There is a skill, and an element of risk, involved in pacing a film or series in semi-real time. With Invasion, this pacing is combined with the audience only ever knowing what the characters do, learning about the unfolding events through their experience or from sporadic news bulletins. As the drama begins to build so does your level of intrigue and fear in line with the characters. In the right hands, as it is here, this can be intensely effective.
Within this episode we are introduced to two further characters: Trevante, a US Delta soldier in Kandahar, Afghanistan played by Shamier Anderson and Casper, an English schoolboy with medical issues played by Billy Barratt. As Sam Neill’s sheriff was at the heart of episode one, convincing both the audience and his town that there was more going on than might first appear, so Trevante and Casper are central for episode two. And it is Trevante’s story that really takes an alarming turn.
Director Jakob Verbruggen maintains the delicate pacing from the opening episode while beginning to add moments of high drama. The destruction of a suburban street and a serious vehicle accident play out alongside the inward personal drama the characters are experiencing, especially the Mailk family with Aneesha uncovering her husband’s betrayal. Verbruggen builds creeping dread – there’s a sense something awful is coming but neither you nor the characters are sure what – and darkens the colour palette as if the light is slowly being drained from the world.
As the tension builds, the final scenes crash through with terrifying threat.
Invasion is available on AppleTV+