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4.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 6 October 2007
At last, one of the most iconic sci-fi series of the 60's has finally made it to DVD. When most people think about 60's sci-fi they think Star Trek or any of the myriad Irwin Allen shows, but the most overlooked and unquestionably one of the best was The Invaders.
Produced by Quinn Martin, The Invaders was on at a time when America's relationship with the USSR was paranoid and fearful. The show is full of the 'Reds under the bed' fear and in this case the show has simply used aliens in the social context.
The series centres around David Vincent, excellently played by Roy Thinnes, who gets lost one night while driving home from a conference and stops to sleep. At a closed, deserted diner he witnesses the landing of an alien ship.
Met with skepticism and ridicule, Vincent has a hard time to convince a disbelieving world that the Invaders are here, that they have taken human form and that they are among us.
The show has all the hallmarks of a great sci-fi. The aliens are intriguing and subtle in their takeover plans as they try to establish a beachhead on Earth. Most people will remember their strange bodies with a mutated fourth finger, no pulse, they don't bleed and that they disintigrate in a red glow when they die - taking all the evidence with them!
This box set covers all 17 episodes from season 1 from Beachhead through to The Condemned. You feel for Vincent's plight as he tries to do battle with a vastly superior force who can remove all evidence of their appearance within seconds. The stories are well paced and keep the viewer interested, making you guess what the aliens will try next and whether Vincent will make allies in his fight.
You can see where The X-Files drew a lot of its immagery for it's alien storylines and Roy Thinnes actually starred in the show as an alien called Jeremiah Smith.
The show was full of big name stars from the 60's like Jack Lord (Hawaii 5-0), Burgess Meredith (Batman), Ed Begley, William Windom (Star Trek), Roddy McDowell and a host of others you'll recognise from other 60's sci-fi series.
The Invaders is a great slice of American paranoia and still stands up today as a great sci-fi show. A worthwhile addition to any DVD collection, this box set will have you counting down for season 2.
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One of the finest US series from the sixties. Roy Thinnes has never been finer as architect David Vincent. It's nice to finally have a proper version of this, I had it all on DVDR from dodgy eBay seller, so the quality is amazing!
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on 28 September 2009
Please note the Amazon Synopsis is incorrect in the fact Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap) isn't in this series as it was made around 1967. Scott Bakula was in the movie version made in the early 90's. Roy Thinnes is the star of the original series and made a guest appearance in the movie (still trying to kill off the aliens).
I used to love this series as a kid and the ingenious way the aliens always seemed to get away with it in every episode by disintegrating or evidence would vanish. Roy Thinnes always seemed one step ahead of them but his aiding accomplices used to always get bumped off so he was on his own again at the start of the next episode. Each episode was a who's who of 70's and 80's cop and crime series. Excellent stories, gripping music and still quite fresh - just don't expect great special effects. Its a case of what would you do in David Vincent's situation, aliens have landed, you know they're here, they know you know, but no-one believes you as they look exactly like humans .... maybe they're already here for real ... take a look at George W Bush !!!
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on 3 November 2007
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!
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VINE VOICEon 20 August 2008
Once again those lucky Americans have got a superior dvd release to our British one. The American dvd of The Invaders season 1 contains lots of special features which arn't included on the UK release. To start with each episode has a new introduction by Roy Thinnes who played David Vincent in the series. There is also an interview with him which is very interesting. Also included is the 60 minute version of the series pilot episode. Finally the episode The Innocent has a facinating commentary track by series creator Larry Cohen. Being an American this dvd is region 1 coded so you will either need an American dvd player or a multi region player.

No news of any plans to release season 2 on dvd in the UK or US. However. there is an Australian dvd of season 2. This 7 disk set contains all the episodes from the second series of The Invaders. Sadly there are no special features. The Australian dvd is region 2 and 4 coded and should play on most UK dvd players. It is available on most Australian dvd web sites such as ezydvd.com.au or dvdcrave.com.
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on 29 September 2007
Yes, this is definitely the orginal TV series that aired in the 60's. This is a fantastic show, great actors, music and special effects. The video and audio quality are excellent. Unfortunately there are not any special features, perhaps they will have some on the second season volume. I would like at least a interview with Roy Thinnes and some behind the scenes photos, etc. If you are a fan of this series buy this set, you will not be dissapointed. Frank
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on 10 August 2008
This brings back memories of watching this series with my dad when it was aired back on BBC2 probably sometime in the 80's.

Originally made around 1967 from the creator of The Streets of San Francisco, it is truly amazing how high quality this DVD set is. Sure there are some scenes where the film has been marked, but not badly, probably in production rather than later. However the vast majority is flawless and stunning in its colour reproduction quality. I have been amazed at the beautiful outdoor scenes and even studio sets, could have been made yesterday far les 40 years ago, just has not aged.

As for the content, this is not your average Sci-Fi program, all about tech and warp drives, this is all about the main character and his fight to be believed in a world that is hostile to his words of alien invasion.

This is more thriller than pure sci-fi and that is what makes this so unmissable, if you havent seen this your doing yourself a great disservice, get this now. If you have seen this, your a fan, I can almost guarantee it, that is how groundbreaking this series was and still is.

The stories draw you in, they are action packed and exciting and the human story, the sympathy for David Vincents plight will have you hooked.

There are only two words needed in this review. Get it.
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on 17 September 2007
Well, to be honest, the first 17 episodes of series one. I have just taken delivery today (17th September), and can confirm that this is indeed from the original 60's show produced by the legendary Quinn Martin. There are five discs, and the total running time is 835 minutes, NOT the 169 minutes stated by Amazon.co.uk. Picture and sound quality seem fairly good. If you liked the series, you will not find too much to dislike about this release. I would suggest however, Amazon clarifies their own review, which is confusing to say the least.
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on 23 March 2009
About the Show:

Unlike the other two major television networks of the era, in the late 60's ABC had what it called a "second season" which premiered new shows in January. One of the network's biggest hits was the campy "Batman" which premiered a year earlier in 1966. "The Invaders" premiered as a part of the 1967 second season and immediately caught the attention of the television viewing public.

Produced by the legendary Quinn Martin ("The Untouchables," "The FBI," "The Fugitive" and later "Cannon" and "Barnaby Jones"), "The Invaders starred Roy Thinnes as David Vincent, an architect that accidentally witnesses the landing of an alien spacecraft. This sighting launches Vincent on a campaign to stop the alien invaders, either singlehandedly or with the aid of others that he convinces of the threat to humanity.

Each week Vincent goes to a different part of the country to do battle with the space invaders and somehow, within the confines of the show's hour-long format, he manages to thwart their plans.

Naturally, the aliens try to do Mr. Vincent in but somehow he manages to escape certain death.

Thinnes brings believability in his role of a man determined to protect humanity from the other worldly menace, a man that will do all within his power to bring down the alien menace.

Boy, he must have some really deep pockets in order to travel all over, never appearing to actually work at his architectural firm. Only In the pilot episode ("Beachhead"), along with "The Innocent"), is there even the hint of his design skills.

The show does not rely heavily on special effects, dealing more with character interaction and some really intriguing situations for the hero and his encounters.

One of the series' strengths is the quality of the writing and the line-up of guest stars, many familiar and some on amazing up-and-comers.

The guest list reads like a "who's who" of character actors of the 60's, 70's, and 80's: the ubiquitous Alfred Ryder, Louise Latham, John Larch, Jeanette Nolan, Andrew Duggan, Irene Tedrow, Phillip Pine, Robert Emhardt, Milton Selzer, William Talman, Susan Oliver of "Star Trek" Orion slave girl fame, the eternally youthful Barbara Luna, Robert Walker ("Star Trek's" Charlie X), Murray Matheson, Murray Hamilton, Harold Gould, Lloyd Gould, Joanne Linville, R.G. Armstrong, William Smithers, Paul Carr, Frank Marth, Harry Lauter, Ford Rainey, Richard X. Slattery, Barney Phillips, John McLiam, Kent Smith, the dependable Strother Martin ("Cool Hand Luke"), Edward Andrews, Ross Elliott, and Wesley Addy. Each greatly delivers to the stories that intertwine Vincent's quest to uncover the alien threat and his interactions with unsuspecting citizens along with the malevolent aliens.

Guest stars that had yet made their jump to stardom or greater familiarity in shows of their own or movies include Jack Lord (one year shy of his "Hawaii 5-0" triumph), Peggy Lipton ("The Mod Squad" and future wife of Quincy Jones), Suzanne Pleshette ("The Bob Newhart Show"), Simon Scott ("Trapper John, M.D."), Peter Graves ("Mission: Impossible"), future Emmy winners Ed Asner ("The Mary Tyler Moore Show"), William Windom ("My World and Welcome to It"), James Whitmore ("The Practice"), Jack Warden ("Brian's Song"), Burgess Meredith ("Tail Gunner Joe"), and Ellen Corby ("The Waltons"),as well as Arthur Hill ("Owen Marshall"), a very young Dabney Coleman ("9 to 5"), Dabbs Greer (Reverend Walden on "Little House on the Prairie"), and Norman Fell ("Three's Company")

Actors accustomed to appearing on both the big and small screen that get involved with David Vincent are Roddy McDowall ("Planet of the Apes," "Fright Night," "National Velvet"), Diane Baker ("Silence of the Lambs," "Marnie"),Oscar winner Ed Begley ("Sweet Bird of Youth"), Susan Strasberg ("Picnic," "Rollercoaster"), Michael Rennie ("The Day the Earth Stood Still," "The Lost World," "Hotel," "Island in the Sun"), Ralph Bellamy ("Sunrise at Campobello," "Rosemary's Baby," "Trading Places"),

Incidentally, Ryder, Addy, Rennie, Luna, Matheson, and Nancy Wickmore deliciously chew the scenery as alien leaders, respectively in the episodes "Vikor," "Doomsday Minus One," "The Innocent," "Storm," "The Ivy Curtain," and "The Betrayed,"

"Storm" also boasts an intriguing religious slant pitting a priest torn between his faith and the fate of the world with a great performance from Joseph Campanella, later to star on "Mannix" with Mike Connors.

Another of the show's strengths is the music provided by composer Dominic Frontiere. Frontiere had already endeared himself to sci-fi fans for his fantastic music for the first season of the classic "The Outer Limits."

Besides the obvious (fashion, cars, haircuts, etc.), one of the show's aspects that dates it is the use of the term "girl" for the featured women in the respective episodes.

This show was definitely pre-woman's lib.

Also, most Quinn Martin shows featured a disclaimer at the end announcing that cars were provided by the Ford Motor Company and "The Invaders" is no different.

What an understatement! A café scene has no less than five Fords of various vintage parked in front. Another had cars going up the street...all of `em Fords.

About the compilation's features:

Each episode can be played with or without an explanatory intro by Thinnes. There is also a commentary by creator Larry Cohen that can be optionally heard during the viewing of "The Innocent."
The extended version of the pilot offers a few more details that don't necessarily add to the storyline; thus, it's no wonder that they were deleted from the version aired in '67.

The interview of Thinnes demands much patience because the actor tends to babble a little but he does provide some interesting insight into the production of the two-season series.

Because of that interview and Cohen's rather mundane commentary track, the five-star series loses a star for the DVD compilation.
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Just about everyone thinks David Vincent is crazy to believe the world is being taken over by a race of aliens who are here because their own world is dying.
David Vincent, the main character in this classic American sixties drama, goes from town to town, episode to episode trying to warn people of this peril. And in doing so he encounters the aliens, who know he knows their secret.
Vincent had witnessed the arrival of a spaceship and during the series he encounters other people who also know what is going on. But both Vincent and these other characters come up against a brick wall when it comes to proving things. Usually the other characters get killed and Vincent is left with no hard evidence and the stigma that he is deluded.
Everything seems to be against Vincent. The aliens assume human form so they look just like all humans. And Vincent has difficulty convincing anybody of his story. Often Vincent trusts people who then turn out to be aliens thus proving the difficulty in seeing the truth of who are aliens. However he learns that they have a few defects, a crooked little finger, no heart, no pulse and no emotions.
Eventually he gets a group together who support him in a financial and practical way and he continues his crusade against the aliens. The aliens glow red and disappear when they are killed which aggravates lack of evidence. They also have weapons to kill humans that only show up as heart failure.
The United States were ahead of the UK in terms of TV production in the early 1960s, and although the UK were catching up by the time of this series the vast experience of slick production shows in this classic.
The show was made by Quinn Martin productions and each episode is divided by four "Acts" and an "Epilogue".
By the standards of today the special effects are basic, and the dialogue is dated. But the originality of plot and production and the expert execution of those skills still shine through. There is an excellent sinister element about the aliens which makes good viewing and the music score is perfect for atmosphere and suspense.
This is a great, classic, science fiction series from a golden era.
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