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August 30, 2015

Short-Lived Shows: Invasion - VIDEO

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jun 10th 2008 2:14PM
InvasionInvasion aired for one season from 2005-2006. Check out Jonathan Toomey's great reviewcaps here.

Along with Surface, Invasion was one of my favorite new shows that season, with each episode getting better and better. By the series finale, I was hooked. I'm still miffed that ABC didn't give it more time to flesh out the story and characters.

Incorporating a sci-fi-alien mystery, a government conspiracy, and plenty of family drama, Invasion had a built-in audience because it aired directly after another sci-fi mystery, Lost. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to keep the series on the air.

Created and produced by Shaun Cassidy (yep, the teen idol), Invasion whipped onto our TV screens with a frenzy. The pilot episode revolves around a devastating hurricane that rips through a Florida town, turning everything upside down, including the lives of the main characters:
  • Eddie Cibrian plays a kindly park ranger, Russell Groves, who's married to...
  • Larkin (Lisa Sheridan), a curious television reporter, whose slacker brother...
  • Dave (Tyler Labine), lives with them and blogs about conspiracy theories and aliens, but sometimes looks after Russell's kids...
  • Rose (Ariel Gade) and Jesse (Evan Peters), who also spend time with their mother...
  • Doctor Mariel Underlay (Kari Matchett), who's remarried to the town's creepy sheriff...
  • Tom (William Fichtner), who has a teenage daughter from a previous marriage...
  • Kira (Alexis Dziena), whose choice of friends is giving her parents ulcers.
Each of these characters has his/her own drama unfolding, but they're all interconnected, not only because of the blended families, but also because of strange things that happen during the hurricane. During the storm, young Rose sees thousands of lights falling from the sky into the water. Mariel mysteriously disappears, but turns up the next morning -- naked, but unharmed. Well, unharmed as far as we know. She's developed a strange obsession with water. In one scene, she sinks into the bathtub, and you're wondering if she has a death-wish, but no, it's something else. Something to do with those weird lights.

The sheriff is ultra-creepy. I mean, he even looks like an alien. And he knows more than he's saying. As the series unfolds, Larkin does some investigative reporting and uncovers more mysteries, leading up to a big government conspiracy that ends with a human-hybrid shoot-out and a wounded Larkin heading into the water.

Invasion is available on DVD, but unless there's a wrap-up webisode I don't know about (if you know of one, post a comment), you'll get through the entire season, only to be left with a massive, unresolved cliffhanger. Still, it's a great series, thanks to both new and veteran actors who seem like they gave it their all during its short run. You know what this series needs? A wrap-up movie. Anyone listening?

Check out Dave's documentary:

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Invasion really knew how to balance and combine it's sci-fi and soap elements in subtle ways, Buffy style. The other thing I loved about it was that it really built and connected from episode to episode, minor characters would appear weeks before they became important.

It was a little hard to take the hurricane stuff seriously after Katrina, though, which probably killed it.

Also, Eddie Cibrian was uber-cute.

June 11 2008 at 12:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mj green

Threshold, Surface and Invasion were awesome shows that had me on the edge of my seat. And not one gave us closure. I'm still furious about that. Since then, I've made a point to email a network whenever I like a show. (Jericho!) I'm so sick of ratings. Fans need to start telling the networks what we want to see, not what they want us to see.

June 10 2008 at 9:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordon Werner

I liked Threshold much better

June 10 2008 at 6:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved this show and was so diaappointed when it was cancelled, leaving us wondering how everything was going to work out. Oh well, maybe I'm in the minority--I was one of the 12 viewers who watched the other Shaun Cassidy show with Gary Cole--American Gothic, I think. Cole played the sheriff--who was also the devil, or a close relative of said demon. Really cool, dark show that also disappeared without any ending. There's really nothing else on the air that I can think of that's really creepy without being too "out there" (think Sci Fi channel).

June 10 2008 at 4:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Howard

That show was terrible, it actually got worse each week. I finally gave up about halfway into the season, I think.

June 10 2008 at 4:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Loved the show and hated that we didn't get a resolution to the cliffhanger, much in the same way the terrific NOW AND AGAIN (not ONCE AND AGAIN!) never got to resolve the finale cliffhanger. That's why viewers don't get involved in continuing storyline dramas anymore!

June 10 2008 at 3:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The show was good, but not great. I agree with ajprice that the plot simply moved along too slowly... but then by the end of the series it seemed like the plot was running out of steam.

I'm not sure how they could have extended the show to a few more seasons without going into the realm of the ridiculous. If they made it a fixed # of episodes from the start like HBO Rome or much of British TV, they could have given us 18-24 really good episodes with a solid plot arc, but trying to strongarm this into the traditional US style with 22 eps per year for X years... it was never going to work.

June 10 2008 at 3:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved this show - hated that they canceled it. the only good thing to come of that is Tyler ending up as Sock on Reaper, one of my favorite characters on TV right now.

June 10 2008 at 3:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This series was way too slow for me to keep interested in it, and thats saying something, Lost (up to series 2 before it went to Sky in the UK) and Heroes are shows I think are great and others think are slow going. It was really frustrating to be so many episodes in and they were still making the point over and over again that Mariel the doctor liked water A LOT... get on with it, I get that bit, she likes water!! Got bored and gave up watching in the end, so don't know how it was left.

June 10 2008 at 2:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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