War of the Worlds/The Walls of Jericho

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The Walls of Jericho
WOTW - The Walls of Jericho.png
Season 1, Episode 1
Airdate October 10, 1988
Written by Forrest Van Buren
Directed by Colin Chilvers
← Pilot
The Resurrection
1x02 →
Thy Kingdom Come
War of the WorldsSeason One

The Walls of Jericho is the first episode of the first season of War of the Worlds.

Starring: Jared Martin (Harrison Blackwood), Lynda Mason Green (Suzanne McCullough), Philip Akin (Norton Drake)

and Richard Chaves (Colonel Ironhorse)

Guest Stars: Mark Humphrey (Milkman #1), Richard Comar (Advocate #1), Michael Rudder (Advocate #3), Ilse Von Glatz (Advocate #2), Larry Reynolds (Mr. Kensington), Corinne Conley (Mrs. Pennyworth), Rachel Blanchard (Debi McCullough)

and John Vernon (Gen. Wilson)

Also Starring: Dale Wilson (Sheriff), Jim Bearden (Rancher), Les Carlson (Detective #1)

Featuring: Louise Cranfield (Young Wife), Kris Ryan (Detective #2), Brenda Adams (Woman Worker), Rod Heffernan (Computer Technician), Michael Caruana (Ralph), Chris Potter (Farmer) (credit only), Eric Keenleyside (Foreman), Stephen Makaj (Milkman #2), Robert Lee (Chin), Mrs. Lau (Chinese Woman), Ted Hanlan (Guard), Paul De La Rosa (Cop)


Plot Overview

Six weeks have passed since the destruction of the alien warships and with no further sign of the aliens, the powers-that-be are convinced that the Blackwood Project has completed its objective and prepare to shut it down.

Unbeknown to them, the aliens have been focusing their efforts into combating the very radiation that saved them from killing them so that they can continue their mission.


Teaser Quote

"They sure don't die very pretty, do they?"

Base Three

  • The graveyard shift the aliens take over is made up of 12 employees.
  • In Suzanne's computer presentation, the alien cells are represented in a triangle shape


  • San Francisco (The Cottage)
  • The Nevada Desert (an abandoned underground nuclear test site)
  • Logan, Nevada


  • According to Norton's computer, it's June. However, this contradicts that Debi says she will be 12 "next month" and "Eye for an Eye" that says she's still 11. Therefore it's actually October.
  • It's been six weeks since there's been alien activity.
  • This episode takes place over at least 13 days.

Arc Advancement


  • The aliens have been searching for attempt to combat the heat from the radiation they need. They manage to steal materials and fabricate contamination suits that are insulated with liquid nitrogen that serves as a coolant. This can keep the Advocacy alive and safe while they lead from the irradiated caverns. They lose access to refrigeration factory, but have procured more than enough.
  • The Blackwood Project is about to be shut down when it's believed the aliens have been eliminated. The discovery that they are still alive and continuing with their plans presumably allows it to remain in operation indefinitely.
  • Harrison introduces the amnesia theory to explain why no one remember the alien invasion of 1953, while also suggested that it maybe because something on the aliens' own means, or a combination of both.
  • According to Suzanne's research, the alien possession process is a combination of osmosis and cell-phase matching. The alien cells seek out human cells it can bond to, which allows the genetic information from the human cells to communicate to the alien cells. This process allows the alien to absorb all intelligence from the human, killing the human cells in the process.


  • The other members of the project become a bit animus toward Ironhorse when he seems rushed to see the operation closed, even going behind their backs to General Wilson to share information. This is somewhat smoothed over when Ironhorse learns Harrison was right.
  • General Wilson fought in the War of the Worlds as a Second Lieutenant, but despite seeing a lot of action, can't recall any of it.
  • Mrs. Pennyworth was a spy during the World War II. Her husband was also a spy, but is it not known who he is, though his absence implies that he passed away.
  • Mr. Kensington was in the military and reached as high as the rank of Major.


  • At the prospect of resuming where they left off, Suzanne asks Harrison if he still has room for a microbiologist to which he asks if she's willing to spend time with a "nutcase".


The Show

  • John Vernon makes his final appearance as General Wilson, although he will be referred to several more times from here on out.

Behind the Scenes

  • This is one of three episodes credited under a pseudonym, this one an amalgamation of the names Clayton Forrester and Sylvia Van Buren from the 1953 film. It was written by an anonymous scab during the 1988 Writer's Strike and was put into production as it was one of only three scripts available after the filming of the pilot.
  • Chris Potter is credited as Farmer, but he nor any such character appears, implying a scene may have been filmed, but deleted.

Allusions and References

  • In response to the idea of aliens taking over human bodies and kill them in the process, Norton makes a reference to Night of the Living Dead, the 1968 horror film by George A. Romero, one of the most prolific films in the zombie genre.

Memorable Moments

  • The reveal that one of the Advocates has suffered so much from radiation that he needs to take refuge in one of the tanks of bovine blood.
  • General Wilson gets "in on the action" by firing on an escaping truck, getting his first view of melted alien remains.


  • When Mrs Pennyworth leaves to offer Norton some snacks, Harrison adds "I'm sure he would," but his lips don't match.
  • When the alien is being electrocuted on the fence, she is wearing gloves, but isn't when we see the close-up on her melting hands.
  • The shot of the abovementioned alien remains is a recycled shot of the alien remains Suzanne takes a sample from in "The Resurrection".
  • While listening to the team's account of the refrigeration factory, Wilson has his hands on the arm of the chair, but they are clasped in front of his face when it cuts immediately to the next shot.
  • When Wilson tells Suzanne that he's "getting too old for this," his lips don't appear to be moving.
  • Ironhorse shoots Ralph, but he clearly pulls the trigger after the sound of the gunshot.
  • Rod Heffernan is mistakenly credited as 'Rob Heffernan'.


  • Milkman #1: Our analysis indicates the high level of radiation needed to protect us from the indigenous bacteria of this planet causes our metabolisms to heat to dangerous levels.
Advocate #1: Our scientists seem to have a firm grasp on the obvious. Tell us something we don't already know!
  • Advocate #2: The lower classes are all alike - excuses for every shortcoming!
  • Advocate #3: Since your medicines have proven inadequate, you will find a more effective method of dealing with this killing heat.
Advocate #2: Solutions, not excuses.
Milkman #1: As you wish, Advocate.
Advocacy: As we order, scientist!
  • Norton: We're talking Night of the Living Dead here, folks. Not only do these guys get to pick our brains, they also get to use our bodies as a perfect disguise.
Ironhorse: I don't call open sores and radiation sickness a perfect disguise. I mean, it's not exactly difficult to spot these things in a crowd.
Harrison: For now, maybe, but it's only a matter of time until they figure out a better way to protect themselves... and conceal themselves.
Ironhorse: If any more of them are still around.
  • General Wilson: I don't see any mention about that amnesia theory you told me about a few weeks ago.
Harrison: Oh, essentially, that's the theory that's made popular by people who believe in UFOs, General.
Norton: Which should, all weird things being considered, include all of us in this room.
  • Chin: (translating) She's saying something about monsters... No, no, no; about dragons. At least I think it's dragons. And then the dragons disappeared and... and everybody got up and left like nothing ever happened. That's it.
Detective #1: Dragons, huh? Why not ghosts, or hobgoblins, or something I can understand?
  • General Wilson: And this house has had its own share of history as well. A few nuclear physicists lived here in the early days of the Manhattan Project. And just before you, we kept a KGB defector here. I wonder who the next occupants will be.
Norton: Harrison, does that sound suspiciously like an eviction notice to you?
  • Ironhorse: I'm just doing my job, Doctor.
Harrison: I wish to God you would let me do mine.
  • Harrison: Well, if the general is right and the aliens are dead... then we just pick up where we left off.
Suzanne: And if he's wrong?
Harrison: If he's wrong... none of this matters anyway.
  • Norton: My daddy always used to tell me: never get so comfortable with a place – or a woman – that you can't leave in five minutes flat.
Suzanne: That must have been a great comfort to your mother.
Norton: Well, my folks were married forty-two years, had six kids. Must have been doing something right.
  • Suzanne: Excuse me, but isn't tapping into that computer just the tiniest bit against the law?
Norton: I don't know. I never asked. Well, let's see if there's something worth going to jail for.
  • Ironhorse: Where did you get this list?
Suzanne: Norton has his own way of finding these things out.
Ironhorse: Didn't Mr Drake get the message? Didn't any of you people get the message? This operation is terminated. You people are no longer in the alien-busting business.
Harrison: You could bring this list to General Wilson, Colonel, and you could ask him to give us more time.
Ironhorse: Oh, really? And what am I supposed to say to the general, that the aliens are trying to take over the world by cornering the market on plastic tubing? Give me a break, Doctor.
  • Advocate #3: We've been away from battle far too long.
Advocate #1: It will be good to resume.
  • Ironhorse: All right, you've worn me down. I'll go with you. But you've got to promise me one thing: if you're wrong, you're going to get the hell out of my life and stay out.
Harrison: I won't even send you a Christmas card.
  • Ironhorse: He's carrying enough radiation he should have died days ago.
Harrison: Maybe he did.
  • Young Wife: This has gone on long enough, Ralph. Three days and you haven't been home. You don't call. You don't return my calls.
Ralph: I've been working.
Young Wife: You really expect me to believe that? This is a factory, not a hospital. I mean, how important could this be?
Ralph: I've been working.
Young Wife: What's her name, Ralph? You owe me that much! Who is she? (to another worker) Why is he treating me like this?
Milkman #2: He's been working.
Young Wife: Good, then he'll have plenty of money for a divorce lawyer. Did you hear me, Ralph?
(the workers all stop to stare at her; she leaves and they resume their work)
Ironhorse: I don't know whether or not these guys are aliens, Doctor, but they are definitely weird.
  • Suzanne: Uncle Hank, are you sure about this?
Wilson: If I'm wrong, I'll apologise in the morning.
  • Advocate #3: The loss of the refrigeration facility is something of a setback.
Advocate #2: True, but it's hardly cause for serious concern.
Advocate #1: We have more than enough coolant to see our invasion through to its victorious conclusion.
Advocacy: To Life Immortal.