Invasion 1966 ***


Writer Robert Holmes created many storylines for British televisions popular Dr Who children’s show; this 1966 thriller demonstrates his steely grip of sci-fi concepts. Dr Mike Vernon (Edward Judd) is working in a rural hospital when a car pulls up; a motorist has knocked down a mysterious figure in the fog, and under examination, it appears to be an alien. Soon the hospital is trapped in a force field, and with temperatures rising, Vernon and Dr Clare Harland (Valerie Gearon) have to grapple with opposing alien factions. Invasion was shot in black-and –white, but the low budget isn’t a problem; the scene in which an unwary motorist crashes into the force-field is shockingly dramatic. The film also plays skilfully with notions of foreignness; the aliens appear oriental, but then again, so does one of the nurses; part of the charm is the way the film withholds information until the final scenes. Director Alan Bridges died in 2013; Invasion was the first film on a career of minor but genuine pleasures.


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