This is a typical BBC production, a big-budget sunday night show based on the Public Domain writings of a long-dead Englishman. The famous introduction, which we might associate with Richard Burton, is spoken by a female narrator for a change.
The story starts in the town of Woking, England in the year 1905. A scientist named Oglivy (Robert Carlyle - Once Upon A Time ) shows his new discovery to his assistant Amy ( Eleanor Tomlinson ) and her husband George (Rafe Spall - MIB: International ).
George, a professional journalist at a London newspaper, uses his press pass to approach his estranged brother Frank (Rupert Graves - V For Vendetta (2006) ). Frank works for the Government, and has important matters to deal with. The Russian Empire has sent its navy to attack the Japanese Empire, and on their way they decided to sink some English fishing trawlers.
Meanwhile, a strange meteorite lands near Oglivy's house. He leads the investigation into its origins, and as Amy is his assistant she is permitted to accompany him.
Oglivy (Robert Carlyle - Once Upon A Time ) has been missing ever since the first attack. Amy ( Eleanor Tomlinson ) and George (Rafe Spall - MIB: International ) were separated, and spend the episode trying to find each other.
The aliens had massive three-legged war-machines. This begs the question - when will we get Season Three of The Tripods (1986) ? Perhaps a more realistic question is, why does the BBC not just commission a re-adaption of that series and use it as a follow-up to this series?
Oglivy (Robert Carlyle - Once Upon A Time ) and Amy ( Eleanor Tomlinson ) are together in the post-apocalyptic world, trying to work out what the real reason for the aliens' defeat was. George (Rafe Spall - MIB: International ) is nowhere to be seen. Well, as Amy narrates the events we discover why having a male good guy was important.
George and Frank (Rupert Graves - V For Vendetta (2006) ) had taken the females to a safe refuge. For some strange reason, none of the earlier refugees had made it that far. It turns out that the aliens had decided to leave their war-machines.
As in the previous versions of the story, the aliens may have incredible war-machines but they do not seem to have invented clothing. Instead they walk around naked, and eat their food raw. Well, rather than create EVA suits they just un-terraformed Earth until its atmosphere was suitable for themselves. But without sanitation the human survivors had outbreaks of Typhoid and Cholera. This was not the best time to start eating raw human flesh.
In the name of political correctness, there had to be a scene in which the heroic George criticises Frank's jingoism. Apparently Imperialism and Colonialism are bad things. Well, only when they are British. Nobody mentions the Russian or Japanese Empires, which were important enough in the first episode.