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."
THE INVADERS #2: The Believers come out!
Thomas Rucki | Paris, France | 10/31/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"You are about to witness the second and final season (1967-1968) of Quinn Martin's sci-fi series "The Invaders", produced by Alan Armer and whose new associate producer named David W. Rintells revises the series' original concept by introducing a team of experts called "The Believers", led by financier/industrialist Edgar Scoville (played by Kent Smith) who support the struggle of architect David Vincent (played by Roy Thinnes).
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)."
T-Bone | Baker, LA USA | 11/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Another favorite from way back when. I'm not sure what ingredients were used to make those classic sci-fi's, but this one had them all - suspense, innocence, 60's directing, and a low voice narrator. So, round up the family and get ready for part two."
Classic, Short-Lived Sci-Fi Show Finally Makes To DVD
Terence Allen | Atlanta, GA USA | 12/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Invaders would definitely be at or near the top of the list of television shows that ended way before their time. That list has many science fiction series on it (the original Star Trek being one among many), but this series stands out because of its great production values (for the time), great performances, and the air of paranoia that shows like this must have to be believable.
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."
"The Invaders-In Color!"
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 01/31/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
When you heard that announcement if you were a kid in the mid-60's you knew you were in for an entertaining hour of television.
The second and final season of "The Invaders" features 26 episodes from the season presented in a very nice transfer from the original 35mm prints. Although there are speckles and occasional bits of dirt/debris, the show looks extremely good with a sharp looking transfer with vibrant color.
The second season arrives with introductions from actor Roy Thinnes who played architect David Vincent who accidently witnesses the landing of aliens from another planet with an agenda to terra form our planet into one for them. We also get an audio commentary from writer Alan Armer on "The Peacemaker", a second round of interviews with Thinnes.
As with all Quinn Martin ("The Fugitives", "The Streets of San Francisco" among other shows)productions "The Invaders" has top notch production values, a strong group of guest stars including Fritz Weaver. The series had a paranoid vibe missing from many other shows of the era that set it apart and clearly was an inspiration for "The X-Files".
The second season changes the plot a bit with Vincent able to bring on board a millionaire and others to his cause. He's no longer alone which actually increases his chances of success."