Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Cathode Ray Mission 13 - War of the Worlds - The Second Wave

How is this better than cycloptic radioactive Martians?

War of the Worlds
S02E01 The Second Wave

The Second Wave is the last gasp of the status quo of the previous season. Starting with a new opening credit sequence, we see that things have gotten much darker. Gone is the placid everyday setting and now we are in some kind of cyberpunk hellscape complete with industrial music and Mad Max rejects. Clearly, something has happened since we last saw the Blackwood Project. Was there an economic or ecological disaster? We are never told. The weather is acting strange and there is an inevitable doom hanging over the whole proceedings.

For good reason too. Our pals, the Martians (who were never actually Martians) were actually an advanced invasion force. The rest of the aliens, The Mothren, arrive to execute all the ‘Martians’ and set-up shop. They can make clones of humans, they can take over human forms without any telltale marks, and they just seem a whole lot meaner and competent. They manage to kill two series regulars and blow-up the cottage that served as the HQ of the show for a season. In return, we get the always hunky Adrian Paul added to the main cast as renegade soldier, Kincaid.

By the end of this episode War of the Worlds has transformed from a silly and gross alien invasion show with some window dressing borrowed from the 1953 movie to a grim and serious science-fiction series that is barely based on our world at all. War of the Worlds would only go on to finish this season and even that was truncated with not all of the episodes being available until the DVD release over twenty years later. 

War of the Worlds was never a classic, but it managed to produce some goopy fun along the way.

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