The Invaders (The Twilight Zone)
|The Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2|
|Directed by||Douglas Heyes|
|Written by||Richard Matheson|
|Featured music||Original score by Jerry Goldsmith|
|Original air date||January 27, 1961|
"The Invaders" is episode 15 of season 2 (and episode 51 overall) of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. The episode, which originally aired January 27, 1961, starred Agnes Moorehead. It was written by Richard Matheson, directed by Douglas Heyes, and scored by Jerry Goldsmith. Distinctive features of this episode include a near-solo performance by one character (interacting with miniature puppet "characters"), and an almost complete lack of dialogue. The protagonist portrayed by Moorehead often cries out in pain, terror, etc., but never speaks.
This is one of the out-of-the-way places, the unvisited places, bleak, wasted, dying. This is a farmhouse, handmade, crude, a house without electricity or gas, a house untouched by progress. This is the woman who lives in the house, a woman who's been alone for many years, a strong, simple woman whose only problem up until this moment has been that of acquiring enough food to eat, a woman about to face terror, which is even now coming at her from – the Twilight Zone.
An old woman (Agnes Moorehead) lives alone in a remote cabin. She is dressed shabbily, and there are no modern conveniences in evidence. After hearing a strange deafening noise above her kitchen roof, she is accosted by small intruders that come from a miniature flying saucer that has landed on her rooftop. Two tiny figures, apparently about six inches high, which appear to be robots or beings wearing pressure suits, emerge from the craft.
The small figures attack the woman, using small, pistol-like weapons that leave radiation burns on her skin, and, after following her into her cabin, slashing her ankle and hand with her own kitchen knife. The suspense builds as the woman searches for the invaders. She eventually destroys one, wrapping it in a blanket and beating it until it is still, then throwing it into the burning fireplace. She follows the other to the saucer-ship on her roof, which she proceeds to attack with a hatchet.
All this has taken place with no words being spoken, but now a voice (director Douglas Heyes) is heard speaking in English from within the craft. The intruder frantically warns that his partner, "Gresham", is dead; and that the planet is inhabited by a "race of giants" and impossible to defeat. The camera pans to the markings on the side of the ship, which reads U.S. Air Force Space Probe No. 1. The "tiny" invaders were human astronauts from Earth; the woman in the small farmhouse belongs to a race of giant humanoids native to another planet. She finishes destroying the ship and then climbs back down from the roof into the house, exhausted.
These are the invaders, the tiny beings from the tiny place called Earth, who would take the giant step across the sky to the question marks that sparkle and beckon from the vastness of the universe only to be imagined. The invaders...who found out that a one-way ticket to the stars beyond has the ultimate price tag...and we have just seen it entered in a ledger that covers all the transactions in the universe...a bill stamped "Paid in Full" and to be found unfiled in the Twilight Zone.
- VanDerWerff, Emily (April 15, 2010). "TV Club: Gateways to Geekery: The Twilight Zone". AV Club.
- VanDerWerff, Emily (March 31, 2012). "TV Club: The Twilight Zone: "The Invaders"/"A Penny For Your Thoughts"". AV Club.
- "The Invaders". The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas.
- DeVoe, Bill (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0.
- Grams, Martin (2008). The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0.
- Zicree, Marc Scott (1982). The Twilight Zone Companion (Second ed.). Sillman-James Press.