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The War of the Worlds: What the Must Watch Reviewers think

Must Watch reviewers Scott Bryan and Hayley Campbell share their thoughts on The War of the Worlds which started on Sunday 17 November at 21:00 GMT on BBC One... you can catch up on BBC iPlayer... the series continues on Sunday evenings.

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(Credit: BBC/ Mammoth Screen)

Scott says: "The scenes where the aliens turned up was just great TV"

"I think it’s quite a faithful adaptation, set at the time the book was written; at the end of the Victorian era.

"That was a wise choice because it makes it even more haunting than other adaptations because when they say things like they can use their 'best weaponry' against the alien comets, you know there’s nothing they can actually do to stop them.

"Another thing you get from this version is how slow news travels, there’s this destruction of Woking but it takes ages for those up in London to know what’s going on.

"I think generally it worked; the scenes where the aliens turned up was just great TV."

(Credit: BBC/ Mammoth Screen)

Hayley says: "When it comes to Martians, you just want Martians"

"I think this is the first adaptation to be set around the time it was set in the book (in 2005 we had Tom Cruise running around New York) and on the surface I think this one is closer to the HG Wells book.

"But what I had a problem with is the mad subplot where the main couple are unmarried and the pariahs in the village, and he’s left his wife for this girl. So as extra-terrestrial super intelligent creatures are landing and people are spontaneously combusting, he’s saying to her ‘I went to my wife yesterday to get her to sign the divorce papers’ and it’s a bit like ‘Kim there’s people who are dying’.

"It felt like there were lots of themes that were trying to be crow-barred into the story, they’re trying to make points to 2019 audiences - with this it was divorce, and women’s liberation and feminism.

"But when it comes to Martians, you just want Martians. It felt tacked on and deliberate which didn’t fit with the story, every time it came up it was like it was getting in the way. Every adaptation of War of the Worlds tries to hang politics and cultural sensitivities on it that are relevant, but I think it undermines the importance of those things when it is clearly just tacked on the top.

"Generally it was fine and it looked amazing. There were just irritating little bits that I thought 'why were you doing that? Get back to the action’. It could be good, I don’t know, maybe they were just putting all their chips on the table with these themes, maybe it just felt too forced in the first episode but this is three parts so we’ll see where it goes."

(Credit: BBC/ Mammoth Screen 2018)

The War of the Worlds started on Sunday, November 17 at 21:00 GMT on BBC One. You can catch up on BBC iPlayer. The series continues on Sunday evenings at 20:00 BST.

Must Watch is available as a podcast every Monday evening from BBC Sounds, or through your podcast app.

In this week's episode we also reviewed The Morning Show, which is new on Apple TV+ and the final of The Great British Bake Off.

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