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The Resurrection
Season 1, Episode 1
The Resurrection title card
Air date October 7, 1988
Written by Greg Strangis
Directed by Colin Chilvers
Episode guide
The Walls of Jericho

"The Resurrection" is the first episode of the 1st season of the War of the Worlds TV series.


In 1953, a worldwide invasion from Mars would have eliminated humanity had the extraterrestrial invaders not been vulnerable to the indigenous bacteria on the planet. Now an accident at a dumpsite revives the comatose aliens who then shortly attempt to resume the war they started 35 years ago.


Terrorists attack Fort Jericho, a nuclear waste storage dump. Aliens stored there awaken and "possess" the terrorists. With hundreds of their brethren, they travel in a tractor-trailer to Kellogue United States Air Force Base, where three of their war machines are stored.

At the New Pacific Institute, microbiologist Suzanne McCullough joins Dr. Harrison Blackwood and computer expert Norton Drake to search for extraterrestrials. Norton intercepts an alien radio transmission from Fort Jericho. Harrison and Suzanne rush there. They meet Lt. Col. Paul Ironhorse. Seeing the broken barrels, Harrison realizes the aliens are alive. He tells Suzanne about the 1953 invasion. She takes him to her uncle, General Wilson, who seems unconvinced. Ironhorse and his troops pursue the "terrorists".

Following Norton's radio intercepts, Harrison and Suzanne rush to a country farmhouse, meeting Ironhorse. His Delta Squad assaults the "terrorists" inside, but are all killed or possessed by the aliens, who escape, establishing their headquarters in an abandoned underground nuclear testing site in Nevada.

General Wilson gives Harrison government backing, a secret base called the Cottage and Ironhorse as his watchdog and liaison. Norton's intercepts lead the team to Kellogue Air Force Base to destroy the alien war machines located there. Barely ahead of Ironhorse's possessed soldiers, they plant explosives inside the machines and flee. The explosives destroy the pursuing machines.



  • Originally aired as a 120 minute episode, but has been formatted as two 60 minute episodes in most subsequent re-airings for scheduling reasons. While many guides list it as a two-parter, its initial airing and release on DVD as one double-length episode should make this the official recognition.
  • This series premiere episode includes clips from the 1953 film The War of the Worlds.
  • A novelization of the pilot episode was written by J.M. Dillard. While following the same narrative structure of the episode, the book contains characters from the 1953 film and scenes not included in the final cut of the pilot; it also explores more deeply the aliens' political motivations, and emphasizes denial instead of the "selective amnesia" aspect of the plot.[1]


Chambers: 47 minutes.
Urick: We will be ready.
Chambers: You know, something about the irony of pirating a U.S. communications satellite to broadcast our demands always makes me smile.
Urick: Smile on camera. No one will take us seriously!
Chambers: Well, then we'll just have to blow up this dump and send a big fat radioactive cloud of nuclear waste floating over their nice middle-class homes! Right?

Advocate #3: Without the guidance of the Council, we are nothing. We must make contact.
Advocate #1: Agreed. Once the Council is aware of our plight, it will know how to proceed.
Advocate #2: Their equipment is primitive.
Advocate #1: But adequate if properly refined.

Advocate #2: The transponder signal is very strong.
Advocate #1: Triangulating the location of our ships should not prove difficult.
Advocate #2: All is well.
Advocate #3: Our mission will succeed. We will live life immortal.
Advocate #1: It is time to leave.

Harrison: What would you say if I told you that Earth was being invaded by aliens from another planet?

Harrison: In 1953, we experienced what can only be described as a war of the worlds. If it wasn't for common everyday bacteria attacking the aliens' immune systems, they would've won this war, and you and I would not be having this conversation!
Suzanne: But we are having this conversation, which I don't want! So I fail to see your point!
Harrison: My point is that although the bacteria stopped the aliens, I don't think it killed them!
Suzanne: Excuse me, but I think you have been sitting too close to your television set.
Harrison: Really? How do you explain the radio signals? How do you account for the barrels? The barrels that entombed what were supposed to be dead aliens forced open from the inside?! What the hell happened to the hundreds of other barrels that used to be stored in that location?!
Suzanne: Just because I don't have an answer doesn't mean there isn't a logical explanation for your...paranoia!!
Harrison: I am attempting to offer you a logical explanation. In 1953, bacteria forced the aliens into a state of hibernation, or suspended animation or estivation or anabiosis. I don't know the terms; that's your field, not mine. But now, something has happened to wake the aliens up. That nuclear disposal site was hot with radioactivity, right? Maybe that's it. Maybe the bacteria which infected the aliens is now being wiped out by exposure to radiation.
Suzanne: So now, the aliens, hundreds of them...
Harrison: At least!
Suzanne: ...are loose?
Harrison: Yes!
Suzanne: You're nuttier than I thought.
Harrison: That doesn't make me wrong! At least listen to my proof!

Harrison: The alien attack wasn't three days old before my parents were killed. They were colleagues of Dr. Forrester's. Anyway...Dr. Forrester, who was practically my second father as he was, ended up taking me in. I grew up steeped in this research, listening to his theories...seeing how broken he was when nobody took him seriously. He said that if the aliens invaded once, they could do it again. Nobody wanted to hear that. He said that until we get adequate research, we couldn't even be sure the aliens were really dead. Apparently, their bodies weren't decaying as might be expected. Well, that really drove people crazy. Instead of expanding its research, the U.S. Government collected the alien remains and sealed them in steel drums...out of sight, out of mind. You still think I'm a nutcase?
Suzanne: Have you ever heard of the African lungfish? The lungfish can survive least four years, maybe as many as ten, without water. It goes into such a profound state of anabiosis that the average person would think the fish was long dead. However, pour water over it,'s like a resurrection. The fish is alive and swimming again.
Harrison: So you don't think I'm a nutcase?
Suzanne: Definitely a nutcase. you said, that doesn't make you wrong. [tears up her letter of resignation] And I can always write another resignation.

Ironhorse: This is weird stuff we're dealing with here, Blackwood! Bolas! Terrorists that don't...act like terrorists! Terrorists that don't die like terrorists! I actually saw a body dissolve after I shot it!
Harrison: Also some fairly extraordinary phenomenon, Colonel!
Ironhorse: Well, when in God's name is somebody gonna start explaining things to me?!
Harrison: I've already explained as much of it as I understand myself!
Ironhorse: You've explained nothing, mister! I don't believe in ghosts, and I sure as hell don't believe in aliens from another planet!

General Wilson: Too many variables. Strength unknown, resources unknown, purposes, goals, locations...unknown, unknown, unknown.
Harrison: I can only tell you what I saw.
Suzanne: What we all saw, Uncle Hank. It was horrible; those things were not people anymore. But I do have a theory about cell-phase matching.
General Wilson: Suzanne, whatever you and Dr. Blackwood saw, no matter how extraordinary, cannot be considered as evidence.
Suzanne: Well, talk to your Colonel. He was there!
General Wilson: The Colonel and I talked at length. Admittedly, something incredible did take place. However, Colonel Ironhorse is not yet ready to attribute those events to aliens from another world.
Harrison: He's more comfortable believing the Russians have some secret weapon that makes us all see things that aren't really there.
General Wilson: Colonel Ironhorse is a highly effective warrior, Doctor. He's been trained to deal in absolutes.
Harrison: In this case, General, he is absolutely wrong!
General Wilson: I agree. And so do a few of my superiors. However, they want this entire matter kept hush-hush.
Harrison: Hold it, General. Nobody's gonna silence me the same way they silenced Dr. Forrester 35 years ago.
General Wilson: What happened to your adopted father, Doctor, was unfortunate for all of us. However, the President and my superiors would rather not let this become a political issue. They don't want to ignore this. They want it kept quiet. And I'm here to offer you a job. Find the aliens, Doctor, and stop them before they do more harm.
Harrison: And I can do things my way?
General Wilson: Completely. Your own people, your own methods, anything you want. Naturally, we'll have to establish procedures.
Harrison: What kind of procedures?
General Wilson: To protect you and your colleagues. To protect the secrecy of the project. Nothing I assure you, Doctor, you wouldn't do yourself. Aside from that, you have a blank check. But you'll need a co-signer. [Colonel Ironhorse enters the room and stands in front of General Wilson and Harrison] I believe you all know one another.

Advocate #2: All is well.
Advocate #1: We're strong again, and ready to resume our invasion.
Advocate #2: Not too hastily, comrade.
Advocate #3: Our ships' onboard computers must finish their pre-flight checks first.
Advocate #2: We've been patient for so many years. We can afford to wait a bit longer.

Harrison: Norton, does the number three mean anything special to you? [Norton shakes his head] It sure meant something special to the aliens. Think about it. Their ships flew in groups of three; their optics were divided into three units. They attack their targets in three different directions. Even their weapons, the bolas, had three weighted ends. Three, Norton. Think three. I know the answer is there.
Norton: Number three. I'll think on it. What have we got to lose, huh?

Harrison: You find something interesting?
Suzanne: Hmm. Have a look.
Harrison: What is it?
Suzanne: You tell me.
Harrison: This is the tissue sample you took from the dissolved body?
Suzanne: Mm-hm. But it's not exactly human anymore.
Harrison: Then what is it?
Suzanne: Half-human, half-alien. It's as if the cells from both species have merged to create something new, unique.
Harrison: And this sustains your cell-phase matching theory?
Suzanne: Oh, no, Doctor Blackwood, you're not gonna make me jump to a conclusion that I haven't had time to prove yet.
Harrison: Fair enough, Dr. McCullough. Suzanne, good work.
Suzanne: Thanks, Harrison. Thanks a lot.

Ironhorse: You expect me to climb into the heads of these, these creatures; you've got to give me more to go on.
Harrison: Okay, they're soldiers...the same as you. Now you tell me. How do soldiers think?
Ironhorse: I spent four years at the point, fifteen more active duty. Hell, Doctor, I'm not sure I do think anymore. I...I react.
Harrison: Okay, start there. You're their leader. React to their situation.
Ironhorse: Okay, I...need good intelligence. Know your enemy. Communications. They already seem to have that. Supplies. They gotta keep the troops fed. Weapons.
Harrison: Definitely weapons.
Ironhorse: They don't have it. Or at least none that amount to anything. That's their primary weakness.
Harrison: Which makes it our strength. Have you ever heard of Hangar 15?
Ironhorse: No.
Harrison: The place where the Air Force stores all its UFO evidence.
Ironhorse: You mean Hangar 18. The...building 18 at Wright-Patterson? Forget it, Doctor. That's all a myth.
Harrison: No. Hangar 18 is the myth, Colonel. That's disinformation created by the military. Hangar 15...that's the real mccoy.
Ironhorse: I don't believe it.
Harrison: Dr. Forrester did; it's in his papers. I think now might be the time to call General Wilson. Ask him if it's a myth.

Ironhorse: According to General Wilson, the U.S. Government has had three of the alien ships mothballed in Hangar 15 since 1953. You want to guess as to the location of Hangar 15?
Harrison: Kellogue Air Force Base.
Ironhorse: Right smack dab in the middle.
Harrison: You've read the material, Colonel. You know what happens if the aliens get their hands on those ships!

Ironhorse: General Wilson is taking care of the joint military forces board of inquiry. I'm told that, unofficially, of course, the board is predisposed to lay the blame on an unnamed terrorist organization.
Norton: A whole lot closer to the truth than they'll ever realize.
Suzanne: I'm just glad all of this is behind us.
Harrison: Is it? Is it really?

Advocate #2: Our Council allows us no margin for failure.
Advocate #1: The primitives have proven to be unexpectedly clever.
Advocate #3: Their cleverness will not save them. We will improvise.
Advocate #1: As long as we meet the deadline.



  1. "Parenthesis: J.M. Dillard’s Novelization of War of the Worlds: The Resurrection". TrenchcoatSoft Interactive (September 30, 2015). Retrieved on October 29, 2018.

External linksEdit

War of the Worlds TV Series - Season 1
The Resurrection I The Walls of Jericho I Thy Kingdom Come I A Multitude of Idols I Eye For an Eye I The Second Seal I Goliath Is My Name I To Heal the Leper I The Good Samaritan I Epiphany I Among the Philistines I Choirs of Angels I Dust to Dust I He Feedeth Among the Lilies I The Prodigal Son I The Meek Shall Inherit I Unto Us a Child is Born I The Last Supper I Vengeance is Mine I My Soul to Keep I So Shall Ye Reap I The Raising of Lazarus I The Angel of Death