Production is underway on the BBC’s War of the Worlds adaptation

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

The War of the Worlds BBC

There have been multiple cinematic and television adaptations of H.G. Wells' 1897 story The War of the Worlds over the decades (not to mention an infamous 1938 radio broadcast by Orson Welles), including a 1953 film directed by Byron Haskin and a 2005 film directed by Steven Spielberg, and while I usually enjoy these adaptations, I always felt the producers and directors were missing out on something special by setting their versions of the story in then-modern day instead of retaining the turn of the 20th century setting of Wells' novel. Advanced alien war machines stalking England during the Edwardian era (or thereabouts) is a much more interesting concept to me than alien war machines stalking America in 2005.

Cameras are now rolling on a three-part BBC adaptation of The War of the Worlds, the first ever British television adaptation of the material, and this one is actually retaining the setting of Wells' novel.

Written by Peter Harness and directed by Craig Viveiros, the three-parter stars Rafe Spall, Eleanor Tomlinson, Rupert Graves, and Robert Carlyle. The story follows

George (Spall) and his partner, Amy (Tomlinson), as they attempt to start a life together. Graves is Frederick, George’s elder brother, and Carlyle plays Ogilvy, an astronomer and scientist. The show follows them as they face the escalating terror of an alien invasion.

Harness had this to say about his adaptation: 

The version of ‘The War of the Worlds’ that I wanted to make is one that’s faithful to the tone and the spirit of the book, but which also feels contemporary, surprising and full of shocks: a collision of sci-fi, period drama and horror."

The War of the Worlds is being produced by Mammoth Screen, with ITV Studios Global Entertainment handling international sales.

I hope this limited series turns out well, because I have wanted to see this sort of adaptation of Wells' novel ever since I read the book when I was a kid.

Source: Variety

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.