H.G. Wells’ War Of The Worlds has to be among one of the most adapted science fiction novels ever written. I can recall seven off the top of my head–including the subject of this post–though I’m reasonably certain there’re a few that have escaped my notice.
This version takes place in various countries in Europe–of the seven only two others carry that distinction–which might have something to do with how (relatively speaking) subdued everyone is.
Though it could also have something to do with the budget–or the lack thereof–because at least based upon the first three episodes most of it went toward hiring Gabriel Byrne (who to be fair was worth every penny. Few actors can do ‘troubled’ as well as Byrne).
And in reference to said budget, aliens don’t make themselves seen–though the presence of their machinations is certainly felt–in these initial episodes though they do send an emissary of sorts: mechanical dog-like automatons that’re out cleaning up the humans their arrival didn’t already kill (I neglected to mention that the aliens arrived in what appeared to be meteors, which upon crashing to earth began to emanate a field that interfered with the functioning of the human brain, which for many people in proximity resulted in death).
Both of these changes were welcome and helped differentiate this version from the others that proceeded it.
Though sometimes an idea–no matter how innovative–matters less than the execution, particularly when it comes to alien automatons because you’ve seen these critters before if you’ve been paying attention to the news at all.
Here it is.
I kid you not. This is what the aliens are apparently using to control the human populace.
And sure, they paint it black and make it so that it’s Cylon-like (as in partially organic) organism but at the end of the day it’s exactly like the robot “dog” pictured above.
So far this version of War Of The Worlds feels like 24 Days Later with aliens–which is a good thing–though an interesting approach to the aliens going forth is going to be crucial if this series is going to get off the ground.