War of the Worlds

Léa Drucker and Adel Bencherif in 'War of the Worlds'. (Photo supplied: FOX)
Léa Drucker and Adel Bencherif in 'War of the Worlds'. (Photo supplied: FOX)


3/5 Stars


H.G. Wells' doomsday sci-fi novel comes to life with this Fox series created by BAFTA award-winning writer Howard Overman.

If you're not familiar with the War of the Worlds book, it's a thrilling story about the discovery of intelligent extraterrestrial life which basically spells the end for planet earth.

After a race of super-smart aliens gatecrash earth, they go about eradicating the human species, leaving survivors to fight for their lives as they navigate the streets of a war-torn planet.


I was excited to watch the show because I had seen the Hollywood adaptation of the book, which stars Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning. The movie still stands as one of my favourite sci-fi/action flicks and leaves me on the edge of my seat whenever I get the chance to watch it. So going into this screening, I already had extremely high expectations.

I had, however, made a point of not comparing the series to the film, as I guessed that the storyline, although sticking to the book as much as possible, would still be vastly different – and it is.

The series is set in modern-day Europe, taking place in France and England. According to the DStv site, the change of scenery for the series (which in many adaptations takes place in the US) was Howard Overman's way of exposing "audiences to other countries and perspectives as well".

The first episode serves as an introduction to the characters, with most of the action stirring up only towards the end. For me, I felt that it moved a bit slow, but that's probably because I already knew what was coming and was anxious to see how the invasion would be interpreted in the series.

Things gradually picked up in episode two, and this was when I found myself getting caught up in the show, and not viewing it as just another adaption of Wells' book.

Am I looking forward to what the rest of the show has to offer? Yes. As with every good production, episodes end on a cliffhanger which may leave you with enough intrigue to clear your schedule for the next few weeks.

If you do tune in, and like me, find that the pace is slower than you would have hoped for, my advice is to stick around until episode two at least – that's when the gasps in the theatre became audible, and I knew that a few people were already hooked.



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