Communion Of Dreams

Gimme that olde-tyme paranoia.
June 15, 2009, 9:35 am
Filed under: Government, movies, Science Fiction, Space, Star Trek

Some weeks ago, I came across a reference to a TV show from my childhood I had almost completely forgotten about: The Invaders. I checked, and NetFlix had it, so I added it to my queue. This weekend the first disk arrived.

It starts with classic 1960s graphics and ‘dramatic’ music, something like a cross between The Avengers and The Fugitive.

Then you get this introduction (taken from Wikipedia):

The Invaders, alien beings from a dying planet. Their destination: the Earth. Their purpose: to make it their world. David Vincent has seen them. For him, it began one lost night on a lonely country road, looking for a shortcut that he never found. It began with a closed deserted diner, and a man too long without sleep to continue his journey. It began with the landing of a craft from another galaxy. Now David Vincent knows that the Invaders are here, that they have taken human form. Somehow he must convince a disbelieving world that the nightmare has already begun.

And you’re off and running.

OK, a couple of things. The special effects are about on a par with the original special effects used in classic Star Trek (not the remastered version), which is to say “not great, but acceptable”. Except that introductory sequence, which makes the Moon look like a giant ball of mashed potatoes that has been lightly toasted. Seriously – it’s bad. And you can’t excuse that, since by the time the series was made, we’d already sent a number of probes around and onto the Moon, and it was well known what even the “dark side” of the Moon looked like.

Anyway, I’m just four episodes into the thing (I do intend to watch it all the way through), and I usually cut most TV shows a little slack at first, to find their footing and allow people to settle into their roles. But already the sense of paranoia is more sophisticated than I expected. It isn’t, as most of the comments I have seen about the show, just a rehash of Cold War paranoia a la Invasion of the Body Snatchers or other classic 1950s SF. Rather, it has elements of the counter-cultural distrust of government itself in it – the sort of thing which would come to play such a crucial role in The X Files almost thirty years later, and was considered ground-breaking then.

Looking for something old? You might want to give The Invaders a try.

Jim Downey

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[…] pop open the new NetFlix disc that arrived in the mail yesterday. Another in The Invaders! series I wrote about in June. And on it was an episode titled […]

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