Courier Tom Jessup loses track of a briefcase containing something vital: spores. These organisms, properly nourished, will grow into aliens able to tolerate Earth's high oxygen content. ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Jessup
Mark Miller ...
Jack Palay
Patricia Smith ...
Sally Palay
Police Sgt. Ernie Goldhaver
Police Lt. John Mattson
Judee Morton ...
Kevin Coughlin ...
Noam Pitlik ...
Jerry Burns
Vince Howard ...
Norma Connolly ...
Joel Davison ...
Earl Garber
Brian Nash ...
Stephen Liss ...


Courier Tom Jessup loses track of a briefcase containing something vital: spores. These organisms, properly nourished, will grow into aliens able to tolerate Earth's high oxygen content. Through mischance, Jessup loses track of the briefcase, which changes hands several times. Finally, some kids wind up with it, and meanwhile inside it the spores continue to grow, and outside it, Jessup is increasingly desperate. Written by CommanderBalok

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Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller





Release Date:

17 October 1967 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The invaders are seen for perhaps the first and last time as spores growing into "infants" that appear to be slimy, brown-and-green-tinged blobs. They have neck-less heads and each is seen to be forming a pair of stubby arms. Of course, this is only what their young look like. See more »


The spores growing into alien infants in the hothouse appear to be glistening but it is all too easy to tell why: they are wrapped in cellophane. See more »


Narrator: [Opening Narration] Shortly before dawn, a spaceship landed near Phillipsburg, Colorado, bringing to Earth a strange and ominous cargo: two dozen spores. After exposure to the Earth's atmosphere, each will develop and grow into a perfectly formed alien. On the success of this experiment rests the possibility of future shipments numbering hundreds, perhaps thousands, of alien Invaders and possibility the future of the human race.
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User Reviews

Excellent cast, plot and dialog make fine episode
1 December 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is one of the best episodes of "The Invaders". Using the old MacGuffin technique, the writers do an excellent job of giving enough back story to each of those who come into possession of the sample case to make them interesting without spending too much time developing them. The cast is not only good but, in retrospect, quite amazing. There is Gene Hackman, just before his breakout role in the movie "Bonnie and Clyde", being a villain who obviously doesn't think of himself as a villain. He is just trying to protect those adorable alien spawn by any means necessary. Notice Hackman's facial expression when he learns that Sal and Jack have seen the inside of the sample case. There is James Gammon as a twenty-something petty criminal. (Was Gammon ever that young?) Patricia Smith makes the best of her two guest appearances in this series. Then there's Wayne Rogers, before "M.A.S.H.", who seems not so much evil as modeling his performance after a civil servant trying hard not to do his job. Deserving mention is John Randolph as the law enforcement veteran with a history of alcoholism who is mindful that he is a year and three months away from retirement with pension if he can keep from reporting alien invasions from outer space and glowing men who disappear before his eyes.

As always with "The Invaders" there are a couple of plot holes and unanswerable questions including why the aliens make so many stupid mistakes such as panicking at a routine roadblock. We find out later that they have an in with the local police, so why run and make the non-alien police suspicious? Why do the invaders kill some witnesses and not others? The couple, Jack and Sal, seem to be asking for it, but they are alive the last time we see them. Why does Jessup not rent a car to begin with so that he never has to rely on the kindness of David Vincent? There are good lines that suit the characters and their arcs: Goldhaver says to Vincent "There's something funny on the fire and I think maybe you've got hold of the handle", but later he complains that while he has been willing to risk his pension chasing aliens, "I'm not going to spend my declining years in a straitjacket". Jack, the gambling addict, tells Vincent that there was nobody around when he abandoned the sample case; then, after further prodding, he recalls some nearby kids, who were, for all he knows, "Boys. Freckle-faced", but "who notices kids?" He is a wonderful idiot whose wife, Sal, loves him even when she has had enough of him. In her last line, she captures the irony that he is a loser because he always holds onto a losing hand, yet, this time, he has "thrown away a winning hand." The little girl, Liz, tells Vincent that her brother and his friends have taken the sample case to the "hophouse". "What's that?" asks Vincent. "For flowers," says Liz. "Oh," says Vincent, realizing that she means "hothouse".

This is, as far as I know, the only episode where we get an idea of what the invaders look like in their true form. Kind of slimy, green-tinged blobs. Of course, that is what their youngsters look like. Maybe they dry with age. We are also somewhat prepared for a later episode when it is suggested that the invaders may be asexual or at least are not divided into sexes in the same way that we have. This raises the question of how the aliens assign gender to their agents when they take human form. Is it based on some criteria or just arbitrary?

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