The Invisibles

The Outer Limits (1963)

The Invisibles, directed by Gerd Oswald.

The "Invisibles" are alien parasites covertly infiltrating positions of power. Where did they come from?


We were conceived in the nothingness of space... Sired by a satyr of cosmic energy... Formed by the coming together of sick, nameless nuclei that waited a billion billion years for that precise, ungodly moment. We fell to earth, and the velocity of that fall quickened the seed of intellect... at the same time that it stunted the evolution of our primitive form.

They are truly horrific hairy, twitching crab-like things that make awful roaring and howling sounds, a tribute to the consistently eerie sound design of the series. They attach to the bare back of the victim, who sometimes achieves an ecstasy of self-loathing:


Monster! Monster! We are horrid. We are horrid. We are horrid. Monster!

Failed infestations produce a humped-back effect, a clear influence from Robert Heinlein's The Puppet Masters, which has a very similar plot.

This is an odd combination of genres. We have the nightmarish SF horror element, with secret agent police operations familiar to 1960s TV, the strange marriage dynamics of the General and his wife, and reflections on friendship and betrayal that all double agents have to deal with. The Invisibles compound has the stark, minimalist look of a prison or death camp. The whole is disorienting, a good thing in a paranoia story.

It would have benefited from feature film expansion. The covert operations and deception plots seem compressed.

Familiar faces:

Conrad Hall again uses his detail-destroying lens filtering in some scenes, but not in others which are crystal clear. Frankly, I find this visually confusing.

The Blu-ray commentary track is another by Tim Lucas. He confirms the Heinlein Puppet Masters connection and says the book was influential in others 1950s alien infiltration films like Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956).

He makes much of the homo-erotic nature of the secret society, with implications of rape by the alien attachments.