We’ve seen several adaptations of H.G. Wells’ 1898 novel The War of the Worlds, from the infamous radio drama of 1938 to The Great Martian War 1913–1917 and many, many dramatizations in between. However, only one direct-to-video movie and a prog-rock concept album took place in the Victorian era.
Now the BBC is about to give us a three-part televised series of The War of the Worlds in glorious Victoriana.
According to the Verge, an upcoming BBC production, which begins filming early in 2018, will set the series in a period setting. I assume it’s either 1898 or perhaps 1897, the year Wells’ story was serialized in Pearson’s Magazine. This War of the Worlds adaptation will be written by Peter Harness, who turned Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell into a seven-part series. He’s also written three Doctor Who episodes, which include the wonderful "Zygon Invasion."
When I first heard the word “Victorian,” I immediately thought “steampunk”—the sci-fi subgenre that uses the technology of the 19th century (think steam power and zeppelins) as its backdrop. But then I thought otherwise. The BBC takes its history and its adaptations seriously. Those of us with steampunk fancies will have to rewatch Steampunk’d and visit the Steampunk World’s Fair. (Ooo, it’s this weekend.)
NOTE: The image is the work of artist Henrique Alvim Corrêa from the novel's 1906 edition.