This very beautiful SF series from Apple TV+, sometimes discouragingly slow, is nonetheless a superb approach to the genre, with overflowing humanity.
While season 2 will be launched from next Wednesday August 23 on Apple TV+, the Canal + channel is offering its subscribers to discover this evening, in prime time, the first season ofInvasiona moving science fiction drama, which approaches the alien invasion from a 100% human angle.
Don’t expect the White House to explode! Invasion, it’s not that kind of SF. The Apple series is more psychological warfare than Star Wars. Little or no big show. But an overwhelming, moving end-of-the-world atmosphere, bathed in sumptuous photography.
In this story imagined by David Weil (Hunters) and Simon Kinberg (screenwriter of the latest films X-Men), the Aliens arrive. But gently. Discreetly. After a Japanese space mission explodes mid-flight, several disasters occur all over the Earth: air crashes, blackouts, explosions in major cities… Who is behind all this? The world believes in a massive terrorist attack. But the threat obviously comes from elsewhere…
Officially, we are in a science fiction series. But in reality, we are more in a human drama. Invasion depicts the hostile arrival of aliens focusing on how ordinary people react in the face of chaos. Closer to babel (2006) que d‘Independence Day (1996), closer to First contact (2016) than War of the Worlds (2005), Invasion focuses above all on telling personal stories, of mourning, of couples who are torn apart, of a sheriff in search of meaning before retirement, or of college students feeling bad about themselves and left to fend for themselves… The series takes us in turn to the United States, England, Japan or Afghanistan, endeavoring to show how humanity in the broad sense can behave in the face of a wave of inexplicable events.
Only problem: we never see, or almost, the extraordinary events in question! They are suggested, a lot. Teased, often. But this Invasion is done so furtively that no image of spaceships, Aliens or even UFOs appears, after several hours, if only on a television screen in the background! Suffice to say a little frustrating for a genre series. Invasion risks having the effect of false advertising to a lot of SF fans, generating a certain weariness, over the lengths that mesh the story.
But too bad. Invasion fully assumes its bias. The idea is not to blow up everything, nor to stage laser gun shoot-outs. It’s a series that is all about its characters. And they are excellent. Each of them conceals a poignant humanity, which keeps us spellbound, in this context of apocalypse which is struggling to say its name. From the French-Iranian magnetic Golshifteh Farahani to the cowboy Sam Neill, the cast is magnificent and wrapped in a breathtaking “value production”. The image is splendid. As much as the captivating music of Max Richter which rocks each plan. It was he who had already signed the haunting melody of The Leftoversanother science fiction series, more human than fantastic…