The Invasion (1982)

TV-Movie made from episodes of “The Starlost”
Article 3082 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-24-2009
Posting Date: 1-21-2010
Directed by George McCowan and Joseph L. Scanlon
Featuring Keir Dullea, Gay Rowan, Robin Ward
Country: Canada
What it is: Recycled “Starlost” episodes posing as a movie.

Three people attempting to save a space ark from being destroyed have adventures. In the first, one of them is injured and their only hope lies with a group of astro-medics who seem more concerned with helping a distressed alien spaceship. In the other, they encounter a culture aboard the ark in which people undergo brain implants to increase brain efficiency; in reality, the implants cause great pain and are under the control of an evil madman intent on taking over the colony.

Once again, I cover one of those rare movies that does not have a listing on IMDB, though the other “Starlost” TV-Movies are listed. This features the episodes of “Astro-Medics” and “The Implant People”. Personally, I love the central concept that underlies it, but this series is so badly done that it becomes depressing watching it when you think of what it could have been. Either one of these two episodes could have been interesting, but the bottom-of-the-barrel production values sink it at every step. The worst culprit is the writing; it’s talky, trite, corny, and amateurish. I had to laugh out loud at one comment in the trivia section of the series on IMDB, not because it’s so ridiculous but because it seems all too believable; the comment stated that it has long been a rumor that many of the episodes were actually written by Canadian high school students rather than the credited writers. At any rate, I’m not the least bit surprised that Harlan Ellison (who created the series) wished to have this series credited to his pseudonym, “Cordwainer Bird”, which he uses whenever he thinks his work has been unacceptably compromised.

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