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Invasion - The Complete Series


TITLE: INVASION - THE COMPLETE SERIES


Info:

DVD Release Date: August 22, 2006 (Warner Home Video)
Color/2005-06
MSRP: $59.98
Number of Discs: 6
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: 907 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: approx. 54 minutes
Video: Widescreen
Audio: English Stereo
Subtitles: French, Portuguese, Espanola; Closed Captioned
Special Features:
• Invading the Mind of Shaun Cassidy - featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel


Introduction:

The town of Homestead, Florida has just been struck by Hurricane Eve but could there be some sort of an Invasion in the aftermath? Warner Home Video presents the suspenseful, critically-acclaimed drama series Invasion for the first time on DVD, featuring a collectible six-disc set with all 22 thrilling episodes plus special features! It is unfortunate we won’t see more episodes of this show, because it clearly was the best new show from this past season. It was well written, well acted and so suspenseful and thrilling. No, we won’t have any more new episodes on ABC next season, but we can own this DVD and relive the wonderful 22 episodes in a nice widescreen format!

Invasion is a suspenseful tale from famed writer/producer Shaun Cassidy that follows a blended family trying to recover from a devastating hurricane and its mysterious aftermath. Invasion stars William Fichtner as Sheriff Tom Underlay, who suspiciously orders the entire area quarantined. Then we have park ranger Russell Varon (Eddie Cibrian), a divorced father of two who is expecting a third child with his new wife, local television reporter Larkin Graves (Lisa Sheridan). Sheriff Underlay is married to Russell’s ex-wife, Dr. Mariel Underlay (Kari Matchett). Russell and Larkin’s brother Dave (Tyler Labine) start to investigate the strange goings on and unknowingly begins a fight for survival of his family, his community, and what might ultimately be the whole human race. The kids are Kira Underlay (Alexis Dziena), Tom’s daughter and Russell & Mariel’s kids Jesse (Evan Peters) and Rose (Ariel Gade).


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Invasion is a show you must watch from start to finish in order to grasp every detail. It is just a well written show and very intense. It makes you want to keep watching because the mystery is so compelling. Some say the season starts out very slow and there are no answers, but it does pick-up from about episode 9 and on. I think some of the later episodes were even better than what lead-in Lost had to offer. The “Pilot episode is where it all started with Hurricane Eve hitting and the aftermath is mysterious. All the episodes Shaun Cassidy writes are so good. He writes a lot of the episodes and the quality is so first-rate when he writes. He writes or co-writes the following: “Pilot,” “Lights Out,” “Watershed,” “Unnatural Selection,” “The Hunt,” “Origin of Species,” “Us or Them,” “Redemption,” “The Nest,” “The Son Also Rises,” “The Round Up,” and “The Last Wave Goodbye.”

Recurring characters are Mona Gomez (Aisha Hinds), Father Scanlon (Ivar Brogger), Deputy Lewis Sirk (Nathan Basesel), Derek (Michael Mitchell), Christina (Elizabeth Moss), Healy (Rocky Carroll), and the spooky Eli Szura (James Frain).


Packaging:

The packaging is quite neat. It is a nice digipak box set. The box’s front cover has a photo of the lights with a girl looking (maybe Rose?) with the Invasion logo in the background. The Complete Series noting is also present. A nice red/orange/yellow color scheme is there. The back of the box has a blue background and has a nice cast photo along with a snapshot from an episode. The back also has a brief synopsis of the show. On the right side there is a little space that contains info on the special features.

The case’s front cover is the same as the box cover. The back of the case has the credits with character name and actor name, as well a nice quote from Philadelphia Daily News, and a nice cast photo. The background is red/black. When we open the case once, we get to the disc one breakdown on the left and a discs two & three breakdown on the right. The disc breakdowns have episode numbers, episode titles, writer, director, original air date, and a brief synopsis. There are little scissors next to most episodes, which means deleted scenes are available for that episode. And special features, if any. There are nice photos in the background on each side of a breakdown. Opening the case a second time, Disc four’s breakdown is on the fast left, with the first four discs in the middle spaces, and disc five’s breakdown on the far right. When we open the case a third, we see disc six’s breakdown now on the far right.

The discs are on top of each other. For example, disc one is on top of disc two; disc three on top of four; and disc 5 on top of six. Again, I hate that! It is hard to take out and easily can be scratched, so be careful! Warner keeps doing this on their dramas. The sitcoms are getting better now with slim cases. Disc one has a photo of the Sheriff, disc two has Russell, disc three has Mariel, disc four has Larkin, disc five has Dave, and disc six has the three kids. There is a spooky photo on the case when you take out each disc. I won’t give that away though; think nude (as in from the pilot episode). Disc one holds episodes 1-4, disc two holds episodes 5-8, disc three holds episodes 9-11, disc four holds episodes 12-15; disc five holds episodes 16-19 and disc six holds episodes 20-22 & the special features. Inside the case we also have a Warner Home Video catalog listing various TV DVD titles, such as ER Season 6 (coming in December) and Full House Season 5 (also in December). The back of the book has an ad for The CW.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menu screen has the sky with the lights background, like the cover art. Sound effects are playing in the background. The menu options are: Play, Episodes, Features, & Languages. Play is self-explanatory…yeah it plays every episode at once. Episodes takes you to the episode list for the given disc and you can choose which episode you want to view. When chosen, you get to the episode menu which has scene selections. Features list the special features on each disc. Each disc has deleted scenes and the last disc has that and also the gag reel and featurette. The Languages option tells us that the only spoken language on this set in English, but you can have subtitles in French, Portuguese and Espanola as well.

There is a scene selection screen, like I mentioned, and there are chapters present on each episode if you like that better, which you can access through your remote. The navigation on each sub-menu and the main menu is very easy. The design is also quite nice and creative.


Video and Audio Quality:

The show is from this past season, obviously the video and audio are PERFECT. The video is in widescreen, which I’ve never watched an Invasion episode in, so it is cool! The audio is very good and in a good stereo. The runtimes for each episode vary; with the pilot have the highest runtime at over 45 minutes and the shortest episode (“The Nest”) at just less than 39 minutes. They are not edited I’m sure, because TV shows these days have low run times. The following are the episode runtimes:

Disc one:
1. “Pilot” (45:01)
2. “Lights Out” (42:02)
3. “Watershed” (41:17)
4. “Alpha Male” (40:37)

Disc two:
5. “Unnatural Selection” (42:50)
6. “The Hunt” (40:46)
7. “Fish Story” (41:37)
8. “The Cradle” (41:18)

Disc three:
9. “The Dredge” (42:02)
10. “Origin of Species” (40:03)
11. “Us or Them” (41:48)

Disc four:
12. “Power” (40:21)
13. “Redemption” (43:03)
14. “All God’s Creatures” (39:39)
15. “The Nest” (38:48)

Disc five:
16. “The Fittest” (41:06)
17. “The Key” (41:21)
18. “Re-Evolution” (39:28)
19. “The Son Also Rises” (40:38)

Disc six:
20. “Run and Gun” (39:44)
21. “Round Up” (39:12)
22. “The Last Wave Goodbye” (39:18)


Special Features:

The extras are good! We get a featurette and gag reel on the last disc along with lots and lots of deleted scenes on each disc! Deleted scenes are from: “Pilot” (2:50), “Lights Out” (2:19), “The Hunt” (1:21), “Fish Story” (0:43), “The Cradle” (1:03) & (1:41), “The Dredge” (1:06), “Origin of Species” (0:39), “Redemption” (3:09), “All God’s Creatures” (2:18), “The Fittest” (1:13), “The Key” (1:25), “Re-Evolution” (0:27), and “Round-Up” (0:55).

The gag reel is on disc six and is very fun to watch. William Fichtner seems like a very nice and funny man. Tyler Labine looks fun and wild and he is just that here. The gag reel runs 10:36. Then we have the featurette also on disc six. It is titled “Invading the Mind of Shaun Cassidy.” The cast and crew talk about Shaun, the show, how mysterious and suspenseful the show is and how great it is working on the set. Interviewed are: creator/writer/producer Shaun Cassidy, stars William Fichtner, Eddie Cibrian, Kari Matchett, Lisa Sheridan, Tyler Labine, Alexis Dziena, Evan Peters, Ariel Gade, along with recurring stars James Frain, Nathan Basesel, Ivan Brogger, and the crew Thomas Schlamme (executive producer), Juan Carlos Coto (consulting producer), Timothy Marx (producer), and Lawrence Trilling (director, co-exec. producer). It runs 23:35 and is full of great information and thoughts.


Final Comments:

Wonderful show, wonderful writing, wonderful actors, and wonderful DVD! The cast and crew of Invasion brought us such a wonderful drama. It is too bad the ratings were not high enough, but I think they were high enough for a second season at least. If it meant moving to another night, then that would be fine. I was saddened by the cancellation of the show, but I had a smile on when I relived this series again on DVD on crisp video and wonderful extras. While the show is canceled, the three main stars have moved on rather quickly. William Fitchtner is going to join Fox's Prison Break. Eddie Cibrian will be on the new drama Vanished on Fox as well (same night too!). And Kari Matchett has signed on for a TNT "in consideration" drama pilot called Heartland that will also star Treat Williams. If you have not seen this show, you are missing something good. I suggest you buy this set and watch it from start to finish. You won’t regret it. If you are a fan, then of course you better run to your local DVD store or online retailer (like the link below) and buy it TODAY! You better hurry before something in the water snatches you and makes you smell different. Did you see the lights?


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 3.5/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 08/15/06

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000FOPPBA/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=180525


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