Today, January 27th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia celebrate the 1961 premiere of "The Invaders."
Four-time Academy Award-nominated actress Agnes Moorehead (The Magnificent Ambersons, Mrs. Parkington, Johnny Belinda, Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte) starred in this unique episode about a rural farm woman who finds herself under attack by a tiny troop of space creatures. Moorehead soon after joined fellow TZ veterans Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York on the Bewitched series, playing Endora, Montgomery's feisty witch mother.
For episode in which Moorehead grunts and groans but says nary a word, Serling brought in director Douglas Heyes, who had previously helmed "Eye of the Beholder." Heyes was a master at bringing style and ingenuity to the small screen and he delivered, creating a masterpiece of tension and oddity and turning Richard Matheson's inspired script into a highlight of the series.
Heyes is one of the reasons The Twilight Zone has such a huge following nearly sixty years later. His nine episodes, which include "And When the Sky Was Opened," "Elegy," "The Chaser," "The After Hours," "Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room," "The Howling Man," and "Dust," stretched the creative boundaries of the show, proving that the small screen could be every bit as stylish and inventive as the movies – even on the tiny budgets provided by CBS.
So let's raise a toast to Agnes Moorehead, Doug Heyes, Richard Matheson and the rest of the team that introduced "The Invaders" to the timeless landscape of The Twilight Zone.