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War of the Worlds - The Complete First Season

97 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

H.G. Wells' chilling novel of a Martian invasion of Earth becomes even more frightening in this 1952 film adaptation that's widely regarded as one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time. An Oscar. winner for Best Special Effects. Also available is the first season of the TV series: The attempted Martian invasion of the Earth in the 1950s was thwarted when the aliens fell foul of the common cold virus. But rather than die, the invaders went into hibernation and 30 years later they are revived and a second invasion attempt begins. The Martians can now possess human bodies and are opposed by a small band of resistance fighters.

Tom Cruise and Gene Barry aren't the only ones to save Earth from a Martian invasion--from 1988 to 1990, an intrepid band of scientists and soldiers battled the Red Planet menace on the small screen in the action-packed syndicated television series War of the Worlds. The show operated on an intriguing premise that paid homage to George Pal's classic 1953 film version--the Martians, presumed dead at the end of the movie, are actually in a state of hibernation, and 30 years later, they have not only revived, but begun to inhabit human bodies in a second attempt to conquer our planet. Now, a team of scientists (led by dependable character actor Jared Martin) and soldiers (under the command of actor-playwright Richard Chaves) must convince humanity to fight against an alien onslaught. It's unfortunate that War of the Worlds caught on with only a small but loyal audience (the series lasted just two seasons), since its episodes delivered an entertaining mix of science fiction, action, and suspense; highlights from the first season include "Thy Kingdom Come," which introduces a supporting turn by Ann Robinson, who recreates her role from the 1953 film; "Eye for an Eye," which wryly revisits the famous 1938 radio broadcast of War of the Worlds by Orson Welles that spread real panic over much of the Eastern seaboard; and the disturbing "Unto Us a Child Is Born," in which the human team and the aliens search for a half-Earthling, half-Martian baby. All 22 episodes of the debut season are included on this six-disc set; unfortunately for diehard fans, no supplemental features are included. --Paul Gaita

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Jared Martin, Lynda Mason Green, Philip Akin, Richard Chaves, Lori Hallier
  • Directors: Colin Chilvers, George Bloomfield, George McCowan, Herbert Wright, Jonathan Hackett
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: November 1, 2005
  • Run Time: 1086 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AOEMX2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,604 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "War of the Worlds - The Complete First Season" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 99 people found the following review helpful By A. Gammill VINE VOICE on October 2, 2005
Format: DVD
The War of the Worlds t.v. series came at an interesting time in television history. In 1988, more and more shows were being directly released in syndication, effectively side-stepping the big networks (and thus big network costs). I've read that some people saw this on Saturday afternoons, but my Fox affiliate carried it on Friday nights (the well-known graveyard for good sci-fi).

As a huge fan of the original 1953 film, I was delighted that the series paid tribute by incorporating footage of that film into its opening credits, as well as a recurring role for that film's female lead, Ann Robinson as Sylvia Van Buren. The last primetime alien invasion series had been the late, lamented "V." And War of the Worlds owes as much to that series as to its source film and novel.

It's universally acknowledged that the first season was far superior to the second, which changed the format and killed off 2 of its stars in its first episode. But the first year was pretty solid, detailing the government-sanctioned battle against alien invaders by a small group of people. Jared Martin as Harrison and Richard Chaves as Ironhorse were standout performers. True, the syndicated format allowed for some occasionally over-the-top effects (similar to Freddy's Nightmares, also syndicated at the same time; and prefigured the X-Files more graphic scares five years later), which I recall being a turn-off to some fans of the original film. But War of the Worlds was an action-packed sci-fi series, and one that deserves another look.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Israel Colon on September 4, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The first season of War of the Worlds (1988-1989) was truly one of the most innovative and intriguing series on television. In many ways, it was a precursor to what the world would see on The X-Files years later. The premise of the first season follows the events of the 1953 George Pal film 35 years later as the aliens are resurrected from their involuntary hibernation (since they did not die at the end of the movie) and continue their mission to have Earth colonized. Since the aliens lack the technological hardware that they possessed in the movie, they are forced to carry out a hidden, guerilla type warfare- and they start by possessing human bodies as a means to go about undetected. Led by the triumvirate Advocacy, the aliens (who are from Mor-Tax not Mars- since by this time it was proven that there was no life on Mars) begin to have Earth colonized for their brethren who will be arriving in about 4 years.

Knowing that the alien threat is real, the government forms a secret team to counter the alien menace. This team includes eccentric astrophyicist, Harrison Blackwood (Jared Martin), microbiologist Suzanne McCullough (Lynda Mason Green), computer expert Norton Drake (Philip Akin) and Lt. Colonel Paul Ironhorse (the idolized Richard Chaves). The team begins to find ways to stop the alien menace and actively pursues them from accomplishing their goals.

The first season boasts many terrific episodes and some of the most memorable ones introduce new characters to the mix including the alien maverick Quinn who is trapped in a human body and who is immune to Earth's bacteria. Contaminated by his exposure to humanity, Quinn has developed a means for survival and intends to rule his kind instead of the Advocacy.
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56 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Big Frank on September 4, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
At least in its first season, this was one of the most intelligent sci-fi series to come along, with good character development and compelling storylines. This series first played on Saturday afternoons in NYC, and I used to make a point of not missing it (this was the ancient days before VCR's became household items). I have never forgotten the episode where one of the heroes lost his beloved, and never knew what happened...excellently done.

Of course, since it succeeded, the suits had to change the plotline in the second season, to make it more "relevant to the 18-49 demographic"; it was soon cancelled.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Michael Valdivielso on November 20, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
and we thought we had won it. Well, not lost it. The alien invaders died off, killed by Earth's germs. Let's face it, mankind is germy. Anyway, decades later the aliens are revived when terrorists attack a nuclear waste site. It seems when you spill waste on them the radiation kills the germs and this allows them to awaken. Now they plan to finish off what they started and that means finishing off mankind. Six discs from 1988-1989 of one of the greatest TV series. They used scenes from the movie and even had Ann Robinson as Sylvia Van Buren in three of the episodes which helps to link them to the 50's movie.

Nothing in the way of extras, but the series does bring back memories and has such stars as John Vernon as General Wilson and John Colicos from Battlestar Galactica as the alien Quinn. Also has Philip Akin, who was later in Highlander: The Series, as Norton Drake and Richard Chaves, who was in the first Predator movie, as Lt. Col. Paul Ironhorse.

Great ideas, great lines, great characters.

Only one mistake - when they aired the episode Among The Philistines this episode SHOULD have come AFTER The Prodigal Son and BEFORE The Last Supper.

If you are a fan of War of the Worlds YOU must buy this box set.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


Topic From this Discussion
Like Jafuf I wish I had read the reviews first
the acting was not strong yet at that time. it was rushed and the directing could have been better. i think the directors were more interested in the aliens than the humans, but the acting and directing became quite strong later. give it a chance.
Jan 19, 2010 by J. Cavacini |  See all 3 posts
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