War of the Worlds TV Series Overview (1988-1989)


War of the Worlds is a Canadian/American science-fiction television series that ran for two seasons, from 07 October 1988 to 19 May 1990.

The series is a sequel to the 1953 film The War of the Worlds, a loose adaptation of the novel of the same title by H.G. Wells, using the same war machine designs and often incorporating aspects from the film, radio adaptation, and the original novel into its mythology.

Though the original film’s producer, George Pal, envisioned a TV series from the same film sometime in the 1970s, it was not until the late 1980s that a series was finally realised, this time by television producer Greg Strangis. The show was a part of the boom of first-run syndicated television series being produced at the time. It was later shown in reruns on the Sci Fi Channel.

The series was filmed in Toronto, Canada.


According to the series, rather than being killed outright by germs at the end of the 1953 film, the aliens had all slipped into a state of suspended animation. Their bodies were stored away in toxic waste drums and shipped to various disposal sites within the United States (ten such sites are known to exist in the country), and a widespread government cover-up combined with a condition dubbed “selective amnesia” has convinced most people that the invasion had never happened.

Although the original movie narration had explicitly stated that the aliens were Martians (even featuring artwork indicating an alien city on the planet Mars), since 1953 the concept of vastly intelligent life on Mars had lost plausibility. In the series, the aliens are revealed to actually be from Mor-Tax—a garden planet 40 light-years away in the Taurus constellation orbiting a dying sun.

Thirty-five years later, in 1988 (modern day when the series began), a terrorist group calling itself the People’s Liberation Party accidentally irradiates the drums containing the aliens while raiding the dumpsite near Fort Jericho. The radiation destroys the bacteria that were keeping the aliens unconscious. Once free, the aliens take possession of the bodies of the six terrorists who overran the site. From there they use a series of human bodies and crudely adapted Earth technology to find means of appropriating the planet, both in removing humanity and developing a permanent means to inoculate themselves against the planet’s indigenous bacteria. Their attempt to successfully make Earth into their new homeworld is imperative for in roughly five years, three million colonists from Mor-Tax are expected to arrive.

The War of the Worlds Series (1988-1989)

Home Media

  • On 01 November 2005, Paramount Home Media Distribution released season 1 on DVD in Region 1.
  • The second season was released on 26 October 2010, nearly five years after the release of the first season.
  • In Region 2, Revelation Films has released both seasons on DVD in the UK. Season 1 was released on 30 April 2012 and season 2 was released on 30 August 2012.
  • On 06 February 2018, CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution released seasons 1 and 2 as a single package entitled War of the Worlds: The Complete Series on DVD.

The War of the Worlds Film, TV Series & Documentaries

You can find a full index here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Creator: Greg Strangis.
  • Composer (Season 01): Billy Thorpe.
  • Composer (Season 02): Fred Molin.
  • Production: Hometown Films, Paramount Domestic Television, Ten Four Productions, and Triumph Entertainment.
  • Distributor: Paramount Domestic Television (1988-2006), CBS Paramount Television (2006-2007), and CBS Television Distribution (2007-2018.
  • Release Date: 07 October 1988 to 19 May 1990.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US and Canada.
  • Language: English.

YouTube Link

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