Sunday, March 4, 2012

War of the Worlds (1988 Television Series)

I have vague memories of this show from when I was a kid.  In my area it was on up against dinnertime on Saturday nights, so I very rarely got to see an episode.  But I remembered it being pretty cool even though the acting & special effects weren’t too terrific.  A couple weeks ago I re-watched the 1953 movie so I thought I’d try to check this out & as luck would have it the whole series is more or less bootlegged onto YouTube.

Well, here’s the thing about this show, season one is pretty much a clunker.  I didn’t even watch all the episodes.  Season one relies pretty heavily on the idea that the 1953 movie was a documentary & the government (along with the aliens somehow?) have made people think it never really happened.  It’s probably worth checking out the series premiere & a random episode or two just for some character backgrounds.  The only cool thing to me on season one really is these bizarre suits the alien leaders wear.

Enter season two.  Holy crap.  Step one, take the worst actors on the show & kill them off.  Step two, change the setting from wandering around modern North America looking for aliens to living in a bunker in some dirty dystopian city that is maybe apocalyptic (not post-apocalyptic, but there are routine shortages of things like water, food, medicine, & electricity).  Step three, make new alien technology based on weird organic looking stuff instead of basing it on the designs of 1953.  Step four, instead of having the aliens be exclusively an invasionary force, have them be final survivors from a planet that have no place else to go & have to do crazy shit to the Earth & its inhabitants to survive (so some moral ambiguity instead of just “humans versus aliens”).  So yeah, season two is good to me in the same way the Max Headroom series is good to me, but I can see why it would totally piss off fans of season one & why people who had seen season one wouldn’t bother to check it out.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, this is a sci-fi show from the late 1980s & I’m not saying this is as good of a discovery as a ton of other things, but I dig it.  They even have an industrial music episode (though I couldn’t figure out who the band actually was, but I guess it was around the time that the cyberpunk & industrial sub-culture raised its head into the mainstream for a few seconds & scared parents in the way punk, metal, & rap (because hey, it wasn’t hip hop when parents were scared of it!) did (which reminds me how funny it is that the last musical thing I remember parents getting scared of was Britney Spears – will there ever be something with angst approaching the mainstream again?)).  Oh, it’s probably worth noting that the one guy on this show went on to star in the Highlander television show & the little girl went on to be one of the hosts of Are You Afraid of the Dark? & the star of the Clueless TV series.  Here’s a clip from season two & if you dig it, maybe check out some more...

Powered by Blogger.

  © Blogger template 'Darken' by 2008

Back to TOP