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In the last decade Writer/Producer Shaun Cassidy was responsible for creating two of the best offbeat television series to be prematurely yanked by the networks. First, there was the supernatural tinged AMERICAN GOTHIC, which was exorcised of all its demons well before its time and now the brilliant sci-fi series INVASION has been drowned by a completely different network. While neither show generated the kind of numbers to keep the money men at the big networks happy, each series developed a highly devoted core audience that would have like to have seen each series continue. I certainly know I would…

INVASION is definitely one of the best sci-fi offerings to come around the block in quite some time and could have definitely continued along the creepy cool alien conspiracy tinged path of a series like THE X-FILES. The basic premise of INVASION follows on the heels of a devastating hurricane that tears up a Florida everglade community. While the storm raged through the area, it only served to mask a much larger threat that only comes to "light" in the days after the hurricane. It seems that certain members of the community reported seeing strange lights during the storm. Speaking of lights, strange luminescent creatures are spotted in the waters surrounding the community, although no one has gotten a good look at whatever is glowing just below the surface of the water.

Additionally, certain storm survivors were discovered right after the storm, unconscious and nude in the water, without a mark on their bodies. What follows are strange occurrences within the community and the odd behavior of the afore mentioned storm survivors. The cast of INVASION features William Fichtner as Sheriff Tom Underlay, Eddie Cibrian as Park Ranger Russell Varon, Kari Matchett as Dr. Mariel Underlay, Lisa Sheridan as Larkin Groves, Tyler Labine as Dave Groves, Alexis Dziena as Kira Underlay, Evan Peters as Jesse Varon, Ariel Gade as Rose Varon.

INVASION: THE COMPLETE SERIES ($60) comes to DVD in a six-disc set that features the following twenty-two episodes that were aired during the show’s only season on the air: Pilot, Lights Out, Watershed, Alpha Male, Unnatural Selection, The Hunt, Fish Story, The Cradle, The Dredge, Origin Of Species, Us Or Them, Power, Redemption, All God's Creatures, The Nest, The Fittest, The Key, Re-Evolution, The Son Also Rises, Run And Gun, Round Up and The Last Wave Goodbye.

Warner Home Video has made all twenty-two episodes that comprise INVASION: THE COMPLETE SERIES available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. In general, the episodes look really good and deliver a sharp and nicely defined image. Sure, none of this looks like a theatrical production, but it is quite pleasing for a television series. Colors appear strongly saturated and produce appealing flesh tones. Blacks are accurate, whites are clean and contrast goes somewhat beyond what is typically found on broadcast, which helps the darker, eerier moments. The film elements from which the episodes are transferred appear clean, although one will notice a grain structure in places throughout the episodes. Digital compression artifacts are a non-issue.

All the episodes that comprise INVASION: THE COMPLETE SERIES come with Dolby Digital 2.0 channel soundtracks, which decode to standard surround. As always, my preference is for 5.1 channel soundtracks, and I think the episodes would have sounded better in that format. However, the sound quality is very good for a broadcast television production, which is clearly evident in the sound mixes. The forward soundstage is dominant, with the rear channels providing mild ambient reinforcement and occasional active effect. The bass channel is decent, but lacks a significant punch. Musical fidelity is more than respectable. Dialogue is cleanly rendered and completely understandable. No other language tracks are provided for the episodes, but French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles are included.

Animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard episode/scene selection and set up features, as well as some supplemental materials. Missing Scenes are provided for the following episodes: Pilot, Lights Out, The Hunt, Fish Story, The Cradle, The Dredge, Origin Of Species, Redemption, All God's Creatures, The Fittest, The Key, Re-Evolution and Round Up. Invading The Mind Of Shaun Cassidy is a twenty-three minute interview program with the series creator. A Gag Reel closes out the supplements.

As I stated above, INVASION is a really good series that taken off the airwaves prematurely (perhaps a miniseries could be produced to help tie things up a little better), despite a somewhat vocal fan base that wanted it to continue. As for the DVD set, Warner has done their usual solid job with the presentations. If you are a fan, you’ll want to add INVASION: THE COMPLETE SERIES to your personal library.



Invasion - The Complete Series (2005)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2006 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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