Invasion, a series about an alien invasion is surprisingly lacking in aliens. Three episodes of the latest sci-fi drama, Invasion, debuts on Apple TV Plus. This should give viewers an idea of what to expect. These episodes introduce characters and stories slowly, but don't give much insight into the connections between them. I'm still not sure about the story after three hours.
Invasion's main selling point is its global perspective. It is hoped that you will be able to view the event from many different perspectives. However, the film does not have the American-centric perspective. In the first few episodes you are introduced to an Oklahoma sheriff, a Long Island housewife, a soldier stationed at Afghanistan, a teenager in London and a Tokyo expert working with the International Space Station.
The creators of the show want you to get to know each one. The first three episodes focus almost exclusively on setting up their lives. With the help of Find My iPhone (an obvious bit of product placement on Apple TV Plus), you'll be able to see how a marriage unravels and watch a boy struggle with a bully at school. I was especially drawn to a secretive relationship that two Japanese women had with each other at the Japanese space agency. Unfortunately, it ended in tragedy.
The ratio between sci-fi storytelling and human drama is totally out of control
These stories can be very interesting, even though they are often filled with clichés. The sheriff is only one day away from retiring before the invasion begins. Problem is, the ratio between sci-fi storytelling and human drama is totally out of control. There are very few alien elements in the first three hours. There are the obvious alien elements like fleeing animals and crop circles, but also some disturbing moments such as when entire classes of musicians get a nosebleed. Things eventually crash into the planet, causing havoc, while TV news reports blame terrorists.
Although I like a slow-burn, after three episodes I should be able to see the title invasion clearly. Foundation, another big sci-fi drama, is also slow but it's still pretty. The pacing here feels like it is stopping the invasion dead in its tracks. It is great to meet the characters and get a sense of their lives before the aliens invade. But, I also want to see actual aliens.
It is possible that things will pick up quickly, and the sci fi elements are quite interesting. There are seven more episodes. (New episodes will be released every Friday like all series on Apple. Invasion is a series that demands too much from viewers early on. It expects them to stay with the show without much guarantee of a payoff. Please, show me an alien.