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TV Review

'Invasion America' Boldly Goes Nowhere

June 08, 1998|HOWARD ROSENBERG | TIMES TELEVISION CRITIC

There's nothing like interplanetary war to liven television.

Too bad this one breaks out in Steven Spielberg's "Invasion America," which the WB network is selling as prime time's first animated dramatic science-fiction series. To say nothing of it being visually arresting but also formulaic and, worst of all, by far prime time's most tenaciously violent series. Its 9 p.m. slot (8 p.m. in the Central time zone) is likely to lure multitudes of kiddies for whom anything even remotely cartoonish is a powerful draw.

It's hard to imagine many adults buying something this trite and sappy: A half-human, half-alien 17-year-old named David Carter (voiced by Mikey Kelley) faces the daunting task of preventing the enslavement of Earth by evil Tyrusians under the leadership of his power-mad great-uncle, the Dragit (voice of Tony Jay).

*

As relayed in flashback, David was conceived by his human mother (voiced by Kath Soucie) and good-hearted Tyrusian father, Cale Oosha (voiced by Lorenzo Lamas), who cut short his secret visit to Earth to zoom back home to lead a rebellion of good Tyrusians against the Dragit. Staying behind to mentor and protect little David was Cale Oosha's friend, Rafe (the voice of Edward Albert).

Led by the nasty Konrad (voiced by Leonard Nimoy), meanwhile, thousands of bad Tyrusians have infiltrated Earth in preparation for the big takeover, and David, who wears a magic glove for combat, must stop them!

Opening with episodes on two consecutive nights, "Invasion America" parallels a trend in theatrical movies toward de-emphasizing writing and submerging thin plots in splashy special effects, something this series achieves through animation. The assault on Earth begins Tuesday, the assault on your intelligence tonight.

* "Invasion America" airs tonight and Tuesday at 9 p.m., followed by episodes on three consecutive Tuesdays at 9 p.m. and the 90-minute conclusion at 7 p.m. July 5 on WB (Channel 5).

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