Filming has begun on the new BBC adaptation of H.G. WellsThe War of the Worlds, which is looking to be the truest version of Wells’ original novel, right down to the English setting.

A true literary classic, The War of the Worlds was the first science-fiction novel to truly explore the idea of alien invasion. Originally syndicated by Pearson’s Magazine back in 1897, the novel was published as a book the following year, capturing the imaginations of readers everywhere. Since this time, the story has been adapted into many forms, including the famous Orson Welles radio play that was said to have caused mass panic in the US.

BBC One and Mammoth Productions have now announced that filming has begun on the latest adaptation, set in Edwardian England. The three-part drama follows George (Rafe Spall) and his partner Amy (Eleanor Tomlinson) whose lives are turned upside-down when Britain falls victim to an alien invasion.

Staying true to the elements that made the original story so popular, the script for this adaptation promises to balance the human side of the story with the spectacle and horror of an alien invasion. As part of the BBC’s official press release, they have released the first image from the drama:

war of the worlds

The truly interesting aspect of this project is the Edwardian setting, as all previous adaptations of the classic story have endeavoured to make the tale as contemporary as possible, instead of placing the story in its original setting. This means that the crew will have to be careful to strike the perfect balance between the futuristic invasion of aliens, and the classic British setting.

Director Craig Viveiros explained, “We aim to provide a thoroughly modern thrill ride for the audience, delivering an alien invasion story that will shock and awe audiences across the globe.”

Thankfully, it is clear that writer Peter Harness is a huge fan of Wells’ work, as he talked a little about his vision for the project, “The version of The War of the Worlds that I wanted to make is one that’s faithful to the tone and the spirit of the book, but which also feels contemporary, surprising and full of shocks: a collision of sci-fi, period drama and horror. There is nothing cosy or predictable about Wells’ novel, and that’s what I want to capture in the show. We have an incredible cast, a brilliant director and a wonderful crew – and I can’t wait for them to explode the terrifying story of the first alien invasion on to our screens.”

More on BBC’s The War of the Worlds when we have it.

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