ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Although these comment were written for Season 1 they apply to Season 2 which I had purchased and watched in it's entirety 09-16-2015.
First off this is a 1960's Science-Fiction TV series concerned solely with the apparent clandestine invasion by alien beings from outer space - which look - talk - dress and behave like middle class folks you would encounter in any town in the 60's. Architect David Vincent (Roy Thinnes) is apparently the only person in the United States who truly believes the space aliens have invaded and travels from coast to coast and points between to frustrate the invaders depraved goal of world domination. In each episode David encounters and put a stop to their shenanigans - with the help of local folks who, after encountering the aliens and witnessing them turn a glowing red and disappear when killed still doubt their existence.
Content & Packaging:
5 disks - 17 episodes - first shown on ABC from 1/10/67 to 5/9/67. Season 1 is packaged in the standard, snap case - episode summaries are printed in the reverse of the cover insert - not very handy since you have to jimmy the disks to read the text. - The most interesting "extra" is the Roy Thinnes introduction to each episode.
· The show features many 1960's TV stars in supporting roles.
· Some of the locations are visually interesting but there is not mention in the credits where it is.
· The video quality is very good - colors are true and vivid.
Even with the farmiliar faces in supporting roles none stand out in these dramas. Roy Thinnes is very good in a most difficult role - he had to convince us viewers that the aliens were real but "somehow" could not convince anyone else - think about that for a moment.
Negative Comments: (honestly there are so many but here are a few)
· The major failure of this show is that the creative talent - writers - producers - directors never bothered to even attempt to convince the viewer that David Vincent's efforts are credible and even marginally believable. I see it as contempt by them for the intelligence of their target viewer.
· Here we have an unemployed architect traveling all over the country - one week in Florida - next New England - then the mid-west (all suspiciously looking like southern California) - clutching a newspaper article about a strange event - finding the exact persons causing the mischief (aliens of course) defeating their nefarious scheme and musing that no one still believes him.
· How does he obtain the funds to travel all over the country? - He has no employment or benefactor and is not, by appearance or life style, wealthy. Also how does he obtain the newspaper items with the oddball occurrences from all over the United States?
· The aliens are fully aware that David Vincent is their sworn enemy - in fact Vicent has had many conversations with the space people and even was taken for a ride one of their saucers.
· Since he is such a thorn in the alien's side and they are aware that no one believes him why not just eliminate him - Vincent's efforts have resulted in the death of numerous aliens just in season 1 - so payback would be only fair.
· We have been informed in several episodes that the aliens have no pulse. All Vincent has to do is capture one of the aliens and bring him to a hospital or doctor to get the attention that he so desperately desires - of course that never happens.
· Let us assume that Vincent can travel everywhere since he is independently wealthy and can afford a super efficient service that reviews every newspaper in the country looking for those quirky news items that hint at the alien's schemes. If so then why doesn't Vincent hire some muscle to help him. In many episodes he get pummeled by several aliens and can hardly fend them off.
· If you watch all the episodes you will see the same light blue Ford pickup truck in several shows - I mean to say what the heck those stupid viewers won't notice.
Watching these shows I learned a lesson about wishful nostalgia. You see in the winter of 1967 I viewed some of the ""Invader shows are a naïve teenager. Fast forward almost 50 years and I was startled to see the shows were released on DVD - well so much for what I thought was entertainment as a teen. I did watch all 17 episodes hoping for redemption but, alas, there was none to be had.
I could only recommend this show to dedicated fans of early TV series and/or SF shows.
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.
I was an addict of the THE INVADERS TV series during my third year of engineering school and felt that STAR-TREK was just another of the popular TV fads with the college crowd. Consequently, I was loyal to THE INVADERS during its first season and almost never watched STAR-TREK which was in a competing time slot. During that first season, however, I found that the story was always going places but never really getting anywhere. Week after week we saw similar plots and after a while it started to become a bore because nobody ever believes David Vincent!.
This convinced me to abandon the series during the second season of THE INVADERS and become a STAR-TREK viewer. I am now enjoying the second season of THE INVADERS and am happy to see that the plot is permitting people to believe David Vincent! Individuals from local law enforcement, Air Force Intelligence, the US State Department and even the old Soviet Union are starting to believe THE INVADERS are here, opening up the season for much greater possibilities than the first. This new DVD box set is enabling me to see the second season of this grand old 60's TV series for the first time while watching it in beautiful color, good video and sound fidelity.
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