Steve Blake -
Philip Gates -
Melissa Gates -
Joanna Ball -
Sylvestra Le Touzel
Written by -
Directed by -
OTHER ALIEN INVASIONS
When aliens come to take over the Earth they won't do it with fleets of battlecruisers but rather by subtly taking over the bodies of ordinary humans and moving them into positions of power that will allow them to poison the atmosphere, turning it more to their liking.
This is the global plot that is uncovered by unstable photojournalist Steve Blake with the help of Melissa Gates, the ex-wife of a top cop she claims has been 'replaced' in this four part ITV alien invasion mystery thriller.
Unfortunately, the mystery isn't very mysterious and the thriller isn't very thrilling. The major selling point of the show was the casting of Lesley Grantham in his post-soap opera villain stint on EASTENDERS. Grantham, though, proves to be too obvious a villain and the show's lead Douglas Hodge is also less than convincing. The female leads prove to be much better value with good turns from Lia Williams and Sylvestra Le Touzel. The romance between the male and female leads also fails to spark.
The plot takes in current concerns such as nuclear power, pollution, global warming and treaties over the exploitation of Antarctica. The budget, though, is too restricted to really do justice to the show's ambitions. Apart from an impressive underwater examination of a sunken village, there are no 'big' moments. A car/train collision on a level crossing shies away at the last second from the expensive destruction.
THE UNINVITED has ideas to play with and some very nice dialogue exchanges, but is let down by its leading players.Top
A freelance photo journalist sees a high-ranking government official go off the road and burn to death in his car. He is somewhat surprised, therefore, when the politician turns up alive and well. Researching into the man's life, and that of the high-ranking police officers trying to block his investigation, he learns of a whole village that sank beneath the waves one night with no loss of life.
THE UNINVITED starts off promisingly enough, but starts to run off the rails as the story of the seaside village that fell into the sea comes to the fore. The fact that nobody went diving there before or that the survivors didn't take care of the evidence before seems unlikely in the extreme.
The characters are, at least, more rounded and interesting than they might have been. Leslie Grantham's corrupt policeman is so obviously evil that he unbalances the script away from the more realistic mystery thriller that it wants to be. Douglas Hodges in the lead makes his character edgy, uncertain and a less obvious hero than he might have been. Sylvestra Le Touzel as the editor who helps out because she is his ex-wife is tremendous fun whilst Lia Williams as Grantham's spooked out wife is the most convincing of all.
THE UNINVITED wants to be an edgy, gritty thriller, but it's too obvious and a bit too silly to fit the bill.Top
Recovering from the truth about who survived the disaster at Sweethope, Steve gets some information about electronics giant Zentex run by one of the village survivors and goes undercover to look for information, uncovering the mole that Zentex have been searching for in the process.
This second episode goes flying off at a tangent, bringing in a supersoftware company with the most ridiculously lax security Considering that there seems to be a nationwide conspiracy at the heart of the plot you would expect better guards.
The characters that inhabit the Zentex organisation are as unbelievable as the set up itself undermining the believability of the whole thing. The final twist fails as a result.
The subplot about a confused old lady providing information about the alien conspiracy is much more effective. The reveal of the aliens' hive nature and white eyes is pretty impressive.Top
One of the Sweethope survivors dies in the back of an ambulance in mysterious circumstances, the rest suffering bleeding as a result. The pathologist finds that her post mortem results are impossible and might lead to a weapon in the fight. Steve plans to go on TV with a whistleblower whilst Melissa plans to kill her husband. The aliens fight back in shocking fashion.
Another sudden turn takes the plot off another tangent involving Antarctic nuclear testing and a scientist who might be able to blow the lid off the whole conspiracy. This takes its time in getting where it needs to go.
More time is given to the burgeoning relationship between Steve and Melissa, but the real progress in the story comes from the pathologist and post mortem that leads to Melissa's attack on her husband. The initial post mortem is a bit graphic, but the potential manner of fighting back is interesting.Top
Steve is prime suspect in a string of nuclear terrorist attacks. Melissa Learns that the aliens' real weakness is oxygen and that they plan to alter Earth's atmosphere to their own. Gates goes after them both. Joanna comes up with a top man who believes their story, but can she, or he, be trusted?
The final episode is a chase from start to finish. Steve is bugged and Gates' cops are always one step behind. When he and Melissa finally find refuge on the military base it is obvious that this is where the final showdown will take place.
It is fortunate that the aliens have an underground bunker to chase Steve and Melissa through and fortunate that they all choose to chase the pair into a dead end that fortunately has a supply of the one thing that can kill them all.
The speech that Gates gives about evolution and man's primitive nature is nice, but ruined by the echoes of the other aliens which aren't creepy, but silly. The exchange between Gates and the rebellious pathologist is great fun though.
The love story between Steve and Melissa also fails through unconvincing work by Douglas Hodges that even Lia Williams' fine work can't rescue.Top
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