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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Horror > Thriller > Alien > TV > War Of The Worlds The Final Season (1989 90/CBS DVD)

War Of The Worlds The Final Season (1989 - 90/CBS DVD)


Picture: C Sound: C+ Extras: D Episodes: C



The second and last season of the War of the Worlds TV series shakes things up considerably by dropping most of the season one cast members. Of course, new additions to the cast occur in this season, and among them is new series lead Adrian Paul. Most people are more familiar with him from his turn in another movie-to-TV spin off, when he starred as Duncan MacCleod in the Highlander television show. One of the other more striking changes is that instead of the modern day setting of the First Season, we're now in a darker, futuristic setting where mankind seems to be on the losing end of its struggle against the aliens.


The show was shot in Canada a few years before The X-Files put the location on the map. Now it seems that just about every sci-fi and horror production that involves location work is made there due to lower costs and greater flexibility. The graphic violence and gore went well with the narrative but is actually more explicit and effective than most film and TV productions in the genre since. This season would up the ante on this, and part of the reason can be attributed to the new tone of the show.


The 1.33:1 image is problematic, with edgy digititis throughout. Sadly, much of Paramount's output of 80s syndicated TV on DVD has been, with other examples of this lowered quality being Friday the 13th: The Series and Tales From The Darkside. Too bad the analog videotape effects are extremely dated, almost as much as those for Star Trek The Next Generation, now being prepped for Blu-ray! Purists will want to keep them that way, but when HD really kicks in, both shows will need upgrades especially this one. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is not bad for its age, and sounds about like what I remember from the few times I caught the show all those years ago.


Although it took five years to get this season out on DVD, fans will be pleased to finally be able to complete their set. While some purists seem to be on the fence about how much of a drastic departure this was from what the show began as, this half also has many supporters who prefer the darker side of the series. Even though I was never a regular viewer when it originally aired, I get nostalgic for like-minded shows of this era, and can always hope that the DVDs will attract a new generation of fans. If we're lucky, someday we'll even get releases that improve the audio and video, but for some time, this is likely to be the best we can get.



- David Milchick


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