Roy Thinnes in The Invaders

The Invaders

1967 - United States

Science fiction series that drew heavily on the 'running man' theme so successfully established in The Fugitive, not surprisingly, because both shows were produced by the prolific Quinn Martin, who also developed The F.B.I., Barnaby Jones and Cannon among others. 

The Invaders debuted in the USA in January 1967 and opened promisingly enough with weary traveller David Vincent pulling his car off the road to take a short nap. This he does, but is abruptly awakened by a loud whirring sound and flashing lights. Looking to the side of the road he sees what appears to be a spaceship landing. He tries to alert the sceptic authorities who return with him later to the scene but to his dismay there is no evidence of any extra-terrestrial activity, and soon, the police and his business partner are suspecting Vincent's sanity. 

Making a nuisance of himself, Vincent books into a local hotel where he thinks he may have found himself an ally, Kathy Adams (played by Diane Baker), who believes his tale and tries to help him. But Adams is not all she seems and Vincent is soon convinced that she is an occupant from the strange craft he'd seen the night before. After being admitted to and then escaping from a mental institution, beaten up, almost run over and nearly burned to death, Vincent learns that Adams is indeed an alien from a doomed planet whose people are planning to populate the Earth in key positions of civilization such as the police, government, media, anywhere in fact that they can influence modern society in an attempt to take over the world. 

Playing the role of 'champion of the people' was the athletically built and handsome Roy Thinnes, who spent a great deal of time promoting the show around the USA. "We are theorising with reality, theorising as to who flies flying saucers and why they are here." He told his audience. Unfortunately for Vincent, he was hard pressed to convince anyone of the existence of the alien invaders because they could change human form and if one were to be killed they'd simply evaporate. The same was true of the show's audience who evaporated long before the first season finished. In an attempt to bolster the falling ratings season two introduced more 'believers' to support Vincent, offering him money and assistance in his fight against the aliens. But by that time, the audience simply didn't seem to care any more. Or maybe the alien's had succeeded...

Published on December 23rd, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.

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