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For me this show ranks as one of the 10 best TV shows ever made. It
resonates with me even today, and I think Roy Thinnes' performances,
especially in the first season, are brilliant in their subtlety. I guess
what really hits me about this show is how you have a man, David Vincent,
who was living in a very conventional 60's worldview--until the night he
makes one wrong turn and ends up having his safe, comfortable little
existence turned upside down. Somehow I see a parallel between David
Vincent and the title character of another top ten TV show - THE PRISONER.
Both Number Six and David Vincent have been dragged into worlds of great
excitement and adventure - but both are also modern equivalents of
forever doomed to struggle against overwhelming opposition. Both Number
and David Vincent are actually tragic characters. The trap of most TV
- that the status quo must be maintained from episode to episode to keep
series going - proves in this case to be a great asset to the nightmarish
quality of the premise. Also, you never truly see who the aliens "are",
more than you find out who's running the Village.
Watch this show along with THE PRISONER. You'll be amazed at how much is going on within the "confines" of conventional TV drama.
For a guy supposedly on a lone (un-paid) crusade he seems to be doing incredibly well. Every single week he's out there in a crisp new suit, with a different gleaming car and limitless gas money. I wonder if there's a good dental plan too? But seriously, I love this series. One of my earliest memories of childhood was watching The Invaders on my parents' first TV set back in the late 1960s. This was just before the moon landings and we were all obsessed with Space; even little kids like me. It's really nice to see the show back on British Channel 5 - even if it is shown at 04:20. Basically, Architect David Vincent stumbles on an Alien plot to conquer Earth and each episode shows his lone struggle to fight the nasty aliens and convince fellow earthlings of the threat. I really don't know if this show will appeal to young people but to 40-somethings like myself it's delicious nostalgia & I'm hooked all over again. A really good example of '60s US television. What I particularly enjoy is seeing minor roles played by people who went on to become famous, even stars. Last week the lead "guest" alien was an obscure young actor called Gene Hackman. Several months later he won the role of Buck Barrow in Bonnie & Clyde, and the rest is history. It's quite fascinating to ponder on what made him SO much more successful than others who've long faded into oblivion, including (sadly) Roy Thinnes who played David Vincent so well. "That's Hollywood" I guess. All in all it's an excellent sci-fi series and to my mind it hasn't aged. The admittedly "formulaic" lay-put and 1960s feel to the show seems to be fashionable again. Well worth watching.
The Invaders was a wonderful show. Roy Thinnes played architect David
Vincent. One night, he stumbled upon an alien craft landing. Aliens had come
from a dying world to take over the Earth. What should Vincent do? Contact
the Air Force and get them to kick butt?
Actually, no, Vincent was alone on this one which is what made this show great. The authorities didn't believe him, in fact no-one did. Whenever an alien was killed, he/she would vaporize. At first, there was no way of knowing who to trust; anybody could be an invader, the Invaders could take over anyone. Of course, later on we learned that the aliens had a funny little finger even when in human form.
Like most films and shows of the 1950's/60's, the Invaders was about paranoia. No-one could trust anyone. Vincent could never be sure that potential allies were not really invaders themselves. He tried in vain to convince people but he was fighting a losing battle. The great thing was that he was alone in his battle. It was a great-if depressing-show.
One of the other things worth mentioning is that there are viewers who suspected that Vincent was actually an invader himself and had been placed on Earth and told to try and convince the population of the danger. Apparently, the invaders used him to test the likelihood of their discovery. Is it true? Your guess is as good as mine.
In the late 1960s Science Fiction on British TV consisted of Thunderbirds and little else, since Star Trek had not been aired yet,but before that "The Invaders" established a Beachhead on our late night schedules. Aged 8 , i was soon captivated by the story one mans fight to convince the world that aliens were living among us and had wormed their way into the police,government and military and were planning to take over the Earth! This was not easy; the aliens looked and acted like us but required frequent "regeneration" in transparent tubes otherwise they would die,and burn up leaving only ashes. Whenever David Vincent [played by Roy Thinnes] discovered alien installations he would phone the cops,only for the switchboard operator to be alien! By the time the cops arrived only dust would remain and Vincent waswritten off as a nut. The show had strong parallels with Cold War paranoia communist witch hunts but benefitted from fine writing and sparingly used but impressive special effects.Of the videos available in Britain i strongly recommend #1] "Beachhead"[excellent music,great story and acting from Roy and his beautiful guest star Diane Baker] and "The Saucer/The Enemy"[two superb episodes on one vid!].Also, if you can find it,"The Trial" where a human is tried for murdering an alien.The scene with the alien "parents" outside the courthou astonishing-----10/10.
I think Roy Thinnes' role as "David Vincent" was unsurpassed; it is awfully
difficult to appraise one's acting ability when the role they play has
never, ever been played before--By anyone! I mean, Acting is an art of
How does one confront such a disturbing revelation, as discovering
that Alien beings have infiltrated the earth, especially, when they look exactly(almost)as we do? His bewildered look, and keen reactions--and sometimes, non-reactions, were the hallmark of his craft- I think he was underestimated as an actor- His "down-to-earth" behavior is perhaps his saving grace.
Maybe it is a blessing in disguise- Actors today are wrapped up in their own self-certifying egos; and their idiot pride usually accellerates their status of, "Who was that?" after only a few years of practice. Roy, on the other hand, is impossible to forget- Ask anyone who is between the ages of 45 and 60, today if they know who Roy Thinnes is--or "DAVID VINCENT"--and I bet almost everyone will say,
"THE INVADERS"! The Show itself had promise- Perhaps, if I were to rewrite it, I would have opted for a more Soap-Opera, serial "hook" to follow a sequence- The Aliens seemed to have no plan- but, for the Obvious-Take over the world- Some episodes were comical! Donald Davis played a funny kind of Alien-- and, most had no sense of Humor-but, even some of the Women Aliens were too weird to be true. Their gadgets were cool. Spinning Crystal hypno-beams to extract info for interrogation was cool; and the "Death-Disc" was sinister, to say the least- The Ray Guns were clumsy the first season; new model in '68- The Aliens'willingness to commit suicide, unquestionably, was also odd. The Aliens also seemed to be good fighters, in a fist-fight; but also, died easily when wounded or shot- Roy Thinnes is from Chicago--and his accent came through--! It was cool- and here is a kicker--I am related to him! My mother's family is "THINNES" from Wisconsin; then Illinois--and yes--it is the same Family, originally from Luxembourg! I hope only one day to meet him, and introduce him to my son, Dominic- He is a Fan of "The Invaders"! as am I! Try to find these on Video--they are worth it- Nothing Gross, or Evil--just good, wholesome science fiction, at it's best- FrancoDomenico Lisanti
Quinn Martin had a great formula for TV series in the 60s and 70s.
Recall "The Fugitive", "The FBI", "The Streets of San Francisco" The
Invaders can emphatically be placed into the the category of a great
and enduring science fiction television weekly show. At 12 years old
when the pilot "Beachhead" aired, the scenes, opening credits and music
left an indelible mark on my imagination. Roy Thinnes was a great fit
for the lead; he had the chiseled bold look and the seriousness of
demeanor that was required for the part. The show's producers managed
to keep the show frightening, reasonably intact and progressive for a
simple theme (aliens invading earth to make it their world), even with
limited special effects available in the time. Now, some 40 years
later, when I see a 1967 Ford Galaxie 500...flashback...again...
I hope someone from Paramount stumbles across this an answers the prayer of many TV sci-fi enthusiasts and gets this series released soon. When I see some of the titles that have been released to date, and not this one....one can't help but wonder - "just what are they thinking?"
Of all of the TV shows of the past made into movies that stink, maybe,
just maybe, some young, serious minded script writer will stumble upon
this on late night TV somewhere and produce a script for a motion
No MTV style quick cuts, no gangsta rap, no tricked up CGI, except as needed. Keep the seriousness of the Quinn Martin original and turn it loose. This was an amazing series, especially for a 12 year old, coming as it did, at the height of series of UFO sightings and reports during that time period.
The whole concept was chilling. This would be a good movie, or even better, a new series, keeping in line with the original.
Quinn Martin uber-producer for television in the 60's & 70's with such classics as the Untouchables, the Fugitive, & numerous other shows tried a science-fiction series.This was a change of pace as most of his shows dealt with crimefighting premises.The Invaders was about architect David Vincent who becomes lost one evening while on an isolated country road.Becoming weary,he pulls off the road into a clearing in order to rest but witnesses a alien flying saucer.As the series went on,he discovers that the aliens are attempting to surreptitiously infiltrate earth's various organizations in government,military,& business in order to conquer us because their homeworld is dying.Since they can look like humans,Vincent never knows who he can trust.This added a creepy paranoia to the show.DV must give up his comfortable life as he launches his one man crusade to convince mankind that aliens are already among us.This was a well written show coming from QM productions.Roy Thinnes is a talented actor but he came off as cold & aloof in the lead part.He never generated the likability & sympathy that David Jansen did in the Fugitive.The spaceships were a cool looking design & the guest stars were excellent.This show belongs in the sf hall of fame.
"The invaders" is the last great 1960's series and it is inspired by the "Invasion of the body snatchers" concept of conspiracy : science fiction + horror + reality = the fear of the unknown. One of the best show produced by Quinn Martin, including "The untouchables" and "The fugitive". Among the best episode, "The innocent" sums up the paranoiac symptoms at its best when Michael Rennie brainwashes Roy Thinnes in his flying saucer. According to me, the David Vincent character is a blend of Cary Grant, from "North by northwest", and Kevin Mc Carthy, from "Invasion of the body snatchers" : the innocent witness who becomes the new Cassandra, alone against everybody ! The pessimistic message of the series is equivocal : the world is corrupted by the authorities (officials, politicians, army, C.I.A., mafia) or the world is dominated by a claustrophobic mass conformism or the world is on the verge of being overthrown by the emotionless Soviet Union agents (blue collar workers who manufacture weapons and torture to get informations in hidden factories, and businessmen who infiltrate the power and whose bodies turn red when they die). Who knows ? The aesthetic of the show also adds more terror to the stories (the Wayne Fitzgerald expressionist title credits, the dead-serious tone of William Conrad's narration that gives you a cold warning at the beginning and the end of each episode, the Dominic Frontiere's suffocating music and the distorted cinematography). The best brainwashing episodes are : "The experiment", "The leeches", "The innocent", "The dark outpost", "The possessed" and "The pit". One of my all-time favourite tv show (with "The twilight zone", "The outer limits", "The wild wild west", "The time tunnel" and "Mission : impossible"). A word to the wise, don't watch the worthless new series aka "The impostors", you know what I mean. "The nightmare has already begun," and will never end, Mr. Vincent !
This was a milestone series in my opinion - the acting was usually
above average. Roy Thinnes was excellent - the way he shows his
frustration when explaining the aliens is very good. Roy was cast
perfectly for this series. I recently was able to buy all the episodes
on DVD - just watched "Dark Outpost" - This is one of the best episodes
as well as the first one.
If I remember rightly, the whole series doesn't end by driving the invaders off the Earth, when I get to that DVD I'll see of course
Theme music excellent too (Dominic Frontiere I think)
WELL DONE ROY!!
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