War of the Worlds (TV Series 2019– )

TVSeries


War of the Worlds (TV Series 2019– )

Set in contemporary France, this Anglo-French reimagining of H. G. Wells' classic in the style of Walking Dead follows pockets of survivors forced to team up after an apocalyptic extra-terrestrial strike.
UK
France
USA
IMDb   6.3 /10
TheMovieDb    7.4 /10
RottenTomatoes  75 %
TV.com
FilmAffinity   5.2 /10
Creators
Creator Howard Overman
Information
Release Date2019-10-28
Runtime49mins
GenreDrama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Content RatingTV-MA (TV-MA)
Awards1 win & 3 nominations.
CompanyAGC Television, Canal+, De Wereldvrede
CountryUK, France, USA
LanguageFrench, English
Catherine Durand 16 episodes, 2019-2021
Bill Ward 16 episodes, 2019-2021
Sarah Gresham 16 episodes, 2019-2021
Emily Gresham 16 episodes, 2019-2021
Kariem Gat Wich Machar 16 episodes, 2019-2021
Tom / ... 16 episodes, 2019-2021
Jonathan Gresham 16 episodes, 2019-2021
Nathan 14 episodes, 2019-2021
Chloe Dumont 14 episodes, 2019-2021
Sacha 13 episodes, 2019-2021
Sophia 12 episodes, 2019-2021
Adina 8 episodes, 2021
Colonel Mokrani 8 episodes, 2019
Helen Brown 8 episodes, 2019
Zoe 8 episodes, 2021
Ash Daniel 7 episodes, 2019
Thom Ashley
Thom Ashley
Reuben 7 episodes, 2021

War of the Worlds (2019 TV series)

War of the Worlds is a television series produced by Fox Networks Group and StudioCanal-backed Urban Myth Films. The series is written by Howard Overman, and directed by Gilles Coulier and Richard Clark. The series is a loose adaptation of the H.G. Wells 1898 novel of a similar name, and is the third television adaptation of the Wells Martian invasion novel. War of the Worlds consists of eight episodes, and first premiered in France on October 28, 2019. It has been renewed for a second season which is set to premiere on 6 June 2021.


Premise

The series takes place in contemporary 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

Cast

Main lead

  • Gabriel Byrne as Bill Ward
  • Elizabeth McGovern as Helen Brown
  • Daisy Edgar-Jones as Emily Gresham
  • Bayo Gbadamosi as Kariem Gat Wich Machar

Main supporting

  • Léa Drucker as Catherine Durand
  • Adel Bencherif as Colonel Mustafa Mokrani
  • Emilie de Preissac as Sophia Durand
  • Natasha Little as Sarah Gresham
  • Ty Tennant as Tom Gresham
  • Stephen Campbell Moore as Jonathan Gresham
  • Stéphane Caillard as Chloe Dumont
  • Aaron Heffernan as Ash Daniel

Featured

The below actors are credited in the opening titles of only one or two episodes in which they play a significant role.

  • Georgina Rich as Rachel
  • Michael Marcus as Dan Ward
  • Paul Gorostidi as Nathan
  • Théo Christine as Saaid
  • Mathieu Torloting as Sacha Dumont
  • Alysson Paradis as Officer Clara
  • Guillaume Gouix as Noah Dumont

Episodes

No.EpisodeDirected byWritten byOriginal French air date
1Episode 1Gilles CoulierHoward OvermanOctober 28, 2019
Astronomer Catherine Durand detects a strong signal from Ross 128 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 directly hear strange pulsing sounds, while elsewhere 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, happen to drive into an underground parade, while her husband Jonathan is in Paris, where his taxi plunges into the Seine at an opportune moment. Kariem, entering England illegally inside a metal tanker, finds himself alone in a strange environment. Catherine's sister Sophia tries to reach her at the observatory.
2Episode 2Gilles CoulierHoward OvermanOctober 28, 2019
In London, in Paris and in 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 the attack. 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 quadrupedal bots.
3Episode 3Gilles CoulierHoward OvermanNovember 4, 2019
Helen and Bill arrive too late at Dan’s 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 Ash, an orderly, at a hospital. They find Kariem recuperating there, and Ash orders them to get over their previous meeting. Emily (and only Emily) hears the alien pulses, which temporarily restore her sight. Catherine is in shock when the alien pulses (which she hears on equipment) suddenly adds the song that she and her colleagues had once broadcast into space, confirming they attracted their attackers. Jonathan meets Chloe, who warns him of the quadrupeds, and they head north together – bound for London and Amiens, respectively. When they find Dan’s body outside, Helen asks Bill to find a way to kill the quadrupeds. A pack of quadrupeds approach the hospital.
4Episode 4Gilles CoulierHoward OvermanNovember 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.
5Episode 5Richard ClarkHoward OvermanNovember 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.
6Episode 6Richard ClarkHoward OvermanNovember 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.
7Episode 7Richard ClarkHoward OvermanNovember 18, 2019
Sophia survived when she walked into 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. Bill tries to get information from Emily, but she is sympathetic to the aliens, rationalizing that humans killing in war is no different from the aliens killing 7 billion humans. Emily has two more friendly encounters with a quadruped cyborg, not telling anyone about the first instance, and Helen being killed by it in the second instance. At the start of Emily's second encounter, Sascha has a friendly cyborg encounter in France; both teenagers have visions of each other. Chloe discovers that Sascha stole Jonathan's picture, convincing her that he is twisted enough to have facilitated Noah's death. Sascha attacks Jonathan, then runs into the forest. 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.
8Episode 8Richard ClarkHoward OvermanNovember 18, 2019
Catherine, Sophia and Mokrani's team go looking for other survivors. Ash doubts Emily's motives while Bill wrestles with his new reality. Jonathan learns the truth about Sacha and Chloe. Emily and Kariem go looking for answers. Sacha decides to follow Jonathan to England in hope of meeting his daughter. Catherine puts her theory to the test.

Production

Development

War of the Worlds is produced by Fox Networks Group and StudioCanal. AGC Television co-finances and co-distributes the series.

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. The series is executive produced by Overman, Julian Murphy and Johnny Capps. By October 2019, the creative team had begun work on a second season.

Casting

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.

Filming

Production for Series 1 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.

Series 2 began filming on July 13, 2020 and wrapped filming on October 22, 2020.


Release

Broadcasting

The first series was released in full on MyCanal in France on October 28, 2019, before being broadcast from October 28 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.

Canal+ and Fox Networks Group have the rights to release the series in Europe and Africa. AGC Television distribute the series to the North American market, and co-distribute with StudioCanal to Latin America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East. Fox Networks Group release the series in Europe. The series broadcasts on Fox in more than 50 countries.