Mor-Taxans are the extraterrestrial inhabitants of the fictional planet Mor-Tax, in the first season of the War of the Worlds television series. They are loosely based on the Martians from the 1953 film version of The War of the Worlds.
Mor-Taxan society is divided into three functional castes: ruling class, military, and scientists. The ruling class is represented on Earth by a triad called the Advocacy who oversee the invasion while their leaders known as the Council (never seen on screen) remain on Mor-Tax to supervise evacuation from their dying planet. The lower class belong mainly to so-called 'field units' who are undercover in human society while most of the scientists stay in Advocacy headquarters at Nevada desert to provide medical and engineering service.
A quote from the show which illustrates this class system is: There are thousands of us...but we are ruled by the three. (Quinn to Blackwood)
Apparently, Mor-Taxans love art, as evidence by renegade Quinn, whose works are very valuable among humans.
The Mor-Taxans possess some advanced technology; including old remains from previous invasions, and some devices which they created from parts found on Earth. Examples include:
Language and communication
The Mor-Taxans employ two known means of communication. One is verbal or phonetic, and is mainly a spoken language, though occasionally they emit more bestial and guttural sounds. The nature of their language is distinctly alien, but at times the observant listener can hear pieces of a human language. For example, in one episode, as the aliens are talking about our sun (via subtitles), the word sol or solar can be heard in correspondence. In other, craft is audible when discussing a ship. While this fictional language sounds inspired in part of African origin, what real human languages were amalgamated in it are unknown. It is of note, that when the aliens talk in human host bodies, there seems to be little distinction between their voices, both among each other and from those in their natural state. However, whereas their voices are mostly heard in more a high pitch, there are times when an aliens' voice is lower. The reasons for this, either within the show or behind-the-scenes, are unknown.
Another method often used is the use of radio transmissions. To the human ear, they are heard simply as a pulsating noise. An explained aspect to this is that this is the same sounds heard when they are seen standing back-to-back in threes in what seems to be a trance. The show never explains what exactly they are doing, but the novelization refers to it as a "communion of consciousness." Though it's unclear if the book is canon, the show itself reflects little to refute this. The reference of their collective nature and mindset, and even their crude telepathic abilities support this theory. However, the strongest case is in their means of operating their ships. Dr. Clayton Forrester speculated that they use brainwave impulses and in one scene we see three aliens operating a ship, without apparent physical guidance, sitting in their common triangle formation, emitting the same pulsating sounds. To further the possible organic nature, there is evidence the aliens can understand the broadcasts as if they were a simple language. To this extent, in one episode, they are used in some way for the benefit of their unhatched young. Norton Drake, the member of the Blackwood Project who receives and studies the signals, even goes as far as to refer to them as "baby talk."
The decaying remains of a Mor-Taxan while in possession of a human body.
|The decay process of a Mor-Taxan body is an exothermic reaction, their flesh becoming a horrible steamy mass of decomposing alien tissue.|
- Mor-Taxans have a total of three arms. Two of these are attached to their body much like those on the human body, but their third arm is largely unseen as it appears to be hidden in their chest. It appears to be rarely employed in any of their activity, though it proves useful when one has taken over a human body, its sudden burst through the chest of their host catching targets off guard.
- Structurally, the aliens are like jellyfish rather than mammals. They are able to "melt" into human bodies via a combination of osmosis and cell phase-matching. This process effectively kills the human cells but allows the alien access to their memories. Once one such alien is killed, an exothermic reaction causes the cells to boil, leaving a decaying radioactive puddle of human & alien biomatter. Once an alien leaves its host body, the same reaction occurs to the discarded tissue.
The melting into humans seems to be reversible. The Advocacy is seen in human bodies, then after discovery of environmental suits they somehow returned to their original form and in the episodes "To Heal the Leper" and "The Angel of Death" they melted into humans twice. This ability is somehow connected with immunology or alien genetics. Quinn, who is immune to Earth bacteria, is also imprisoned in a human body.