Origins[ edit ] Martian war machines destroying an English town in H. Wells published The War of the Worlds , depicting the invasion of Victorian England by Martians equipped with advanced weaponry. It is now seen as the seminal alien invasion story and Wells is credited with establishing several extraterrestrial themes which were later greatly expanded by science fiction writers in the 20th Century, including first contact and war between planets and their differing species.
There were, however, stories of aliens and alien invasion prior to publication of The War of the Worlds. Initially, they believe the planet is uninhabited, due to the difference in scale between them and human beings. When they discover the haughty Earth-centric views of Earth philosophers, they are very much amused by how important Earth beings think they are compared to actual titans such as themselves.
It describes a covert invasion by aliens who take on the appearance of human beings and attempt to develop a virulent disease to assist in their plans for global conquest. It was not widely read, and consequently Wells' vastly more successful novel is generally credited as the seminal alien invasion story. When the Narrator meets the artilleryman the second time, the artilleryman imagines a future where humanity, hiding underground in sewers and tunnels, conducts a guerrilla war , fighting against the Martians for generations to come, and eventually, after learning how to duplicate Martian weapon technology, destroys the invaders and takes back the Earth.
Edison's Conquest of Mars was written by Garrett P. Serviss , a now little-remembered writer, who described the famous inventor Thomas Edison leading a counterattack against the invaders on their home soil.
Usually, the bulk of the story follows the battles between the invaders and Earth's armies, as in The War of the Worlds. However, not all alien invasion stories follow this plot. In some accounts, the alien invaders will covertly subvert human society using disguises, shapechanging, creating conflict in humanity and let humans destroy themselves, or human allies.
In other depictions, the aliens score an overwhelming victory over humanity and the bulk of the story occurs after the aliens have taken over. In some fiction, the invaders may not actually be aliens, but demonic creatures from hell, creatures from another dimension, or beings from the center of the Earth or even from Earth's far future. Alien infiltration[ edit ] This is a familiar variation on the alien invasion theme.
In the infiltration scenario, the invaders will typically take human form and can move freely throughout human society, even to the point of taking control of command positions. The purpose of this may either be to take over the entire world through infiltration Invasion of the Body Snatchers , or as advanced scouts meant to "soften up" Earth in preparation for a full-scale invasion by the aliens' conventional military First Wave. This type of invasion usually emphasizes common fears during the Cold War ,  with the Communist agents suspected everywhere , but has also become common during any time of social change and unrest.
In Doctor Who the Zygons attempt an invasion using their shapeshifting abilities. Later in the show and in a spin-off, The Sarah Jane Adventures , the Slitheen - a criminal family from the planet Raxicoricofallapatorius - disguise themselves in human skin suits to infiltrate human society. Aliens could also control people to do their will through electronic devices implanted in human bodies such as in 's Invaders from Mars.
Another example of alien infiltration is in the video game Destroy All Humans! In some cases, the aliens already look much like humans - in the Star Trek franchise, in the years before their participation in first contact in , no fewer than six Vulcans spent significant amounts of time on Earth though none were "invaders" - three were shipwreck survivors, the other half time travelers, in the company of at least one human, from a future where their respective worlds were political allies , and were able to pass themselves as human simply by using hair or hats to conceal their pointed ears; likewise the Bajoran Kira Nerys needed only to put a Band-Aid on her ridged nose, while at the same time the Trill Jadzia Dax was able to pass off her natural spots as tattoos.
This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. December Learn how and when to remove this template message This is a theme that can occur in many invasion stories. Many occupation stories are influenced by the real human invasions by totalitarian governments, in which the alien invaders support existing human government infrastructures that welcome their new alien overlords or purge opposition governments and rebuild them in their own image and the enforcement of their rule through the use of collaborators and secret police.
Ghosts in Extinction mode , and the Resistance series. In the Game Boy series of the Nintendo Comic Systems , the alien responsible for the conquest of Sarasland from the Super Mario Land series, Tatanga , wishes to conquer Earth with an iron fist and was able to conquer places anytime when he is released from the Game Boy , with successful occupations on places such as the World Trade Center , the Wonder World Mall , and the Great Wall of China.
In the fictional history of the BBC science fiction programme Doctor Who , the genocidal Dalek race is heavily involved in invasion stories in the show, starting with " The Dalek Invasion of Earth " though this story is set years after the invasion has actually happened. Most recently this happened in the universal Armageddon story "Journey's End". That story especially includes Daleks conquering the earth after moving it through space and then occupying it along with other stolen worlds to initiate their stratagem for universal destruction.
Ron Hubbard 's novel Battlefield Earth depicts a merciless alien race - the Psychlos - conquering and controlling Earth for 1, years to strip the planet of its minerals, mainly gold. The science fiction film, Battle: Los Angeles , depicts aliens invading Earth supposedly for water.
In an episode of the action cartoon, Ben Alien Force , one of the main villains, Vulcanus, buys a form allowing him to terraform Earth so he can drop a bomb into the center of the planet and have "all the comforts of home".
Kevin, one of Ben Tennyson 's friends, then says that Vulcanus' home planet is degrees on a cool day. December Learn how and when to remove this template message Alien raids are short-term alien invasions by creatures incapable of supporting a large-scale invasion due to small numbers who instead use the shock of their arrival to inspire terror. Other stories following this line of reasoning would have the alien invaders conducting reconnaissance and probing raids on the Earth's population and especially their military forces.
Also, the invaders will try to choose isolated spots, such as the desert or farmlands of rural zones in the United States , as a staging area or landing zone. This type of plot line provides a better possibility of small groups, like local police and military, or even ordinary civilians, having the ability to repulse the invaders and return to normal life after the event.
The film Signs is probably the most famous example of an alien raid movie. Alien indifference[ edit ] In the Russian novella Roadside Picnic, aliens are responsible for the existence of six "Zones" on Earth, which are areas exhibiting mysterious and unearthly phenomena, perhaps caused due to "trash" the aliens leave behind.
However, the extraterrestrials never attempt to interact with humanity. They simply arrive and go, never to be seen. Thus, humans are little more than insects to them, unworthy of advancement or study, and left to fawn over the seemingly "magical" technology the aliens had discarded.
Beneficial alien invasion[ edit ] In Henry Slesar 's story The Delegate from Venus, an alien robot cautions Earth that it will be destroyed if its people do not learn to live in peace This theme has also been explored in fiction on the rare occasion. The former theme shares many traits with hostile occupation fiction, but the invaders tend to view the occupied peoples as students or equals rather than subjects and slaves.
In this fiction, the aliens intervene in human affairs to prevent them from destroying themselves, such as Klaatu and Gort in The Day the Earth Stood Still warning the leaders of Earth to abandon their warlike ways and join other space-faring civilizations else that they will destroy themselves or be destroyed by their interstellar union.
Earth ; Arthur C. The reptilian Lizard-men that invade Earth have an imperialist mindset comparable in the narrative to 19th century models of cultural imperialism.
One of the moral dilemmas of the series, however, is that the Lizards are consistently portrayed as morally superior to Nazi Germany of the s, which they are trying to invade along with the other Axis and Allied powers. The Lizards actually liberate Treblinka , and ethnic groups in Eastern Europe being oppressed by the Nazis hail them as liberators.
They have difficulty conceptually understanding why the Nazis are committing ethnic genocide, and on the whole, consider humanity to be so barbaric and warlike that they would benefit from being united under their culture. Demonic alien invasion[ edit ] This section does not cite any sources. December Learn how and when to remove this template message In which the alien invaders are supernatural or otherwise religious -inspired demonic beings, who infiltrate the Earth , attack mankind, take over human society disguised as humans themselves and declare war upon the saints , fulfilling the events described in the Book of Revelation or another religious prophecy , occasionally invented for the story itself.
Warhammer 40, and The Doom computer game series follows this concept. The novel Childhood's End may be viewed as a form of demonic alien invasion, because of the Overlords' devilish appearances. Historical alien invasion[ edit ] This section does not cite any sources. December Learn how and when to remove this template message A period of the recent or distant past may serve as the scene of an alien invasion of one of the aforementioned types.
In Sideslip by Ted White and Dave van Arnam , a private detective from our New York finds himself in an alternate reality where Earth is under occupation by interstellar humanoids nicknamed "Angels", who had landed in , taking advantage of the confusion following Orson Welles ' War of the Worlds radio program, and had ruled Earth as a colony ever since.
In Starspawn by Kenneth Von Gunden , Earth is infiltrated by small parasitic aliens capable of attaching themselves to a human and controlling him or her - similar to the scenario of Heinlein 's aforementioned The Puppet Masters - except that the invasion takes place in Medieval England, against the background of knights besieging a castle.
In similar settings at Poul Anderson 's The High Crusade , an alien ship lands at a Medieval English village, but the overconfident would-be conquerors find out the hard way that they are not immune to swords and arrows; the humans take over the ship and proceed to carve out an empire among the stars, but lose contact with Earth which goes on with its familiar history.
In Doctor Who, because of the time travel element, historical invasions happen a lot, notably the Cyberman invasion of Victorian London , using a 60m tall cyber-king walker, in the episode The Next Doctor. Historical raids and alien contacts also feature in several stories, such as the Jon Pertwee episode The Time Warrior , in which a lone Sontaran makes a forced landing in medieval England, the Tom Baker episode Pyramids of Mars in which the culture of ancient Egypt is shown to have been the result of the influence of visiting aliens, the Osirians, though this species did not invade Earth and imprisoned a criminal of their race named Sutekh on Earth , the Peter Davison episode The Visitation in which crashed alien criminals are revealed to be indirectly responsible for the Great Fire of London , as well as the Matt Smith episodes where they determine " The Silence " had been controlling human civilization and progress since the beginning.
The Stargate franchise is based on this concept, where an alien race visited Earth and took on the mantle of ancient gods with the intent of capturing different groups of humans and sending them elsewhere to use as slave labor or corporal hosts. Much of the television program Stargate: SG-1 dealt with meeting descendants of such humans who had been transported across the galaxy and whose technological development evolved along different paths, as well as preventing the malicious aliens from attacking Earth.
The movie Star Trek: First Contact deals extensively with this theme, although the frame of reference is in the future; the Borg come to Earth in , approximately two to three hundred years prior to the relevant events in the Star Trek universe.
This concept has also been explored outside of the film and novel forms of entertainment. The storyline of the video game series Resistance , where Earth had been invaded by an alien race that uses microbes to change the DNA of earth's inhabitants and biologically assimilates them into their hive-like society.
From the point of invasion in the s, Earth is spun into an alternate history setting that has yet to reach the date of The Crysis series of games involves an alien race that has survived possibly in suspended animation underground for a very long time, and has only recently emerged to take over Earth in the context of the story.
This is also a theme in the Transformers film franchise, though the motivations of the Cybertronian robots do not necessarily involve conquest. December Learn how and when to remove this template message Occasionally, two or more themes can be used as a combination. For example, the aliens may first infiltrate society secretly, then, after gaining human trust, they will suddenly begin destroying Earth's cities, with the humans taken by complete surprise.
Another example of this is in two episodes of the popular sci-fi show Stargate SG-1 an alien race known as the Aschen befriend humans and share their advanced technology and medicine freely in exchange for stargate addresses. But it soon becomes clear that the Aschen plan to eradicate the human race slowly by making both women and men infertile so the human race dies out over generations. Another type of invasion is seen in various Godzilla films, most notably Destroy All Monsters , and also in the three-part episode "Monster War" of Godzilla: The Series and the film, Godzilla: In these films, alien races take control of earth's monsters and use them to attack and destroy Earth's major cities, but are usually ironically defeated by the monsters themselves.
The online game, Cartoon Network Universe: FusionFall , uses the 'Alien Occupation' and a slightly different example of the 'Alien Infiltration' examples. In the game, Planet Fusion, ruled by the main villain Lord Fuse, has been travelling through space for years, consuming every inhabitable planet it encounters and finally reached its next target, Earth.
Fuse then orders his Fusion Spawns to steal the most precious items of the Cartoon Network characters in order for Fuse to make Fusions Evil versions of the main characters.
The Fusions look almost exactly like their Earth counterparts, thus having the ability to trick the main characters into thinking they're human, not Fusion. Once Earth has been infected with the poisonous Fusion Matter enough, it will be ready to be consumed by Planet Fusion. Wells , which was made into movies in and , as well as numerous radio adaptations and a TV series.
The cult film They Live uses its own alien infiltration back story as a satire on Ronald Reagan 's America and the s as an era of conspicuous consumption , in which the hidden aliens and human members of the elite oppress poverty-stricken humans and a shrinking middle class.
In Doctor Who, alien invasions are sometimes the centerpiece of Earth-set episodes. The beginning of Half-Life 2 reveals an Earth that was invaded and overrun by a hostile alien empire, the Combine , via a portal. The game's protagonist later joined the human resistance effort. The beginning half of the popular video games Halo 2 and Halo 3 deals with the defense of Earth against a genocidal alien empire, the Covenant.
The protagonist of the game along with Earth's military force, the UNSC , and a group of former Covenant who rebelled, the Covenant Separatists, eventually repel the invasion and topple the Covenant.