The last thing I thought we needed was another interpretation of HG Wells classic WAR OF THE WORLDS, especially an 8 episode, series format "reimagining".
Who knew? The series format not only allows the introduction of multiple characters and story lines, it also gives the creators time to modernize the story in interesting fashion.
Viewers looking for the explosive action and alien takeover of Spielberg & Cruise's hit adaption will be left wanting. More "28 Days Later" in tone and style, the initial attack is massive and almost silent.
Our survivors are left to try and scrounge for the basics while avoiding the constantly prowling, robotic dog creatures sporting lethal aim and plenty of bullet like projectiles.
The International cast is excellent. Gabriel Byrne (Hereditary) is a college professor who may be able to find the weakness in the invaders, Elizabeth McGovern (Ragtime) is his estranged wife, Lea Drucker is a scientist at a massive satellite station that may have invited the invaders by mistake, Adel Bencherif (Spectre) is the commander of the army at the satellite outpost, Bayo Gbadamosi is terrific as a wounded young refugee running out of options and Natasha Little is a mum trying to hold her family together while they search for their husband.
For every character I've named, there is another set with compelling stories of their own. Watching them all fight to live another day and eventually meet up in the barren landscapes keep your interest over the 8 episodes of the first season.
Series creator Howard Overman does a good job keeping your interest as he hops from story to story and the mystery of just what these creatures are and why they're here is just as intriguing as it was in Wells classic novel.
Set at the present time in France and the UK, its presented in French and English and production values are first rate.
Unlike some stories where only secondary players die, main characters are killed and the mystery begins to deepen with each episode as our survivors learn more about their intergalactic adversaries.
The final episode ends with a hell of a cliffhanger that left me wanting another season of discovery.
It nicely wiped out that all too convenient, rushed ending of the Cruise big screen version that seemed like they just ran out of time.
If you're a sci-fi buff or a fan of "28 Days Later" or any earlier versions of the classic story, there's plenty here to hold your interest, enough characters to fill a Robert Altman movie and enough profanity, nudity and violence to earn its MA rating.
I really enjoyed the 8 episode arc, especially watching polite society collapse in the current atmosphere of COVID-19. It seems all too real in these unprecedented times.
WAR OF THE WORLDS gets a tense and mysterious B.