The Invaders

Space ship seen in The Invaders

For a mere season and a half, a truly great show appeared on ABC. The years it ran were 1967 and 68, when I was in the second and third grades. But the short time this show ran didn’t detract from the fact that it was the unanimous favorite science fiction show on TV among my friends and classmates, beating out the more famous Lost in Space and even Star Trek!

The Invaders was based on the premise that aliens were among us in the form of humans. They weren’t REALLY humans, though. For one thing, they didn’t have a pulse. For another, they didn’t bleed (that would require blood, also missing). And many of them had a deformed little finger.

So in other words, they would do a perfect job of mimicking the human body, but they just couldn’t manage to get that pinky right.

It reminds me of something my high school art teacher once said: the mark of a great artist is the ability to effectively draw human hands.

The Invaders was a Quinn Martin production. That meant each episode had a prologue, four acts, and an epilogue. That was Martin’s trademark for all his 60’s and 70’s shows.

The Invaders took the approach of implied action, much like the X Files would many years later. You never saw the aliens in their natural state, but you caught little glimpses behind car windows and such.

The show also laid the ground for the paranoia that would accompany each episode of The X Files. Architect David Vincent, who uncovered the invaders’ plot to take over the earth, had a difficult time convincing fellow humans of the aliens’ conspiracy. Many thought he was crazy, and he could never be sure if the humans he was trying to convince might be one of . . . them.

The eerie opening theme and spoken intro set the stage for each week’s struggle against those dastardly invaders. It was edge-of-your-seat suspense, and it was really pretty strong quality stuff for its time.

Alas, The Invaders just never caught on with the demographic that TV execs demand, hence its short life. But I’ll guarantee you that it was a major hit with the majority of second and third grade boys at Nichols Elementary in Miami, Oklahoma.

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