Review: Apple TV Plus's 'Invasion'

Apple Tv Plus delves into the sci-fi  genre with its new series, Invasion.

The 10-episode series follows the events of an alien invasion from the eyes of several characters in different parts of the world. The series takes its time establishing the often complex storylines surrounding the human characters while the actual alien invasion mainly serves as a backdrop to bind the stories together. 

There's a New York-based Syrian immigrant mother (Golshifteh Farahani) who is dealing with family issues after sacrificing her medical career for her children and husband (Firas Nassar); an Oklahoma sheriff (Sam Neill) on the verge of retirement who seeks answers to a series of mysterious local events; a homesick American soldier stationed in the Middle East (Shamier Anderson) who tries to make sense of the alien presence around him;  a bullied British boy with epilepsy (Billy Barratt) who seeks to win the affections of a schoolmate while protecting himself under insinuating circumstances; and a brilliant Japanese aerospace technician (Shioli Kutsuna) who juxtaposes effectively doing her job with hiding a love affair with an astronaut leaving on a long space mission as the aliens move toward earth.

Viewers looking for the fast-paced action of other popular, alien invasion-themed movies like Aliens and Independence Day, or the fun and unique sci-fi thrills from TV shows like Stranger Things may be somewhat disappointed in the very slow-moving and often confusing events chronicled in Invasion. While each of the character’s storylines is wrapped around the alien incursion, it takes the series far too long to link those experiences to the eventual outcome of the extraterrestrial appearance on earth.

While Apple TV Plus describes Invasion as a character-driven series -- and it does deliver strong performances from its ensemble cast -- the Simon Kinberg and David Weil-produced series may not provide enough early action to keep viewers interested and tuned in for the series' ultimate climax.

Apple TV Plus will debut the first three episodes of Invasion on Oct. 22, with subsequent episodes premiering weekly. 

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.