August 1st, 2007

The Librarian

Old viewing revisited

We've all got those vaguely-remembered movies and tv shows and miniseries ... seen once hastily and we really liked 'em at the time and remember them as good, but when something was only once-viewed amidst a bunch of other stuff, memory can be questionable. I know that I've re-viewed a few things after a several years' gap and seriously wondered whether I'd been suffering concussion or a fever or a pod-people exchange or something in that vein (although a severe 'bout of taste-failure syndrome is the #1 suspect) the first time 'round :p

But tonight saw the first episode of the miniseries Invasion: Earth for the first time since its original broadcast nearly a decade ago and was happy to discover that memory was spot-on ... 'tis the gripping stuff I remember. And, scanning over IMDB user comments, the same mixed reviews I remember from back then ... most of the people disliking it wanted all the loose ends tidied up at the end (likely descended from the people who sent nasty complaint letters to Patrick McGoohan about the finale of The Prisoner ***GRIN***), while the folk who rate it high are appreciative of the makers' decision to let the viewers' use their own imaginations rather than resort to predictable pablum and spoonfeeding ... pessimism or optimism up to the taste of the individual viewer (I'm in the latter group ... IMO the ending was powerful because it was a stepping stone to speculating on what might happen next, and a sequel would have wrecked the whole thing).

Plot in a nutshell: During WW2, among the bombs raining down on London, an alien craft crashes ... in the darkness and chaos, a member of a bomb disposal squad shoots and kills one of the alien crew, while another is taken prisoner. In the present, at the same time that satellite monitoring scientists intercept an alien signal, an RAF fighter shoots down an unidentified craft, which is later discovered to be of alien origin. But when the escaped pilot is tracked down, he's 100% human and identical in appearance and age to the British officer who saved an alien's life fifty years ago ...

Highly recommended, especially for those who enjoy an ending that leaves lots to imagine and theorize about.

P.S. Hmmm ... since memory has served well (so far) with this one, then I wonder if I'll get a second shot at Cold Lazarus some day ...

P.P.S. For the intrigued, I've checked and it IS in the Netflix inventory.