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War of the Worlds - The Complete First Season (1988)

Jared Martin , Lynda Mason Green , Colin Chilvers , George Bloomfield  |  NR |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)

List Price: $29.99
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War of the Worlds - The Complete First Season + War of the Worlds: The Complete Series + War Of The Worlds, The (1953)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jared Martin, Lynda Mason Green, Philip Akin, Richard Chaves, John Novak
  • 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 (92 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AOEMX2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,162 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "War of the Worlds - The Complete First Season" on IMDb

Special Features


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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
95 of 98 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Underrated sci-fi series resurrected on DVD! October 2, 2005
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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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FINALLY!!! September 4, 2005
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Another series butchered by network suits. 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
5.0 out of 5 stars In 1953 the war began... 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Ronald Lighthall
5.0 out of 5 stars scifi heaven
One of the best scfi series ever done! Once you start watching, you can' stop very fine actors also, great plots
Published 4 months ago by gadget man
4.0 out of 5 stars Great old sci fi show
This little known and campy but wonderful sci fi gem really pushed the envelope in terms of fx work etc. It was surprisngly gory for it's time and very interesting. I like it. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jason Russell
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring, poor production values
Watched the interminable first episode, won't waste my time watching any more, will sell it used (It's really cool! I'll give you a great price! Read more
Published 6 months ago by Tyr's doctor
5.0 out of 5 stars Yeah
It was scary ....and ....Funny.... the look on that kid's face!!! Don't know what happened with the second season. Loved Quinn, John Colicos as the antithesis and prothesis!! Read more
Published 6 months ago by Eddie Gilbert
5.0 out of 5 stars Missed this show
I have these shows on VHS and it is a pleasure to have it on DVD. It is cult show for me and it so different from anything else from the eighties. Read more
Published 8 months ago by howard trice
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and different.
Shipping was timely and the item is hours of enjoyment I recommend this and know others will like it as much as our family does.
Published 13 months ago by Joe Galvan
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia purchase
I watched this show when it first aired back in 1988 and loved it. But re-runs are not on any channel that I know of so I haven't been able to go back and re-watch any episodes. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Andy Sheperd
3.0 out of 5 stars messy discs
the first 2 discs had gunk on them that affected some of the episode playback. on one disc, it didn't even come off with a cd cleaning solution. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Mabel D.
1.0 out of 5 stars terrible transfer
I know people like to bring back the feel of those shows but the DVDs look like I am still seeing the show on a crappy TV from the period. Did they just tape it off a tv screen. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Carl W. Taitano
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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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