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Noel Smith

BBC Filming War Of The Worlds in UK

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so glad you mentioned the masterful Mr Burton's opening monologue. Often copied never bettered. The passage recited on this version pales dreadfully.

I see what you mean about relevance for today. I however would just like to see to story told. Well. Without up dates, without expansion.:worms:

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I was really looking forward to the beeb's WOTW.  Having read the book, although this version is more in period, it also deviates from the H G Wells original novel.

Anyway, I will carry on watching it  ('the giveaway is always in the wording 'adapted from'), as just entertainment.

The Martian's sphere levitating was just not in the book. And as for a massive 20 storey high Tripod coming up out of the ground ( a bit like Spielberg's WOTW here) from below where the relatively small sphere landed defies the laws of physics!

It would have been a bit more credible if the martians had set up a pathfinder base and had to build the tripods from parts transported in other invasion craft.

Did not go much on the introductory voice ('No one would have believed etc etc). It sounded so terribly weak. I guess I have got used to Richard Burton's dulcet tones on the original Jeff Wayne's musical version over the years.

Unfortunately Liam Neeson's voice does not have the same timbre as Richard Burton's on the later version and as I said in an earlier post Anthony Hopkins voice may have been better having similar tone and inflection to Richard Burton's.

Anyway, I will keep watching the beebs wotw and enjoy it for what it is...…………..yet another adaptation.

Maybe Peter Jackson one day may do it properly like he did the King Kong, Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies.          Hey! We could lobby him through his model company Wingnut Wings!

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To be broadcast in Australia on Foxtel ( not free to air ) and I'll wait for the DVD.

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ah yes, "adapted from", I should have buried my expectations at that point, but yes what a fantastic idea, Peter Jackson would, I think ,do the job and do it very well indeed.

 

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.Mick in Oz.      Get on to your PC or if you have a smart TV  and you should be able to watch it for free on the BBC IPlayer. It is a catch up internet service that lasts for one week after a BBC  programme goes to air. Hope this helps..

Bear in mind the UK Oz time difference though as we are I would guess 9 to 11 hours behind you depending on what part of the country you live in.

Edited by Noel Smith

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I'm glad I'm not the only one!

I found it a bit tedious to be honest.

I wasn't sure what the 'red dusty' bits interjected every now and then meant! Am I getting old? (Well, of course I am... :) )

 

However, 'Dark Materials' is a much better effort. It feels 'Cinematic' rather than TV drama, if you get my drift. It feels like a lot of love and money was expended to get this right.

This really is worth watching.

 

Cheers, Alan.

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A bit underwhelming, and a shame its only a 3-part series.

One thing i did think was good was this versions 'Martians'. Tripods and Spheres aside, those i did think looked suitably menacing and 'alien'.

 

 

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Dear Lord who signed off on this appaling mess? Just watching the last part and it is just tedious the constant flash forwards kill any suspense before it gets chance to build up. Then we have characters explaining the plot a sure sign of poor writing or perhaps it had to be added in post production as no one had the foggiest what was going on. Three hours of my life for which I should sue the BBC. 

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Oh dear. That started promisingly, ran out of steam in the middle, and perished miserably in the third instalment.
I fear The War of The Worlds is going to be one of those stories like I Am Legend - everyone is familiar with it to some degree, but nobody is brave enough to film a straight version of it.

And I want to know why the Martians don't fall over at the speed with which they move.

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So having just watched the 3rd episode of War of the Worlds, can I just ask what the hell that was? The last 15 minutes seemed to be just filler and an utterly pointless ending. There seemed to be no attempt to join up the two stories properly and as for the Martians out of the machines, they were supposed to be giant brains and didn't have legs like spears. 
 

I gave it a chance rather than be too critical from the outset but this was a disaster of an adaptation - the silly CGI spinning ball alien, the pointless introduction of the 'drama' of an unmarried couple, the disjointed timelines, the awful design of the Martian fighting machines... even managing to include a revisionist anti-colonial speech, very modern and PC!

 

His Dark Materials however... excellent!

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After looking forward so much  to this version and it being more in period with HGWells novel, I was very disappointed with it. Besides the plot running out of steam half way through it, how are we supposed to believe that the Martians teetering about on three spiked legs would be able to make anything like their war machines without opposed thumb and finger like limbs! It all got a bit love story over the war and got very fragmented and disjointed with too many fast forwards. Hate to say this, but Spielbergs Americanized modern day adaption was better cinematographically. Just a great shame that he did not do it in period. Maybe one day someone like Peter Jackson may do it justice on the big screen. His Lord of the Rings, Hobbit and King Kong were superb. He also has an interest in the Wingnut Wings kit company........Maybe a bit of lobbying through them might get the idea to him.

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I've been disappointed with other dramatized versions of this story over the years, but had allowed a spark of positive expectation to raise an eyebrow.

I shouldn't have taken the bait.

From the opening whimper of the familiar passage it grabbed hold of the novel and eviscerated it taking away most of the narrative.  What remained was just the shell and very different indeed.

From the initial contact with the spinning ball bearings which were impressive enough to bring the intrepid trio to the scene and seemingly no one else at the time, to the rehashed

tripod design, the production was lack lustre and confused. It changed the story completely and in places became subject to replacement placed politics ( the British Empire

lecture) as is the policy for the BBC of late.

The cast had continual static facial expression from the continually goosed George to the anguished. just bashed my thumb with a hammer; Frederick and the leading lady (i'm sorry I can't bring myself to recollect  the character name) who's singular grimace I suspect could usually  be found after a particularly hard time in the loo. That's also where this production belongs.

I have to say the Cruise version from  years back may have been different, but at least is was interesting and had genuine jaw dropping moments.  Other than that I'm sticking with the George pal version. Again not book accurate but at least the martian war machines were and still are, cool.

I f you have not seen this production I'd say don't bother. It's almost  three hours of your life you never going to get back.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by RACETRACK

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Have to agree with the above comments, started with a good premise of a genuine period piece rather than a modern interpretation only to find it ruined by BBC PC brigade trying to adapt it to our current snowflake era.

Its a good book why the hell can't somebody do a genuine period adaptation, not a musical, not trying impose modern sensibilities on the period or moving the period to the current time frame because they either want to try and make it more relevant or too tight bottomed to create a genuine period piece.

 

Surely we can have proper Cylinders that could actually accommodate a folded up war machine or two, have a proper heat ray, do a War Machine as described, etc. etc.,  its obvious that its what most people would actually like to see rather than the dross they keep trying to foist on us.

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Incredibly the script writers thought that it was not incredible that faced with imminent death from aliens that the main characters would engage in a discourse over British Foreign Policy at the start of the 20th century. While a subject worth study and discussion today over a hundred years later as a topic likely to be aired when aliens are bent on your moment demise, well I don’t think so. 
In fairness it must be difficult for scriptwriters to place themselves in period and context (though that’s what they are paid to do) and still “sell” the programme to a contemporary audience. 
All the same the mini series started hopefully, staggered in the middle and as others have said lost its way badly in the last episode. The Martians, capable of travel through space and with weaponry superior to mankind’s still behave like rabid animals working on instinct at the end of the series. That didn’t ring true at all. 
The programme makers had an open goal to score in but still their shot went past the post. 

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22 minutes ago, JohnT said:

Incredibly the script writers thought that it was not incredible that faced with imminent death from aliens that the main characters would engage in a discourse over British Foreign Policy at the start of the 20th century. While a subject worth study and discussion today over a hundred years later as a topic likely to be aired when aliens are bent on your moment demise, well I don’t think so. 

To be fair, that bit is actually in the original, albeit referring to Tasmania specifically...

 

Personally, my biggest problem with it is the totally incoherent storytelling: it smacks of something that was once rather different, and has been re-edited by someone with different intentions, no plan, and no sympathy for either the original material or what the director and writer were trying to do in their adaptation. The result reminds me of the lost David Lynch "Dune", which was butchered by the studio into the underwhelming thing that most people remember. OK, it would have run 6 hours, but I'd have watched it (especially in 4 lots of 90 minutes, GoT style...)

best,

M.

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I had no problem with it having a female lead.  I had no problem with hints that Ogilvy was gay - though that bit went right over my head anyway.  I had no problem with it being set in Edwardian times rather than Victorian.  I had no problem with it not be a retelling of the book - I saw this as the Martian invasion being world wide so experienced by all so this was just a viewpoint from a different set of people who lived in the same part of the country as the setting of the book.

 

What I did have problems with were the poor acting, poor characters, poor story, disjointed production jumping everywhere, cheap CGI, cheap painted backdrops, and plot lines that made no sense. 

 

I was really looking forward to this and ended up being gravely disappointed.

 

Some of the problems I had with episode 3

 

 

 

  • The martians died within a few days. We can tell that from the timescale. Also Ogilvy said that he hid in a drain, that there was water, and when he came to his senses the war was over. So in the future why was the place so devastated, the buildings laid flat, just the odd ruin here and there. Certainly didn’t look like when the Martians started dying and Amy made her escape
  • Why were there so few humans. The aliens had to come out of their machines and catch humans one out a time. With so few Martians evident, how did they manage to ‘eat’ millions of humans in a matter of days.
  • How had the human survivors reduced to incapable survivalists with so few resources in such a short time.
  • The red weed grows everywhere except on hallowed ground - nonsense.
  • They couldn’t kill the red weed - seriously, not even with fire.
  • Ogilvy the astronomer becomes expert biologist even though there are no resources (books to learn from)
  • The survivalists don’t have anything, and yet Ogilvy manages to have a microscope, slides and glass cloches to grow plants under
  • The survivalists have nothing but all seem to be incredibly clean and well made up. Amy manages to keep her complexion very well despite the lack of nutritious food, cleaning and cosmetic products and water
  • The Martians are meant to have intelligence far greater than man’s but hard to believe that given the way they are depicted
  • The Martians as depicted were incredibly slow and cumbersome. A healthy human would find it easy to dodge them. So the Martians had to rely on stupid humans standing still to be speared.
  • Any creature, intelligent or otherwise that was aflame would be in a frenzy of pain and certainly wouldn’t continue to slowly and calmly hunt its prey.
  • I can‘t imagine how the Martians as depicted could have built and operated war machines.
  • The Martians were meant to be super intelligent, warlike and technically advanced but relied on killing its prey by getting up close and spearing them.
  • Given that the Martians must have been munching on thousands of people over a matter of a few days how come Amy is the only survivor that saw it.
  • And finally, though I’m sure I have missed loads, the BBC feels the need to apologise on behalf of the white people of the British Empire for causing the Martian invasion. They even suggested the Relief of Mafeking as an example of the British subjugating the indigenous people - BBC go away and do some proper historical research - if you wanted to make that point that is a terrible example.

 

 

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel

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Poorly acted, poorly written, poorly produced typically BBC PC crap.

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6 minutes ago, spaddad said:

Poorly acted, poorly written, poorly produced typically BBC PC crap.

But His Dark Materials is good - a gem sandwiched between two slices of poop that were World on Fire and War of the Worlds.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel

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20 minutes ago, spaddad said:

Poorly acted, poorly written, poorly produced typically BBC PC crap.

Sorry, but I have to laugh at “typically BBC”... what’s that? Strictly? His Dark Materials? Blue Planet? Dickensian? Sherlock? Killing Eve?  Gavin and Stacey? We’re extraordinarily lucky to have a broadcaster producing and showing as wide a range of TV... there literally isn’t anything like it anywhere else in the world. Sure, there’s the odd dud, but is every model you or I make worthy of the competition tables? 
best,

M.

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Just to throw my 2p into the ring.....................  what on earth happened in episode 3? This deflated faster than the Hindenburg. 

 

Thankfully Dark Materials as others have said seems to have far more gumption and quality behind it. 

 

I still feel like i must have 'skipped' some scenes as flicking through the final episode, because there were some key scenes from the book and film incarnations that i never saw. No tripods opening up with dying martians, no dreams of underground civilizations etc.  The ending was obvious to me from pretty much episode 1, but.... 
 

Spoiler

why did she break all the glass domes right at the end. youve literally got this far, developed this master serum, just to get angry and go smashy smashy? I dont get it. 


To sum up, ill use a quip i found when trying to find out the plot decisions in this latest WOTW incarnation - 

 

Quote

No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that by the twenty-first century a Martian invasion would need to have an extramarital romance added to make it interesting

 

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1 hour ago, cmatthewbacon said:

Sorry, but I have to laugh at “typically BBC”... what’s that? Strictly? His Dark Materials? Blue Planet? Dickensian? Sherlock? Killing Eve?  Gavin and Stacey? We’re extraordinarily lucky to have a broadcaster producing and showing as wide a range of TV...

We,the public pay the licence fee so why was it the rest of the planet saw it before the people that actually paid for it...I don't know about the WotW being in Edwardian times but their licence certainly is.....

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5 minutes ago, Vince1159 said:

We,the public pay the licence fee so why was it the rest of the planet saw it before the people that actually paid for it...

Frankly, they’d have done us a favour by not showing it in the UK at all after inflicting it on the rest of the world...

 

Personally, I have no problem with the licence fee at all; I think it’s great value, especially compared to the four or five lots of £5-6 a month I’d have to pay Netflix, Prime, Starzplay, Hulu, Disney+ and Britbox to get the programs I want from streaming services...

 

best,

M.

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7 minutes ago, cmatthewbacon said:

Frankly, they’d have done us a favour by not showing it in the UK at all after inflicting it on the rest of the world...

 

Personally, I have no problem with the licence fee at all; I think it’s great value, especially compared to the four or five lots of £5-6 a month I’d have to pay Netflix, Prime, Starzplay, Hulu, Disney+ and Britbox to get the programs I want from streaming services...

 

best,

M.

I gave up Sky a few years ago and have FreeSat which have a lot of great channels but what grinds me about the beeb is i still have to pay their fee even though i never watch it....Sorry but they should start using ad's and it might bring them into the real world....

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I don't watch ITV, nor a whole load of junk TV, but I have to pay for them all anyway.  Just where do you think all the money for the adverts comes from?  From the products we buy, all of which are more expensive than they otherwise would be.  Nor, for that matter, do I think having adverts splitting up programmes is other than a bad idea.  In drama it breaks any generated tension or interest, and provides an excuse for giving you even less by telling you what happened before the adverts, then again once the adverts are finished before starting again.  In all fairness, in sports where there is a natural halt they do provide a break from the talking heads...

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The problem with the adaptations of this story is that since the 1938 radio play, that set the invasion in modern times, each adaptation has to Be updated or changed to suit the audience. Let Me throw my cards on the table in that I have read the novel over a hundred times, maybe more. It is my favourite book ever written. And I loved the 1953 film, the album (not the newer version) and the 2005 version as it had the threat of the book. The bbc version is terrible because it tried to be too clever. What was suggested in the book was hammered home in the most uncomfortable unconvincing way. The subtle pieces of humans dethroned by a technological superior but biological inferior foe was a master stroke. The Martians built machines to suit their purposes much like a man changes their clothes. The Bbc depiction of growling monsters is so far removed from the piercing intelligence the Martians were said to exhibit seen through their deep eyes. The bbc adaptation was no more wells than an opportunity to lecture and attempt to pander to the current vogues of political correctness. Had they read the book they would have realised wells had done it already and far better and more intelligently than the bbc could have dreamed. A waste of my time and I was on the Martians side as I wished the heat Ray would wipe me out before the end......

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