The second season premiere of War of the Worlds happened on 2 October, 1989 and was written by Micheal Michaelian and Jonathan Glasser from a story by Michaelian. The differences are noticeable right from the off, a new theme and opening credits sequence sets up the seemingly post-apocalyptic nature of the ‘almost tomorrow’ timeline.
To prove it’s more serious Harrison Blackwood (Jared Martin) now has a scruffy beard and a tougher attitude. Suzanne (Lynda Mason Green) and her daughter Debi (Rachel Blanchard) are worried about the scientist, while Norton (Philip Akin) and Ironhorse (Richard Chaves) try to understand what is happening with a storm that brings thunder, lightning and no rain.
It’s the second wave of the morthren arriving, and it seems there have been some advances (right before their world is destroyed) and they eliminate their remaining brethren of the first invasion. These aliens have increased abilities to create human clones, that are unaffected by the radiation that so troubled their fore bearers.
The series now has a cyber-punk dark feel to it, and to help navigate this new reality (which still has a nice level of gore) is a rogue solider, Kincaid (Adrian Paul). But of course, the introduction of a new character may mean the sacrifice of a couple of others… in this case, we say goodbye to Norton and Ironhorse as the aliens are able to infiltrate the group with a clone of Ironhorse and on a fell swoop they lose their base of operations leaving Kincaid, Blackwood, Debi, and Suzanne on the run without resources…
We get a look at the Eternal of Morthrai, their ruler/god, and Julian Richings who made a brief appearance in season one will become a recurring character as an alien scientist, Ardix. Denis Forest who also made a brief appearance in season one is also back as the host of the new invasion, Malzor. He is joined by Catherine Disher as Mana – they seem to be sliding away from the concept of threes.
When I first saw this episode on its original airing I was shocked, and troubled that they had killed off two of the series main characters, and launched us into a darker time. Watching it now, I can see that it split from the original vision the first show runner had, but it does take it in a new direction and allowed for some darker subject matter by showing us that no one in the series was safe.
No Direction Home was written by Noaln Powers from a story by Thomas Baum and it first aired on 9 October, 1989.
Harrison, Kincaid, Suzanne and Debi are still reeling from the loss of their team, and are on the run, though the world does look a lot different when it’s sunny out, not quite so dark, the costume design helps though.
As the new Team Blackwood looks for refuge, the aliens are doing the same, since their base was discovered in the previous episode as well.
Kincaid shows them his lair, such as it is, an industrial building he’s converted, and the aliens take over a mission when they take control of a priest, Father Tim (Angelo Rizacos).
The team finds a piece of alien tech, but this episode is a but of a letdown after the season opener. It doesn’t have the rush and trauma, and instead we try to figure out where the new series is going…
The battle just to survive carries on next week as War of the Worlds: The Complete Series on DVD continues!