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War of the Worlds (BBC)

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On 02/01/2019 at 23:25, Bucky said:

33 million miles just to invade Woking.  What a bunch of daft bastards.

 

They've a relative whose Alib needs to remain water tight. 

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The atmosphere and design is great so far in this. Also enjoying spotting all the Liverpool and Cheshire locations, including the beautiful Great Budworth as Edwardian Woking.

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47 minutes ago, keineboom said:

The atmosphere and design is great so far in this. Also enjoying spotting all the Liverpool and Cheshire locations, including the beautiful Great Budworth as Edwardian Woking.

I can't think why they didn't just film in Woking

2487635_afb4477d.jpg

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Well, I thought that was pretty decent and nice to have it finally set in the correct time period and location.

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11 hours ago, Harsin said:

Maybe the Martians had just heard about the memorable and delicious Pizza Express.

 

"Nah, wasn't us who laid waste to your planet mate, we woz at Pizza Express like".

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Pizza express is actually in the distance in that photo.

 

As someone who grew up in Woking, this is a strange week. I was hoping for some even more specific geography (the street I grew up on until I was eight is specifically destroyed in the book) but it was great and got the horror elements right. It's just brilliant to see it in the right period.

 

Not sure about the flash forward though, it was confusing and didn't add anything.

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I liked the show - good to see a more faithful setting than the majority of adaptations of the book.

 

That said, I spent half the episode trying to work out which British person in a black suit was which - damn penguins all look the same!

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I don't think I liked it much (watched the NZ version edited as two episodes).

 

It hit all the major scenes and setpiece images you would hope for, and it's set in the right period, and yet it didn't really feel as faithful as other adaptations. Too much time was spent in the first hour establishing their unconventional/disapproved-of relationship, but I never understood what it had to do with the story. And then it turns into Threads. Of all the things to mash with War of the Worlds... Threads was an interesting choice, but not right.

 

So all the great scenes and moments are there, but they feel like detached flashbacks and seem oddly unconnected. I didn't feel swept up in the panic of an alien invasion. Partly because of the flash-forward/flashback structure, partly because of the stiff upper lip Edwardianism, and partly because Rafe Spall was miscast. I can't explain why Rafe Spall doesn't work... some of his "reacting to the CG" faces were comically bad, and I didn't like his character.

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Agree with that. It all felt a bit cheap to me. And the family drama angle, whether true to the book or not, is dull, and rather irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. Don’t think this is for me, think I’ll just go and listen to Jeff Wayne again instead.

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12 hours ago, SqueakyG said:

I can't explain why Rafe Spall doesn't work...

 

There are some people who you can believe as characters from the past and some you can't. Spall, you just look at him and you know he knows what a mobile phone is.

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I have now watched the series (new Zealand version two 90 min episodes)  twice as the wife wanted to see it - as previously my opinion unfortunately hasn't changed good first half, terrible second half.

 

Spoiler

for me its because they spend to much time in the second half  on the flash forward scenes - this they stretch out the "past" scenes in the mansion for the about an hour- when it should have really been 15/20 mins tops bit.  Again its a pity as the beach scene at the start of the second episode was good - but they loose all emphasis of a world invasion after this and then just hold up in a same location for the remainder of the episode with a handful of characters, while constantly flashing forward to 10 years later.

 

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The first episode of this is bog standard BBC, on a par with something like casualty, barring the increased budget.

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Same. I really enjoyed the second episode as well. It feels like they could do with more than an hour to wrap things up though.

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So bored halfway through Ep 2/3. It’s dull and horribly low budget. Just a sequence of cheap (poorly acted) reaction shots. My imagination can only be arsed filling in so many big off-screen moments. Not sure I’ll manage the rest.

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Gotta agree with the Rafe Spall comments. It’s like he’s acting in a completely different production from everyone else. That production being a YouTube reaction video.

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On 17/11/2019 at 23:13, Pete said:

I can't think why they didn't just film in Woking

2487635_afb4477d.jpg

 

As someone who lives in Woking it's funny how out of date this photo is. Much of that isn't there any more. The car park and toys r us on the right is a building site. There are two huge towers under construction this side of the road where that small red brick building (old fire station is) and across the road is a big Premier Inn.

 

On the topic of the show. I wasn't a massive fan of episode one. The lack of a slow unscrewing of the capsule and the sound to go with it was annoying. I feel like it's skipped much of the build up for me. Maybe that'll be fine but so far it's a bit too fast.

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On 25/11/2019 at 13:32, thesnwmn said:

On the topic of the show. I wasn't a massive fan of episode one. The lack of a slow unscrewing of the capsule and the sound to go with it was annoying.

 

This stuck out for me as well. Why the novel worked well (and the art of the Jeff Wayne musical) was that it felt like the Martians technology wasn’t something humanity couldn’t conceive of, but was just that bit too advanced to counter with our own. In the novel, artillery manages to take down a couple of tripods, and the warship Thunder Child accounts for a couple more. Spielberg’s WOW made a similar mistake in that it never felt like the humans had any chance of defeating the tripods, barring one example they were pretty much invulnerable. 

 

There’s this weird relationship with writers approaching Wells’ War of the Worlds in that, even when they set it in the correct time period, they still feel they’ve got to embellish and it’s often to the detriment. Of course, it’s most likely those who sign the cheques making such calls. 

 

In the first episode of this: 

 

 

The spinning ball of heat-ray death is beyond what the Victorians can conceive of, and completely misses why the slow, ominous unscrewing of the cylinder worked so well in the musical. Then the first glimpse of a Martian when it does fall out - that could’ve been fantastic. Also, the design of the tripods. They look like a fusion of technology and bio-engineering, which is again too advanced for the original concept. I can appreciate the Jeff Wayne designs might have looked a little cheesy on film, but this went way too far in the opposite direction.

 

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1 hour ago, Garibaldi said:

This stuck out for me as well. Why the novel worked well (and the art of the Jeff Wayne musical) was that it felt like the Martians technology wasn’t something humanity couldn’t conceive of, but was just that bit too advanced to counter with our own


I haven’t read the novel but are you sure about this interpretation? The opening paragraph describes the Martian intellect as “vast” and likens man’s own to that of insects by comparison. I’d have thought Well’s depiction of the Martian technology was informed by contemporary conceptions of what technology could be. 
 

I’m quite enjoying the show. I like the direction it’s moving in. But I’m quite happy to accept thats due to a deficiency of good taste. 

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41 minutes ago, Popo said:


I haven’t read the novel but are you sure about this interpretation? The opening paragraph describes the Martian intellect as “vast” and likens man’s own to that of insects by comparison. I’d have thought Well’s depiction of the Martian technology was informed by contemporary conceptions of what technology could be. 

 

It’s a curious one, for sure. Wells does indeed describe the Martian intellects as ‘vast’ yet their technology is a mix of the remarkable and recognisable. I think the heat-ray and terraforming technology are the most incomprehensible to a Victorian mind. There’s also a poisonous gas used in the novel but those kinds of experiments go way back with humanity. The tripods are vulnerable but many, and they move with a speed which, while not fantastic, was enough to give them an edge. In the novel it feels like humanity lost because our artillery was not yet that mobile or accurate, and iron-clad warships were few and far between. 

 

Honestly, though, I think Wells kept a portion of the Martian technology at comprehensible levels because it retains a sense of hope. Without that, you cease to care and wind up with the dull nihilism of Spielberg’s take - not so much ‘we’re doomed, so who are we in the face of that?’ but ‘we’re doomed, so why bother?’ 

 

You do draw attention to the novel’s main flaw, though, and to some it’s a fundamental one. How would an intellect so vast not understand the concept, and risk of, foreign bacteria? To the extent that they use humans as a food source? For me, it still works because I see the novel as an allegory for colonial arrogance. The Martians invested utterly in tools to conquer and subjugate, while failing to broaden their knowledge in other directions, and the Victorians were so assured of their empire’s strength that they viewed the Martians as a mere curiosity until it was too late. 

 

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On 27/11/2019 at 11:35, Garibaldi said:

 

This stuck out for me as well. Why the novel worked well (and the art of the Jeff Wayne musical) was that it felt like the Martians technology wasn’t something humanity couldn’t conceive of, but was just that bit too advanced to counter with our own. In the novel, artillery manages to take down a couple of tripods, and the warship Thunder Child accounts for a couple more. Spielberg’s WOW made a similar mistake in that it never felt like the humans had any chance of defeating the tripods, barring one example they were pretty much invulnerable. 

 

There’s this weird relationship with writers approaching Wells’ War of the Worlds in that, even when they set it in the correct time period, they still feel they’ve got to embellish and it’s often to the detriment. Of course, it’s most likely those who sign the cheques making such calls. 

 

In the first episode of this: 

 

  Hide contents

The spinning ball of heat-ray death is beyond what the Victorians can conceive of, and completely misses why the slow, ominous unscrewing of the cylinder worked so well in the musical. Then the first glimpse of a Martian when it does fall out - that could’ve been fantastic. Also, the design of the tripods. They look like a fusion of technology and bio-engineering, which is again too advanced for the original concept. I can appreciate the Jeff Wayne designs might have looked a little cheesy on film, but this went way too far in the opposite direction.

 

 

Pretty much my thoughts too. I can appreciate that there may need to be some tweaks to the story to suit film as the medium, but so much of this was wasted opportunity. There was practically a full episodes worth of uninspiring non-novel material interspersed with the main tale that would, IMO, been better spent focussing on Wells’ storyline.

 

I did like the heat ray effects though. They were as I imagined they should be.

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After watching the final episode of this last night I thought it was pretty poor overall.

 

I had high hopes for it from the trailers, with it being set in the correct time period, but I just wish someone would do a screen version thats faithful to the book.

 

Tom Cruise version is probably the best so far, but thats in its own right, its sod all like the novel really.

 

 

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Oh dear. That was utterly terrible. First episode just about fine, too much happpened and they’re therefore discarded most of the source material there and then. Everything in episode 2 and 3 was horrifically dull and completely devoid of any point.

 

This is an example of where I’d love to meet the people behind it. To ask if they can watch it and like it. What their concept was. What they thought they were adding via their butchering of the source material.

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38 minutes ago, thesnwmn said:

Oh dear. That was utterly terrible. First episode just about fine, too much happpened and they’re therefore discarded most of the source material there and then. Everything in episode 2 and 3 was horrifically dull and completely devoid of any point.

 

This is an example of where I’d love to meet the people behind it. To ask if they can watch it and like it. What their concept was. What they thought they were adding via their butchering of the source material.

After a good first episode I think the show just dithered on for another two episodes and became boring at the end. The whole alien invasion was handled well but there wa just not enough of it. The flash forwards to life after the aliens died off were not interesting at all, and parts didn't make sense.

 

At the beginning in one the post alien death scenes, Amy is told somebody will be arriving and we are led to believe it will be George, but no, it's just Ogilvy. Thus we are expecting George to turn up at some point but then in the last episode we see George sacrifice himself to save Amy. Just didn't make any sense at all. 

 

Maybe the Fox version will be better but I'm not going to hold my breath.

 

 

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Ive no idea why they messed with the story so much. Its a classic for a reason.  Id have really enjoyed a solid re-telling of the original with great effects.

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Didn't watch much of it, but saw bits from each episode. Looked increasingly like they'd used up all the budget in the first episode and then the thing went downhill terribly fast. 

 

Also found the lead actress incredibly disturbing in how despite the clearly awful conditions, she'd had time to keep her hair all nice and clean. 

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Yeah, I agree with all the above. I thought it started off well, but got worse as they veered further from the original story, ending in a really bad final episode. I just wanted a faithful version for once.

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