War of the Worlds

(ended 1990)
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  • show Description
  • From Season One "In 1953, Earth experienced a War of the Worlds. Common bacteria stopped the aliens, but it didn't kill them. Instead, the aliens lapsed into a state of deep hibernation. Now the aliens have been resurrected, more terrifying than before. In 1953, the aliens started taking over the world. Today, they're taking over our bodies!" From Season Two "There's rioting breaking out through the city. Fire is continuing to burn everywhere. Troops are shooting people. My God, I...I don't know why. There's a woman dying in front of me and no one's helping her. There are conflicting reports about who or what started the chaos. Will someone tell me what's happening? This is madness! What is this world coming to?"moreless

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  • Episode Guide
  • S 2 : Ep 20

    The Obelisk

    Aired 5/14/90

  • S 2 : Ep 19

    The True Believer

    Aired 5/7/90

  • S 2 : Ep 18


    Aired 4/30/90

  • S 2 : Ep 17

    Totally Real

    Aired 4/23/90

  • S 2 : Ep 16

    Video Messiah

    Aired 4/16/90

  • Cast & Crew
  • Jared Martin

    Dr. Harrison Blackwood

  • Lynda Mason Green

    Dr. Suzanne McCullough

  • Philip Akin

    Norton Drake

  • Richard Chaves

    Lt. Col. Paul Ironhorse

  • Adrian Paul

    John Kincaid

  • Top Contributor
  • Gislef

    User Score: 244


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (140)

    • (Norton is playing golf on his computer) Harrison: Norton. Norton: (groans) Six under, one to go. Harrison, didn't your parents teach you any manners? Don't you know you're not supposed to interrupt a man when he's standing at the tee? Harrison: What happened to "Jamaica. No problem, mon?" Norton: Even in Jamaica, it's only no problem when it's "no problem." Who are you? Suzanne: Uh, Suzanne. Suzanne Mccullough. Norton: Norton Drake. Harrison: Suzanne's the new microbiologist that Ephraim has been promising us. Norton: Oh, too pretty to be a microbiologist. Microbiologists are all near-sighted and losing their hair.

    • Suzanne: Tell me, Doctor, about the projects requiring someone in my field. Harrison: Not Doctor. It's Harrison. I hate titles, especially doctor titles. Especially when we're not even talking MD doctors. Okay, Doctor?

    • Blackwood: I'm a firm believer that a person's response to a joke is a window to their soul.

    • Harrison: What would you say if I told you that Earth was being invaded by aliens from another planet? Suzanne: Read my letter. Harrison: I'm serious! Suzanne: Okay, see a psychiatrist first, then read my letter. It's my resignation.

    • Harrison: In 1953, we experienced what can only be described as a War of the Worlds. If it weren't for common, every day bacteria attacking the aliens' immune systems, they would have won this war, and you and I would not be having this conversation. Suzanne: But we are having this conversation, which I don't want. So I fail to see your point. Harrison: My point is that even though the bacteria stopped the aliens, I don't think it killed them! Suzanne: Excuse me, but I think you have been sitting too close to your television set.

    • Ironhorse: Around here, doctor, it's need-to-know. And you don't need to know.

    • (Suzanne, Harrison, and Ironhorse hear a noise) Ironhorse: Helicopter. Harrison: Good guys or bad guys? Ironhorse: Considering what we're doing, doctor, even the good guys are bad guys. (the helicopter shoots a missile at the front of the hanger, blowing up the entrance) Harrison: Bad, bad guys!

    • Ironhorse: Twenty-five totally secure acres in the middle of nowhere. Without proper authority, no one comes in... no one gets out. Norton: Hmm. Makes pizza deliveries a bit rough.

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    Notes (101)

    • The Jamaican accent that Norton has in this episode (which goes in and out througout) is most likely inspired by the fact that Philip Akin was born in Jamaica. Although, Norton's actual nationality is never addressed, and we never hear the accent again in any following episode.

    • Notice that in the teaser, we see one of the ATV's turning a corner twice. Both are simply the same shot played twice. This is the first instance of the use of recycled footage throughout the season. The shot of the alien reaching for Doc is recycled at least twice again within the season.

    • Ternary traits: The aliens individually huddle in threes; they have a third arm; the ATVs the terrorists use are three-wheeled; the bolas they use have three weighted ends (as opposed to the standard two); and their leaders, the Advocacy, are a triad.

    • The story Ironhorse tells Debi and the team seems to foreshadow the events of "Dust to Dust" and establishes the aliens' presence in Native American folklore.

    • Also in the novel was the inclusion of Clayton Forrester. However, he was regulated to having very limited interaction with the plot and he ultimately died during the events of natural causes.

    • Even though the film established the aliens as Martians, there is no mention of this on-screen. While viewers weren't let in on their origin until the mid-season "Among the Phillistines", the script and novelization of this episode cleary state their homeworld to be Mor-Tax.

    • Unlike the following first season episodes, this episode simply starts off with the animation of the alien hand taking over the Earth, no teaser-line quote, and the names of the four main cast members are imposed over the opening scenes before progressing to the guest stars.

    • Oddly enough in the 1987 film, The Gambler III, Richard Chaves played a character named Iron Dog... Any relation?

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    Trivia (118)

    • It was established in the film that the war machines' activity cuts off power in their vicinity, but we can see several lights remain on in the climax.

    • The helicopter explodes when the heat-ray hits it. But in the film and in the later episode "Eye for an Eye", everything they hit just glows and disappears.

    • We hear three explosions as well as seeing each war machine blow up. There is even a shot that looks as if there is absolutely nothing left of the ships except dust. But then as there is a cut to a close shot of Harrison, Ironhorse, and Suzanne, we see a flash during the sound of another, fourth explosion. What else was left that could have blown up?

    • When the two alien copter pilots ready the helicopter, a close-up shows one of them flipping switches with a gloved hand. But previous shots clearly showed that neither were wearing gloves.

    • The triangle-shaped lock on the alien war machine is at first aiming downwards. Also, Blackwood removes his hat before beginning. However, during a close-up of him typing on the grid, not only is the lock aiming upwards, but you can see the bill of his cap indicating that it's still on. In the remaining shots, the alien grid is pointing back down and Harrison's hat is off.

    • Norton's hair is close-shaven through the episode, but there are a few shots in which his hair is more grown out. One shot in particular is a close on him as he tells Harrison that he's "getting nowhere fast." It's grown out a bit, but his hair is cut back in the following shots.

    • When Harrison drags the incapacitated Ironhorse into the woods, he cuts one of the bola around his torso, and then Ironhorse cuts the two bolas around his legs. But earlier, we see the aliens attack the colonel with only two bolas: the first around his legs (which tripped him) and the second around his torso. Even if they had thrown one off-camera, it would be impossible for one to wrap around his legs with him already lying on the ground at that point.

    • It's unclear as to what it may be, but when the scene cuts to the dumpsite over the sound of the aliens' noise, there is something moving just out of camera to the left on the shot of the empty barrel, and then something to the right over a shot of the row of barrels.

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    Allusions (7)

    • Harrison: Have you ever heard of Hangar 15?
      Ironhorse: You mean Hangar 18. Sorry, that's a myth.
      Harrison: No, Hangar 18 is the myth. Hangar 15 is the real mccoy.
      Seeing as how if you were to switch the numbers, Hanger 15 may be a reference to Area 51 where the U.S. government supposedly does alien research, and has housed the remains of a spacecraft that was believed to have crashed in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. To further this, Hanger 18, which is what Ironhorse believes Harrison is talking about, is part of the same mythology. Reportedly, the Roswell wreckage was taken to Hanger 18 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio before it made its way to Area 51.

    • Norton: We're talking Night of the Living Dead here, folks.
      In the classic 1968, black-and-white George A. Romero film, the dead begin to come back to life and walk about the Earth, but appear to be drained of all humane characteristics. There are obvious parallels to that and the way the aliens kill and take over human bodies, as Norton points out. The film was followed by two sequels, a remake, and a mass of imitators and inspirations.

    • Visual: Alien goalie
      Hmm. A large figure in a hockey mask going on a murderous rampage who has to be shot more than once to be taken down - the image seems affectionately familiar to slasher icon Jason Voorhees. In fact, there was a scene in the sixth film (1986) in which we see Jason ripping off someone's arm and holding it. It's also interesting that a key site in the episode is also a lake. This was quite possibly intentional as, aside from the aforementioned similarities, the film series was very popular at the time, and the first eight films (1980-1989) and the show are both owned by Paramount. So this was possibly an inside joke. It should also be noted that the next season was produced by Frank Mancuso Jr. who also produced a few of the films as well as the TV series (which had no relation other than the title), so one can't but notice some eerie foreshadowing.

    • Bobby: What about the Ferengi?
      The action figures Bobby is seen playing with are of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
      This is also an inside joke as the show's creative consultant, Herbert Wright, was also a consultant for The Next Generation and created the Ferengi.

    • Harrison: It's like an alien Bates motel.
      The warehouse where the aliens are taking in human bodies for hosting purposes is much like the Bates motel in Psycho in the way that those who check in, don't check out.

    • Ironhorse: It reminds me of the 60's. You remember? "Paul is dead."
      A hoax began circulating in the late 60's that Paul McCarthy of the Beatles was dead, and that proof existed throughout their albums in both the lyrics and on the cover images. However, Paul McCarthy himself later spoke up claiming, "The rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated." The authenticity of the so-called clues are still debated.

    • Bystander: That guy in the uniform shot her. It's like Kent State or something.
      On May 4th, 1970 in Kent, Ohio, members of the National Guard opened fire on anti-Vietnam War demonstrators, wounding many and killing 4 students of Kent State University.

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  • Fan Reviews (14)
  • To Life Immortal...

    By FrankMcGowan, Sep 04, 2015

  • Missed the mark

    By RockWolf, Sep 03, 2012

  • The show that got me hooked on the Sci-Fi Channel

    By XMulder216, Oct 18, 2007

  • Second Season Was Better

    By dp389477, Oct 02, 2007

  • For it's time it was a great show.

    By tex1857, Jan 29, 2007