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Harlequin

War of the Worlds - Oh dear...

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So, last night.

 

Interesting developments.

 

SPOILER ALERT!

 

The focus seems to be switching to the aftermath.

 

In Wells's story, the legacy of the invasion was largely psychological. We lost some of our complacency and kept a wary eye on Mars. Wells did not support the BBC's view that we would forget it was our microbes, and boast it was our guns, that killed the invaders.   

 

The physical effects of an Earth made permanently Mars-like are not found in Wells.  After Johnny Martian keels over on Primrose Hill, it's very much business as usual.  Logically not that much of the fabric of Britain was crisped in the war Wells described, and it seems that, returning to his Primrose Hill vantage point at the end of the book, six years after the invasion, the narrator overlooks a restored urban landscape.

 

Not so with life under the BBC.  No, here we remain complacent and delusional and, so, must be further punished!  Given the age of the child, I suppose we are here, too, some six years on. The Martians have stopped coming, for now, but we are no longer, in any meaningful sense, the possessors of the Earth, which is now inimical to us.

 

Interestingly it is the black smoke - terrifyingly portrayed by the BBC - which seems to be the polluting agent.  Wells saw it merely as a means of killing humans.  The BBC sees it as the means of propagating a Martian eco-system on Earth.

 

There seems to be some clunky climate change metaphor going on here.  We are shown that, in the face of invasion and near annihilation by alien invaders and the death of our planet's eco-system, we draw all the wrong conclusions and remain deluded and complacent.  What could the BBC be trying to tell us?  

 

Maybe Greta Thurnberg will turn up in episode 3 and save the day. 

 

Climate change, caused by the agency of our abuse of the environment is not something that Wells, for all his visionary powers, anticipated in WotW.  At the end of the book, his streets are teeming with people and London - "dim and blue through the haze of the smoke and mist" - is merrily burning up as much fossil fuel as it ever was.  Mars, he reckons, is rendered uninhabitable by the cooling of the Sun.  The Martians must seek a new home - which, by the way, is reckoned at the end of the book to be Venus instead of the bacteria-ridden Earth - because they are victims of an environmental disaster not of their making.  Wells describes Mankind's realisation that we ultimately face the slow cooling of the sun making Earth uninhabitable.

 

Obviously we know better thanks to our belated understanding of climate change.  The BBC would need, somehow, to reflect our knowledge of the ultimate fate of our planet and its causes.  The BBC must, therefore, depart from Wells, who did not imagine this.  If he had known of climate change, I wonder, though, if even Wells could have imagined that the leader of the most powerful nation on earth could remain in denial of the problem!  Perhaps that is what the Beeb is really all riled up about, and why it insists on giving WotW such a transparently anti-establishment stance?  

 

Still don't understand the significance, if any, of choosing 1905!

 

 

Edited by Edwardian
Spoiler Alert!
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Whoa there! Spoiler alert!

 

I will read no further until I've caught up.

 

:tongue2:

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8 minutes ago, Harlequin said:

Whoa there! Spoiler alert!

 

I will read no further until I've caught up.

 

:tongue2:

 

Sorry!  I tend to assume it's me who is behind everyone else!

 

I'll edit to include a spoiler alert.

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Last night we had an evacuation TO Dunkirk and the Royal Navy in the channel keeping the Martian Immigrants out of Europe.New Tory policy ? Where are the sand dune beaches in Kent opposite France, mainly cliffs down there.

Edited by black05
mistake
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1 hour ago, black05 said:

Last night we had an evacuation TO Dunkirk and the Royal Navy in the channel keeping the Martian Immigrants out of Europe.New Tory policy ? Where are the sand dune beaches in Kent opposite France, mainly cliffs down there.

Camber Sands? East (very) Sussex, almost in Kent, and where the 1950s Dunkirk movie was filmed. Apparently the BBC used Formby Beach.

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1 hour ago, Edwardian said:

So, last night.

 

 

Not seen it yet but no spoiler there - it's entirely to be expected that, just as Wells was writing to the anxieties of his times, the BBC should be dramatising to the anxieties of ours. It's a right and proper function of drama to comment on our own times. Shakespeare was doing it for his times - but being the greatest Warwickshireman of all time, his drama can be used to hold up a mirror to our own age without such distortion.

 

My only caveat is, I hope it's not confusing the tens of thousands of GCSE English Literature students who have War of the Worlds as a set text! (I'm reading my son's copy, heavily annotated.)

Edited by Compound2632
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Regardless of the lack of trains, accurate or otherwise, I found last night's Episode 2 utterly dismal and boring. And what had happened to Robert Carlyle's face, was there no money left over for make-up after building the tripods ? I now have a spare hour next Sunday night........

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Well, there's a period of my time that won't be repeated!

 

Just finished watching ep2 of WotW, the anguish has been great and I fear for the longevity of the skip button on the PVR remote control.  At least I didn't lose the hour that it would have been if I had watched it straight after "His Dark Materials"; it was more like 30 minutes at the most with skipping and even then far too long.  From what I did see, it bore very little resemblance to the book!  BTW Has anyone sorted out what the "sepia" segments are all about?

 

They could have made a decent stab at telling the story.  Instead they produced a heap of carp.

 

HeapOfCarp.jpg.169a96d1bda2ca390af72c1cf5dab1c1.jpg

 

Factoid 1: That bit of Formby Beach they used for filming had the dunes stabilised in the 1930s using discarded bales of substandard tobacco from the cigarette factory in Liverpool and was later used as a dumping ground for rubble from the bombing of Liverpool and Bootle in WW2. Recognisable fragments of Liverpool Customs House have been identified.

 

Factoid 2: If they had gone a couple of miles down the coast, they could also have shot on Crosby beach and included Anthony Gormleys cast iron figures embedded in the foreshore as heatrayed corpses....

 

 

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On ‎20‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 04:06, Hroth said:

 

I heard that, but put it down to typical actor mumbling and I think what they were trying to say was that there wasn't anything on the wires, or more properly telegraph.  It could be that the actor misunderstood the script.

 

Back to  trains on the telly!  The latest BBC MT to be shown over here, 'The Chaperone' takes place in the US and one of the locos appears to be a tank engine of Euro origin while a fill shot shows the journey under way in what appears to be Flying Scotsman in full flight!:(.  You couldn't make this up!

      Brian.

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Cobblers, you lot are far too serious and probably would prefer Britain's Got Talent. Thought the visual CGI stuff was quite good, couldn't give a toss about the acting or story line, however Demelzer (Kernow spelling) is in the wrong part of the country and in the wrong Century as is her 'son'. much better to watch when drugged or after a few good tots.

C. Dickens.

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I caught up this morning.

 

Spoiler Alert!

 

 

Ep2 was dire! No wonder the Beeb didn't promote it very heavily. The only promotion I did see concerned the actors making fun of reacting to CGI horrors - so I suspect they could tell it was a lemon.

 

I thought it was disjointed and way too much time was spent watching people being anguished. Why was the girl from the boat dropped into the storyline and why was she not anguished at losing her mother???

 

(The girl and the crystals growing out of the ground may be significant plot elements...)

 

Worst of all, no railways to laugh at!

 

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I think the problem is that they called it "War of the Worlds" and so we all expected it to be an adaption of the book.

 

Had the BBC simply punted it as a perfectly good sci-fi drama then it would be fine. There's a lot to like about this but it ISN'T WOTW, just something with some vaguely similar elements in a few places. Do this and we can focus on the drama and not keep wondering when they get back to the "proper" story.

 

Interesting point. This is a 3-hour version. When the Beeb dramatised the children's novel "The Tripods" years ago, that was 13 half-hour parts - over twice the length of this. And book one of that was a bit thin on plot. (Goes away to grumble that proper Dr Who's are 4 parts...)

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15 hours ago, Hroth said:

BTW Has anyone sorted out what the "sepia" segments are all about?

 

They are flashes forward to a post-invasion world. To be fair to the writers, if you insist on watching the whole thing on fast-forward then it's not their fault you can't follow the plot. Jumping back and forth in a timeline isn't a new idea, even if I'm not convinced it would be needed with a faithful adaption.

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I am also watching the latest series of 'The Crown' on NetFlix. This covers the 1960's. This has some amazing CGI. You could almost believe Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon are boarding a VC10 and taking off, and that the area around Aberfan is still covered with pitheads.

 

A fill in shot of the journey to Sandringham had a green Class 37 and maroon coaches passing through the countryside, and I don't know if it was real or CGI.

 

 

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I don't have any violent objections to what they've done with the story. Some ideas are quite interesting. I just feel that, in it's execution, it's quite a clunky effort.  I stick by my reaction to Ep.1; it's inoffensive and mildly entertaining.

 

The problem is, WotW should be more than mildly entertaining. It should give you the Heebie-jeebies!

 

Phil Parker's post made me think.  If they'd done this as some sequel/prequel/extension of the story Wells wrote, they could have legitimately indulged in some of their original ideas and we could have judged it on its merits rather than making the inevitable comparisons with the story it ostensibly represents. 

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39 minutes ago, Phil Parker said:

I think the problem is that they called it "War of the Worlds" and so we all expected it to be an adaption of the book.

 

Had the BBC simply punted it as a perfectly good sci-fi drama then it would be fine. There's a lot to like about this but it ISN'T WOTW, just something with some vaguely similar elements in a few places. Do this and we can focus on the drama and not keep wondering when they get back to the "proper" story.

 

 

More Pride and Prejudice and Zombies than Pride and Prejudice? But without the excitement.

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The War of the Worlds should give you the Heebie - Jeebies (havent heard that term for years )as Edwardian points out .  I remember the story of when this was broadcast in the US on the radio , I think before the war, people thought it was the real thing and mass panic ensued . Not suggesting the BBC should go that far , but it could do with a bit more menace in it .  The graphics are actually quite good , but I'm afraid I dozed off on Sunday and missed a bit !  Still the last part of the program  suggests we actually get to see the Martians in next weeks thrilling episode , so hopefully I'll be behind the couch for that one (but probably not!)

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Vaguely drifting back towards our hobby ...

 

I may be in a distinct minority, but, for me, there is no need to update WotW to make it terrifying.   As many know, I pretty much live around the turn of the (Twentieth) century, so the Martian invasions seems very immediate to me!

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23 minutes ago, Edwardian said:

The problem is, WotW should be more than mildly entertaining. It should give you the Heebie-jeebies!

 

 

 

Not acceptable to the snowflake generation, even with pre-warning at the start of the show :rolleyes:

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5 minutes ago, Edwardian said:

 As many know, I pretty much live around the turn of the (Twentieth) century, so the Martian invasions seems very immediate to me!

I'd stay there, if I were you. The 20th Century takes a massive nose-dive in 1914..... 

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3 minutes ago, Metr0Land said:

 

Not acceptable to the snowflake generation, even with pre-warning at the start of the show :rolleyes:

 

Wot, no Safe Space?

 

There's always behind the sofa.  That were good enough for me when I were a lad, hiding from them Daleks!

 

Toying again with Phil Parker's suggestion, I've been working on my pitch ... 

 

A group of renegade humans travel back through time (pursued by Morlocks) to arrive a year before the Martian invasion in an  effort to warn of the coming attack. In, "Space, 1899" ..... 

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25 minutes ago, Edwardian said:

Vaguely drifting back towards our hobby ...

 

I may be in a distinct minority, but, for me, there is no need to update WotW to make it terrifying.   As many know, I pretty much live around the turn of the (Twentieth) century, so the Martian invasions seems very immediate to me!

 

And the biggest environmental threat is horse, er, droppings.

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47 minutes ago, Edwardian said:

Vaguely drifting back towards our hobby ...

 

I may be in a distinct minority, but, for me, there is no need to update WotW to make it terrifying.   As many know, I pretty much live around the turn of the (Twentieth) century, so the Martian invasions seems very immediate to me!

 

I noted that 'Vienna Blood' (BBC2, Murder cases, an Austrian version of Sherlock Holmes with a hint of race purity) was also set at about the same time (1906), but there was no mention of Martians or signs of any red weed.

 

This comment was not appreciated by SWMBO...

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On 20/11/2019 at 12:47, didcot said:

My favourite gaff was seeing a warm time drama with the land girls driving a grey T20 Fergie tractor. They didn't appear until the early 50's with a straight petrol engine.

 

I remember starting to watch Charlotte Gray (a film in which a Scottish woman joins the French Resistance) quite a while ago. At the beginning of the film, somehow she was trying to get from Edinburgh to London by travelling North over the Glenfinnan Viaduct in a Mk 1 carriage. I couldn't take it seriously after so many errors in one scene.

 

 

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