For those of you who have never seen The Invaders, you’re missing out. Long before the likes of The X-Files dominated the airwaves of truth-seeking UFO folk, The Invaders took viewers on the weekly journeys of architect David Vincent (Roy Thinnes), a man who (in the series premiere) witnessed an alien spaceship setting down near an abandoned diner and has been thoroughly obsessed in warning a disbelieving public ever since that the world is in danger.
Made by television producer extraordinaire Quinn Martin, The Invaders, much like QM’s other famous hit The Fugitive, was a standalone series — meaning that you could tune into any episode and settle in for the ride without wondering who any of the people were or what their relationships were to each other. Roy Thinnes’ part was just about the only recurring character in the entire series (although season two brought in actor Kent Smith as millionaire Edgar Scoville to help poor David Vincent out a bit — finally, somebody else believed him!). Each week, Thinnes found himself in a new part of the country (much like Kimble in The Fugitive did — hey, if the formula works, right?), following a new lead that he hoped would bring him that much closer to either alerting the rest of the world about an impending alien invasion or one step nearer to stopping the marauding extraterrestrials for good.
Guest stars for this season include a venerable who’s who of TV and film actors such (most of whom were no strangers to sci-fi) as Gene Hackman, Anne Francis, Kevin McCarthy, Andrew Prine, Pat Hingle, Louis Gossett, Jr., Dawn Wells, Whit Bissell, Barbara Hershey, Ed Asner, Michael Rennie, James Gammon, Raymond St, Jacques, Wayne Rogers, Dabney Coleman, William Windom, Ted Knight, Ron Hayes, Sally Kellerman, Dana Wynter, Barry Morse, Karen Black, Harold Gould, D’Urville Martin, Lynda Day George, Russell Johnson, and even The Brain That Wouldn’t Die star Jason Evers (it seems just about every other DVD season I’ve seen lately has him in it — and it’s always the first episode).
Very happily, CBS/Paramount have released the second and final season of the short-lived (but hugely popular) cult science fiction series to DVD. This amazing 7-disc set brings us all 26 hour-long episodes in their standard television 1.33:1 ratio with the original English mono stereo soundtracks intact. The overall quality varies from episode to episode, but I’m not complaining. No subtitles are provided, but closed captioning is available should you want to obsess over somebody’s lousy interpreting of the actual dialogue like you usually do whenever the CC is on (or is that just me who notices?).
Since special features on most of CBS/Paramount’s TV-On-DVD releases are rather rare these days, The Invaders: The Second Season is a pleasant surprise, providing us with brand new introductions to every episode by Roy Thinnes himself. The bow-tied actor gives us a brief summary of the upcoming episode and the original airdate. Thinnes also returns in a bonus 36 minute interview on disc seven, discussing what it was like working for Quinn Martin, how he learned the hard way to never date an alien woman, etc. An additional bonus feature is an audio commentary with producer Alan Armer on the disc six episode, “The Peacemaker” (Ep. 2.21), which Mr. Armer chose to talk about due to his feelings about the U.S. Government (and you’re not alone there, Alan). Disc one contains the usual selection of genre-oriented promos for other TV series on DVD from CBS/Paramount.
If you’ve encountered The Invaders before, you’ll want to get this set (and the first one). If you haven’t met The Invaders yet, it’s time to willingly let them abduct you — it’s OK, Mulder and Scully would approve.