Invasion: Earth

(United Kingdom | BBC | 1998)

Series Background

Invasion: Earth was a large budget co-production between BBC Scotland and the Sci-Fi Channel in the United States, which followed the usual pattern of a spaceship crashlanding, and heavy-handed military involvement following on close behind.

With the US involvement behind the scenes, American actor Fred Ward was cast as the NATO officer Major General Reece, with British actors Maggie O'Neill and Vincent Regan taking the parts of Amanda Tucker, the scientist who picks up transmissions from Charles Terrell's spaceship, and Chris Drake, the RAF Tornado pilot who is responsible for shooting down Terrell in the first place.

The series was created by Jed Mercurio who had previously written the BBC medical drama Cardiac Arrest under the name John MacUre. He went on to write the 1970s-set sitcom The Grimleys for ITV and later turned his medical novel Bodies into an award-winning series for BBC Three starring Max Beesley. His most recent work has been Line of Duty, a police corruption drama for BBC Two.
Further Reading

The Invasion: Earth Companion
by Peter Haining
  • Headline Book Publishing
  • Paperback
  • 1998
DVD Releases

Invasion: Earth has so far only been released on DVD in the United States. Sadly, the release used slightly edited versions of the episodes which were prepared for international sales. No subtitles.
Invasion: Earth — The Last Echo

Peter Cave
Cover image: Invasion: Earth — The Last Echo, Headline (1998)
Country UK
Format Paperback
Publisher Headline
Publication Date May 1998
Original Price 5.99
ISBN 074726001X

The Last Echo is a novelisation of the first four episodes of Invasion: Earth. The final two episodes were never novelised.

Back Cover Blurb
When a mysterious craft crashes in war-torn London, an Army bomb-disposal officer, Charles Terrell, is called to the scene. Is the craft really a Nazi secret weapon and who — or what — is flying it?

To Terrell it is obvious that neither the craft nor its pilot are of this earth and he is determined to find out more. When the wounded alien is detained in a sanatorium, Terrell gets the chance to communicate with it. A bond grows between them that takes him to a distant world where he learns the secrets of the ECHOs. When Terrell returns to earth — some 50 years later — he hopes against hope that what he has learned can save humanity from an alien power of limitless strength which threatens to destroy it.
Other Editions
Cover image: Invasion: Earth — The Last Echo, TV Books, (1999) Invasion: Earth — The Last Echo
United States | Paperback | TV Books | 1999 | 1575000326
In the Press
  • DreamWatch #47
    Review: 2/10
Television Story
Invasion: Earth
6 × 50 Minutes | BBC One | Colour

08/05/98 Chapter One: The Last War Jed Mercurio
15/05/98 Chapter Two: The Fourth Dimension Jed Mercurio
22/05/98 Chapter Three: Only the Dead Jed Mercurio
29/05/98 Chapter Four: The Fall of Man Jed Mercurio
05/06/98 Chapter Five: The Battle More Costly Jed Mercurio
12/06/98 Chapter Six: The Shatterer of Worlds Jed Mercurio
Unused Cover to Invasion: Earth - The Last Echo
  • The Last Echo was originally going to be titled Terrell's Story — see image right.
  • In the 1970s Peter Cave wrote House of Cards, The Cybernauts and Hostage, three of the six novelisations based on The New Avengers. The 1990s saw him novelising five stories from ITV's highly popular crime drama Taggart.
  • As with many novelisations, there are a number of differences from the programme that was seen on television. In this case it is almost certainly due to the publication date being concurrent with transmission of the series on BBC1 — the book is probably based on an earlier draft of the scripts.

    Amongst the most noticeable differences in the book is the almost complete absence of Nick Shay from the story, who only appears in the opening section when the alien transmissions are detected. His role in decoding the signals and developing the nD detector is split between Amanda and Terrell. The latter is persuaded to co-operate with plans to combat the nDs to a far greater extent in the boko than on TV.

    On television, after Amanda is abducted by the nDs, Drake travels to see her family and to speak with Nick. He returns to the base with Amanda's daughter, Emily, after she is returned. The novelisation omits this entirely, with Emily only being present in the early scenes when the alien transmissions are first picked up. Amanda's discussion in the pub with Drake is also curtailed with no mention being made of Emily or her father.

    Friday's escape from his home after being returned by the nDs is only mentioned due to the fact he shot his guards. The pursuit of Friday across country is also absent. He finally kills himself by wading into the reservoir. On television it was a slightly more spectacular fall.

    Drake saves the Echo from drowning by jumping from a helicopter. On television he wades into the water.

    Finally, and most bizarrely, The Last Echo only goes up to the point in The Fall of Man where Terrell is abducted by the nDs. The final two episodes, The Battle More Costly and The Shatterer of Worlds, were never novelised at all, making The Last Echo one of the most pointless books ever to be published...