In Review: War Of The Worlds – Episode 1

New BBC Adaptation of H.G. Wells Classic Sci-Fi Story

Synopsis: When Martians land on Earth, Amy and George become separated in their fright for survival.

Review: After a year of waiting. We finally get a look at the BBC’s adaptation of a Sci-Fi Classic. And judging by the look of it. It is attempting to be as true as possible to the original H.G. Wells story. At least insofar as the setting that is.

The Story

Part romance and part alien invasion story. This first episode of ‘The War of The Worlds’ focuses on George and his girlfriend Amy and the time they are spending with amateur stargazer Ogilvy. When a meteor falls from the skies and lands in Surrey the three dash out into the fields where it crashes to investigate. As the authorities arrive on the scene and the meteor transforms into a dark sphere Ogilvy becomes separated from George and Amy. As the two attempts to find Ogilvy things escalate and a massive towering tripod rises up from the ground and levels most of the buildings in the area. George sends Amy to the admiralty for her own safety while he continues to search.

The Acting

Robert Carlyle puts in a solid turn as rebellious stargazer Ogilvy who plays a sort of fatherly role to George and Amy in the series. You get the impression that he is sort of a mentor figure, but I also get the impression that we may not see him again.

I also enjoyed Rafe Spall’s portrayal of George, who is representative of the writer H.G. Wells in terms of his progressive politics. He is also the character that relates the story to us viewers, which means there is much work to be done for the actor in the week’s to come.


As far as the social commentary goes. The jingoism of the British Empire and the conservative views of Edwardian Britain are portrayed fairly well in this drama. The storyline surrounding George’s relationship with Amy when he is still married was quite heavily dramatized as were George and Amy’s more progressive views running up against the establishment. In fact, it was played so much that I breathed a sigh of relief when the Aliens actually invaded.

Overall. A fairly good beginning. The CGI was pretty solid as was the terror they instilled by the alien invaders. The sequence where George orders Amy to ride off without him to the Admiralty was fairly epic in scale.

I look forward to seeing where this goes in next week’s episode.

War of the Worlds Episode 1
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI & Stunts
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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