Top positive review
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Glad I treated myself to this set
on 18 January 2015
13 Discs: season one, (17 episodes) is on the first five discs: Season Two, ( 26 episodes) is on the next seven discs. and lastly a bonus disc of the extras.
These are all the proper single side discs, label one side and data the other.. (not the double sided flipper discs that are easily damaged).
The packaging is pretty good. I'm not sure why previous reviews slate it.. Perhaps they got an earilier release, or the review was mixed up with a different release. But the Belivers Box I purchased in Dec 2014 is a nice fat plastic case easily opened, and contains a central hinged tray that holds all 13 discs. The whole tray can be lifted out with ease if you wish.. or you can flip through it (book page style) to the disc you need. THERE ARE NO GLOSSY PLASTIC WALETS that are hard to get the disc out of.. in fact this is one of the better holder trays that I've seen. the discs are held well.. (i.e they don't all fall off and rattle around the case as soon as you move them).. But they also release easily when you need them. I recently bought a Thunderbirds box set where you almost had to bend the discs to snapping point to get them off the spindle.. no such problem here.
Like other Quin Martin shows, Each Invaders episode comes in the format of 4 Acts, and an Epilog at the end to wrap up the episode. I guess these acts were to accomidate comercial breaks for the network. On the DVD's.. Although you can only chose each episodes from the main menu... once in an episode you can use your chapter skip button on the remote to go back and forth to each act... They've marked them as chapters when writing the discs.. so basically if theres a favoutive scene you want, you can at least get to the Act it's in.
I was 13 years old when this was first screened in 1967. and at that age, I just wanted to see aliens glow, spaceships land, ray guns blast ect etc.. the finer points of good production, intriuging story lines went right over my head. I recently saw the title sequence on a youtube clip and remebered it fondly, so I'd thought I'd revisit this underated show to give it another chance. Now 46 years later, I can apreciate the paralells with paranoya and comunist threats that were still strong at the time. After all, the Cold war was still very chilly. Kendedys and kings were being assasinated left right and centre. Conspirisy theories were rife,.. (and usually stiffled by by men in dark glasses and suits). Even presidents were up to some iffy practices behind the scenes as Nixon showed a few years later. So I can now see how the show got under the skin of its audience at the time, and how it played on the fact of JUST WHO DO YOU TRUST. This aspect of the plots is emphasied well. But, It can be a bit like watching an Agatha Christe "who done it" mystery.. You end up looking for every kitchen maid, butler and chaufer before the plots even got going. It can be a bit like that with the invaders.. every top executive you spot, you end up just knowing he's either an alien or a puppet of the aliens. That Said, I still got sucked in and enjoyed each episode.
I would agree with previous reviewers, that the first batch of episodes are the phobic that get you hooked.. but I still enjoyed the later series two episodes, even with the limited premise of the show. I found there's a nice variety of plots that the aliens get up to in their schemes to infiltrate us. From augmenting a nuclear test with thier own device sneeked into the area.. to trying to control the weather to create devastating hurricanes. and in series two Vincent starts to gather supportes into a small group to start the fight back.. (The Beilivers of the box title).
For all it's glories and flaws I'm glad I bought the "whole set" rather than getting hooked on season one and then having to go out and hunt down season two. as the price was pretty fair for a permenant keepie set.
I'd warn any young blood wishing to watch this series that the special effects are not what you've been used to... Personal computers weren't even an option in 1967 let alone C.G.I effects. The industry never even had Steadycams back then, which is why any vehicile mounted shots are noticably wobbly. In fact, Apollo 8 hadn't even photgraphed the earth from space at this point.. which is why the opening title sequence of the earth and moon looks like somewhere where the clangers and soup dragon might put in an appearence :-) And the Saucers that land, look like some groovy 60's G-Plan table sitting on the lawn, they must have been the Robin Reliant model from their home planets spaceship dealer. and quite why the writters had to say they are from another GALAXY seems to stretch the credibilty a bit far. maybe they thought the next galaxy was local... turn right at pluto and it's the next on the left :-)
Most of the effects they do use however, are photgraphic, and achieved with lights flashing, and coloured filters. But if you can flex your imagintive muscle, and look beyond that, the effects illustrate what they have to, and Dominic Frontieres forboding score underneath, helps lift and punctuate any shortfalls the special effects might have.
There's also a wealth of Guest stars that I recognised. Some were pretty big hitters from the movie studio system of the time, like Micheal Rennie, Jack Warden etc. others, (even if I didn't know the names, I'd remember their faces from other series of the time.. and many I knew from sight. like Hawiai five o's Jack Lord..Norman Fell, Susan Pleshete and I even spotted a bloke who played Haynes in the great escape who had a role as a menacing alien heavy, and even Gene Hackman just before he landed a role in Bonnie and Clyde.
One unexpected treat that I wasn't really looking for when buying. Was to see all those beautifull classic old Yanks cars from the mid 60's.. big winged pontiacs, buicks, mustangs, pink and white two tone fords.. old farm pick up trucks etc etc. all gleaming in the blazing american sun, along with old mid west cafes, barber shops and dinners with coke signs outside.. all probably now transformed and gone forever. but captured in full colour with decent panaflex lenses.. these little lost backdrops poliferate the entire series and add to the nostalgia buzz.
All in all I'm glad I revisited this series. Not overwhelmed, but certainly not dissapointed.