War of the Worlds is considered sci-fi royalty. Many modern works of science-fiction owe a lot to the original novel. Now the BBC has announced that it will be creating its own version of the popular novel, taking audiences back to the turn of the 20th century in the process.
Revealed on Thursday at an event in London co-hosted by BBC Director General Tony Hall and new controller of BBC Drama Piers Wenger – the three-part series will be filmed in early 2018. Hall stated;
“It feels to me a special moment for drama. What really excites me is I think we’ve shaken off all preconceptions about what stories people will come to…. make drama that says something new and different.”
We know that the three-episode series is set to be written by Peter Harness – whose previous credits include Doctor Who and Wallander. The writer told the North-West Evening Mail;
“I’m feeling phenomenally lucky to be writing The War Of The Worlds, and blowing up gigantic swathes of the home counties at the dawn of the 20th Century. Wells’ book is ground zero for all modern science fiction, and like all the best sci-fi, manages to sneak in some pretty astonishing comments on what it is to be a human being too.”
It’s also worth noting that this won’t be a modern retelling of War of the Worlds, instead homing in on the original Victorian setting. Reportedly the series will be set at the turn of the 20th century – arguably making it one of the most faithful adaptations thus far.
Harness can’t wait to get to work on the series;
‘I’m hoping to follow in the great man’s footsteps by making a terrifying, Martian-packed series which manages to be emotional, characterful, and – deep breath, dare I say it – even political at the same time.’
Most modern audiences probably know War of the Worlds through Steven Spielberg’s 2005 love-it or hate-it Tom Cruise flick. That movie was loyal to the source material but still split opinion – as it took some liberties left turns throughout its plot (aka, nobody important dies).
I’m very curious to see how this turns out. The BBC has a great track record when it comes to adapting classic source materials. If they can make this work, it would be exciting to see a period piece that’s loyal to the original novel.
Will you be checking out this series when it hits the air?