‘Invasion’ (Season 1)

Five disparate people, five disparate narratives across the globe as unexplained events become the precursor to an extraterrestrial invasion.

Exploring the coping mechanisms of the ‘everyman’ in the face of adversity, from Tokyo to Afghanistan, London to middle-America, Invasion is a predictable, initially involving eight-episode series that becomes increasingly run-of-the-mill.

Retiring small town sheriff Jim Bell Tyson (Sam Neill) is baffled by a scorched ‘crop circle’ and the disappearance of two brothers: Aneesha Malik (Golshifteh Farahani) discovers her husband is having an affair the same night their home (and the rest of the wealthy suburban street) is attacked by missiles. The recently launched Japanese manned space probe is seemingly destroyed, killing its crew of three. But JASA digital communications expert Mitsuki (Shioli Kutsuna), lover of the lead astronaut, Hinata (Rinko Kikuchi), refuses to believe it. A bullied schoolboy, Casper Morrow (Billy Barratt) in London has strange visions whilst, separated from his unit, Lt Trevant Cole (Shamier Anderson) demands his way out of Afghanistan and home to the US.

Technically extremely well-made but over the course of its eight, issue-explored episodes, there’s little sustained engagement. A particular narrative may pique interest (personally, the stranded schoolkids in the English countryside and the Japan-based unfold) but even then, it’s a slow amble. Sexuality, racism, bullying are all explored (the inverse racism shown towards local Afghanis by African-Americans is hard to watch at times) but seemingly more lip-service as the alien invasion gathers force, building towards the inevitable ‘to be continued’ of a second series.

Rating: 50%

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