The War of the Worlds (2019) – Episode 2 Recap & Review

Slowly But Surely They Drew Their Plans Against Us

The War Of The Worlds has the potential to be a really solid drama. There’s some nice visual effects dotted throughout the series and constant jumps between the future and present are well placed, even if they do suck the dramatic tension from some scenes. Unfortunately, some sneaky political agenda-driven writing holds this back from being a better title and the story changes do little to enhance the drama in the show.

After a brief introduction shows Amy hopelessly searching for George in post apocalyptic England in the future, we cut back to the present with George writing a letter to Amy and stumbling upon a survivor in the wreckage. With this young boy, he hides from one of the monstrous machines as it towers over them, searching for a crying baby. Evading the threat for now, they make it to the nearby town where George is forced to enlist with the army.

Reluctantly joining them as they head off to the site of the second crash landed object, he watches as they fruitlessly bombard it with cannons and gunfire. Despite destroying its shell, the actual creature remains untouched and begins to rise up, eviscerating some of the soldiers. At the same time, Frederick addresses London and tells them what’s happening is nothing to be concerned about.

Ironically, as he says this the creatures arrive in London, forcing Amy and the others underground to get away. While George watches on helplessly from the outskirts of the city, Amy and Frederick outrun poisonous gas, which seeps through the vents. They make it back to the surface where Amy watches in horror as bodies pile the streets and the survivors shuffle away out of the city.

Chaos engulfs the southern shores of England as the survivors scramble aboard rowing boats set for Dunkirk. However, when the machines arrive they launch a counter-offensive that results in George and Amy reunited and running down the beach away from a toppled machine. In the future, Amy runs into Ogilvy who happens to have survived the attack and together they discuss the future implications for the country. By contrast, in the present the sky slowly starts to crackle and rumble under the weight of thunderstorms.

As the episode closes out, Amy, George and the others hide from one of the machines that seemingly appears to be right outside their window while one of their fellow survivors comes down with a sickness bug. As they close the door and bolt it, everything is left wide open for next week’s episode.

War Of The Worlds is an odd show of two halves. On the one hand, the visual effects and general plotting of the series is quite good but the pacing is wildly inconsistent, especially late on, and the tiny pockets of action only make you yearn for more, as the show plunges back into slow characterisation and future shots of a ravaged England.

There are some nice bouts of foreshadowing though but War Of The Worlds is not a particularly exciting or enthralling adaptation. It’s frustrating more than disappointing if I’m honest because the components are there to make a solid adaptation, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired.


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