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The Invaders - The First Season
The Invaders - The First Season
Actors: Roy Thinnes, Hank Simms, William Woodson, Kent Smith
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television
NR     2008     15hr 33min

David Vincent (Roy Thinnes) knows that The Invaders, alien beings from a dying planet, have arrived to take over the Earth! To make matters worse, the aliens know who he is, and most of the time where he is. Somehow he mus...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Roy Thinnes, Hank Simms, William Woodson, Kent Smith
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television
Sub-Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Science Fiction
Studio: Paramount
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 05/27/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 15hr 33min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 5
SwapaDVD Credits: 5
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 8
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

THE Nightmare Continues!!!
E. Hornaday | Lawrenceville, NJ United States | 01/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"When I was a kid, this show truly terrified me and DID give me nightmares - but I loved it anyway! Now, at long last, the original, iconic Sci-Fi TV Classic "The Invaders" is being released on DVD in boxed season sets. The first 17 episodes have been gathered in the initial DVD release.

The Invaders, which premiered on ABC in 1967, starred Roy Thinnes. It was a mid-season replacement show that was an hour-long, full-color science fiction thriller that sadly lasted only 43 episodes. Families across the country truly gathered around their TV sets when the series aired on Tuesday's at 8:30 p.m. to see what happened next.

The show opened with an unforgettable and chilling narration: "The Invaders, a Quinn Martin Production starring Roy Thinnes as architect David Vincent. The Invaders - alien beings from a dying planet. Their destination - the Earth. Their purpose: to make it `their' world. David Vincent has seen them. For him, it began one lost night on a lonely country road, looking for a shortcut that he never found. It began with a closed, deserted diner, and a man too long without sleep to continue his journey. It began with the landing of a craft from another galaxy. Now, David Vincent knows that the Invaders are here; that they have taken human form. Somehow, he must convince a disbelieving world, that the nightmare has already begun..."

Voice talents were Hank Simms, who was the introductory narrator, and William Woodson who was episode narrator for the entire series.

In the first episode, Vincent is driving home at night after working a long, tiring day. He turns onto what he believes is a shortcut, then down the dark, isolated road. Unexpectedly, he ends up at Bud's Cafe, situated in a ghost town. Exhausted, he decides to park to rest for a while before continuing home. Suddenly, in the middle of the night, something wakes him: a strange glowing object is "landing" in front of his eyes.

Leaving his car and edging forward, he sees the advance army of what he learns is an alien invasion. From that moment forward, he tries to warn a skeptical world that there are aliens in their midst masquerading as humans. At the same time, he struggles to stay alive - because not only had he seen the aliens, but they had seen him!

While the premise seems simple in this day and age, the series had such great production values, flawless acting by Thinnes, fantastically creepy music by Dominic Frontiere, use of creative and intentionally distorted camera work, and even weird title credits by Wayne Fitzgerald, that it really did scare the wits out of legions of fans. In addition, the true form of the Invaders was never shown, so viewers' imaginations were encouraged to run wild, an effective creative device that has been sadly abandoned in this "show everything no matter what" Internet age.

As the series progressed, Vincent was able to identify some Invaders through certain characteristics, and he also learned that their human forms were unstable and had to be "regenerated" occasionally, or they would perish.

In 1995, there was a feeble attempt to resurrect the show in a mini-series starring Scott Bakula as Nolan Wood, with an appearance by Thinnes.

"The Invaders" remains so popular that in 2004 the character of David Vincent was ranked No. 6 in TV Guide's list of the Twenty-Five Greatest Sci-Fi Legends.

It may not be coincidental that The Invaders seems an intriguing mix of the Sci-Fi film masterpiece "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and the TV Classic drama "The Fugitive," which was also produced by the brilliant Quinn Martin, who also produced The Untouchables, and The Streets of San Francisco, to name a few.

Episodes included in this boxed set are: Beachhead; The Experiment; The Mutation; The Leeches; Genesis; Vikor; Nightmare; Doomsday Minus One; Quantity: Unknown; The Innocent; The Ivy Curtain; The Betrayed; Storm; Panic; Moonshot; Wall of Crystal; The Condemned.

Let's hope the remainder of this fantastic series will be quickly released on DVD."
Vincents Crusade.
Armchair Pundit | Durham City, England. | 02/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"(Act 1) Sci-Fi thriller with a coldwar background.
Most shows in the sci-fi genre are either pure science fiction, science fantasy or sci-Fi/horror.
But this show takes the less used path of sci-fi/thriller.
I find it's blend of science-fiction/thriller elements are done very well indeed.
The format has a vein of cold war paranoia running through it, (at the time it was made, 1960's, that's not surprising.) it could have worked equally well with east European enemy agents instead of alien invaders, but I prefer the sci-fi element in it. (The Invaders even glow RED before they disappear.)
A clever device used by the writers to emphasize Vincents apparent paranoia, was the fact that whenever an Invader was killed, the body glowed then disappered, leaving nothing remaining as evidence.
But one element of the show I will criticize is, if these aliens were capable of making spacecraft that can traverse galaxies, why could they not make a mutated free little finger.
Nearly every Invader exhibits a dodgy little finger during this first season.
I realize this was a plot-device used by the writers solely for dramatic purposes, but it just seemed a little too weak for me.
Weaponry in the invaders arsenal include the ubiqitous; "ray gun", but by far the nastiest weapon is a small disc with lights that when clamped to the back of a person's head kills them by inducing a cerebral haemorrhage. Very nasty, but clever as an autopsy carried out on the body would put death as natural causes.
Roy Thinnes hit's all the right notes as the frightened and intimidated architect David Vincent, leading a one man crusade against the Invaders.
As this was a Quinn Martin production some critics compared it to QM's other long running show;
"The Fugitive", and in some respects there was a degree of similitude.
(Both Heroes crossing and re-crossing the Country in search of their quarry).
But there was one big difference. Dr Kimble in the end got his man.
Vincent, no matter how many Invaders he got, he could never get them all.
In season two he meets Edgar Scoville (Kent Smith), and a group of like minded people called; "The Believers", who provide cash and connections in which to help Vincent in his fight.
This is one of the best Science-Fiction shows of the late Sixties. With a good dose of paranoia added to the mix.
US premiere:- 10/Jan/1967, UK premiere:- 21/Jan/1967.
Overall opinion, a very worthy addition to any Science Fiction fans collection.
(I liked this show so much I even bought the model UFO.)
Region 2 release date:~ 17/Sept/07.
(Act 3) I have been informed that the region 1 release has lot's of extras,
unlike the region 2 version. You lucky,lucky people.
5 single side discs.
17:-50 minute episodes. (+ sixty minute pilot.)
Picture - Full screen. But not remastered.
Sound - Mono.
Subtitles - English for the hard of hearing.
Disturbingly, in small print on the back of the case it says.
"Some episodes may have been edited from the transmitted versions".
(Act 4) Season 1:~ 17 episodes.
Beach head:- David Vincent see's a saucer landing but no one believes him.
The experiment:- Vincent tries to keep alive a scientist who has proof about the aliens.
The mutation:- Vincent is led into a trap by the aliens. (The first glowing death of an invader.)
The leeches:- Mr Vincent investigates the disappearances of several scientist's.
Genesis:- The aliens are up to something in a sea lab.
Vikor:- Vincent investigates an industrial plant owned by a war hero.(Jack Lord)
Nightmare:- In Grady, Kansas, the aliens are changing the behaviour of insect's.
Doomsday minus one:- A saucer is seen near the site of a nuclear test site. Vincent is called in.
Quantity:unknown:- A cylinder found in a plane crash is investigated by Vincent.
The innocents:- Vincent is taken aboard a saucer, and brainwashed.(Michael Rennie stars)
The ivy curtain:- Vincent investigates an ivy league school.
The betrayed:- A mysterious tape attract's Vincents attention.
Storm:- Unusual weather reports draw Vincent to a fishing town near the Florida Keys.
Panic:- In the woods of West Virginia, stalks an ailing alien whose touch can freeze humans to death. (Star Trek's-Charlie X, Robert Walker stars.)
Moonshot:- Two lunar astronauts die in a strange red fog.
Wall of crystal:- Vincents brother and his pregnant wife are kidnapped by the aliens.(Burgess Meredith guest stars)
The condemned:- Vincent is framed by the aliens.
(Epilog)This is a release of the first season only.
Season two due for release early next year.
Season 2:~ 26 Episodes
Condition red/The saucer/The watchers/Valley of the shadow/The enemy/The trial/The spores/Dark outpost/Summit meeting (part1)/Summit meeting (part2)/The prophet/Labyrinth/The captive/The believers(The show undergoes a format change)/The ransom/Task force/The possessed/Counter-attack/The pit/The organization/The peacemaker/The vise/The miracle/The life seekers/The pursued/Inquisition.
43 episodes in total.
Now bring on season two soon, please.
Episodes are complete! Region 1 case is better and set has b
Paul J. Mular | San Carlos, CA USA | 05/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have updated my review of THE INVADERS.

The film transfers appear to be from 35mm positive prints, rather than the original negatives. There is some grain & too much film dust.
The episodes have been slightly sped up to run 49 minutes instead of 51 minutes. The theory is that these are from the European PAL transfers where their projectors run at 25 frames per second (as opposed to our 24 frames stretched to 30). Roy Thinnes says this show is very popular in France where it is in syndication. This is probably the source material.

Still, these look better than they originally did on first airing.

The 27:25 long interview with Roy Thinnes is very informative, giving us insight on how he got involved with the series & some of his memories with the other actors.
BUT I would suggest not watching the individual show intros that he does as he talks about the plot of the episode, and gives no insight about its production. I think it is better to let the episodes tell the story first, then watch the intro after.

-Original Review-

Some reviewers here talked about the poor region 2 DVD case. I want to re-assure U.S. buyers that the region 1 case does NOT have overlapping discs. The slightly thicker keepcase has two swinging holders inside that store two discs on opposite sides of each other. The 5th disc is stored on the inside back of the case.

The clear case has a two-sided insert that gives the episode information (showing through the clear case) on the inside of the case.

There are 5 single-sided discs.
The 17 episodes have new introductions by Roy Thinnes. ***SKIP OVER THIS INTRO IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE EPISODES*** . Roy just gives you some of the plot and no insite about the making of the episode.
Disclaimer on the back:"Some Episodes may be altered from their original network versions". This is generic and does not give specific information, and it does not say they actually are edited. I have nothing to compare the episodes to.

The episodes are COMPLETE, running 49 minutes each. Not cut down 45 minute syndication versions as some have rumored.

Disc 1
BEACHHEAD (air version) - Jan 10, 1967
THE EXPERIMENT - Jan 17, 1967
THE MUTATION - Jan 24, 1967
THE LEECHES - Jan 31, 1967

Disc 2
GENISIS - Feb 7, 1967
VIKOR - Feb 14, 1967
NIGHTMARE - Feb 21, 1967

Disc 3
QUANTITY: UNKNOWN - March 7, 1967
THE INNOCENT - March 14, 1967 (w/ commentary by Larry Cohen)
THE IVY CURTAIN - March 21, 1967

Disc 4
THE BETRAYED - March 28, 1967
STORM - April 4, 1967
PANIC - April 11, 1967
MOONSHOT - April 18, 1967

Disc 5
WALL OF CRYSTAL - May 2, 1967
THE CONDEMNED - May 9, 1967
Bonus: BEACHHEAD extended Pilot Episode version (60:00)
Bonus: Interview with Roy Thinnes (27:25) - Roy gives a lot of background on the creation of the series & how he got involved with the show. His memories seem to be quite clear.
Bonus: 3 season 1 promos.

I did a quick view of a disc 5 episode WALL OF CRYSTAL and am happy to report that CBS retained the original "COMING UP NEXT: THE INVADERS, IN COLOR" introduction bumper! The transfers are crisp & the colors well balanced. The only time I noticed film dust was during the process matte shots, and this is inherent in the negative from when the special effects were done.

However the transfer of the next episode has dust appearing quite frequently, so the quiality varies.

The episodes are broken up into chapters so that you can quit at any commercial break and quickly jump to the next segment when you are ready to watch again. There is a mute Invaders bumper at the end where the original sponsorship would have been announced. The ABC logo at the end has been replaced with a CBS logo (not a CBS Paramount logo).

The three season 1 promos show what the series would look like un-restored, a little grainy with negative dust.

Of Note, Roy makes a comment at the end of his interview about the popularity of THE INVADERS in France, where it is syndicated on television."
The Invaders finally arrive with special features!
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 05/24/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Many shows from childhood fail to live up to expectations when you're an adult. "The Invaders" is an exception. Produced by Quinn Martin ("The Fugitive")and created by Larry Cohen, "The Invaders" took elements from Martin's most popular series "The Fugitive" and successfully created a paranoid science fiction thriller that inspired later shows like "The X-Files", "Dark Skies" and "The 4400".


Architect David Vincent(Roy Thinnes)stops to rest after a long drive back from a meeting with a client when he witnesses an alien spacecraft land in the middle of nowhere. When he reports it to the local police he's treated with distain by a detective (the wonderful character actor J.D. Cannon)and finds that even his own business partner (James Daly) has a hard time believing him. They encounter a couple on their honeymoon who completely discount Vincent's account of the landing. Going back to the site to speak with the couple again Vincent discovers that they are aliens themselves and part of a large conspiracy that has infiltrated every part of our society.


We get some very cool extras that fans will enjoy. On the last disc is the long missing 60 minute pilot episode. While it doesn't look quite as good as the series itself with faded colors, it still looks surprisingly good without any restoration. The longer pilot had a number of brief scenes that were cut prior to the airing of the show including a slightly different ending.

Roy Thinnes provides an introduction to each episode including the unaired pilot. He also sits for a nearly 30 minute interview discussing how he became involved with the show, the numerous guest stars he worked with (he essentially was the only regular on the show (aside from the unseen episode narrator William Woodson and introductory narrator Hank Simms)as he was always traveling to uncover hot spots where the invaders were up to no good). Characters did show up in multiple episodes but Thinnes carries the show.

It's easy to see where "The X-Files" got its inspiration from. Thinnes praises the writers for the show as well as the directors (the first two episodes where directed by TV and film veteran Joseph Sargant who does a terrific job of setting up shots with cinematographer Andrew MacIntyre creating moody and magnificient atmosphere during the first episodes that rival "The Outer Limits" and "The Twilight Zone" at their best.

We also get three promo spots produced by ABC for the series. The promos are essentially clip jobs with narration describing the series. They are still very nice to have in this set.

Thinnes also discusses everything from the challenge of creating aliens that burn up on demand to shooting on location. He also shares a story that I haven't heard before about seeing a UFO himself with his wife shortly before the show aired.

Larry Cohen's commentary on "The Innocent" is quite good. He shares production stories, ideas he had for the second season that didn't come to fruitation including giving Vincent a sense of humor and a life outside his pursuit of the aliens.

The first season set looks exceptionally good given the age of the series. Although images are a bit soft the color is surprisingly strong and bold. During the episode "The Leeches" there was a brief but very noticable drop in image quality and it looked as if the producers had to use a dupe several generations away from the original. There's occasional bits of specs that show up but that's not really a surprise given the age of the show. It doesn't effect the quality of the set either way. The mono audio sounds really good with dialogue crystal clear. Interestingly, series composer Dominic Frontier who also did the music for the first season of "The Outer Limits" cannibalizes music from that series for the pilot episode.

Often seen as a Cold War metaphor, "The Invaders" is far more than that. The writing is superb and the episodes resonate because of the skilled direction and exceptional, believable lead performance by Thinnes. While it would be a stretch to say this series had a "story arc" like most modern TV shows, there is a sketchy one which is that Vincent sets out to find proof and expose the invaders. They, in turn, want to eliminate him because he's one of the few crusaders trying to uncover their plot to take over our world.

Overall Paramount/CBS has done a superb job bringing this classic series to TV. I'm surprised at how well it has held up with most of the writing/direction/acting top notch. Featuring well known guest stars such as William Windom, Harold Gould, Roddy MacDowell, Suzanne Pleshette, Ed Begley, Dabney Coleman and Michael Rennie during its brief two year run, "The Invaders" was an exceptionally good series with cool visual effects but, more importantly, well written stories that could drawn an audience into the world of David Vicent.

I'm hoping that the second season set will see the 1995 TV mini-series that starred Scott Bakula included (although that did have a separate home video release) and, perhaps, we can get more interview time with Thinnes about shooting season two.