So I’m stuck. Last year, for Season 2 of War of the Worlds, I brought you screencaps and funny (I hope!) one-liners from each episode without spoiling the story too much. Gabriel Byrne, wearing a suitably tattered coat and looking stoic or thoughtful or perturbed, in one shot could mean anything, so it was easy to share interesting or evocative images from each episode.

Now, though? It is harder, because of the settings and the plot, and you can tell a lot from a single screencap. I do not want to spoil this story, so I’m going to share bits and pieces of the review from The New York Times and a production still or two for now and see how things develop in future episodes.

I will say this: I cried for the first time watching this show. Considering that the previous two seasons aired during pandemic years and I, like many of us, was scared and troubled and whatever else we were all probably feeling, that’s saying something. The plot in this third season expands, but somehow it deepens, too. Now how YOU might feel if you were to experience what these people are experiencing cuts closer to the bone.

So watch this show because Gabriel Byrne is brilliant as Bill Ward, the long-suffering neuroscientist who is trying his best to save the world, and because everyone else in the series is now as comfortable as he is in their roles. The writing is sometimes touching, sometimes dark, and now it is often haunting. The plot takes an unexpected turn and just when you think everyone might be okay, some of them are not. Hence the tears.

Here is a production still from Episode 1, key art for Gabriel’s character, Bill, in Season 3, an excerpt from the review, and a link to a production video about the special effects.

Stella out, for now. heart

Ernest Kingsley Junior as Liam and Gabriel Byrne as Bill Ward
War of the Worlds Season 3 Episode 1 Promotional Still
Photo : Copyright © Simon Ridgway, 2021
Gabriel Byrne as Bill Ward

Mike Hale/The New York Times
September 11, 2022

[No link provided because you must have a subscription to read this article]

‘War of the Worlds’ Review: Dystopia à la Française

A new season of the dark science-fiction thriller on Epix continues a tradition of smart, atmospheric genre series from the French channel Canal+.

Overman’s story has points of connection with the H.G. Wells novel he very loosely adapts: Invaders (who turn out to be physically compromised) arrive in gigantic ships and assert their dominance, while human refugees do a lot of fleeing and hunkering down. There are fewer of these refugees than Wells imagined, however. In the show’s first episode, the spacecraft that land emit a signal that kills nearly everyone on Earth, sparing only those who are underground or otherwise shielded.

The first two seasons followed increasingly smaller bands of survivors in France and England who eventually coalesced in London around Bill Ward (Gabriel Byrne), a scientist whose existence the invaders were somehow aware of. The feel was clammy and claustrophobic — there was no word from the rest of the world — with a steady drip-drip-drip of horror as the humans were picked off by the mechanical attack dogs the invaders deployed. The whirring, clanking noises the robots made were an eerie signature.

But the show isn’t just a video-game-style thriller. Overman does a good job with the human relationships, which are marked by the anger, despair and pettiness the dire situation gives rise to. Characters backbite, bellyache, reluctantly pitch in and commit mundane acts of heroism in a largely believable manner, and there’s blessedly little inspirational speechmaking . . .

The mood and story lines in the new season are more like those of a conventional mystery — there are police chases now — with the dramatic spice of a handful of characters knowing an earthshaking secret that they can’t talk about without being considered crazy.

It’s a great situation for Byrne, whose grumpy, weary performance as Bill drives the show . . .

Gabriel Byrne as Bill Ward
Click the image to view the Behind the Scenes production video

Watch War of the Worlds Season 3 in the USA at EPIX and in Canada at CBC Gem.

It’s possible I’m just being sentimental, but I recommend that you don’t forget the box of tissues. heart

One Comment

  1. I have watched the first two episodes. Gripping storylines, and an interesting shift in the narrative from the first two seasons. Yet it still packs some emotional scenes and character development.

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