|War of the Worlds|
|Created by||Howard Overman|
|Based on||The War of the Worlds|
by H. G. Wells
|Written by||Howard Overman|
|Country of origin|
|No. of series||2|
|No. of episodes||16 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||60 minutes|
Fox (Series 1)
Disney+ Star (Series 2)
|Original release||October 28, 2019 –|
War of the Worlds is a television series produced by Fox Networks Group and StudioCanal-backed Urban Myth Films. The series is created and written by Howard Overman, and directed by Gilles Coulier and Richard Clark. The series is a loose adaptation of The War of the Worlds, an 1898 novel by H. G. Wells about Earth coming to terms in the wake of a sudden Martian invasion. It is the third television adaptation of the novel. It stars Daisy Edgar-Jones and Gabriel Byrne along with an ensemble supporting cast including a few co-stars that change over time.
The first season consists of eight episodes, and premiered in France in October 2019. An eight-episode second season premiered in France in May 2021. War of the Worlds was renewed for a third season in July 2021, which was set to air in 2022.
The series takes place in contemporary Britain and France, but it serves as a re-imagining of the classic H. G. Wells novel.
In this new take on War of the Worlds, when astronomers detect a transmission from another star, it is definitive proof of intelligent extra-terrestrial life. Earth's population waits for further contact with bated breath, but does not have to wait long. Within days, mankind is all but wiped out, with just pockets of humanity left in an eerily deserted world. As alien ships appear in the sky, the survivors ask a burning question — who are these attackers and why are they hell-bent on our destruction?— Den of Geek
The below actors are credited in the opening titles of only one or two episodes in which they play a significant role.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||8||October 28, 2019||November 18, 2019|
|2||8||May 17, 2021||June 7, 2021|
|Episode||Directed by||Written by||Original French air date|
|1||1||Episode 1||Gilles Coulier||Howard Overman||October 28, 2019|
|Astronomer Catherine Durand investigates a strong signal from exoplanet Ross 128 b which is of intelligent origin. Soon afterwards a large group of meteors impacts the centers of all major inhabited areas of Earth. They are indeed metallic spacecraft. Blind teenager Emily can hear strange pulsing sounds, while scientist Bill recognizes the magnetic signal in the pulses (received by equipment from his brain research). He tries to warn his son Dan, and goes to find his ex-wife Helen. The magnetic signal increases and quickly kills all humans who are not underground, underwater or in metallic rooms. In London, Sarah Gresham, with her children, Tom and Emily, fortunately drive into an underground parade, while her husband Jonathan is in Paris, where his taxi plunges into the Seine at an opportune moment. Kariem enters England illegally, hiding inside a metal storage cylinder, and emerges to find himself alone in a strange environment. Catherine's sister Sophia tries to reach her at the observatory.|
|2||2||Episode 2||Gilles Coulier||Howard Overman||October 28, 2019|
|In London, Paris and the French Alps, the survivors try to reach their loved ones, walking among the dead and wondering about the motives of the invaders. Both Helen and Sarah find it hard to grasp this new reality. Tom and Emily struggle to understand their mother's behaviour, especially when she refuses to let them help Kariem, who has been injured in an attack by a shop keeper. Jonathan decides to make his way alone back to England. Neuroscientist Bill finds the alien methods mindboggling. Kariem makes some bad decisions based on fear. Catherine despairs in the search for her sister Sophia. In a Grenoble supermarket, Catherine, Colonel Mokrani and a group of French soldiers have a first encounter with lethal, alien quadrupedal bots.|
|3||3||Episode 3||Gilles Coulier||Howard Overman||November 4, 2019|
|Helen and Bill arrive too late to find Dan at the command center, but learn he escaped when a quadruped bot killed most of the personnel. They manage to incapacitate a quadruped and discover that it is a cyborg, with a biological interior. Sarah and her children meet an orderly outside a hospital, Ash. They find Kariem recuperating inside, and Ash orders them to get over their previous meeting. Once again, only Emily hears the alien pulses, which temporarily restores her sight. Catherine is in shock when the alien pulses – which she hears on equipment – suddenly play the song that she and her colleagues had once broadcast into space, confirming this song attracted the alien attackers to Earth. Jonathan meets Chloe, who warns him of the quadrupeds; they head north together – bound for London and Amiens, respectively. After Bill finds Dan’s body outside, Helen grieves, then asks Bill to find a way to kill the quadrupeds. Then, a pack of quadrupeds approach the hospital and are positioned to enter.|
|4||4||Episode 4||Gilles Coulier||Howard Overman||November 4, 2019|
|Catherine finds the source of the sounds and Colonel Mokrani and his team go out to investigate. Sarah and her children have a close encounter with a quadruped. Sacha finds a meteor site and hears the noises Emily hears in London. Helen and Bill are determined to find a way to destroy all the quadruped cyborgs. Kariem and Emily bond. Arriving at her childhood home with Jonathan, Chloe finds Sacha and her policeman brother, Noah. Ash and Kariem return to the hospital and are startled to find that the quadruped bots have taken the nursery babies, after killing the other people there.|
|5||5||Episode 5||Richard Clark||Howard Overman||November 11, 2019|
|Helen and Bill meet up with, and join, the Greshams' quintet of survivors. They all try to find a way to cope with their situation. Bill finds a student in Tom. Emily feels a strange connection with the alien invaders. Sacha overhears Chloe berating Noah for raping her when she was 15, resulting in Sacha. Emily and Kariem have sex. Further confirmation of what the quadruped cyborgs may be after is revealed when one kills a pregnant woman by removing the fetus. Jonathan is baffled by Sacha's behaviour, seeing him leave his "uncle" Noah to be killed. Catherine, Colonel Mokrani and his team discover a destroyed alien ship, containing some organic material ("is that what they look like?"), where some malfunctioning quadrupeds are harmlessly wandering through the wreckage.|
|6||6||Episode 6||Richard Clark||Howard Overman||November 11, 2019|
|Emily's sight recovers as she hears the noise, then she calmly stares at a quadruped cyborg until it turns and walks away. Bill is intrigued by her connection to the cyborgs, others question it. Sacha discovers he has a connection to the cyborgs too – which cause him to briefly see a girl (Emily) he does not know. Jonathan, joined by Chloe and Sacha on the journey to the Channel and England, finds Sacha's behaviour very hard to understand, including Sacha's sudden interest in Emily, when he sees Jonathan's family photo. In London, the group of survivors make their way to the university lab where Bill and Tom try to gain information on the quadrupeds. They find the aliens know more about humans than they imagined possible. Emily clashes with her mother. Helen and Sarah take a gamble and end up in a precarious situation. Tom's birthday needs celebrating and everybody reconciles. Catherine and Mokrani's team return to the observatory, where they are surprised to find Sophia, but none of the other soldiers.|
|7||7||Episode 7||Richard Clark||Howard Overman||November 18, 2019|
|Sophia managed to survive when she hid inside a mountainside service tunnel before the alien's deadly signal transmitted. She then found a young English boy, Theo, who she takes responsibility for. They spend some time with other survivors, before walking to Catherine's mountaintop observatory. Bill tries to get information from Emily, but she is sympathetic to the aliens, rationalizing that humans killing in war is similar to the aliens killing humans. Chloe discovers that Sacha stole Jonathan's picture, convincing her that he is twisted enough to have facilitated Noah's death. Sacha attacks Jonathan, then runs into the forest. Emily has two more friendly encounters with a quadruped cyborg, not telling anyone about the first instance, then Helen is killed by the cyborg in the second instance. At the start of Emily's second encounter, Sacha has a friendly cyborg encounter in France; both teenagers have visions of each other at the same moment. Sophia, who has had no choice but to kick her addictions, convinces Catherine that the world may end, so she should have no choice but to act on her feelings for Colonel Mokrani. Catherine develops a theory that the high-frequency alien noise connects all the cyborgs, similar to birds having innate connections. She wonders if her low frequency science array caused the nearby alien crash.|
|8||8||Episode 8||Richard Clark||Howard Overman||November 18, 2019|
|Catherine, Sophia and Mokrani's troops move down the mountain to the ski resort to look for the other survivors. Along the way, they discover that the missing troops at the observatory have been killed by the cyborgs. Ash further doubts Emily's motives and confronts her mother, while Bill wrestles with his new reality. Jonathan learns the truth about Sacha's father from Chloe. Emily encounters another cyborg and Sacha does too at the same moment. They both experience an intimate vision together. Emily believes she must meet up and communicate with the aliens. Kariem allows her to go, but only on the condition that he goes with her. Sacha decides to follow Jonathan and Chloe to England, secretly hoping to meet his daughter, Emily. The cyborgs launch an attack at the ski resort and Sophia is hit. Catherine puts her frequency jamming theory to the test. Emily enters a massive cylindrical-shaped alien ship located on the river Thames. Inside, she finds the newborn babies and an alien that looks very human in form.|
|Episode||Directed by||Written by||Original French air date|
|9||1||Episode 9||Richard Clark||Howard Overman||May 17, 2021|
|Catherine gives the antibiotic to Micah, against orders – he awakens and explains the formulas in the notebooks are the key to moving objects through space and time. Aliens track Micah to the observatory and infiltrate. In the fighting, Theo and Col. Makrani are killed, and Micah is murdered by his own brother. Bill Ward is developing a bioweapon that blocks insulin production with fatal results, and after taking hair samples, discovers that Emily’s DNA is almost identical to that of the aliens. Jonathan, Chloe and Sacha meet up with survivors in London, and Jonathan is reunited with his family, but ultimately chooses to be with Chloe. Sacha and Emily recognize each other from the visions. Later Emily tries to stab Bill in his sleep but is pulled off by Karien. Bill chooses to try out the bioweapon on Emily. Catherine and Sophia escaped the observatory with Nathan, and try to find out Bill Ward's identity.|
|10||2||Episode 10||Richard Clark||Howard Overman||May 17, 2021|
|11||3||Episode 11||Richard Clark||Howard Overman||May 24, 2021|
|12||4||Episode 12||Richard Clark||Howard Overman||May 24, 2021|
|13||5||Episode 13||Ben A. Williams||Howard Overman||May 31, 2021|
|14||6||Episode 14||Ben A. Williams||Howard Overman||May 31, 2021|
|15||7||Episode 15||Ben A. Williams||Howard Overman||June 7, 2021|
|16||8||Episode 16||Ben A. Williams||Howard Overman||June 7, 2021|
War of the Worlds is produced by Fox Networks Group and StudioCanal. AGC Television co-finances and co-distributes the series. The series is executive produced by Overman, Julian Murphy and Johnny Capps.
Gilles Coulier and Richard Clark each directed four episodes of the series, with Coulier directing the first four episode and Clark directing the last four. The series was written by Howard Overman. By October 2019, the creative team had begun work on a second season. Richard Clark returned to direct the first four episodes, with Ben A. Williams directing the final four.
In July 2021, War of the Worlds was renewed for a third season, originally set to air in 2022. Season 3 is directed by Indra Siera and Jonas Alexander Arnby. By April 2022, however, no release date was set for a return of the series, with a report from the MyCanal Channel even speculating that the third season wouldn't air until 2023.
Gabriel Byrne and Elizabeth McGovern star in the series. They are joined by Daisy Edgar-Jones and Bayo Gbadamosi as co-stars, and Stéphane Caillard, Adel Bencherif, Guillaume Gouix, Léa Drucker and Natasha Little as main supporting cast. Greg Kinnear was originally set to star but was not listed in the starring cast list when it was revealed by Deadline Hollywood in January 2019.
Production for the first season took place in the United Kingdom, France and Belgium. The series was filmed in Bristol in March 2019, as well as filming in Cardiff, Newport and London.
The second season began filming on July 13, 2020, with filming concluding on October 22, 2020.
The first series was released in full on MyCanal in France on October 28, 2019, before being broadcast from the same day in weekly batches of two episodes and was released in most parts of Europe and Africa weekly between October 30 and December 18, 2019. The series premiered in the United States on February 16, 2020, on Epix; in the UK on March 5, 2020; and in Canada on October 7, 2020, on CBC Television.
The eight-episode second season was released in full in France on MyCanal on May 17, 2021, before being broadcast from the same day in weekly batches of two episodes, mirroring the release of the first season. The season is set to premiere on Fox on May 24, 2021; in the United States on Epix on June 6, 2021; on CBC Gem on October 6, 2021 in Canada; and on the Star hub on Disney+ in the UK and Ireland on July 16, 2021.
Canal+ and Fox Networks Group have the rights to release the series in Europe and Africa. AGC Television distributes the series to the North American market and co-distributes, with StudioCanal, to Latin America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East. Fox Networks Group releases the series in Europe. The series broadcasts on Fox in more than 50 countries and on Epix in the United States and territories.
Ben Dowell in The Times gave the first series four out of five stars. The AV Club dubbed it 'compelling if derivative'.