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Old October 28 2009, 08:59 PM   #1
Joel_Kirk
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War of the Worlds-1988 series...

Anyone catch this show on it's first run...?

I do recall that the aliens absorbed a lot of hot chicks, and it was violent....and had some cheesy moments; and kind of left the audience hanging when it did a 180 after the first season.

The show was first on Channel 13 in So. Cal (the same channel as ST:TNG).

Of course, the show is now on DVD...

I haven't seen the Spielberg version; but it was hoped that he would continue the ideas from the television show....
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Old October 28 2009, 09:21 PM   #2
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Re: War of the Worlds-1988 series...

The only good part was when they broke out an original war machine complete with original sound effects. The rest was crap.

I really felt it was cheap to make the Martians able to look like humans, just so they could use human actors instead of effects. It's a giant sci fi cliche.
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Old October 28 2009, 09:40 PM   #3
Joel_Kirk
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Re: War of the Worlds-1988 series...

Forbin wrote: View Post
The only good part was when they broke out an original war machine complete with original sound effects. The rest was crap.

I really felt it was cheap to make the Martians able to look like humans, just so they could use human actors instead of effects. It's a giant sci fi cliche.
^^

Yeah, I remember reading about that--Martians looking like humans to save money--before the show hit the airwaves...
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Old October 28 2009, 09:45 PM   #4
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Re: War of the Worlds-1988 series...



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Old October 28 2009, 10:07 PM   #5
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Re: War of the Worlds-1988 series...

I don't recall this series, but in some respects it's kind of too bad. The premise sounds good, but it seems to have largely gotten ruined by executive meddling.
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Old October 28 2009, 10:43 PM   #6
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Re: War of the Worlds-1988 series...

I remember it being too shite to air during the living hours and could only been at some godless midweek hour on ITV in the early 90s here in Blighty.

I also remember being really intrigued to see more, but not intrigued enough to stay up all night.
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Old October 28 2009, 10:45 PM   #7
dru
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Re: War of the Worlds-1988 series...

I was a fan and watched it on KCOP 13 back in the day. The show was good until they killed off some of the cast and radically shifted the series with season 2.
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Old October 28 2009, 10:46 PM   #8
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Re: War of the Worlds-1988 series...

I remember the series, but I rarely watched it. Although, I did catch all or part of the episode where they broke out the Alien Ship.
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Old October 28 2009, 11:10 PM   #9
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Re: War of the Worlds-1988 series...

It's pure 80s low-budget action cheese, which isn't necessarily a bad thing....

The main thing that I could never get past was this notion that everybody seemed to have "forgotten" the 1953 invasion, and that there appeared to be no lasting damage/effects. That would be like forgetting...wait...what was that ruckus with Germany and Japan? Back in the 40s? Nah. Not ringing a bell....
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Old October 28 2009, 11:23 PM   #10
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Re: War of the Worlds-1988 series...

As far as late 80s syndication goes, I thought this was actually a pretty decent series.

Although I have to agree the main highlight was just getting to see the original war machines again.
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Old October 28 2009, 11:40 PM   #11
Aragorn
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Re: War of the Worlds-1988 series...

I watched the first season, but since the show was syndicated, the second season in my area moved to Fox which back then you couldn't get without holding the antenna in one hand and tin foil in the other while upside down on your head. So I never saw it.

The second season is on YouTube in really really really poor quality, but I skimmed through the first episode to see how a couple of the main characters died.
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Old October 28 2009, 11:47 PM   #12
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Re: War of the Worlds-1988 series...

I actually liked the second season better than the first. I wish it was available on DVD.
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Old October 29 2009, 12:06 AM   #13
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Re: War of the Worlds-1988 series...

The first season of WOTW was a fairly good show. It was a good tribute and followup to the 1953 film, and even managed to fit the Orson Welles 1938 Halloween broadcast into its mythology. And it had a great cast and engaging characters, one of the best SFTV ensemble casts I've ever seen. Even when the writing was weak, which it often was, the characters and the actors made it worthwhile. You could tell that these four people really enjoyed working together, and that made it enjoyable to watch.

The second-season retooling was abominable on multiple levels. For some reason, when Frank Mancuso, Jr. was brought in to revamp the show, he somehow believed that making the show relentlessly grim, depressing, and unpleasant would make more people want to watch it. He also broke up the superb chemistry of the cast, killing off half of them, including the most popular character on the show. And I'm convinced it's not coincidence that the two who got killed off were the Native American and the African-American in a wheelchair. Moreover, the charmingly eccentric Dr. Harrison Blackwood totally lost all his eccentricities and became an ordinary, dull person. Even the aliens lost their weirdness; the alien prosthetics and subtitled alien speech were gone and replaced with a bunch of good-looking white people.


Forbin wrote: View Post
The only good part was when they broke out an original war machine complete with original sound effects.
Unfortunately, they only got two of the four sound effects right -- the rattlesnake-like "scanning" sound and the sound of the heat ray. For the green energy bolts, they used the Trek photon torpedo sound effect, which is similar to the actual sound, created the same way (by striking a high-tension metal cable), but not identical. And they totally left out the sound of the levitation beams, which was the same sound as a TOS phaser but lower-pitched. (I think it was actually a recording of a swarm of locusts.)

Still, my perfectionism aside, it was a good attempt and a loving tribute.


I really felt it was cheap to make the Martians able to look like humans, just so they could use human actors instead of effects. It's a giant sci fi cliche.
Actually, the first season of WOTW had plenty of creature-FX shots; we often saw the aliens in their true form, which was a larger, more robust version of the creature from the movie, redesigned to allow an actor or stunt performer to fit inside. The legs were too humanlike, but the torso was nicely alien. No, the reason for giving the aliens the ability to enter and reanimate human corpses was to make it more of a horror show, the battle against an unseen enemy, and to allow the aliens to function in public without revealing their presence.

It was in the second season that this was abandoned; the new wave of "Morthren" aliens transformed themselves to look permanently like humans, and the monster suits from the first season were never seen after the second-season premiere.


Dayton Ward wrote: View Post
The main thing that I could never get past was this notion that everybody seemed to have "forgotten" the 1953 invasion, and that there appeared to be no lasting damage/effects. That would be like forgetting...wait...what was that ruckus with Germany and Japan? Back in the 40s? Nah. Not ringing a bell....
Yeah, that was annoying. Too many genre shows insist on the tiresome conceit that they're "actually" in our world, so that everything alien or supernatural has to be a deep, dark secret. In this case, it was a particularly poor choice. It would've been far more interesting to embrace the alternate history, to portray a world still bearing the physical, political, and psychological scars of a global alien invasion 35 years before. It shouldn't have been "You expect me to believe there are aliens?" but "I refuse to believe the aliens have come back."
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Old October 29 2009, 12:37 AM   #14
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Re: War of the Worlds-1988 series...

Dayton Ward wrote: View Post
That would be like forgetting...wait...what was that ruckus with Germany and Japan? Back in the 40s? Nah. Not ringing a bell....
That pretty much sums up the most British teenagers these days...
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Old October 29 2009, 02:20 AM   #15
Joel_Kirk
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Re: War of the Worlds-1988 series...

Christopher wrote: View Post
It was in the second season that this was abandoned; the new wave of "Morthren" aliens transformed themselves to look permanently like humans, and the monster suits from the first season were never seen after the second-season premiere.
The first season aliens actually do show up later on in season 2; it involved a plot where one of the Mothren go back in time to release those Martians/Mortax-ians who were being held after the 50s invasion...(before they--the Mortax-ians--were put in barrels)...
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