DISCOVER--the twenty-four best episodes of The Invaders

by jonabbott56 | created - 24 Jan 2013 | updated - 26 Jun 2018 | Public

Overshadowed by the Star Trek phenomenon, and overpowered by sheer force of numbers from the Irwin Allen studios, Quinn Martin's The Invaders, an aberration from a prolific cop show factory with the emphasis on real people with real lives rather than planetary exploration by heroic scientists, is frequently overlooked or forgotten.

The bastard offspring of the classic sci-fi feature films of the 1950s (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Invaders from Mars, This Island Earth, and I Married a Monster From Outer Space were all influential) and the magnificent The Outer Limits, this stylish exercise in rampant fear and paranoia is based on one wonderful, magnificent conceit--what if one of those flying saucer nuts was actually telling the truth?? He DID see a UFO, and the aliens ARE out to get him.

This is the dilemma of David Vincent, portrayed with weary desperation and resolve by Roy Thinnes, who must both run from the cold, ruthless, emotion-free invaders, and convince a naturally doubtful world that they are infiltrating us in human form... difficult when they place secrecy and anonymity above everything, and dissolve into nothing when they destruct.

There are 24 of the 43 episodes of the series here to get you started in the best possible way. Contrary to the DVD image provided, the vast majority are from the first season; sadly, the series did lose its drive and direction as it went on, due to the limitations of the format. A huge mistake was the introduction of a support group for Vincent called the Believers; another was the Quinn Martin studio's policy of re-using recurring guest players but casting them in different roles far too soon, and frequently. Also, Dominic Frontier's superb distinctive and menacing music was used less in the second season, to the series' clear detriment. However, most of the first season and a handful of the second are magnificent.

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1. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: Beachhead (1967)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

An architect's close encounter with a spaceship leads him to investigate a small town's hydroelectric plant.

Director: Joseph Sargent | Stars: Roy Thinnes, Diane Baker, J.D. Cannon, James Daly

Votes: 191

with Diane Baker, James Daly, J.D. Cannon, Meg Wylie

2. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: The Experiment (1967)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

David Vincent meets with an eminent astrophysicist who has proof that aliens are invading the planet.

Director: Joseph Sargent | Stars: Roy Thinnes, Roddy McDowall, Laurence Naismith, Harold Gould

Votes: 144

with Roddy McDowall, Laurence Naismith, Harold Gould, Dabbs Greer

3. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: The Mutation (1967)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

In a border town, David Vincent meets a stripper who claims to have seen something strange in the desert.

Director: Paul Wendkos | Stars: Roy Thinnes, Edward Andrews, Lin McCarthy, Suzanne Pleshette

Votes: 145

with Suzanne Pleshette, Edward Andrews

4. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: The Leeches (1967)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

David Vincent meets with the president of an electronics company, a man who believes aliens have kidnapped various heads of their fields and are planning to kidnap him as well.

Director: Paul Wendkos | Stars: Roy Thinnes, Peter Mark Richman, Diana Van der Vlis, Arthur Hill

Votes: 122

with Arthur Hill, Peter Mark Richman, Diana Van der Vlis

5. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: Genesis (1967)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

David Vincent discovers the aliens have taken over a sea lab for sinister purposes.

Director: Richard Benedict | Stars: Roy Thinnes, John Larch, Carol Eve Rossen, Frank Overton

Votes: 120

with Frank Overton, John Larch, William Sargent

6. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: Vikor (1967)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

David Vincent, using an assumed name, gets a job as a chauffeur in order to infiltrate a manufacturing plant and find proof of alien activity.

Director: Paul Wendkos | Stars: Roy Thinnes, Jack Lord, Alfred Ryder, Diana Hyland

Votes: 127

with Jack Lord, Alfred Ryder, Diana Hyland

7. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: Nightmare (1967)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

David Vincent visits a small Kansas town, resentful of strangers, and uncovers an alien plot to control locusts and other insects.

Director: Paul Wendkos | Stars: Roy Thinnes, Kathleen Widdoes, Robert Emhardt, Jeanette Nolan

Votes: 106

with Katherine Widdoes, James T. Callahan, Robert Emhardt, Jeanette Nolan

8. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: Doomsday Minus One (1967)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

The aliens plan to explode an anti-matter bomb in Utah during a nuclear test.

Director: Paul Wendkos | Stars: Roy Thinnes, William Windom, Andrew Duggan, Wesley Addy

Votes: 111

with Andrew Duggan, William Windom, Wesley Addy

9. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: The Innocent (1967)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

The aliens take David Vincent up into their spaceship and then attempt to prove they have nothing but peaceful intentions by showing him what they've done to a desert valley. But all is not what it seems.

Director: Sutton Roley | Stars: Roy Thinnes, William Smithers, Patricia Smith, Katherine Justice

Votes: 126

with Michael Rennie, William Smithers, Patricia Smith, Katherine Justice, Paul Carr

10. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: The Ivy Curtain (1967)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A school in New Mexico is really a front for an alien indoctrination center. The head of the school offers a pilot a lot of money to smuggle in its otherworldly students.

Director: Joseph Sargent | Stars: Roy Thinnes, Jack Warden, Susan Oliver, David Sheiner

Votes: 97

with Jack Warden, Susan Oliver, David Sheiner, Murray Matheson

11. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: Storm (1967)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A mysterious hurricane strikes, sparing only a small Florida town. That draws David's attention, and he soon discovers a nest of aliens there, determined to use the weather against humanity... See full summary »

Director: Paul Wendkos | Stars: Roy Thinnes, Joseph Campanella, BarBara Luna, Dean Harens

Votes: 87

with Joseph Campanella, Barbara Luna

12. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: Panic (1967)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Nick Baxter's an invader, and his touch proves lethal: he's developed an illness which promises a slow death for him, but a very rapid death by freezing for any organism he touches. David ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Butler | Stars: Roy Thinnes, Robert Walker Jr., Lynn Loring, R.G. Armstrong

Votes: 91

with Robert Walker Jnr., Lynn Loring, R.G. Armstrong

13. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: Moonshot (1967)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

David is drawn into the space program by a series of coincidences that convince him of alien involvement. But why do the aliens want to put one of their own on a manned mission? Surely they... See full summary »

Director: Paul Wendkos | Stars: Roy Thinnes, Peter Graves, Joanne Linville, John Ericson

Votes: 91

with Peter Graves, Joanne Linville, John Ericson, Strother Martin

14. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: Wall of Crystal (1967)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Bill and his new bride are so happy to be married, their antics cause Bill to lose control of the car. They run a truck off the road, and its driver staggers from the vehicle, falls, glows ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Sargent | Stars: Roy Thinnes, Linden Chiles, Julie Sommars, Edward Asner

Votes: 85

with Burgess Meredith, Ed Asner, Linden Chiles, Julie Sommars

15. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: The Condemned (1967)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Pressed for cash, Morgan Tate leased a large portion of his plant to Lewis Dunn a year earlier. Now, Tate has discovered that Dunn is not what he appears to be, and that the plant is now a ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Benedict | Stars: Roy Thinnes, Ralph Bellamy, Marlyn Mason, Murray Hamilton

Votes: 86

with Ralph Bellamy, Marlyn Mason, Murray Hamilton, Larry Ward

16. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: Condition: Red (1967)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Major Dan Keller works as a computer programmer for NORAD. The aliens need a window to bring in a great many saucers, so they can establish a base. They place one of their own as Dan ... See full summary »

Director: Don Medford | Stars: Roy Thinnes, Antoinette Bower, Jason Evers, Mort Mills

Votes: 87

with Antoinette Bower, Jason Evers

17. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: The Saucer (1967)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

John Carter has summoned the local sheriff to a site where he claims saucers have landed, not once but several times. Each time, the saucers are gone when the sheriff finally arrives. Now ... See full summary »

Director: Jesse Hibbs | Stars: Roy Thinnes, Anne Francis, Charles Drake, Dabney Coleman

Votes: 87

with Anne Francis, Charles Drake

18. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: Valley of the Shadow (1967)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A series of mischances leads an alien to kill a human doctor, and get arrested in the small town of Carterville, Wyoming. His alien friends bungle his rescue, and the entire town sees him ... See full summary »

Director: Jesse Hibbs | Stars: Roy Thinnes, Nan Martin, Harry Townes, Ron Hayes

Votes: 97

with Nan Martin, Harry Townes, Ron Hayes, Joe Maross

19. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: The Enemy (1967)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

An alien saucer crashes in the Utah foothills. Reports of its fiery demise draw David Vincent, even after flyovers by Air Force jets failed to locate the site of the mysterious fireball. ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Butler | Stars: Roy Thinnes, Barbara Barrie, Richard Anderson, Paul Mantee

Votes: 91

with Barbara Barrie, Richard Anderson, Paul Mantee

20. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: The Trial (1967)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

David's friend Charlie Gilman stands accused of murdering Fred Wilk, and district attorney Slater's determined to convict. But David knows Wilk's was an invader - and if necessary, he'll ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Butler | Stars: Roy Thinnes, Don Gordon, Russell Johnson, Harold Gould

Votes: 87

with Don Gordon, Russell Johnson, Harold Gould, Lynda Day George

21. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: The Spores (1967)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Tom Jessup's an invader, who's transporting a briefcase containing something vital: spores. These organisms will grow into aliens able to withstand Earth's atmosphere. As Jessup desperately... See full summary »

Director: William Hale | Stars: Roy Thinnes, Gene Hackman, Mark Miller, Patricia Smith

Votes: 100

with Gene Hackman, John Randolph, Wayne Rogers

22. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: Dark Outpost (1967)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

David sneaks aboard a saucer, and is knocked unconscious by the force of takeoff. When he awakens, he finds he's not alone; there's a professor and several students, and they're heading ... See full summary »

Director: George McCowan | Stars: Roy Thinnes, Andrew Prine, Dawn Wells, Tim McIntire

Votes: 88

With Andrew Prine, Dawn Wells, Tim McIntire, William Sargent, Whit Bissell

23. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: The Prophet (1967)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Brother Avery has seen the light of a heavenly host. They are coming, and they will bring peace. At the end of each of his services, the red glow that surrounds him reveals the divinity ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Douglas | Stars: Roy Thinnes, Pat Hingle, Zina Bethune, Roger Perry

Votes: 72

with Pat Hingle, Zina Bethune, Roger Perry

24. The Invaders (1967–1968)
Episode: The Miracle (1968)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Near a Catholic shrine in New Mexico, a teenage girl sees an alien die and disintegrate after he's bitten by a snake. Before he dies, he hands her a crystal, which she assumes both the ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Day | Stars: Roy Thinnes, Barbara Hershey, Edward Asner, Arch Johnson

Votes: 75

with Barbara Hershey, Ed Asner

Jon is not on Facebook, but can reply to comments here, at the base of this list.

"Thanks Jeff. I think my three favourites are Genesis, Nightmare, and The Innocent (this week!). Wonderful, wonderful series"

"Yes, also Laurence Naismith and Roddy McDowell in "the Experiment" and Jack Lord in "Vikor"!

Obsessed with the popular culture of the 1960s and surrounding decades, Jon Abbott has been writing about film and TV for over thirty years in around two dozen different publications, trade, populist, and specialist. He is the author of several books, including

Irwin Allen Television Productions 1964-1970, Stephen J. Cannell Television Productions: A History of All Series and Pilots, The Elvis Films, Cool TV of the 1960s: Three Shows That Changed the World, and Strange New World: Sex Films of the 1970s.

See his Amazon author's page, and his other lists on the IMDB, all under the pre-fix DISCOVER.



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