The War of the Worlds (BBC miniseries)

A great adaptation of the novel by Herbert George Wells

Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli

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The image above is property of BBC.

This BBC miniseries from 2019 (directed by Craig Viveiros and produced by Mammoth Screen), set in the Edwardian period, is yet another adaptation of the novel by Herbert George Wells (published in 1898) and consists from three episodes of about an hour.

It is considered one of the most faithful transpositions of the book both because of the historical setting (despite being set a few years later, in 1905), which further highlights humanity’s impotence in the face of an alien invasion, and for the narration of events itself.

What is added to the original plot is the personal story of the two protagonists, Amy and George, who live together despite the fact that they are not married and that he is unable to obtain a divorce from his wife. These two only partially replace the narrator of the book and his wife, however shifting the attention to the female character, who was completely marginal in the original text. They are played by Eleanor Tomlinson (already seen in Poldark in the role of Demelza and in The Pemberley Mysteries) and Rafe Spall (son of Timothy Spall; seen in Prometheus, Jurassic World — Fallen Kingdom, and Men in Black International).

Furthermore, the main narrative is intertwined with the one in the future in which we see Amy and her son wandering in the devastated world after the “failed” invasion of the tripods.

Even though I had not read the book, I immediately perceived the Wellsian imprint in the story, starting with the character of Ogilvy, the scientist also present in the novel and here played by the great Robert Carlyle, and continuing with the attempt to a scientific approach, although limited by the knowledge of the time, towards the consequences of the invasion, although this last post-apocalyptic part from the point of view of the female protagonist was added to the original story.

While reading various reviews, I noticed that the main criticisms concern a certain depressing effect of the story, its slowness in some parts, the lack of characterisation due to the limited time of the narrative (which perhaps, therefore, is not so slow) and even the acting skills of the main actors. Someone said it was a missed…

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Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli

Italian science fiction & thriller author, scientific & literary translator, biologist, educator, dreamer. 🇮🇹: www.anakina.net EN: www.anakina.eu I ❤️🎾