INVASION Season One
The world ending with a whimper
UK/US Apple TV+, streaming now Showrunners Simon Kinberg,
Cast Golshifteh Farahani, Shamier Anderson, Shioli Kutsuna, Billy Barratt While it’s unlikely that the one-line pitch for Invasion was “Let’s make the dullest alien invasion show ever!”, by the time you’ve sat through all 10 mind-numbing episodes you can’t help thinking it’s possible.
The intention is clear: an invasion of Earth seen from the viewpoint of ordinary people with no access to privileged information, showing the confusion, the terror and the struggle to survive when you don’t know what’s going on. In a series of parallel storylines we see the events unfold globally through the
The show clearly wants to be Lost but the backstories here are mundane
eyes of a dysfunctional family in the States; a group of kids going full-on Lord Of The Flies in the UK; a soldier in Afghanistan; an aerospace engineer in Japan; and, oddly, a small-town US sheriff whose plot is abruptly curtailed in episode one and appears to have only been included so they could get Sam Neill’s name into the pre-publicity.
Sounds promising? Sadly the aliens seem in no hurry to trash the planet, the human characters are uniformly dull, and everything and anything takes aeons of the running time to achieve. The show clearly wants to be Lost but the backstories here are a mundane litany of off-the-shelf relationship woes that it’s hard to care about.
When some semblance of a sci-fi plot does surface, it’s fairly humdrum, derivative stuff and hardly enough to reward your efforts to stay awake. The series certainly looks lavish, but feels like a waste of production values. There are some effectively tense action set-pieces, and a gloriously silly bit with David Bowie saving the world. But mostly Invasion feels like the ultimate experiment in delayed gratification – which will come only after the show’s been cancelled. Dave Golder
The series was inspired by The War Of The Worlds – not the book, but the panic surrounding the Orson Welles radio play.