I never got to see this show when it was on, 1967-68: I think I had judo school that night. But Patty was a fan, and she recently bought us The Invaders on disc. It’s quite cool!
Roy Thinnes starred as architect David Vincent, virtually the only man who has seen the alien invaders and knows they’re trying to take over the earth–an eventuality which would result in the extinction of the human race. In episode after episode, he has to try to thwart the invaders’ plans. Even harder, he tries to get somebody, anybody, to believe him.
Several factors made this a great show. They used a lot of unusual sets, abandoned mines and the like, that got your imagination going because some of the sets were quite creepy in and of themselves. They used top writers, including some of the best science fiction writers of the era, like Theodore Sturgeon and Jerry Sohl. And they always filled the cast with great actors, some of whom already were, or went on to be, major stars. The episode we watched last night had Gene Hackman as the guest star. Gene Hackman! Okay, he hadn’t done The French Connection yet, so they were able to afford him. What a career he had! So seeing this early example of his work was a real treat. And Thinnes himself was no mean shakes as an actor, fully able to excel in a challenging role.
In fact, I don’t believe in invaders from outer space. Nevertheless, science fiction can be fun. Quite simply, The Invaders is a lot of fun.
As long as you don’t take it too seriously–but that’s another story.