Eerie, desolate sci-fi series War of the Worlds aired in France in late 2019 and earlier this year in the US and UK. Less an adaptation of the titular H.G. Wells novel than a contemporary riff on the alien invasion thriller by creator Howard Overman (Crazyhead, Misfits), it resolutely ploughed its own furrow. Moody, atmospheric, bleak and emotional, it swapped red weed, tripods and heat rays for a grief-soaked meditation on family and survival… with terrifying alien robot sniper dogs.
The series’ second run commission has been an open secret for months, but the official stamp was announced this weekend, with filming due to begin on Monday the 13th of July after a dry run of the new COVID-19 filming protocol took place last Friday.
Deadline, speaking to Urban Myth producer Johnny Capps (Merlin, Atlantis) reported on the meticulous planning and procedures in place to film the second series in the midst of a global coronavirus pandemic. With a robust testing regime and social distancing in place, the first of eight new episodes is currently filming in Newport, Wales. Other TV productions will no doubt be watching progress carefully to learn what will and won’t be possible under the new measures.
Director Richard Clark, confirmed to be heading up episodes one to four of season two, posted this today on Twitter, listing some of the new checks in place:
It’ll certainly help that, as a post-apocalyptic sci-fi, War of the Worlds is all about small, isolated groups and vast, empty landscapes. “Fortunately, we are a show which is in a world where there aren’t that many people around,” Capps told Deadline. “There are things that work for us creatively.”
Here’s the official synopsis, with a major spoiler warning for anybody yet to see series one:
In series one of War of the Worlds, an alien attack all but wiped out mankind, with just a handful of humans fighting to survive. And no one felt more rocked by the invasion than Emily (Daisy Edgar Jones), who discovered she may have her own strange personal connection to the aliens.
In series two our characters will be left reeling by the possibility that the invaders could be human. A tense fight to take back the planet awaits them. For some, the sheer desperation to survive will lead them to contemplate sacrificing one of their own…
Set in France and the UK, the series was sold to over 60 territories around the world, airing on Epix in the US and FOX in the UK. The second season will have eight episodes, the first block of which will be headed up by aforementioned director Richard Clark, with the final four welcoming Baghdad Central and Humans director Ben A. Williams.
Cast-wise, we can expect to see the return of Gabriel Byrne, Daisy Edgar Jones, Léa Drucker, Natasha Little, Stéphane Caillard, Adel Bencherif, Ty Tennant, Stephen Campbell Moore, Bayo Gbadamosi, Aaron Heffernan and Emilie de Preissac.
Read more about the series, including our spoiler-filled season one reviews here.