War of the Worlds (1988) – The Second Seal, and Goliath is My Name

Team Blackwood has its hands full this week as the War of the Worlds continues. Patrick Barry pens the first episode up this week, that originally aired on 7 November, 1988.

The Mortheren, still referred to as Martians at this point, attempt to take over a military base that may store information about the 1953 invasion, including where more of their allies may be stored.

Harrison (Jared Martin), Suzanne (Lynda Mason Green), Norton (Philip Akin) and Ironhorse (Richard Chaves) are determined to stop them. If they can.

Both parties have learned the location of the files at the same time, and the aliens have infiltrated some of the command personnel that run the base… But where are the files?

With Harrison and Suzanne in the vaults of a military base, trying to puzzle their way through misnamed files (thanks to Norton’s assistance back at home base), Ironhorse realizes that the aliens are already on the base.

Things get weird when Harrison finds a crystal in one of the vaults and begins to behave… oddly.

The more I watch the series, the more I feel bad that it wasn’t given its due at the time, a lot of the acting is sub par, and it was really prevented from telling serialized storytelling, which really would have worked for this show. Instead, the show doesn’t necessarily reset at the end of each episode, but you don’t have to worry about something happening in this episode having a lasting impact on the rest of the episodes.

The episode features Canadian character actor, Lynne Griffin.

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Goliath is My Name was written by Tom Lazarus, and first aired on 14 November, 1988. We move to a college campus for this episode when Suzanne learns one of her friends has gone missing there… and for some reason the invaders are there as well (apparently for the research Suzanne’s friend was working on).

One of the opening bits on the campus see the invaders dressed as men in black (a nice tie in) before they stumble across a party… where everyone is dressed like the Blues Brothers.

Another group is playing some fort of lazer tag game in the tunnels beneath the campus, and of course, you know that isn’t going to end well… reminding us that there can be some gore in the series (there’s a nice face ripping bit).

This one is not one of the best episodes of the series (often becoming rather silly), but one simply takes it in stride as reflective of the storytelling of the time.

Still, as I watch the series as a whole, you realize that what happens at the beginning of season two is really unavoidable. Despite some minor victories so far, the unseen war has really seemed to lean towards alien wins.

Watch for a brief and early appearance by Jill Hennessy.

The battle for the planet continues next week as I work my way deeper into Season One of War of the Worlds: The Complete Series on DVD!!

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