[Keep up with the "Special Feature" column and Christian Fannin will sit you on his lap and talk to you about whatever movie-related topic he feels like.]
One thing we get especially excited about at CineWeekly is sci-fi B-movies and everything relating to them. Even the mediocre contributions define everything we love about science fiction and entertainment as a whole. Pure joy and wonder strikes us as children and stays with us through a nostalgic adulthood leaving us yearning for the long lost genre. Recently, we've also come to realize the importance and benefits of smaller specialty book publishers, so when we got the chance to review a companion book for 1967's The Invaders, it was a no-brainer. This Quinn Martin TV series has been lovingly dissected with the essential information and fun facts compiled in a 200-page celebration of a short-lived classic.
Author James Rosin opens the book with a behind-the-scenes look at the creation and production of the two season series about a man trying to convince the world of an alien invasion. Throughout the history in this first chapter, many of the cast and crew members' own comments and observations are included in length giving unparalleled insight. Show creator Larry Cohen, producer Alan Armer, and of course, actor Roy Thinnes are among those commentators. The Invaders interesting evolution from original intentions to the final product on screen is not to be missed and one of my favorite aspects of the book. This is followed by a wealthy amount of promotional photos and screenshots of many episodes, a nice inclusion and refresher for fans that haven't revisited the show in a while.
The Episode Guide is executed exactly how it should be which is (oddly enough) rarely done. The summaries for all 43 hour-long episodes are to the point and serve as the perfect source for finding the episode you're looking for without rambling. They also make for a nice read on their own which, as with the rest of the book, gives it that casual "pick up and browse" feel. Each episode begins with the main crew and concludes with a cast list as a handy reference for the avid fan.
The whole book has an air of the author's personal interest, from a list of Mr. Rosin's top 20 favorite episodes to little-known series trivia to a spotlight of the weapons used by the aliens. Tidbits about the episode budgets and a remake of the pilot in another Quinn Martin show, 'Tales of the Unexpected', aren't easily found elsewhere (go ahead and check IMDB) and show the level of detail and research put into these pages. Biographies and credits of cast and crew (including guest stars) make up the last portion of the book. As with some of our other book reviews, James Rosin's is a labor of love guaranteed to fill the void for fans of The Invaders.
This newly revised edition for 2012 is available from the Amazon Marketpace or you can get it by ordering direct from The Autumn Road Company where you can find other books on overlooked TV shows. Either way, it's a great investment for any fan of The Invaders. As for the TV series, both seasons are available on DVD from Amazon at a very reasonable price. In a perfect world, Paramount would purchase the rights to Mr. Rosin's book and release a nice package box set similar to 'The Twilight Zone' and Marc Scott Zicree's book a few years back. What I'm getting at is that The Invaders: A Quinn Martin TV Series by James Rosin is a perfect companion piece created by the fans for the fans. No matter how you do it, pick up a copy.
Don't hesitate to tell Christian what you think of his column and suggest a topic by e-mailing him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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