• title card: white all caps text reading ‘INVASION OF THE EARTHMEN’ superimposed on three students in orange rollnecks looking just to the right of the camera, smiling maliciously
  • The inflated astronaut sails through the blue room visible through the window
  • A cryogenically frozen student inside her casket, the label reads Penelope Harwood, age twenty-one, packaged 8–8-67
  • Huxton aims his rudimentary bow and arrow at Tara
  • Tara is surrounded and captured by the students
  • Emily leads some of the students as they search the Tunnel
  • Close-up of Steed teaching Tara a judo technique in his flat

Series 6 — Episode 15
Invasion of the Earthmen

Teleplay by Terry Nation
Directed by Don Sharp

Production No E.66.6.26
Production completed: January 23 1968. First transmission: January 15 1969. First transmission (USA): March 27 1968

Regional broadcasts

Thames Television15/01/19698:00pm
ATV Midlands17/01/19697:30pm
Granada Television27/04/19698:25pm
Anglia Television4/06/19698:00pm
Border Television22/01/19698:00pm
Channel Television17/01/19697:30pm
Grampian Television17/01/19697:30pm
Southern Television19/03/19698:00pm
Scottish Television17/04/19698:00pm
Tyne Tees Television15/01/19698:00pm
Ulster Television17/01/19697:30pm
Westward Television17/01/19697:30pm
Harlech Television17/01/19697:30pm
Yorkshire Television17/01/19697:30pm

TV Times listing

TV Times listing for a 1980s repeat on Channel Four
Sydney Morning Herald listing for December 6 1968, 8pm
The Age listing for November 26 1968, 8.30pm

The Avengers

Patrick Macnee
Linda Thorson
Invasion of the Earthmen

By Terry Nation

Steed and Tara enter a world of spacemen and astronomical evil.

Previously shown on ITV

John Steed Patrick Macnee
Tara King Linda Thorson
Brett William Lucas
Huxton Christian Roberts
Emily Lucy Fleming
Bassin Christopher Chittell
Trump Warren Clarke
Sarah Wendy Allnutt
Grant George Roubicek

Executive in Charge of Production Gordon L. T. Scott Designer Robert Jones Director Don Sharp Producers Albert Fennell, Brian Clemens

ABC Television Network Production

International broadcasts

ABN2 Sydney, Australia6/12/19688:00pm
ABV2 Melbourne, Australia26/11/19688:30pm
ABC New York, USA27/03/19687:30pm
ORTF2 France26/10/19738:35pm
Suisse Romande, Switzerland29/04/19698:20pm
French titleL'invasion des Terriens
ZDF Germany
German titleInvasion der Erdenmenschen
KRO Netherlands21/05/19718:21pm
Dutch titleDe Alpha academie
TTI Italy???
Italian titleMimetizzazione
Spanish titleInvasión de los terricolas

This episodes was not broadcast in Germany until 1999 and may not have ever been broadcast in Italy.

USA: Chicago Tribune listing for March 27 1968, 6.30pm
USA: New York Times listing for March 27 1968, 7.30pm
Switzerland: L’Impartial listing for April 29 1969, 8.20pm
Spain: ABC Madrid listing for April 6 1970, 11.10pm
Netherlands: Limburgsch Dagblad listing for May 21 1971, 8.21pm
Netherlands: Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant listing for May 21 1971, 8.21pm
France: ’Impartial listing for October 26 1973, 8.35pm

Continuity & Trivia

  1. 2:07 — That’s a laughably fake python.
  2. 3:30–4:00 — Steed is instructing Tara here, but the episode was shown (depending on your region) quite late in the run.
  3. 4:10 — Tara dons a blonde wig as a disguise — to make the reused location footage and other inserts from the early shooting useable.
  4. 4:25 — Notice it’s Steed driving the AC 428 — John Bryce had originally intended to do away with the vintage cars and have Steed drive the sportscar.
  5. 5:20 — A clear sign it was an early episode: Tara apologises for not having found the Alpha Academy brochure in a concealed compartment of Grant’s suitcase and Steed blithely says, “No reason you should know; Regulations.”
  6. 16:54 — Some more reused footage, Linda is almost unrecognisable when going through the wire.
  7. 24:26 — It looks like the same cavern staircase set as Quilbey’s laboratory The See-Through Man.
  8. 31:05 — The fervent optimism of the Sixties : “But it may be fifty years before space travel’s made that easy.” That would put it in 2018.
  9. 37:42 — The skinny dark haired boy is at top of stairs in long shot but when we cut to the mid shot of Tara attacking, he’s become a bulky fair stuntman, who falls down the stairs (upon which the dark boy replaces him).
  10. The Tunnel is an interesting concept, but it’s fairly poorly executed.

    Tara encounters:

    • 38:12 — spider webs and a lion roar sound effect
    • 38:41 — rats (amusing accompanied by the music from The Fear Merchants)
    • 39:55 — trapped in a metal tube
    • 40:27 — obviously fake spiders which are dropped and pushed into the tube

    Steed encounters:

    • 41:30 — a steel bear trap
    • 42:00 — a pool of acid
  11. 41:00 — When Tara lifts the metal plate in the tube, you can see the straight edge near the camera, revealing it to have not sealed the tube at all.
  12. Running time: 49′19″.
  13. This episode has a video Q&A and commentary with Christian Roberts, Chris Chittell and Philip Hawkins, and an introduction by Linda Thorson, on the Lives in the Pictures YouTube channel.

Cast notes

  1. Stuntman Paul Weston recently revealed that his fellow stunt performer Cliff Diggins was the man in the space suit.
  2. Warren Clarke, playing Trump here, is better known to modern audiences as Inspector Dalziell in the long-running series Dalziell and Pascoe; he’s also done Down to Earth.
  3. This is a left over John Bryce produced episode, resurrected and re-edited by Clemens, which is why Tara dons the blonde wig disguise at the beginning of the episode — back in early 1967 she had been filmed with bleached hair and this transparent device was the easiest way to overcome this hurdle.
  4. It’s odd to get this episode so late in the season, as so much of the script has Tara being a starry eyed newcomer, startled at Steed’s blasé attitude to death. Clemens should have taken a broader knife to the script when he resurrected this John Bryce episode, or scheduled it earlier in the season — at 5:30

The Transport

AC 428 Frua Drophead Convertible Coupé 1965 Prototype (CF1)maroonLPH 800D
Land Rover SWB soft topnavy695 EAC

Who’s Killing Whom?

Grant Boa constrictor squeezed and eaten
Click a name to see the face

The Fashions

Tara Steed

fan forum Donate Become a Patron!