Another big BBC adaptation that I’ve sat down to watch is the three part adaptation of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds. A Sci-Fi classic that continues to defy the ages.
Before I watched this show I watched His Dark Materials and said in my review that one of the scenes in this weeks episode is one of the most haunting scenes I’ve seen all year.
War of the Worlds actually managed to kind of scare me a little. No not in the jump scare, horror type of way but in a subtle way that I feel has kind of been lost in the world today.
If you don’t know what War of the Worlds is, it is one of the first ever stories of a alien invasion on Earth, written by H.G. Wells in 1898. For our generation the imagery of the ships on tall legs invading earth is the image we remember best, specially the cover to the Musical Version of the War of the Worlds. Stories about how people heard the radio broadcast and actually believed it back in the 30s are still tagged along to anyone explaining what War of the Worlds is.
In other words War of the Worlds is something that has a very cemented part already in our minds.
I didn’t really know what to expect from a BBC adaptation but if I’m honest I’m really happy with how the first episode turned out. Whilst the characters aren’t that engaging, it is hard to care about George and Amy’s problems as a couple or how George’s brother doesn’t like him for leaving his wife or even in a modern age just see the problem in any of what they are doing there was something about just small scenes here and there that got you excited about what is to come.
Mainly from Eleanor Tomlinson who plays Amy.
She doesn’t come across as a Edwardian woman and her relationship, albeit short lived, with Ogilvy was exciting and fun. It almost made you forget what they had found or inevitably what was about to happen as you watched her kind of find a place in the world for herself.
The rest of the cast were pretty bland if I’m honest and it led to a rather slow start to the mini-series.
Nothing seemed to happen as they told us the backstories of characters that we knew were about to be thrown into a war that they couldn’t win. It all just felt a bit tedious at times and even ended up making me laugh out loud when both Amy and George had just seen a giant ball of black liquid float into the air and then kill a bunch of people but decided they needed to talk about how George’s wife wouldn’t give him a divorce.
It was all a bit too much drama for the sake of it, felt like padding randomly placed in the episode because they didn’t feel they had enough to say.
Then again I’ve never read the book so I don’t know if this is important for them as characters but the way it was presented just made the episode drag out.
It was worth waiting for though.
The BBCs versions of the Tripod whilst being very modern in some ways were worth the wait of any drama they wanted to pour in. The scene that actually scared me a little in all the right ways was when Amy see’s the leg moving in the fog for the first time. Whilst the Tripod itself isn’t the most amazing version in the world it did its job of being the most intimidating thing you could imagine. The amount of carnage it left behind in its tracks was amazing and you actually felt like these people had no chance to survive.
I do hope that it gets better as it goes on, with the government trying to hide what is happening as they just don’t know what is happening it’ll be interesting to see where the show actually goes from here and who it really focuses on.