New release: The Invaders. Invasion tales have been a convention of genre fiction ever since storytellers began to weave anxiety about dodgy neighbors into their narratives. And a historical heyday for such yarns was during Victorian and Edwardian times, when political intrigue and paranoia ran high. Creators returned to the theme again and again, perhaps most notably for Spy Vibers, during the boom in Red Scare science fiction films in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was no surprise then to see Quinn Martin reintroduce the theme to audiences in 1967-1968 with The Invaders (pre-dating Gerry Anderson's UFO by three years). That point in the decade was beginning to be steeped in the counterculture, violence, protest, and unrest. Writers began to tap darker themes for shows like The Prisoner and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. In The Invaders, Roy Thinnes starred as David Vincent, an architect who goes on the lamb after discovering aliens have infiltrated our society. In a kind of hybrid of The Fugitive and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, each episode was a quest for Vincent to find allies and expose the baddies. Series creator Larry Cohen mentioned in commentary that the theme was intentionally trying to expose the paranoia seen in the States during the early Cold War and McCarthy era. But for classic TV fans, the series remains an old fave of 1960s sci-fi intrigue and fun. Look out for famous guest stars! It was also enough of a hit in many countries to warrant the licensing of books, comics, and other merchandise. Neat trivia: music from The Invaders was originally used in The Unknown, a 1964 story that was dual-filmed as a possible series but was aired as an episode ("The Forms of Things Unknown") of The Outer Limits, and starred David McCallum (The Man From U.N.C.L.E.), Vera Miles (The Wrong Man, Psycho, One of Our Spies is Missing), and Sir Cedric Hardwicke (Invisible Agent). The Invaders has been brought back in print (after a 10-year gap) by Paramount, who has repackaged all the content from their original DVDs into a complete set. Check it out on Amazon. This will be great news for Spy Vibers who didn't purchase the 2008/9 editions and have been waiting for an affordable option. Enjoy!
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