THE INVADERS TV show PDF Print E-mail
Written by Double Dragon
Wednesday, 04 August 2010 10:22

THE INVADERS TV show

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Writing copyright D. S. Brown. Images copyright QM productions.

THE INVADERS TV show premiered Jan 10, 1967 while THE FUGITIVE was still on the air. Despite the sustained popularity of THE FUGITIVE it was in its last season due to the exhausting schedule that David Janssen had been subject to. Janssen was simply worn out from night shooting and appearing in almost every scene. THE INVADERS was intended to overlap and then replace THE FUGITIVE.

THE INVADERS was another QM production sharing the same 'Act 1", "Act 2" format as THE FUGITIVE. From the instant the opening credits blared "THE INVADERS.... IN COLOR" you are reminded of the last season of THE FUGITIVE with the running man logo and the booming voice telling you that THE FUGITIVE is in color.

Some of THE FUGITIVE themes appear. The solitary hero crisscrosses the country struggling against disbelief and false accusations. Both programs began with a recap courtesy of a deep voiced narrator who steers you into the nightmare world of each protagonist. Both heros lives are destroyed following the revelation only they see. The hero is shown staring through the windshield of his car at the discovery that motivates his quest. In THE FUGITIVE it is a one armed man running from the scene of a murder. In THE INVADERS, it is the landing of an alien spaceship.

THE INVADERS hero David Vincent (played by Roy Thinnes) isn't wanted for murder as is THE FUGITIVE, but is ostracized as a 'fringe nut' who attempts to prove that aliens are taking over the earth. Aliens often set him up to look paranoid. Instead of hunting the elusive seldom seen one armed man of THE FUGITIVE, Vincent is chasing an entire race of aliens who are out to silence him.

False accusations fuel many story angles in THE FUGITIVE and THE INVADERS. The main character has to convince others of a reality that runs counter to common logic. Convicted murderers aren't innocent (THE FUGITIVE) and aliens aren't taking over the earth (THE INVADERS). The uphill battle that Richard Kimble and David Vincent embark upon each episode often seems hopeless.

David Vincent travels the country, but rarely uses false identities like THE FUGITIVE always has to. Vincent is also spared THE FUGITIVE's fate to "toil at many jobs". In several episodes Vincent works at his chosen profession as an architect. Vincent will take on an odd job merely to get close to an alien takeover project. The high salary of an architect coupled with the murder of his business partner by aliens seems to have set him up financially. He frequently drives new cars usually explained as rentals, although he sometimes travels by bus.

Speaking of cars, Ford Motor Company provided vehicles for the show. Vincent's personal car in the premiere episode is a Galaxie convertible. Throughout the series Vincent is often seen pulling into a new town driving various colored two door Galaxie and Mercury convertibles which are explained as 'rentals'.

In an early second season episode, "THE SAUCER" David Vincent drives a baby blue fastback Mustang, and late in the second season he pilots a red Mustang fastback in "THE ORGANIZATION". Near the end of the series, in "THE VISE" Vincent uses a pale yellow Mustang convertible with black top which he refers to as a 'rental'.

Lincoln Continentals are the car of choice for tycoons in this show. Rich young girls usually drive Thunderbirds. The aliens frequently drove four door hardtop maroon Galaxies. Cops always drive Galaxies. Vincent hijacks his fair share of those Galaxie police cars.

Below is the cover from the TV tie in book.

the invaders

The book adaption was authorized by QM. The first Pyramid books edition shown above was released August, 1967. Despite the series having been on the air for eight months prior to the printing of the book, it is very different than the series. Instead of being an architect living in Santa Barbara, California as he is in the tv show, Vincent in the book is an engineer who lives in Alexandria. In the car he drives a Jaguar XKE, whereas he is a Ford man in the series.

Perhaps the explanation of how Vincent discovers the aliens in the book was too lengthy for the pilot. In the book, the aliens commision parts of one device to be built piecemeal in various factories. Vincent inspects factories and realizes they are piecing together sophisticated machines integral to an alien plot. The aliens in the book have hard bodies that are superheated. In the show, aliens touch humans without any apparent effect suggesting that they are normal at least from the tactile perspective. The absence of a pulse and lack of bleeding are which are the signs of an alien on the TV show are much more difficult to discover.

Often, an early outline of a TV show in production is given to a novelist to expand upon. By the time the novelist completes his work, the final concept of the TV show will have developed in other directions. In other cases, the novelist is given free reign to create whatever he feels like doing. Either way, it's not uncommon for novelizations to bear minimal resemblence to the TV series they are based upon.

the invaders 2 pyramid pb oct 67

The illustrations inside the kid's book version of THE INVADERS shown below similarly bear little resemblence to the TV show aside from the depiction of the saucer which is accurate. The facial appearance and clothes worn by the illustrated Vincent aren't recognizable to regular viewers of the show. Whitman cranked out a phenomenal number of "Authorized TV Adventure" books during the 1960s. When you're a kid you don't notice any of this and just enjoy the story.

the-invaders-whitman-book

The entire series was released on two DVDs. Images copyright Quinn Martin.

the invaders 1st season dvd

the invaders 1st season dvd back

David Vincent's hopeless situation was somewhat alleviated when a group of 'Believers' began assisting David Vincent later in season two.  The series was short lived and the final episodes appear in the second DVD collection.

the invaders 2nd season dvd

THE INVADERS series ran out of steam and didn't conclude with a planned resolution as did THE FUGITIVE. THE INVADERS didn't catch on, perhaps because it took the paranioa of THE FUGITIVE to new levels. It was a darker show on all counts. The music is macabre to the extreme with crazy camera angles emphasizing the topsy turvy paranoia of characters. The bleak relentlessly doom soaked scripts were a downer for audiences.

In the second season the feel of the show was lightened up a touch. Lead actor Roy Thinnes felt this change of approach deprived the show of some of its power. David Vincent makes greater headway in his efforts to convince people. Episodes end with him having gathered one or two more credible witnesses willing to come forth when the time comes for him to make some kind of presentation to 'the authorities'. Eventually his loner status is completely discontinued when he teams up with 'The Believers' to combat the aliens. As the series progressed, Vincent regularly carried a gun and became quite accomplished at fighting and shoot-outs and less susceptible to alien tricks.

When David Vincent became part of a group of Believers he transformed from an isolated man on the edge of disaster to an agent of a secret organization. In fact he sometimes seemed a bit like the secret agents all over TV at that time. Vincent frequently carried a gun and operated with partners. Vincent regularly checked in with Edgar Scoville, an older millionaire who coordinated the efforts of the group much like 'M' in the James Bond films, or 'Mr. Waverly' on The Man from U.N.C.L.E TV series.

One of the most powerful alien tools, the hypnotizing/ brain washing device was discontinued. This was explained when The Believers implanted false hypnotic suggestions into their minds to thwart this method of interrogation. Aliens frequently used regular guns (often with silencers) instead of their dematerializing ray guns. This may not have been so much a plot device to level the playing field as a way to reduce special effects cost. Aliens frequently resort to trying to run Vincent down in a car when they could easily disintegrate him with one of their vaporizing rays.

The threat was still there since Believers were regularly killed off by aliens, but with the support of high ranking members of society the fight against the aliens seemed to be making headway. In the first season the precariousness of David Vincent's situation was acute. By the second season he was known by alien leaders and they often tried to bargain with him.

The second season increased viewer distance from Vincent's plight. The cerebral, detached style of acting that Roy Thinnes used to create the character of David Vincent was necessary to the series premise. THE INVADERS needs an imperturbable hero who in no way can be misconstrued as a 'conspiracy nut' by the audience. He is no raving buffoon breathlessly screaming out garbled messages. Vincent won over his doubters with rational, calm, reasoned logic. His self control faltered slightly when he would get impatient or quick with people, but it was always a contained frustration. The audience was often screaming at the TV screen on his behalf.

There is audience sympathy and admiration, but not the same audience love that Janssen was able to generate on THE FUGITIVE. In Europe audiences madly loved the Vincent character and besieged Roy Thinnes with acclaim, but this effect didn't materialize in the USA. The irony is that Vincent is fighting to save the whole human race, and Kimble is fighting to save his own life. THE FUGITIVE hit a nerve with audiences who were able to identify with the falsely accused hero. Everyone has been falsley accused on some level and can extrapolate to the extreme level afflicting THE FUGITIVE. There was some distance from David Vincent's dilemma, since it involved several scenarios outside regular experience. First you had to believe aliens exist, second that they meant to takeover earth.

Roy Thinnes described the cult following the show enjoys in France. Thinnes was unable to put his finger on why the show hasn't garnered the same support in USA. He was disappointed in the change of format from one man to a group and saw that as a weakening element to the premise while admitting that logically others will have managed to spot the aliens, too.

On THE FUGITIVE the character of Richard Kimble had to prove his innocence. Kimble overcame doubt through his good deeds, a sense of fair play and decency. Because of his predicament Kimble is also very vulnerable. This played into Janssen's mastery of evasive discomfort. I don't think it could be properly duplicated by other actors. Kimble WILL die if he is arrested because he was heading to execution when he escaped.

David Vincent is in danger, but not consistently. Some episodes support the reasoning that the aliens can't risk killing him now that he is widely publicized. Letting him live with no proof and constantly thwarting his plans to expose them makes them confident. They can discredit him, but if they kill him it raises questions. But seemingly at random in some episodes the aliens are out to kill him.

Vincent is always brave and confident. When confronted with danger he fights wildly and we feel his frustration, but there isn't the same sense of desperation seen in the Kimble character. He does evidence a sense of resignation at times when caught in yet another alien trap. As the series progresses he starts carrying a gun, shooting aliens and evading traps with greater aplomb.

The aliens themselves vary. They usually threaten, brainwash or try to kill Vincent- but not always. In 'THE TRIAL' elderly aliens calmly refuse Vincent's demand that they accompany him by taking suicide pills and vaporizing. In 'THE SUMMIT MEETING', Vincent teams up with a female alien to thwart an assasination scheme. This alien fears that her own people's strategy is going to backfire. In 'VALLEY OF THE SHADOW' where an entire town has knowledge of the aliens, Vincent and the aliens brainstorm together to find some method to avoid killing the entire town. In 'THE RANSOM', the alien leader keeps his word and revives Vincent who was killed by an electric shock. This same alien leader is willing to negotiate with Vincent as representative of earth military leaders in 'THE PEACEMAKER'.

One element that never varies is the paranoia of the show. Who is an alien? Who is a collaborator? Who can Vincent trust? This constant uncertainty sets the tone of every episode, leaving no room for equilibrium. Two episodes feature characters who are unsuspectingly married to aliens which takes the paranoia to the limit. You don't know the real nature of anyone. Frequently the aliens get the upper hand by impersonating cops or other authority figures.

The final episode 'INQUISITION' (aired March 26, 1968) had elements of a 'wrap-up' to it, but lacked a true conclusion. At 22:00 hours on March 22, the aliens are going to launch their attack. The code explaining the attack has to be broken but a determined prosecutor refuses to listen and thwarts the progress with a mass arrest of the Believers. Vincent manages to stop the ray in time but the war is not over. This is just another battle won.


/the invaders 2nd season dvd back

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 03 March 2016 20:29 )