War of the Worlds book VS BBC television adaptation

By November 28, 2019Adaptations, News, Television

The War Of The Worlds television adaptation from the BBC is taking H.G. Wells work and creating an ambitious project.

The three-part drama is an adaptation of H.G. Wells’ 1898 book of the same title.

The series stars Eleanor Tomlinson as Amy, a modern and independent woman in love with a married man, George played by Rafe Spall. Robert Carlyle plays Ogilvy, the astronomer and chemist, and one of the only characters that is named in the original novel. George’s older brother Frederick is played by Rupert Graves.

When the BBC aired the first episode of its ambitious 3-part adaptation of  on Sunday November 17th, viewers noticed some key moments from the novel are missing. Although the BBC has set the story in its original setting of the Victorian era, there have been some changes which have surprised viewers.

Plot differences

  • The narrator in the book has no name but in the show, he’s called George.
  • In fact many of the characters in the original book are nameless but in the show they are given names, including the Narrator’s wife who is named Lucy, and Amy, George’s new love.
  • A new central storyline of George and Lucy’s failed married and discussion of divorce adds colour to the plot.

The aliens

  • The aliens land on Earth in a different ship to the one described in the book- an orb shaped ship, whereas the novel describes it as a cylinder.
  • The iconic Martian tripods have changed up their look subtly- they look less like “boilers on stilts” as described in the book, and more technologically advanced.
  • The aliens in the show don’t get revealed like they did in the book where the extraterrestrials come out of their crafts then get into their tripods to begin destruction.

The red world

  • In a huge change of direction from the book, a strange red land is shown, with George and Amy wearing red, flowing hooded robes as they walk through a chaotic and devastated world.
  • It seems this scene shows the world several years later and they are dealing with the aftermath of the invasions.
  • These scenes give hints to where the show is going and how it could be concluded.

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