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War of the Worlds: Run for cover in first clip from Epix's H.G. Wells-based series

By Josh Weiss
War of the Worlds Epix

Run for your lives! The planet no longer belongs to us! SYFY WIRE is proud to debut an exclusive first look clip from Epix's War of the Worlds television series, which premieres this weekend. The project hails from Future Man co-creator Howard Overman.

Placing a modern spin on the classic science fiction story by H.G. Wells, the show stars Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects) and Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey) as a husband and his  ex-wife trying to stay alive in the wake of an alien invasion of 21st Century Europe.

In the chaotic clip below, Bill Ward (Byrne) forces the reluctant Helen (McGovern), to take shelter in an elevator, lest the aliens' "electromagnetic field" kill them both. Bill's ex is rather distraught because she can't find her current husband, Chris (Colin Mace). At the same time, mother of two, Sarah Gresham (Black Mirror's Natasha Little), works to get her children to safety.

Take a look for yourself:

The intercut stories chillingly convey the terror and confusion of what an event like this might actually look like in real life. Indeed, it feels like the makers of the show were trying to emulate the minute-to-minute discord of a terror attack. We say mission accomplished.

Before the craziness seen above kicks off, War of the Worlds begins when astronomers discover a transmission from another galaxy. Humanity's breakthrough of finding other intelligent life in the cosmos soon turns apocalyptic when a surprise attack wipes out a good chunk of the planet's population. While a few pockets of people remain, their chances of survival don't look good as the otherworldly invaders begin hunting down the stragglers one-by-one.

“Cinematic, with all the mystery, intrigue and action of the best science fiction, this fresh interpretation is a character drama that considers the myriad fears of today’s world and how potential threats may only be overcome by harnessing our own humanity,” executive producers Julian Murphy and Johnny Capps said when Epix picked up the series in November 2019.

War of the Worlds Epix key art

Léa Drucker, Daisy Edgar Jones, Stéphane Caillard, Adel Bencherif and Guillaume Gouix co-star.

The Epix adaptation isn't the only Wells-inspired program coming to American TV screens. Earlier this week, we reported that AMC had scooped up the North American airing rights for BBC One's period-set War of the Worlds miniseries from last year.

War of the Worlds makes its debut on Epix and the Epix Now app this Sunday (Feb. 16) at 9pm EST. Season 1 consists of eight episodes.