War of the Worlds (1989) – The Meek Shall Inherit, and Unto Us a Child is Born

The battle for the planet continues this week with more War of the Worlds. The first episode up this week, The Meek Shall Inherit, sees the ruling party of the morthren, known as the Advocacy planning to disrupt society by destroying our communications networks.

Blackwood (Jared Martin), Ironhorse (Richard Chaves), Suzanne (Lynda Mason Green) and Norton (Philip Akin) will have to figure out how to stop them. Written by D.C. Fontana (known for her work on the original Star Trek), this episode debuted on 13 February, 1989.

The episode also marks the final appearance of Sylvia van Buren (Ann Robinson) from the 1953 feature film. She is still in a rest home/hospital, and meets a homeless woman, Molly (Diana Reis) who has had an alien encounter, and may be of help before the tale is finished.

Through all of this, Ironhorse is trying to recruit a larger team, van Buren is having episodes at her hospital leading to an eventual escape, and Harrison and Norton are trying to figure out how to get communications running again, before they turn their focus to the missing Sylvia.

Honestly, there feels like there is a lot going on in this episode, but the director, and the series itself, seems incapable of doling it out properly. Course it doesn’t help that the series’ score doesn’t play the story as straight and scary as it should. It was the 80s after all and the series edges up to camp on occasion.

And yay! I recognized more Toronto locations.

sylvia

Unto Us a Child is Born was written by David Braff, and it first aired on 20 February, 1989. This one sounds like it could be good…

In an attempt to elude capture, an alien merges into a woman. Nancy’s (Amber Lea Weston) body… a pregnant woman. And that is about to cause some serious complications in the hospital she is in as Team Blackwood attempts to track her down.

And what about the baby? Will it be part alien now? How dangerous will this combination be (we all saw V, right?)? And will Blackwood and Ironhorse be able to track them down before things get much worse?

This one definitely plays up the gore and body horror that the show, being syndicated, could get away with. In fact it plays almost like an old slasher movie set in an hospital. As the blended baby grows and then works its way through the hospital, even as both the aliens and our heroes attempt to track it down. But it is not going to be taken willingly or easily. It’s pretty vicious, and has no qualm about killing, or at least mutilating those who stand in its way.

But when his mother dies… are they connected enough that he will to? Or is there more going on here?

The battle continues next week as I explore War of the Worlds: The Complete Series on DVD, now available from Paramount Pictures.

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