Invasion begins with a strange shape appearing in the desert, with the opener being titled “Last Day”. Y’see, the aliens are coming to town, hence the title. Cue an explosion before long, because aliens don’t do things quietly.
I then liked how the next scene stated it’s in Idabel, Oklahoma, USA, Earth. I guess we’re going to space at some point, but for now, Sheriff John Bell Tyson (Sam Neill) is going to work on his last day before retirement. Time for an easy day, right? Well, the first job is to deal with a stolen truck, but birds are circling around something as yet unseen that’s landed in a nearby field…
Meanwhile, Captain Ikuro Murai (Togo Igawa) is an astronaut about to head with her crew up to the International Space Station. Down on the shop floor is communications engineer Mitsuki Yamato (Shiori Kutsuna, aka Yukio in Deadpool 2… Hi, Yukio!), who’s called away from her desk to fix a problem with comms inside the space shuttle.
Elsewhere on planet Earth, children in a school are all getting nosebleeds… well, all except one, the son of Aneesha Malik (Golshifteh Farahani), who has her own personal demons to confront.
So far, there’s three episodes being released today, with further episodes coming out weekly, but while I enjoy this type of thing, it’s such a slow burner and… a little too slow, along with a load of globe-trotting to set out the various scenes.
For example, episode 2 goes to London, and a school where Casper Morrow (Billy Barratt) has the hots for Jamila Huston (India Brown), and their story is about to unfold, although I do have to question that since the class is going for a day out in a bus, why is it the teacher who’s doing the driving? Whenever would a teacher drive the school bus on a day out? Probably the last thing to concern yourself with when the extra-terrestrials come, but anyway…
And then we’re onto Afghanistan, and a troop of American soldiers including Trevante Ward (Shamier Anderson).
It’s difficult to say too much because I don’t want to give spoilers, and it’s largely a case of: here are the locations, here are their situations and you have to watch to see how they deal with them. There’s things to discover about the characters and their personal situations along the way, but then towards the end of the first episode, the aliens start to arrive and upset everything, and we see how this affects each of the main characters in turn. Soon after that, we see some of the destruction caused by the arrival, where some think a tornado has struck the town or, perhaps, another 9/11?
It gets a bit daft times, as people act out of character – even in an emergency, and we see how it can make good people do bad things. Again, obviously, no spoilers, but safe to say, remember how Jack Bauer used to go dark because those in charge were doing stupid things to the detriment of the country? So, he had to ignore them and furrow his own path? Yep, that. Okay, this is TV drama, not real life, but… still annoying.
So, I kinda like this, but by gum, across ten episodes, it really needs to get a shift on. The first three are almost an hour long, but for the rest of the series, some drop into the 40-45 minute length, and one’s just over 30 minutes!
I would prefer it if the characters didn’t mumble so much, especially since the previews I saw didn’t have subtitles, except for the scenes in Japan.
Any further updates will appear as per the embargo which is no earlier than 8am UK time on the day of release.
UPDATE Episode 4:
UPDATE Episodes 5 and 6:
Invasion is on Apple TV+ from today, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD. Initially, three episodes are available, and additional episodes will stream weekly.
Check out the trailer below:
Episode 1-3 Score: 6.5/10
Episode 4 Score: 5/10
Episode 5 Score: 5/10
Episode 6 Score: 4/10
Running time: 50-60 mins per episode for most episodes
Release date: October 22nd 2021 (first 3 episodes)
Studio: Apple TV+
Series Directors: Amanda Marsalis, Jamie Payne, Jakob Verbruggen
Writers: Simon Kinberg, David Weil, Andrew Baldwin
Creators: Simon Kinberg, David Weil
John Bell Tyson: Sam Neill
Aneesha Malik: Golshifteh Farahani
Mitsuki Yamato: Shiori Kutsuna
Trevante Ward: Shamier Anderson
Ahmed Malik: Firas Nassar
Sarah Malik: Tara Moayedi
Kaito Kawaguchi: Daisuke Tsuji
Ikuro Murai: Togo Igawa
Luke Malik: Azhy Robertson
Casper Morrow: Billy Barratt
Jamila Huston: India Brown
Montgomery (Monty) Cuttermill: Paddy Holland
Alfie Ademura: Cache Vanderpuye
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.