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War of the Worlds - 3-Part BBC TV Series to be released in 2018...

Discussion in 'Movies, Music & Television' started by AGXStarseed, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. AGXStarseed

    AGXStarseed Well-Known Member

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    (Not written by me)

    When is The War of the Worlds on TV? Who is in the cast?
    Eleanor Tomlinson and Rafe Spall star in a brand-new adaptation of the HG Wells sci-fi classic

    Eighty years after an infamous radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds supposedly sparked a mass panic that the world was ACTUALLY ending, the BBC is gifting us with a brand-new adaptation of the HG Wells sci-fi novel.

    Eleanor Tomlinson, Rafe Spall, Robert Carlyle and Rupert Graves will star in the three-part series, written for television by Doctor Who’s Peter Harness.

    [​IMG]

    Here’s what we know so far:


    When is The War of the Worlds on TV?
    The show was announced in spring 2017 and production began in April 2018, with filming taking place in Liverpool.

    An exact air date has not been confirmed but it’s expected to arrive on our screens later in 2018.

    #WOTW Day 1 pic.twitter.com/dYcjJKsaOl

    — Robert Carlyle (@robertcarlyle_) April 16, 2018


    Who will star in The War of the Worlds?
    Eleanor Tomlinson and Rafe Spall play George and Amy, a couple defying the prejudices of society as they attempt to start a life together, all the while swerving the ongoing chaos of an alien invasion.

    Tomlinson is best known for her role as Demelza in Poldark. She also recently starred in Ordeal by Innocence, as Mary Durrant.

    Spall, son of Timothy Spall, has starred in One Day, Prometheus, Life of Pi and The Big Short.

    Also joining them are Robert Carlyle as astronomer Ogilvy, and Rupert Graves (Sherlock’s DI Lestrade) as George’s brother Frederick.

    “It’s fantastic to have Rafe and Eleanor leading such a brilliant cast of British acting talent in the BBC’s faithful adaptation of H.G. Wells’ legendary story,” said Tommy Bulfin, BBC commissioning editor, in a statement.


    What is The War of the Worlds about?

    The War of the Worlds (1897) is a novel by English author HG Wells, who also wrote The Time Machine and became known as the father of science fiction. It’s one of the earliest books to tell the story of a conflict between mankind and an extraterrestrial race – in this case, Martians.

    When a strange object lands in the heart of England and hatches, the inhabitants of Earth find themselves under attack from ruthless aliens armed with heat rays and poisonous smoke.


    How similar will this be to the original novel?
    Unlike Steven Spielberg’s 2005 movie adaptation starring Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning, the BBC’s version will be true to the original period and setting.

    “HG Wells’ seminal novel has been adapted for the screen many times, but it’s always had a contemporary (and American) setting,” director Craig Viveiros said. “This is the first version to be set in London and [its environs] during the Edwardian period.”

    However, George and Amy – Spall and Tomlinson’s characters – are a new addition.

    Writer Peter Harness added: “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.”



    Source: https://www.radiotimes.com/news/2018-06-14/when-is-the-war-of-the-worlds-on-tv-who-is-in-the-cast/

    More Information: https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/...o-lead-the-bbcs-war-of-the-worlds-adaptation/
     
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  2. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I really liked all the previous versions but look forward to one in the original period.
     
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  3. AGXStarseed

    AGXStarseed Well-Known Member

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    The only one I know of that was set in the original period was one of the three that came out in June 2005.
    It's around 3 hours long, it looks fake (some of the actors are even wearing fake mustaches) and the CGI looks awful. Here's a few picture links:

    https://spdk1.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/warworlds_shot5l.jpg?w=840
    https://img00.deviantart.net/5625/i/2008/345/f/5/war_of_the_worlds_movie_still_by_capestranus.jpg
    https://www.stopmotionworks.com/misc/pdwotw7.jpg
     
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  4. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I didn't know about that one!
     
  5. AGXStarseed

    AGXStarseed Well-Known Member

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    There's been a fair few adaptations, inspirations, rip-offs, musicals, video games and even some sequels in the form of movies/TV shows. Here's the main ones:

    1. War of the Worlds (1953) - While it alters the plot in a number of ways (such as setting it in 1950's California instead of 1800's England), this adaptation of the story is the first and arguably the best.

    - War of the Worlds (1988 TV Series) - a direct follow-up to the 1953 film, taking place in the 1980's and revealing that the Martian's on Earth aren't dead and are plotting to resume their attempted takeover.​

    2. War of the Worlds (2005) (Pendragon) - the version I've just shown you pictures of. It was an independent film which explains its poor effects and I've found there is a cut version which is reduced from 3 hours to 2 hours and 5 minutes. That said, it doesn't really interest me.

    3. War of the Worlds/Invasion (2005) (The Asylum) - Another from June 2005 which alters the plot a lot more, such as the Tripods actually been six-legged crab-like machines. Heck, the poster looks like it's trying to be a rip off of Independence Day, but considering the movie was made by low budget movie schlock-mongers "The Asylum" (the people who made Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus) it doesn't surprise me. Here's some images:
    https://m.media-amazon.com/images/M/[email protected]@._V1_.jpg
    https://m.media-amazon.com/images/[email protected]_V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,933_AL_.jpg
    - War of the Worlds 2: The Next Wave - A sequel about the Martians returning two years later to launch another attack on Earth; this time with the humans attempting to counter by launching an attack on Mars itself. I've not seen it, but this one has worse reviews than the first film according to IMDB.​

    4. War of the Worlds (2005) (Spielberg) - The final adaptation that came out in June 2005, featuring Tom Cruise as a father trying to protect his estranged children when the Martians attack America. For me, some of it was okay but there were plot elements that didn't make sense (like why the Tripods were already buried underground yet nobody whose work involves them going underground ever noticed them?) and I just didn't find the characters that interesting personally.
    To be honest, I found the spoof of the movie in Scary Movie 4 to be more entertaining (and Scary Movie 4 was a horrible film).

    5. Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of 'The War of the Worlds' (2006) - A full-blown stage musical adaptation of the Jeff Wayne "War of the Worlds" concept album, with the stage musical including a giant Tripod prop on stage. Here's a clip (flashing light warning):

    - Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of the War of the Worlds: The New Generation (2013) - An updated version with Liam Neeson, Jason Donovan, Marti Pellow and Ricky Wilson. This version is still playing in some places if I'm not mistaken, but I don't know if there are any seats left:
    http://www.thewaroftheworlds.com/live-events/2018-uk/default.asp
    -Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds (Video Games) (1998/1999) - A pair of video games were released in 1998 and 1999 that were based on the concept album, with the 1998 game allowing you to play as the Humans or Martians in a style similar to Total War. The 1999 version was released for the European Playstation only and focused on the Human's attempts to defeat the Martians - such as taking on the Martians in the HMS Thunder Child, etc.




    6. War of the Worlds: Goliath (2012) - A Malaysian animated film that takes place in an alternate, steampunk version of 1914; taking place years after the first failed invasion of Earth by the Martians and with humanity having adapted the alien's technology and mixed it with human technology. As the First World War approaches, however, the Martians return in more powerful versions of their fighting machines; forcing humanity to battle them in their own versions of the Martian's tripods.


    7. War of the Worlds: The True Story (2012) - a mockumentary film that acts like the "War of the Worlds" was a real event (similar to the infamous Orson Welles Broadcast that made people think that Earth was been invaded by Martians) - complete with pictures, documents, an eyewitness report from one of the survivors, etc.
    I've not seen this one, but it sounds interesting at least - although some people have criticized it as been 'too safe'. If you're interested, I'll let you make your own mind up about it.
     
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  6. oregano

    oregano is dodging tomato trucks on I-5 southbound

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    The whole thing where none of the "adaptations" of War of the Worlds have been set in the original time and place of the root novel reminds me (just off the top of my head) of A Christmas Carol. It's always "interpreted" in awful fashion. The only film versions I'm aware of that tried to be accurate are the 1931 film and the 1983 cartoon Mickey's Christmas Carol. The cartoon was actually quite good at using traditional Disney cartoon characters in the plot, and it stayed true to the original without rubbing the audience's faces in some of the gorier parts of the story such as references to eternal punishment, Hell, and death. Everything else that's been tried has been an "interpretation".

    Likewise, all War of the Worlds stuff has been set in America, either in the era contemporary to the making of the film, or in a related alternate reality. Actually doing a War of the Worlds set in Victorian/Edwardian London is a pretty big challenge, but a lot of the recent BBC fiction productions have been far better than the stuff coming out of America.

    BBC series and movies have a big cult following in the USA, especially Doctor Who. It's common to see Doctor Who references on people's cars here in California. Hollywood tried to make an American version of Life On Mars (where a cop is transported back to the 1970s and has to figure out how to get back to the present day) but it flopped.

    Most Hollywood fiction is written by the government and military in exchange for letting Hollywood use military bases and weaponry in films. The over the top military industrial jingoism is turning a lot of Americans off. England has more leeway in that respect, and since the BBC is largely funded by TV taxes, there is less pressure to make a profit. Which of course means less need to cut corners.
     
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  7. AGXStarseed

    AGXStarseed Well-Known Member

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    As I said, one version was set in its original location and time period (the 2005 Pendragon version), but it was an indie film with a limited budget - with bad CGI, Green Screen and props (some of the cast wear obviously fake mustaches), amateur acting and the original version running for way too long at 3 hours.
    As such, I'm interested to see the BBC's take on this as I feel they're much more likely to get the period right as they've done a lot of period-based dramas before, their CGI is decent as the majority of Doctor Who fans can attest and they've got what appears to be a solid cast to do this adaptation. It's also unique that while it's stated the BBC's version will be closer to the book, they're still putting in new elements to keep the story fresh - which is fine considering how many times its been retold.
    Heck, some versions of the story have had it crossover with other H.G Wells stories (such as The Martian War - which includes Hawley Griffin, Dr Moreau and the Selenites aiding humanity and H.G.Wells himself against the Martians) and even with other properties like Sherlock Holmes, Superman and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

    To be fair, I don't mind the story been set in different locations and time periods as the original novel is a great story, and truly great stories can be applied to a variety of locations and time periods with elements of the story still being relevant whilst allowing for updating. As long as a new version is interesting to watch, I've no issue with where and how they set it.
    For example, the Japanese film Seven Samurai was a film about a group of seven samurai protecting a village that falls on hard times, with the film later been remade and adapted into The Magnificent Seven - same story but different location and time period. That in turn has inspired other interpretations of the story such as Battle Beyond the Stars (a Star Wars-esque film about a man getting help from others to defend his home-world from an evil alien tyrant) and A Bug's Life (an ant goes to find 'Warrior Bugs' to fend off a group of Grasshoppers who terrorize his colony).
    I've mentioned on my anime series thread that I wouldn't mind seeing an adaptation of War of the Worlds that took place in Japan during the 1800's (you can read more about my reasons for that here: https://www.autismforums.com/thread...n-idea-for-an-anime-series.26238/#post-526990 )
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  8. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    A lot more out there then I realized. Two more related TV movies are:

    The Night America Trembled - 1957
    The Night that Panicked America - 1975

    Both try to show fictionalized response to the original Radio Broadcast. I've only seen the second, which is half great. The part depicting how they made the broadcast in the studio and primitive sound effects is really well done. The vignettes depicting civilian reactions (with the TV stars of the day) are just so-so.

    Oh and Ramon Raquello and His Orchestra are my favorite band. :D
     
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  9. Mr Allen

    Mr Allen Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    The Jeff Wayne version is one of my top 3 favourite musicals ever, after Joseph and his Dream Coat and My Fair Lady

    Also, I'm sorry but the 1953 movie and the "sequel" TV series had almost no connection to the book apart from the Martians died from exposure to Bacteria at the end.
     
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  10. AGXStarseed

    AGXStarseed Well-Known Member

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    If you're interested Rich, the Stage Musical is still going on. They've got shows scheduled in both Manchester and Leeds in December this year for its 40th Anniversary tour if you're interested.
    Here's a link: https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/Jeff...tickets/artist/1130228#calendar:December_2018
     
  11. Mary Anne

    Mary Anne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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  12. AGXStarseed

    AGXStarseed Well-Known Member

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    Which researcher's article?
     
  13. Mary Anne

    Mary Anne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    The link in your first sentence of initial post about the “supposed panic.” https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15470903. There really WAS a panic. People did not know it was fake. Welles apologized later. People will still emotionally raw from WW1. The Welles broadcast seemed quite real. BTW, it can be listened to online for free if you search online. Radio was very dramatic back then.
     
  14. Mary Anne

    Mary Anne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Thanks for listing versions I didn’t know about. Let’s not forget “Mars Attacks” ether. I lump that in with War of the World’s movies too. I have been a huge fan of attacking alien invasions since the 1960s when we watched 1950s “B” movies.
     
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  15. Mr Allen

    Mr Allen Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Thanks, but I have the musical on Blu Ray and went to Sheffield Arena a few years back to see it.
     
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  16. AGXStarseed

    AGXStarseed Well-Known Member

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    Ah - thanks for clarifying. Yeah, I've watched a 'documentary' with actors reading people's statements about what happened that night.
    Definitely sounded like everything went crazy; I especially feel sorry for that town who was listening to the broadcast and suddenly had a power cut (talk about bad timing).
    I bet a few of them screamed loud enough for the neighbors to hear when that happened.
     
  17. oregano

    oregano is dodging tomato trucks on I-5 southbound

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    Not many people remember, but for the 50th anniversary of the Welles WOTW broadcast there was a commemorative radio broadcast that updated the original script, such as replacing 1938 references with 1988 ones, but still keeping the general plot of the Welles broadcast. I remember listening to it when I was almost 14.

    I had wanted to tape it, but I had no blank cassette tapes. So I called my grandmother (born 1922) and asked her to tape it. A week later I got the tape in the mail along with a typed letter called "A Happening In the Thirties". It was her account of listening to the 1938 play with the family of the neighbors down the road from where she lived.

    IIRC she talked about the family arguing about whether it was real or not. The father got up and was watching for the Martians out a window that overlooked a field. (This was in a then-rural area of California. It wasn't until later that people there realized what was happening back east.) The argument went on until the first part of the play ended, and local commercials started playing, which wouldn't be the case in a real invasion.

    When she got home from school the next day her mom told her (paraphrasing), "You know that radio play about the Martians last night? Everybody in New York thought it was real, and went absolutely bonkers! Rioting in the streets and everything!" Then she listened to the news, and they talked about the panic back east.
     
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  18. oregano

    oregano is dodging tomato trucks on I-5 southbound

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    The BBC Magazine article said that there was no NATIONWIDE panic. That was true, since the actual panic was largely confined to New York (city and state), New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania, where Philadelphia is located. Those were the areas mentioned in the play-Grovers Mill, New Jersey, where the Martian spaceships "landed", was close to Philadelphia. The researcher quoted then said that there therefore was no panic at all, which is untrue. There are many firsthand accounts of the panic in New York and New Jersey. However, the panic itself was largely confined to the New York metro area. Even though New York was heavily populated-by far America's largest city-large numbers of Americans did not live there. It is possible that people in more rural areas thought the play could be real, and took more modest measures such as loading shotguns and waiting on porches to kill the Martians, but few accounts of such are known. The more sensationalistic reports of rioting in Newark and Manhattan are what have survived.
     
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  19. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Love the genre, though I just wish they could squeeze some more creativity out of it. Perhaps one reason why I like the series "Colony" on the USA network.

    A plot where aliens have decisively conquered the earth where mankind is drawn up into two camps of collaborators and resistance fighters. Where it's more complicated than you think in terms of which side one should naturally gravitate to in the face of overwhelming force.

    An interesting moral quandary at times. Now complicated further by the fact that the invading aliens themselves are being pursued by yet another alien species. Where the aliens who conquered the earth may now depend on enslaved earthlings themselves to repel another invasion.

    http://www.usanetwork.com/colony
     
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  20. AGXStarseed

    AGXStarseed Well-Known Member

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    An interesting idea, and I do agree with your idea about trying to get more creative with this particular genre.

    Thinking about War of the Worlds and hearing the Martians referred to as having "minds immeasurably superior to ours", it got my mind thinking about the following.
    Considering intelligence in humans has many varieties that can be measured and each intelligence can be different per individual, what if this applied to the Martians?
    To go further into it; what if certain Martian's minds were neurologically different to the rest of their species (I'm using us as an example here) and these particular individuals were opposed to the idea of invading Earth due to feeling some level of sympathy/concern for the life on Earth that would ultimately be wiped out - instead trying to suggest that the Martians seek out another suitable world they could adapt or to try and make peace with humanity instead? (stating they should go to war as a last resort to save their species if all else failed).
    While we don't know the full history of the Martians and it can vary from adaptation to adaptation, I think this idea would be an interesting one. History on Earth has shown us that nature loves to diversify both physically and mentally to ensure at least some life will survive what may get thrown at it, and history has also shown that people will fight against their own countries if need be; a good example been the many Austrians and Germans who joined the Allies in WW2 to defeat Hitler).
    As such, if we could potentially see some of these 'renegades/subversives' who are opposed to the conquest of Earth taking more drastic action by actively trying to help humanity any way they can and/or see what they do after the first invasion of Earth fails, I would genuinely be interested to see it.

    I know some people don't like it when classic stories are told differently (regardless of whether this was a deliberate act and/or due to restrictions of some kind), but while we have to accept that there will always be differences when a story is adapted for a series or a film there will have to be changes big and small, we also now live in a time where we stop simply adapting classic stories and instead treat them like source material to re-invent the story in a different way. A good example of this is with the stories of Mythological Gods and Heroes from Literature;
    What if King Arthur awoke along with his knights in the year 3000?
    What if a Spartan Warrior fought and defeated the Olympian God of War in revenge for the God tricking him into killing his own family?
    What if the Norse God of Thunder fought against his evil sister alongside his adopted brother, a group of aliens, a Valkyrie and a human who turns into a monster when he gets angry?

    Regardless of whether stories will be retold more or less as before or used as source material for new stories in the future, I'm sure there will be some 'diamonds in the rough', so to speak.