The Uninvited : review


ITV, 4 one-hour episodes

SF elements

aliens secretly taking over the world


[Supt. Gates]
Leslie Grantham as the 'renewed' Supt. Gates
Steve Blake is a photo journalist who sees a man die in a car crash, only to turn up unharmed the next day. Melissa Gates is one of the few inhabitants of Sweethope who were not 'renewed' when their village fell into the sea five years ago. [Melissa (Sylvestra Le Touzel), Steve (Douglas Hodge)] These two gradually realise something terrible is happening, as strange white-eyed people have synchronised nosebleeds around the world, but of course no-one will believe them.

The Uninvited is a rather standard alien takeover conspiracy plot (as various characters got 'renewed' I kept waiting for two drifting circles accompanied by "This is the voice of the Mysterons..."), but it's not done too badly. The tension is kept up throughout, with good end-of-episode cliffhangers, as the pair get closer to the underlying conspiracy. Naturally, they're not quite paranoid enough in the face of the evidence they something is out to get them, and it takes a while for them to figure out what's going on, but that is par for the course in this sort of story of 'ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances'.

The SFnal McGuffin for why the aliens are doing what they are doing is kept in the background until near the end -- which is just as well, as it turns out to be the usual implausible TV techno-babble. But the tension keeps up well, with enough twists and turns, and I like the major plot element which has the powerful software company 'Zantech', who sell the operating system that the whole world is using, as a key part of the alien takeover plan, with their product deliberately crashing at critical moments...

Rating: 3.5

[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | unwatchable | unfinishable ]

reviewed 25 October 1997