DVD Review: War of the Worlds: The Complete Series

War of the Worlds: The Complete Series is based on the groundbreaking novel by H.G. Wells. The series was created by Greg Strangis and stars Jared Martin, Lynda Mason Green, Philip Akin, Richard Chaves, Rachel Blanchard and Adrian Paul.

Based on the groundbreaking novel by H.G. Wells, this classic TV series thrusts sci-fi addicts and action-adventure fans directly into the fiery crucible of two wars that will determine the fate of our world. Decades after it appeared that the ruthless alien invaders were killed off by common bacteria, increased radiation wipes out the Earth-saving organisms. Brought back from suspended animation, the enemy uses their body-snatching ability to adopt human form. Immediately, the invading force begins formulating plans for final genocidal warfare.

War of the Worlds ran for two seasons, from October 7, 1988 to May 14, 1990, and served as a sequel to the 1953 sci-fi classic movie. When the war with the Mor-Taxians ended back in 1953, they were defeated by a bacteria, but they didn’t actually die. Instead, they went into a deep hybernation so the government crammed them all in canisters and hid them all across the country. What happens is, the canisters are accidentally opened which frees those pesky aliens and they quickly start taking over human bodies and pick up where they left off thirty-five years earlier. Standing in the way of the invasion are astrophysicist Harrison Blackwood (Jared Martin), paraplegic computer genius Norton Drake (Philip Akin), microbiologist Suzanne McCullough (Lynda Mason Green) and Colonel Paul Ironhorse (Richard Chaves). This small dream team is what stands between the alien invasion and the human race and they always find a way to stop the latest threat. Some of the movie was incorporated into the first season and I thought it was a nice nod to the sci-fi classic.

There’s a lot of changes in the second season and all of them were unnecessary. A new executive producer was brought on board and it’s a name that many genre fans will recognize. The battle for Earth now takes place in the not-to-distant future in a post-apocalyptic war zone. Half of the main cast gets killed off in the first episode of the second season and I knew then that this sophomore outing was going to suck, and guess what, it did! A new alien race called the Morthren is also introduced but they have the same game plan as the other aliens and that’s to take over the Earth. Heck, they’re so evil they even take out what’s left of the old aliens. This is where we get to meet John Kincaid (Adrian Paul), a resistance fighter who is fighting his own personal war against this second wave. He joins Harrison Blackwood, Suzanne McCullough and her daughter Debi (Rachel Blanchard) and it’s up to this small group of resistance fighters to save what’s left of the world from this new alien threat. The second season got cancelled early but they had enough time to give the series a sort of satisfying finale.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The clear keepcase features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes series details, an image and specs. The reverse sleeve features more artwork and episode listing on each disc. The DVD discs have a flat grey finish and only feature the series logo. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture quality for this standard-definition release is a little on the blurry side and it’s hard to believe people watched everything like this back in the day. The sound quality was really good and I didn’t have any issues with it.

Bottom line is, I remember catching some of War of the Worlds: The Complete Series when it first aired late at night in syndication but never really got into it back then. I have mixed feelings about this series because I really enjoyed the first season but the second one ended up being really bad with all the changes that were brought in. I liked how the first season was a direct continuation from the classic sci-fi movie as the humans battled it out with the ever-evolving aliens. The second season introduced a new alien threat that ended up being pretty lame and all they had to offer was replication and green goo. The writing for the first season was good while the writing for the second season started to get boring. It’s like they honestly lost their way. The cast did a really good job with their characters, even with the changes that were made around them. The series did feature some impressive special effects that included both practical and makeup effects. There was also some visual effects that were attempted in the second season but it all looks really dated now. All in all, I enjoyed watching this entire series because I had only caught a few episodes back in the day and even though the second season is really bad, the first season is good enough to push this entire sci-fi box set. War of the Worlds: The Complete Series will be available on an 11-Disc DVD Set on February 6th and if you’ve never witnessed this weird science fiction televison series before then maybe it’s time you gave it a try.

Distributor: CBS Home Entertainment / Paramount Home Media Distribution

Run Time: 11 Discs / 43 Episodes / 2005 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

DVD Video: Full Screen Format (1.33:1)

DVD Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH (Season 2 Only)

Special Features: N/A

 

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