V would not be the mega-hit it is without the long running tradition of alien invasions. Long before the V’s parked their fleet of ominous flying saucers outside our stratosphere, aliens have been trying to stake a claim on good old planet Earth. Here are just a few of the more notable Alien visitations from TV history.
The grand-daddy of paranoia driven Alien yarns, The Invaders follows the exploits of David Vincent (Roy Thinnes), one of a small group of humans that have discovered that aliens from a dying planet are among us, and have their eyes on taking Earth for their own The Invaders premiered in 1967 and ran for two seasons. It spawned a three part sequel in 1996 that starred Scott Bakula.
UFO debuted in 1970. This British Sci-Fi offering had a familiar theme, aliens from a dying planet attacking earth, but had some well devised twists. For starters, these aliens were after our organs. Seems it is a shortage of kidneys that brought these invaders to earth. Set in an alternate future, the series chronicles the efforts of the top secret S.H.A.D.O organization as they secretly repel the alien attacks.
Inspired by the feature film of the same name, Alien Nation is a different kind of ‘invasion’ film all together. The aliens of Alien Nation aren’t really invaders in the classic sense. They arrive on earth as escaped slaves looking for a new home, but as they begin to fold into human society the ‘Newcomers’ must deal with good old human racism. Tackling themes of racial integration, and immigration, Alien Nation was an effective examination of sociological ‘invasion.’
War of the Worlds – The Series
Perhaps borrowing a bit from V itself, this take on the H.G. Well’s classic has the aliens cramming themselves into human skin suits, while facing off against humans bent on exposing their existence. The series is considered a sequel to the George Pal film of 1953. The series featured some interesting art direction that made up for the fact that the budget didn’t cover many appearances of the aliens themselves.
While not entirely about alien invasions, The X-Files contained a whopper of an overarching alien mythology that tested the boundaries of this well-worn trope. Case in point: a World War II pilot awakens in modern times, on the sea floor, with black ooze in his eyes. These aren’t your Spielberg aliens. Although many consider the mythology incomplete, and over-extended, X-files none-the-less updated the notion to something new.