|Continuity||Invasion of the Body Snatchers; Invasion|
|Body type||Gelatinous (natural form); Average adult human after replication|
|Average Height||Microscopic (natural form); Average adult human after replication|
|Average Weight||Unknown (natural form); Average adult human after replication|
|Limbs||None (natural form); 4 after replication|
|Eyes||None (natural form); 2 after replication|
|Fingers||None (natural form); 10 after replication|
|Toes||None (natural form); 10 after replication|
|Special adaptations||Parasitic horticultral hybrid|
|Native language||High-pitched shrieking|
|Representatives||David Kibner; Geoffrey Howell; Elizabeth Driscoll; Jack Bellicec; Katherine Hendley; Matthew Bennell; Nancy Bellicec; Ted Hendley|
|First Appearance||Invasion of the Body Snatchers|
Body Snatchers is an informal name attributed to a race of parasitic alien spores from an unknown planet. The function of these spores is to target and replicate other living organsims, assuming their form, personality and memories, ultimately replacing the originals who subsequently die off once their doppelgänger fully matures.
In their natural form, these spores exist as free-floating microscopic gelatinous organisms that appear to maintain a limited shared consciousness. Born of a dying world, these spores broke the gravitational pull of their planet and drifted upon the solar winds to other worlds in which they were forced to adapt and survive.
Upon landing on another world such as Earth, these spores cross-pollinated with the local plant life producing exotic flowers. The fragrance given off by these flowers attract human victims and once they are within close proximity, the flowers begin growing into large, oblong pods. The growth cycle of the pods is stimulated by the act of sleeping. When the target is asleep, their doppelgänger begins to grow inside the pod. When it hatches, it emerges fully grown, but wrapped inside a membrane of slime and white tendrils. They are only partially formed at this point, bearing only vague similarities to the person they are copying. Within minutes of its birth, this newborn fetus develops fully into an exact duplicate of their selected target. At which point, the original individual dissolves into a pile of a dust and dies. The fully matured body snatcher possesses all the memories of the individual they are copying, but also maintains racial memory of their original species. Body snatchers are human bereft of emotion and this is demonstrated by their actions and behavior. They believe that concepts such as love and hate stand in the way of their natural evolution. However, they are intelligent creatures and can fool humans by pantomiming human emotion. This was demonstrated via a body snatcher known as the "Kibner unit" who replicated an Earth psychiatrist named Doctor David Kibner.
Often referred to as "pod people", these individuals appear to be slightly empathic with one another and can sense when another of their kind is injured or in trouble. They are not telepathic however, and cannot automatically recognize another pod person on sight. Pod people do not appear to have a native language, but do possess a rudimentary form of communication which is demonstrated by emitting a high-pitched shriek. This is commonly used as a warning system to alert other pod people to the presence of danger.
Pod people appear to have an affinity towards music. Spa owner Nancy Bellicec noted that plants thrive in the presence of music and as the body snatchers are grown from plants, they too seem to maintain increased vitality through music. Examples of this include, Dentist Geoffrey Howell, who persistently sat in his home wearing stereo headphones. When the pod people were loading high volumes of pods onto a ship bound for overseas, Scottish bagpipe music was broadcast across the shipyards. After taking control of San Francisco, music was piped through loudspeakers outside of City Hall.
Occasionally, mutations and birth defects may occur. In one class example, a banjo-playing street performer named Harry and his pet boxer Pooch were found sleeping in a park next to a pod. A passing Matthew Bennell kicked the pod, damaging it. The body snatcher organism could not define which body to emulate so it produced a hybrid body of both man and dog.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) Edit
At some point in time, the body snatcher spores were forced to abandon their dying, barren world. Breaking the planet's gravitational pull, they drifted upon the solar winds, landing on planet after planet, spreading its seeds, and assimilating that world's dominant life forms. When survival on that world no longer became viable, they abandoned it, eventually arriving on the planet Earth.
In 1978, the spores set down in the city of San Francisco where they cross-pollinated with the local fauna. They bloomed into exotic flowers and quickly spread themselves across the entire city, luring unsuspecting victims to them with their fragrance. The blooms grew into large pods and from them, they began replicating the inhabitants of the city, replacing them with alien/plant hybrid duplicates.
One of the first to be infected was a dentist named Geoffrey Howell. By their nature, the body snatcher organisms were incapable of expressing human emotion and this behavioral oddity made them stand out from those who knew them. Geoffrey's girlfriend, Elizabeth Driscoll, immediately sensed that something was wrong with her lover and sought the aid of her colleague Matthew Bennell.
Another "pod person" named Mister Gianni left one of the flower blooms inside the Bellicec Mud Baths where it began to replicate the form of one of its co-owners Jack Bellicec. Jack's wife Nancy was the first to find the doppelgänger. They informed their friend Matthew, who in turn alerted his own colleague Doctor David Kibner. Unbeknownst to them, Kibner had already been replaced with a duplicate, but used his influence as a psychiatrist to calm those who began to suspect a conspiracy.
Before long however, the alien symbiosis spread throughout the city, replacing nearly everyone with duplicates. Police and city officials were the first to be compromised and within the span of a few days, only a few small pockets of humans remained.
Matthew Bennell, Elizabeth Driscoll and the Bellicecs desperately tried to expose the alien plot and bring it to an end, but ultimately their efforts were in vain. One by one, they were assimilated and replaced until only Nancy Bellicec was the last free human left in San Francisco. Presumably, she too was eventually replaced.
Other versions Edit
Invasion (TV series) Edit
In the short-lived Invasion television series, a race of water-based alien life forms infiltrated a small Florida town and began taking over the bodies of the town's inhabitants through a cloning process; first by merging with and then unknowingly replacing them.
The Invasion (2007) Edit
In The Invasion, the invaders are changed from pods to an alien virus that is contracted through liquids. Once the person falls asleep, the virus rewrites human DNA. The aliens then vomit a gelatinous substance into liquids to help the invasion continue. When the invasion gains considerable strength, the pod people transform humans by directly injecting them with the substance, under the guise of "influenza vaccines". As it continues across the globe, entire world conflicts are resolved, including the Iraq War and Darfur. However, it is discovered that people who had certain illnesses during childhood were completely immune to the virus. A vaccine is created and the entire pandemic is cured within a year; those infected, after being treated, are unable to remember events during their infection, "as though they were in a deep sleep". Similar to previous incarnations, the virus can kill its human host. This is hinted at when Carol takes a picture of a human being converted and sends him into cardiac arrest.
Notes & Trivia Edit
- The concept of the body snatcher parasite was first envisioned by novelist Jack Finney in his 1955 novel The Body Snatchers. The race was featured a year later in the 1956 Don Siegel adaptation of Finney's book, Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The concept was expanded upon in the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers as well as the 2007 pseudo-remake The Invasion. Other iterations of this race were also featured in the low-budget 1993 film Body Snatchers and the 2005-06 ABC television series Invasion.
- In Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the character of Elizabeth Driscoll speaks about the horticultural hybridization of plants known as Grex, in which two distinctive species cross-pollinate to produce a third, unique species. This example was used to describe the nature of the body snatcher race and its relationship to humans.
See also Edit
- Invasion (2005)
- Invasion (2007)
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)