Breathless. C’est moi.
The final episode of Season Two of Howard Overman’s “grim dark” (I’m stealing this term from a fan of the show on Twitter) homage to the classic story of alien invasion and the human condition by H. G. Wells caught me by surprise and left me truly breathless, as though I had stood on the top of a building and faced my destiny.
I refuse to spoil this story for you. You must watch Season Two for yourself and let the events of these eight episodes wash over you. The questions raised, the situations presented, the people killed and those who are saved: grim dark indeed, but also thrilling, heart-breaking, and intrinsically humanistic story-telling.
So, instead, here are a few strategic screencaps from Episode 8, with lighthearted banter courtesy of me, plus a review from Irish Central and a quoted passage from the recent issue of The SciFiNow Companion article by Rachael Harper.
When you can, watch this series. It’s a reminder that, even in the darkest times, we can find a way to the light–an important thought during this time of the pandemic.
Episode 8 Screencaps
The face of a happy man.
Review from Irish Central
Gabriel Byrne’s sleeper sci-fi hit War Of The Worlds a must watch
Cahir O’Doherty over at Irish Central seems to love this series as much as we do:
Gabriel Byrne brings Irish heart and soul to the utterly gripping sci-fi series War Of The Worlds . . .
Gabriel Byrne, 71, plays Bill Ward, a college professor who quickly understands a global attack is imminent. Byrne is fantastic in every scene of this (very) loose adaptation of H.G. Well’s classic little green men invasion tale . . .
War Of The Worlds is a French British co-production (it’s just been picked up for its third season) so the scale of the show is cinematic and the writing is often just superb. It moves along at an ideal rate and keeps the suspense level going for all eight episodes of season one and two.
Byrne . . . reminds us why he’s a go to actor for sweeping family dramas of this kind. As he struggles to protect his ex-wife and son from death at the hands of a merciless and relentless enemy, he wins our sympathy as a flawed but all too recognizably human man . . .
Byrne reminds us why he has had such a celebrated film career and his emotional honesty makes this story sing. As the wily professor who is figuring out what makes the aliens tick, he’s also central to the fight back that the story is always progressing to.
But don’t forget, first and foremost this is a fantastically dramatic and entertaining tale, featuring a great script that is played pitch perfectly by a gifted international cast. The first aim is to entertain you and hold your attention and it does this better than almost any other series I’ve seen on TV in the last decade. Tune in and you thank me later.
Interview with series creator Howard Overman
War Of The Worlds Season 2: Mystery, Aliens, and Humanity
Rachael Harper/SciFiNow Companion/July 14, 2021
[There is no link to this article because it is behind a pay wall. I grabbed a cool part of it for you. Howard Overman writes this series and here he explains what he is striving to say in his story].
Howard Overman is no stranger to giving us characters to immediately connect with, penning the supremely funny sci-fi series Misfits, dark fantasy Merlin, and the action-packed Atlantis, so it’s no surprise he wanted to do similar with War Of The Worlds: “I wanted to do a very real feeling alien invasion story. I really remember when I was first pitching it to the guys at Canal Plus, I was in their office in Paris, and I was saying ‘if there was an alien invasion now, what would we do?’ We were discussing how if someone needed killing, who would go downstairs and do the killing? And you’ve got these four middle-aged executives thinking ‘oh shit, I don’t really want to kill anyone, but we have to.’ I was saying my family is back in the UK, so I’d have to walk through the Channel Tunnel, to try and find them, and that actually became part of the story! So it was all very much what happens to real people in these extraordinary circumstances.
“That was the sci-fi I wanted to do. When the film Arrival came out, that was very much what we were trying to do. It’s a fantastical idea of the aliens but it’s also about how someone feels about having kids. I wanted to do a very grounded sci-fi at the end of the day.”
Indeed, you won’t be finding giant tripods or giant set pieces like in Steven Spielberg’s 2005 take on War Of The Worlds. Instead, there is a focus on real human relationships and real reactions to an alien attack. In other words, yeah… we’ll likely run and hide: “Maybe because I’m getting bloody old [but] I’ve got to the point now where I sometimes watch action sequences which have huge amounts of CGI and people throwing cars around them and I’m thinking ‘oh that’s quite clever’ but I’m not actually engaged with it because it’s on a scale. Whereas for me, Clarice Starling creeping around the basement in Silence Of The Lambs is the tensest I’ve ever been in the cinema because it was just that person you deeply care about. I just want to do stuff where you massively care about the person who’s creeping around under threat.
Check out Den of Geek for More
If you have watched Season Two and want to read more, the recap of the finale at Den of Geek, written with great precision by Louisa Mellor, Den of Geek UK TV Editor, will answer questions and raise more issues for you.
Even the title of this recap is a spoiler, so proceed with care.
Louisa anticipates Season Three as well . All I can say is: Yikes!
Season Three of War of the Worlds is filming now in Wales and London. Bill Ward and Company will return to our screens sometime in 2022 because this story just ain’t over yet, folks.
And that makes me happy. In a grim dark way. wink