Tuesday, 24 April 2012


Back from the dead, alien invasion plans begin anew in WAR OF THE WORLDS, finally out this month on UK DVD. Images: CBS DVD/REVELATION FILMS.

Those pesky alien critters from Mars just can't take a hint and die after their first, ultimately failed invasion of Earth in 1953. Now, accidentally awakened by a gang of nut-job Human terrorists, the slimy, three pronged fingered, one-eyed beasties have been resurrected from their petrol tank storage containers and are more deadly than ever, planning further subtle, if no less vicious, new ways to take over Earth society, in a frightening, underground war of terror campaign. Only a small team of American and international scientists, alongside a crack military group: Delta Force, stand in their way, as the WAR OF THE WORLDS begins again in a newly released to the UK, six-disc, first season box set to be enjoyed from CBS DVD/ REVELATION FILMS...

Humanity's last hope: Colonel Paul Ironhorse (Richard Chaves), Dr. Harrison Blackwood (Jared Martin), Norton Drake (Philip Akin) and Dr. Suzanne McCullough (Lynda Mason Green). 

Fans of the original 1988/89 series who recently saw the first season in reruns on the UK's HORROR Channel last October will be pleased to know that the 24 episodes comprising the first season of this very enjoyable sci-fi/horror hybrid have not been butchered for some of their alien gore or violence content, as they were when previously shown on TV in a mid-evening time slot. There's also no special features, I'm sorry to say, but the picture quality of the video copies is of a better standard than we've seen previously, as is the sound mixing, making these the best quality copies of the series that you're going to get. (There's no way the show will ever be released on Blu-ray, though, unless the entire series is completely and costly restored: WAR was originally made on high quality 35mm film but converted to inferior video so as to make it easier for the series effects men to add their optical work: a process that was also applied to PARAMOUNT's other then starting out new sci-fi series, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION.)

Opening titles: War of the worlds season 1 opening - YouTube
Season One promos: War Of The Worlds Season 1 Promos - YouTube

Check out our other feature on the series and its cast: THE ENEMY WITHIN! THE RETURN OF "WAR OF THE WORLDS"

Protected from Earth's radiation, the evil Advocacy.

Here's a look at KOOL TV's favourite episodes from the Year One box set:

THE RESURRECTION. (Two-part pilot episode) The newly awakened aliens gather up the first of their infected and possessed kind to steal the remaining three fully intact, original Martian war machines that have been stored by their human enemies in a remote AREA 51-type military establishment. Dr. Harrison Blackwood (Jared Martin), Suzanne McCullough (Lynda Mason Green) and the wheelchair bound computer-whizz Norton Drake (Phil Akin), teaming up with Colonel Paul Ironhorse (Richard Chaves), are soon on the aliens trail, but will they be too late to stop the re-launch of the invasion? A very enjoyable, if sometimes a little slow, first episode directed by Brit Colin Chilvers, with some memorable gore and action, plus a worthy finale with the George Pal created alien ships from the 1953 movie being spectacularly recreated for the new series.

THY KINGDOM COME. Blackwood and co. race to Canada to stop the aliens releasing more of their unstable brood from a craft entombed under a lake. Some creepy finale scenes as kidnapped humans are taken over by water emerging aliens.

A MULTITUDE OF IDOLS. Our heroes are followed by an ambitious investigative journalist, of which their infiltration into an alien infested town soon becomes a life or death struggle. Nice ideas, nothing new, but again some fine creepy moments.

EYE FOR AN EYE. When a local town celebrates the 50th anniversary of Orson Welles legendary fake Martian invasion broadcast, the team discovers that a real First Contact/invasion event really happened in 1938, and that the aliens are now planning to resurrect another buried scout vessel! A clever, well-written script and solid guest cast make this one of the best episodes of the first season.

Suzanne confers with a relaxed Harrison prior to the aliens re-emergence.

THE SECOND SEAL. Harrison and Suzanne go deep into the archives of a top secret military installation to find lost and highly important information and technology about the aliens, unaware that the base commander (MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE's Greg Morris) has now been infected and is leading his own race against time search. Enjoyable action episode, with a bit more development on the aliens, and some fine heroics from Colonel Ironhorse at the end!

AMONG THE PHILISTINES. The team add a new recruit: an animal linguistics expert who claims he's made a breakthrough in unlocking the mysteries of the way the aliens communicate. But is it all too good to be true? Easily one of the shows best episodes, with an exciting climax, and a death in the family.

HE FEEDETH AMONG THE LILIES.  Overall a pretty grim episode about the aliens abduction of humans for experimentation. Harrison falls in love with one of these tragic, emotionally devastated victims, but we all know that it isn't going to end happily!

THE MEEK SHALL INHERIT. Recognising their status as being ignored and left to go about their own way, the aliens see that infiltrating the Humans homeless population is an inspired way to continue their invasion and sabotage efforts, but they've reckoned without the abilities of the alien aware, mentally unstable Sylvia Van Buren (Ann Robinson), Harrison's step-mother, entering into a friendship with a recently abandoned girl who has first hand witnessed the aliens that are now walking the streets. An interesting, well-made and atmospheric episode with an enjoyable finale on the streets of snowy Vancouver.

UNTO US A CHILD IS BORN. Probably one of the series grossest and most scarily effective episodes, as our heroes cordon off a hospital and begin a search for an alien possessed, pregnant woman about to give birth: the first human/alien hybrid who may have the answers that the dreaded creatures with the built-in resistance needed to survive the effects of the Earth's atmosphere and radiation.

Tense times ahead for the series most popular character, Paul Ironhorse, as played by PREDATOR's Richard Chaves.

VENGEANCE IS MINE. It's a cliched plot but the episode shines overall due to the presence of Chaves as Ironhorse, when he's captured by a vendetta fuelled human who wants revenge against him for the death of his fiancee during an alien skirmish.

THE RAISING OF LAZARUS. Cut off by a hostile snow/weather front, the team are stranded on a remote military base housing vital alien technology, unaware that one of their top scientists (Nicolas Coster) has been experimenting and injecting himself with unstable alien blood, turning him into a dangerous mutation. Another variant on the classic THE THING, but its atmospheric and, in places, a reasonably exciting penultimate episode to the series.

THE ANGEL OF DEATH. Action packed, if plot bonkers, finale, in which a female robot warrior who looks like she's escaped from an eighties discotheque- Katara, from the planet Qar'To- arrives to help Harrison and co, in a last stand battle against the aliens. The series ends on a positive note as Humanity gains a new friend... 



Get hold of WAR OF THE WORLDS: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON here: War Of The Worlds: Season 1 [DVD]: Amazon.co.uk: Jared Martin, Lynda Mason Green, Philip Akin: Film & TV

Season Two will also be released in the UK shortly.

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