BBC to create Victorian-era War of the Worlds series

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BBC to create Victorian-era War of the Worlds series

Postby Iroscato » 2017-05-07 12:49pm

This could be really cool, I've always wanted to see a period-accurate WotW adaptation...

https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/4/15551 ... r-hartness

Earlier today, the BBC announced a number of new shows, including a three-part series based on H.G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds. The show is scheduled to go into production next spring, and it appears that, unlike most modern adaptations, it will be set in the Victorian era.

The series will be written by screenwriter Peter Hartness, who adapted Susanna Clarke’s Victorian-era fantasy novel Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell for the network, as well as a handful of Doctor Who episodes. The North-West Evening Mail has some additional details, quoting Mammoth Studios Managing Director of Productions Damien Timmer as saying that while the film has been adapted many times, “no one has ever attempted to follow Wells and locate the story in Dorking at the turn of the last century.” The project was first announced in 2015, and today’s confirmation of production comes only months after the book entered the public domain.

The novel follows an unnamed narrator as he watches a series of shooting stars, which turn out to be vast metal cylinders containing Martian invaders. The aliens attack the assembled humans and begin a conquest of the planet, only to succumb to human diseases.

Since the novel’s release in 1898, there have been a number of film, television, and radio adaptations, but with only one exception, most productions updated the novel to contemporary times and settings. The 1953 film took place in Southern California, while the 2005 Steven Spielberg adaptation was set in New York. Even the famous 1938 radio play by Orson Welles shifted the location to the United States. Only a direct-to-video adaptation called H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds retained the period setting.
Last edited by Iroscato on 2017-05-07 12:55pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BBC to creat Victorian-era War of the Worlds series

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-05-07 12:52pm

OH FUCK YES!
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: BBC to creat Victorian-era War of the Worlds series

Postby Iroscato » 2017-05-07 12:57pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:OH FUCK YES!

I literally thought of you when I read the article, had a feeling you'd be up for it :lol:
Yeah, I've always taken the subtext of the Birther movement to be, "The rules don't count here! This is different! HE'S BLACK! BLACK, I SAY! ARE YOU ALL BLIND!?

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Re: BBC to create Victorian-era War of the Worlds series

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-05-07 01:42pm

This is so long overdue. I just hope that television effects and the BBC's budget are at the point where they can do the visuals justice.

And War of the Worlds is now public domain, you say? That's interesting.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: BBC to create Victorian-era War of the Worlds series

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2017-05-07 01:53pm

As long as they do the Thunder Child justice I will be happy!
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Re: BBC to create Victorian-era War of the Worlds series

Postby Imperial528 » 2017-05-07 01:54pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:As long as they do the Thunder Child justice I will be happy!


They'd better do the entire damn book justice.

It's been trod on and abused for so long, it needs a proper treatment.

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Re: BBC to create Victorian-era War of the Worlds series

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2017-05-07 02:00pm

Imperial528 wrote:
Eternal_Freedom wrote:As long as they do the Thunder Child justice I will be happy!


They'd better do the entire damn book justice.

It's been trod on and abused for so long, it needs a proper treatment.


True. But the Thunder Child is the bit that has always been cut out in the film versions, the radio version etc. The only version that did that chapter well was Jeff Wayne's version.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: BBC to create Victorian-era War of the Worlds series

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-05-07 02:24pm

I'm normally pretty tolerant of adaptations that aren't just like the source material these days, but I think that War of the Worlds, while a timeless classic, nonetheless derives a lot of its thematic resonance and a lot of its most vivid imagery from its Victorian setting. Yes, setting it in Victorian times now moves it into the Alternate History genre as well as the alien invasion genre, but I think it'll work if done well, and its past time someone tried it.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: BBC to create Victorian-era War of the Worlds series

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2017-05-07 02:28pm

The problem with the adaptations are that if you move it out of the Victorian/England setting, you're basically doing a generic alien invasion story where the bacteria trump the aliens.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: BBC to create Victorian-era War of the Worlds series

Postby Q99 » 2017-05-07 06:41pm

I think this was tried once before, but ultra-low budget and not as well. The beebs should do it justice.

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Re: BBC to create Victorian-era War of the Worlds series

Postby Gandalf » 2017-05-07 09:58pm

Fantastic!

I hope that this passage is represented in the film somewhere:

HG Wells wrote:And before we judge them [the Martians] too harshly, we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought, not only upon animals, such as the vanished Bison and the Dodo, but upon its own inferior races. The Tasmanians, in spite of their human likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination waged by European immigrants, in the space of fifty years. Are we such apostles of mercy as to complain if the Martians warred in the same spirit?
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Re: BBC to create Victorian-era War of the Worlds series

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-05-10 10:00am

I would very much like to see a CGI [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo-class_cruiser]Apollo-class[/quote] or some such fighting off the Thames estuary, yes.

:D
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Re: BBC to create Victorian-era War of the Worlds series

Postby Crazedwraith » 2017-05-10 10:04am

Simon_Jester wrote:I would very much like to see a CGI Apollo-class or some such fighting off the Thames estuary, yes.

:D



Technically shouldn't she based on: HMS Polyphemus which is the Royal Navy's sole actual torpedo ram.
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Re: BBC to create Victorian-era War of the Worlds series

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2017-05-10 10:18am

Eh, versions of Thunder Child change often - the cover art for Jeff Wayne's album showed her as (IIRC) a Canopus class pre-dreadnought, while the CGI used in the live stage show had her as (again IIRC) a Majestic class ship.

Honestly, as long as it looks appropriate for 1895 and fights gloriously, exactly what class she is doiesn't bother me too much.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: BBC to create Victorian-era War of the Worlds series

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-05-10 07:22pm

Crazedwraith wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:I would very much like to see a CGI Apollo-class or some such fighting off the Thames estuary, yes.

:D



Technically shouldn't she based on: HMS Polyphemus which is the Royal Navy's sole actual torpedo ram.


I like the look of HMS Polyphemus, and historical authenticity, where practical, is always nice, but I don't know if they'd go for it for a film or TV show. HMS Polyphemus is fairly small, and looks like it would have sat fairly low in the water. It might not be the most visually dramatic design they could use.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: BBC to create Victorian-era War of the Worlds series

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-05-11 03:09am

Crazedwraith wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:I would very much like to see a CGI Apollo-class or some such fighting off the Thames estuary, yes.

:D
Technically shouldn't she based on: HMS Polyphemus which is the Royal Navy's sole actual torpedo ram.
Polyphemus and other designs like her lacked the kind of light artillery Thunder Child used.

What it comes down to is that you can look at the ship's performance and say "the facts are, Thunder Child did this, this, and this" and assume that any contradictory or confusing description by the narrator comes from the narrator didn't know much about ships.

Or you can accept the characterization of Thunder Child as an "ironclad torpedo ram" or whatever, and just shrug in cognitive dissonance at how many mutually exclusive characteristics that gives the ship and the impossibilities it creates for the ship's performance.

I mean, I've participated in some huge discussions on this over the years; we can pick it over again if you like.
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Re: BBC to create Victorian-era War of the Worlds series

Postby AniThyng » 2017-05-11 05:55am

Until rereading this passage today it never occurred to me that it seemed to be the implication that the channel fleet's ironclads (I presume that makes them pre-dreadnoughts) would actually be useful, if only they could be in range to matter.
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Re: BBC to create Victorian-era War of the Worlds series

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-05-11 06:24am

The bulk of the Channel Fleet would be pre-dreadnought battleships, yes. In my opinion, we can basically just assume that the British fleet of the novel is exactly the historical British fleet of 1898. Calling large armored warships 'ironclads' was a very common thing right up through the late 19th century, even though modern military historians generally do not use the term 'ironclad' to describe ships built entirely out of steel hulls.
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Re: BBC to create Victorian-era War of the Worlds series

Postby jwl » 2017-05-17 03:41pm

Gandalf wrote:Fantastic!

I hope that this passage is represented in the film somewhere:

HG Wells wrote:And before we judge them [the Martians] too harshly, we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought, not only upon animals, such as the vanished Bison and the Dodo, but upon its own inferior races. The Tasmanians, in spite of their human likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination waged by European immigrants, in the space of fifty years. Are we such apostles of mercy as to complain if the Martians warred in the same spirit?

It's being done by Peter Harness, so I would think so.


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