34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Sharp, intelligent, classy sixties sci-fi.... or sci-fact....???,
This review is from: Invaders (DVD)
Fans of classic TV had been pleading for this show to be issued for many years and now it's finally here, has it been worth the wait?
Quite simply, YES!
Let's get the most obvious negatives poinst out of the way first as, although they need to be discussed, they are not of any degree of significance to turn potential buyers away...
The packaging artwork is of a good standard but although the man in the foreground has the face of Roy Thinnes (if you look very closely!), he is inexplicably wearing a wig!?! The other imagery bears little relation to The Invaders. In all a strange design and rather too obviously "Photoshopped".
Given that Roy Thinnes still supports the series (he is actively promoting the French releases), it is disappointing and surprising that the set contains no interview or commentaries with him. Perhaps Universal might consider this when they come to do the second season?
OK, let's move on to the good news...
British people tend to deride American television as glossy but vacant - and this is arguably true of much that emerged from the US in the 1980s. But the 1960s and 70s was an era when television scripts were imbued with grit and intelligence. The Invaders was undeniably one of the shows that brought quality to the then-burgeoning genre of TV science-fiction.
Counter to the Adonis-like actors that normally head up modern American fantasy, Roy Thinnes was deliberately cast to be the "average man in the street"... the producers were saying "This could happen to anyone". Although each episode has its share of punch-ups - and he acquits himself well in the action stakes - there are no James T Kirk heroics here. Thinnes imbues the role with a refreshing realism that audiences can readily empathise with.
Although each episode is standalone, Vincent's plight develops logically as the season progresses.
There are flaws, however: the "crooked finger" syndrome is arguably a deus-ex-machina plot device and the aliens seem to work in independent, small groups without an overall "masterplan" or control. Although there is a laudable variety in the plotlines, they tend to be straightforward with no real twists. But the relentless tension, sharp dialogue, special effects and unnerving music keep the audience hooked.
Although regarded as a "cult" show, I have no doubt that were it to be remade today (let's try to forget the dismal "television by numbers" 1995 effort), it would garner the same healthy ratings it achieved during its original screenings.
Considering this series is now over forty years old, the picture quality on this set is admirable. The colour is a little faded as with most American products of the time but image resolution has a remarkable acuity. Although there are occasional tell-tale black specks, the episodes have clearly been recently re-struck from negatives that were plainly still in great condition. (If only more British shows would receive this treatment). Sound quality is equally high.
Admittedly the series probably won't appeal to younger audiences but those of us who remember the days when television was starting to understand the importance of quality will soak this up with joy!