War of the Worlds (1990) – Time to Reap, and The Pied Piper

There’s some cool stuff going on in Season 2 of War of the Worlds, and this episode may in fact be one of the best. Written by Jim Trombetta, this story, featuring some time travel, a science fiction standby, first debuted on 29 January, 1990.

Nowadays, and even just a little after this episode aired, this type of episode would have been expanded to a two parter and used as a mid-season or season finale. I mean, listen to this plot: Malzor (Denis Forest), one of the morthren leaders, utilizes a newly created time machine to travel back in time to the date of the 1953 invasion!

Once there, he plans to inoculate his alien brethren against the bacteria that would eventually stall the invasion process, and thus allow their conquest of Earth to succeed at that point in time. Humanity would be wiped out, and Earth would belong to them.

Harrison (Jared Martin) and Kincaid (Adrian Paul) arrive at the morthren base, and are able to follow Malzor back in time, and have to stop him!

That’s the good news, the bad news is that the show only uses a moment of footage from the film (they arrive shortly after the events of the war) and it’s all shot in black and white (because it’s supposed to look old-timey). And the weird thing is the documentation about the invasion of the time, it’s everywhere, and yet the collective amnesia that plagues humanity following the invasion isn’t touched on.

There’s a little bit of continuity problems, and a low budget, and not quite thought out story holds this episode back, even though it’s idea is a lot of fun.


The Pied Piper serves as a semi-sequel to the episode Breeding Ground form earlier in the season, as young Adam (Joel Carlson), the embryo from that episode is now in a special school for children with high IQs.

Unfortunately, it’s secretly run by the morthren, as they cement their power through the young boy.

Written by Nancy Ann Miller, this episode first aired on 5 February, 1990.

Suzanne (Lynda Mason Green) gets involved because she knows one of the doctors, working at the school, Martin Daniels (Ron Lea).

The school works on building trust and educating the children at an accelerated rate.

As the team begins to investigate, they come up across forces that want to keep the school safe. But are they human or morthren? And what is Adam up to with the students, he is showing his abilities to them, and trying to teach them as well, and messing with the staff, all at Mana’s (Catherine Disher) direction.

How will it all play out, and who will survive this engagement? Not quite as fun as the previous episode, but still fun.

It’s also interesting seeing how our central characters fit into the world they live in, as when Suzanne goes to the school, despite it’s outward appearance, it looks like a modern laboratory, with lots of people in suits and the like, and Suzanne is wandering around with her bandanna, and her not quite Road Warrior fashion chic – it works with Kincaid and Harrison, but in environments like that, she looks completely out of place now.

The battle wages on next week as I explore War of the Worlds: The Complete Series on DVD from Paramount Canada!



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