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on June 5, 2006
A really outstanding series that started slowly but steadily built momentum over the season, finally rushing to a stunnning Season Finale climax complete with cliffhanger. It SHOULD have been renewed, and evidently was GOING to be until the last moment, when its cast, crew and audience were left shocked by its demise. Production values, writing, and acting are all first-rate, and I love the strong subtext of "family" -- broken families, blended families, families whose members have resentments and fights but still care for each other. Sheriff Tom Underlay makes a great, ambiguous central character who can be favorably compared to Shaun Cassidy's Sheriff Buck from his previous show, "American Gothic." (My feelings about Tom did a complete shift from suspicion to love during the the run of the season, thanks to the clever writers!) Hopefully this series can be saved by the grassroots movement currently gaining momentum, or a new network can be found for its home, but regardless of what happens, Mr. Cassidy deserves praise for this amazing series. At least we have the opportunity to obtain this first season on DVD, for which I'm grateful!
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on May 17, 2006
Shaun Cassidy's INVASION is prepared to wrap up its first (perhaps only?) season with a 1 hour finale tonight at 10 pm on ABC. This is the 22nd episode in a season full of brilliant, intelligent, fun and fierce pseudo-science fiction. It's more than that...

INVASION is as much about family and the ever changing dynamic within two families as it is about the alien invasion that comes down in a hurricane in the form of lights and gradually takes over the small town of Homestead, Florida.

The show stars William Fichtner as creepy but effective Sheriff Tom Underlay, a man who seems to know what is going on, but may not be as "in the loop" as he thinks. His wife is Dr. Mariel Underlay (Kari Matchett), a family woman and town physician suddenly thrust seemingly overnight into a cold, detached disillusionment. She doesn't know what's happened with those lights in the sky, but her kids don't recognize her anymore (not "inside," anyway)...

Eddie Cibrian is Mariel's former husband Russell Varon, a park ranger who has two kids with his ex-wife and is currently married to Larkin Groves (Lisa Sheridan), a local news reporter with whom Russ is expecting a third child...

Those first two kids would be high-school-age Jesse (Evan Peters) and cute as a button 1st grader Rose (Ariel Gade). While Rose is wide-eyed with wonder over the events during and after the hurricane, concerned for her mother, confused by her sudden frequency of being missing, Jesse is growing increasingly paranoid - enough so to match his new uncle Dave (Tyler Labine), a conspiracy-theory-spouting blogger who is convinced (correctly) that some sort of alien force has come out of the sky in the cover of a hurricane and is plotting something...

Whether Sheriff Tom (who Rose calls "Daddy/Uncle Tom") is behind this "invasion" is up for debate, but the shifting dynamic between the two families is only magnified by the increasingly erratic behavior of Tom's own daughter, Kira (Alexis Dziena from "Broken Flowers"). She has never quite felt like she belonged, and the sudden "invasion" of her parents makes her feel less and less like she fits in...

The season took a real turn when it was revealed that a man named Eli Szura (special guest star James Frain of "Where the Heart Is..." fame) was behind the impending alien invasion, knew more than anyone could've about the hurricane, the lights in the sky, etc., and that he had been working with Tom, only to go behind his back and take things way too far...

Where it ends up is anybody's guess. Tonight is the season (series?) finale of "INVASION" entitled "The Last Wave Goodbye" (not a good sign), and yet it appears to end on a cliffhanger...

INVASION is a huge hit with critics like TV Guide and seems to be the best-received new show of the season critically. I hope ABC renews it, but that appears to have fallen through. Rumor has it that the new hybrid network the C/W (UPN/WB) will join forces to bring the show over to the new joint venture and that would be fantastic! What better way to watch a show about hybrids than on a hybrid network?!?
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VINE VOICEon June 3, 2006
Of the several shows that have tried to launch off of the LOST lead-in, this one was probably the best. Only just barely related to INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (in the sense of human bodies being replaced by alien replicas), the series revolved around a small Florida town in which a segment of the population had turned alien during a hurricane. This premise allowed for alot of promising drama as families and friends had to deal with certain of their members being turned while others remained human. To add suspense to the mix, the sheriff of the town was revealed from the get-go to be one of the lead aliens, along with his wife, while her EX-husband and family (including two children) remained human. Furthermore, as the series unfolded, we learned that there were competing factions among the aliens, some peaceful and concerned for their safety from other aliens AND the military, while the other segment was violent and bent on world-domination (usually resulting in self-destructive behavior). As for the rest of the drama and the many plot-points that arose along the way, you'll just have to watch to see for yourself. Just bear in mind that this is the one and ONLY season the show will ever have (unless another network picks it up, which is unlikely).

INVASION sadly got off to a slow start but by the time the mid-season finale was reached, everything was moving along nicely and the actors were beginning to fill their roles very nicely. Early on, the sheriff and his wife established themselves as the anchor-actors and characters of the show, and they were the reason I came back and stayed faithful to the show for its second half. But by the time the finale came, I had grown fond of ALL the actors and the characters they played. It's just too bad that they won't get a second chance to carry on the story, because they had sown many seeds for a promising second season.

What did the show in was not being able to capture the audience right away. I myself didn't get past the first episode, but tuned in at about episode 10, and by then things had gotten VERY exciting - but most people never gave the show a second chance. Let that be a lesson - taking your time with a story is a wonderful thing (despite what UK Ramsey said below in his anti-USA TV rant) - but you have to kick things off with enough of a bang to lock viewers in BEFORE you slow things down. What Ramsey's comments reveal is a sad truth about today's viewing audience - people are just too scatter-brained to give a story time to unfold. But hopefully, shows like LOST and INVASION will open the door for more series of the like that take their time and slow people down a bit.

By the way - if you liked the show and are interested in trying to get it renewed on ABC or another network, buy the DVD set. In fact, pre-order it and show the suits that there is a large audience for this show that is willing to spend money on it! $$$ is the only language the suits speak!!
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on June 4, 2006
Briefly speaking......This was a great sci-fi show that I found enjoying and each week I looked forward to watching this.Once again though we of the sci-fi community was burned and not once but three times as all three networks brought us some sci-fi and then immediately took it away.

I guess there is still a little hope it might come back.There are many fans who are writing letters to ABC and the Sci-Fi Channel.There are also websites for "Saving Invasion".

1.I thought the Audio was done good and clean.

2.Filming was decent.Picture was sharp and nice colors

3.Decent effects and sets/costumes/props

4.Liked how they did the story.Started mysterious and slowly we learned what was happening.

5.Liked the faster pace as the season got towards its end

6.Both Cast And Crew did a good job

ABC made a big mistake dumping this great show and leaving tens of millions of viewers in the "lurch".
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on May 31, 2006
I was gripped to the great storyline of aliens, military coverup and freak weather conditions. The entire cast are great on this show. Anyone who loved films like The Bodysnatchers, Aliens, Twister,Independance Day or the V - mini series will love this show. William Fichtner plays a great strong central character as Sheriff Tom Underlay, one of his best roles I believe. He has a great split personality on screen in Invasion from being quite a scary mysterious character who you fear, to whom has great love and will do whatever it takes to protect his family and friends. ABC did poor marketing and scheduling on this show, thus it now is cancelled. Great story to be continued for a future series for another TV station or movie.
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on August 14, 2006
Poor Shaun Cassidy. If he didn't have bad luck he'd have no luck at all. In 1995, he created American Gothic, a creepy supernatural drama for network television that was unable to garner decent enough ratings to stay on the air. In 2005, he returned with Invasion, a contemporary spin on Invasion of the Body Snatchers and was one of several genre shows that capitalized on the success of Lost. It was smart and scary so, of course the network cancelled it.

Invasion is the kind of show that calls for a subtle kind of acting as characters have to appear normal while also having a certain look in their eyes that suggests something is not quite right. As a result, cryptic phrases take on a whole new meaning as we try to figure out who has been infected (for lack of a better phrase) by the aliens and who is still a 100% human.

The always watchable William Fichtner is excellent as the town sheriff. He seems a bit of a cold fish right from the start which makes you wonder if he has already been taken over by an alien before the hurricane even happened and future episodes elaborate on this point. But Fichtner's performance, the odd looks and things that he says, keep us constantly guessing as to the degree in which his character has been infected and the actor plays it so well. He is the master at being the calm yet menacing type and this is what makes Tom so unsettling at times.

Invasion aired right around the time of Hurricane Katrina and the clean-up and reaction to it is eerily mirrored on the show albeit with a science fiction spin. The writers effectively establish the cast of characters and their relationship to one another. They took advantage of the medium to flesh them out so that we become emotionally invested in the characters' lives.

The show works on several levels using its science fiction premise to comment on the differences between economic classes while also telling a good old fashion mystery as Russell uncovers evidence of an alien presence. Like Lost, when Invasion answers one of its key plot questions, two more are raised in its place. Just when you have a character figured out, they do or say something that makes you question your assumptions. Sadly, we probably will never find out how all the various storylines would have played out as Invasion was cancelled after only one season. Out of the crop of new SF/horror shows from last year, it was the best. Hopefully, this DVD set will expose more people to this excellent show.

"Invading the Mind of Shaun Cassidy" explores the themes that run through the show with the cast and crew gushing about how much they loved his ideas. Everyone touches upon the show's mythology and clarifies a few things that were deliciously ambiguous in the show with Cassidy claiming that Invasion was not about alien invasion but human evolution.

Also included is a "Gag Reel," a collection of amusing outtakes and blown lines.

Finally, there are deleted scenes for 13 episodes.
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on August 27, 2006
I've been a science fiction fan for 45 years. I was really excited with the 2005/2006 TV season because Lost was in its second season and we were given a new progam with Invasion.

The ABC Affiliate in San Diego let 50 people see the season opener at a private screening before it was on TV. They actually had more hurricane in it originally but they toned it down before the season premier due to Katrina. I was one of the people there for that screening. I think the reason they had that screening was to get reaction to the program. Invasion had been written before Katrina and had the misfortune of falling after Katrina. We made suggestions that maybe if they toned down the hurricane and put a warning message on before the season premiere started, people would be okay with it. ABC followed those suggestions.

Even with Invasion's original opening at that screening, I could hardly wait for the season opener. But ABC frustrated me because after a few weeks they showed reruns then new episodes and then reruns and then a new episode, etc. Then they put it in hiatus for a stupid program. They finally brought it back and ended the season with a 'Season Finale' that left us wanting the second season to start so we could see what happened. They were too cowardly to let us know it was really the series finale. Invasion was a good program and I'm not happy it won't have a second season.

ABC and NBC both disappoint me. All they want is the fast buck and they don't care about the rest of us. All they want to do is put more 'Reality' TV on and more silly sitcomes. 'Reality' TV that is nothing more than stupid. What about us Science Fiction fans. Don't we deserve good programming too?

Surface, Lost and Invasion were really the only decent programs on. Even NBC copped out with a Series Finale calling it a Season Finale for Surface. I made sure I was home every Monday night for Surface and ever Wednesday night for Lost and Invasion. Those were the only two nights of the week that had on really good TV.

The networks lost me years ago with all their crummy programming. Lost, Invasion and Surface brought me back. Losing Surface and Invasion will lose me again. I won't be watching anything other than Lost if NBC doesn't bring back Surface and ABC doesn't bring back Invasion.

I am really disappointed with both NBC and ABC for not giving either Surface or Invasion a chance to succeed. Both were good programs but all NBC and ABC care about is the fast buck. They don't care if they leave unhappy people out here when they cancel decent programs for more stupid Reality programs and more silly sitcoms. I should have expected it though because NBC and ABC have being doing this to us for years. Shame on you, NBC and ABC!!
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Of the three alien invasion shows that debuted on network television in the fall of 2005, "Invasion" was the one that was hyped the most and for which the most success was predicted. After all, "Invasion" had the advantage of airing on Wednesday night's after "Lost" on ABC. To be fair, in the end "Invasion" did get to air all 22 of its first season episodes, while NBC's "Surface" only got 15 episodes on and "Threshold" filmed 14 episodes but only aired nine of them. Now all three of the shows are available on DVD and all three proudly proclaim themselves to be "The Complete Series," wearing their cancellations like badges of honor whether they deserve them or not. All things considered, "Invasion" was my least favorite of the three, mainly because its story took the longest to develop. Creator Shaun Cassidy was clearly thinking long-term and how to develop his mystery over the course for the first season, and certainly at the end of the year things were starting to get interesting. But as far as I was concerned by then it was the proverbial too little, too late.

The start of "Invasion" had the advantage of art imitation life as the fictional Hurricane Eve strikes Homestead, Florida, on the edge of the Everglades. The show's characters are a pair of families related by divorce and remarriage. The show's nominal hero is Russ Varon (Eddie Cibrian), a U.S. park ranger in the Everglades who has a new wife, Larkin Groves (Lisa Sheridan), who is not only a reporter but also happens to be pregnant with their first child. Russ' ex-wife, Dr. Mariel Underlay (Kari Matchett), is a medical doctor who has recently remarried as well, this time to Sheriff Tom Underlay (William Fichtner). The children of Russ and Mariel, Jesse (Evan Peters) and Rose (Ariel Gade), live with Tom and Mariel, along with Kira Underlay (Alexis Dziena), Tom's daughter from a previous marriage. Completing the cast is Dave Groves (Tyler Labine), Larkin's brother, who watches the kids and apparently has an encyclopedic knowledge of conspiracy theories.

Strange things happen to the characters when the hurricane strikes. Rose sees lights coming down from the sky and landing in the water during the storm, while Mariel goes missing and is not found until the next day, at which point she is naked and remembers nothing but is physically untouched by the hurricane. Only now she likes to take really long baths and seems really into water. Then Dave finds what he is convinced is the skeleton of an extraterrestrial and we continue to see strange lights in the water. But it is the Sheriff, with his strange words of comfort for his disoriented wife, who turns out to be the pivotal member of the cast of characters.

The strange lights in the water are an apt metaphor for "Invasion," because here the threat is internal rather than external. The show is much more in the tradition of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" than any of the traditional alien invasion movies with their bug-eyed monsters. The mystery is not easy to figure out, as amply proven when Mariel finds her own body floating in the swamp and we all leap to the obvious and apparently wrong conclusion. But clues were being parceled out as almost as slowly as the revelations and in the absence of clear answers having clues to work over becomes even more important.

In watching these episodes again the show certainly does make more sense, but I still see a strong beginning and a fairly strong ending, with things dragging on too much in the middle. I have to think that if we did some serious editing of the middle third of "Invasion" that it would work a lot better. It is not so much a question of omitting episodes as it is moving things along more quickly. There was a point where the only reasons I kept watching "Invasion" was because it was one of the series I had cleared for the television unit for my class and because I was curious to see if it could free itself from the morass it was becoming (ironically, none of my students wrote about the show, but they used the course discussion board to try and figure out what was coming on, with limited success).

Before I watched "Invasion" again from start to finish I was learning towards rating it three stars because I was so disappointed by it given my expectations. I ended up with a four star rating because the second time around I was focusing on Tom and Mariel rather than Russ and Larkin, and this shift in perspective made a big difference. Going higher was not an option because all fans are going to find here for special features are deleted scenes, a gag reel, and a featurette "Inside the Mind of Shaun Cassidy." Not having any commentary tracks for those fans who were anguished by the cancellation of the show is extremely disappointing. You can also better appreciate how the series does go against your expectations time and time again, which should be a good thing, but not if you are looking at the show the wrong way. Whether this is your first or second (plus) time through "Invasion," let Fichtner's Tom Underlay be your guide (Say, do you think the character's last name was suppose to be a clue or something?).
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on August 20, 2006
We came late to this wonderful show. We found it when they did the marathon. Then, of course, we were hooked. I can't tell you how disappointed my family is over the cancellation of Invasion. For those of us who have cable, and pay a pretty penny for it I may add, maybe we can get SCI-FI CHANNEL to pick this show up. It could start in the winter months when we need new shows. Or maybe the new WB/UPN. Oh please! And thank you.
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on September 4, 2006
This was one of my favorite sci-fi series of all time. Well-written, well-paced, and suspenseful throughout. However, in a continual show of their arrogance and disdain for their viewers, ABC produced and presented a highly suspenseful cliffhanger season-finale, and then cancelled the series. At the very least, they should have filmed one more episode and given us somewhat of a resolution. Instead, they left us wondering ... what happened?

I spent a lot of time watching this series and got no payoff. The title of this product is false advertising. Invasion-The Complete Series. A complete series (attention ABC) has a beginning and an end. Invasion has a beginning and a middle.

Warning to buyers! I wasted a year watching this show. If you buy this series, you will be wasting both your time and hard-earned $$$.

First, ask yourself this. If ABC offered to sell you Star Wars: Revenge of the Jedi, but edited out the climactic battle at the end of the movie, would you buy it? I don't think so. That's what you get with Invasion-The INComplete Series.
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