The BBC are bringing H.G Wells' classic War of the Worlds to the small screen with a new three part Victorian Era set mini-series.

The series is due to go into production next spring and is about to start the grueling casting process. Peter Hartness will write all three instalments, Hartness is no stranger to sci-fi having written multiple episodes of Doctor Who. Hartness also has experience adapting beloved and complex material with his sorely underrated work on Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

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Aside from a direct to DVD movie released in 2005 (the same year as Steven Spielberg's version), every adaptation of War of the Worlds has abandoned the original Victorian Era setting as depicted in Wells' book. The BBC has been developing the project for the last two years, but now that the book has entered the public domain, we can expect a whole host of new War of the Worlds inspired movies and TV shows.

The following confession might not win me any favour with the movie gods, but I wasn't much of a fan of Spielberg's 2005 movie that starred Tom Cruise. If I'm entirely truthful, I've yet to see any War of the Worlds film or TV series that fully lives up H.G Wells' terrifying creation. Naturally, Jeff Wayne's musical version is magnificent, but I'm purely talking about film and TV adaptations.

The only incarnation that can stand proudly is the original Radio broadcast by Orson Welles that fooled a nation into believing an alien invasion was happening. We laugh now, but back in 1938, it caused quite the brouhaha in America with widespread panic and hysteria.

I love the idea of a lavish BBC production of War of the Worlds and combining it with what the BBC has excelled in for decades, glossy period drama. As long as the Beeb take extensive notes from Pride & Prejudice & Zombies on how not to successfully mash two genres together, then there's a good chance that War of the Worlds might be ruddy marvelous. There's currently no details on when we can expect the mini-series to be broadcast, but a late 2018 or early 2019 launch seems like a safe bet.

Written by
Chris Suffield

Head writer at My passion for storytelling has been at the heart of all my work.

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