ORBzine - War of the Worlds (2020) TV Review

War of the Worlds (2020)

War of the Worlds (2020) War of the Worlds (2020) [Season 1, Episode 1]
Shown 28th October 2019

A Space Agency detects a signal from outer space. Unlike most shows, this is not NASA - it is the French Space Agency! This show is obviously an Anglo-French production, despite being distributed by a US TV network.

To add a bit of excitement, it turns out that someone or something is going to use an EMP attack that will kill any humans who are not in a shielded location. Most of the main characters rush to get underground.

War of the Worlds (2020) War of the Worlds (2020) [Season 1, Episode 2]
Shown 28th October 2019

The EMP has killed everyone who was not underground. Somehow an elevator can shield people, but not a car. Also, somehow dogs (and presumably other animals) are immune. The bit about the dog is not a clumsy goof but an intentional part of the plot. Bill Ward (Gabriel Byrne Excalibur (1981) ) actually points it out.

The French soldiers go out to find survivors. Typically of soldiers in movie and TV shows, they do not have helmets or infrared goggles. Well, they have to look telegenic. There are a few looters who take all the food and water. Also, something is collecting all the dead bodies.

War of the Worlds (2020) War of the Worlds (2020) [Season 1, Episode 3]
Shown 4th November 2019

The British Army sends out a patrol, and they have the same problem that the French did. In fact, this is worse because they have no recognition signal at their base. Yes, the man opening the front door has no way to verify if the person on the other side is friend or foe.

Bill Ward (Gabriel Byrne Excalibur (1981) ) discovers a few secrets of the alien invaders. They look like robotic dogs, with pneumatic bolt-guns for heads. Inside is a cerebral cortex, so they are at least partly organic. Since the aliens used an EMP that specifically spared dogs it is possible that the brains are actually cloned dog tissue. The alternative is that the aliens are dogs, and their genocidal war to exterminate all humans is their attempt to liberate the dogs that mankind has enslaved. This is no stranger than the storyline of Westworld (2016) , which is basically the story of Terminator (1984) as told from the perspective of Skynet.

Elsewhere, the woman and her tweenage kids continue their selfish journey to whatever remains of what used to be their home. They get sidetracked to help other survivors in a hospital. Somehow, the man that they left for dead has gotten there before him.

War of the Worlds (2020) War of the Worlds (2020) [Season 1, Episode 4]
Shown 4th November 2019

The hospital gets attacked by the robot dogs. Rather than stay and fight, the humans plan to run. But what about the babies in the maternity ward?

The French army sends out a patrol to locate the source of the alien signal. As always, they have kevlar vests ... but no helmets!

The French civilians meet up with a French police unit. This allows a bit of domestic drama, something that would be better suited to a cheesy soap opera.

War of the Worlds (2020) War of the Worlds (2020) [Season 1, Episode 5]
Shown 11th November 2019

Bill Ward (Gabriel Byrne Excalibur (1981) ) and Helen Brown ( Elizabeth McGovern ) meet up with other survivors. They start to deduce a few things about the robot dogs.

The French police unit finally realise it is time to move on. They get chased by the robot dogs, and nobody acts like a sensible person. One forgets they have an automatic weapon, while another does not bother to shoot an easy target. The third idiot can be ignored, since his motivation is revenge and his deliberate action actually makes sense.

The French Army locate a crashed alien spaceship, and try to find the component that is transmitting the signal.

War of the Worlds (2020) War of the Worlds (2020) [Season 1, Episode 6]
Shown 11th November 2019

It seems apparent that the aliens' communication system is on a frequency that certain humans can detect. This may be the reason the blind girl can now see again.

The British Army is fighting back, and clearing an area of the city. The survivors decide this would be more trouble than it is worth, and instead plan to move on. Yes, they would rather hide from the robot dogs than stay in a safe zone protected by the military.

War of the Worlds (2020) War of the Worlds (2020) [Season 1, Episode 7]
Shown 18th November 2019

The French Army get back to the outpost, but it seems the men left on guard there have abandoned their posts. The only viable option is to follow them down the hill to the ski resort, where the civilians need help.

Helen Brown ( Elizabeth McGovern ) picks a fight with her ex-husband Bill Ward (Gabriel Byrne Excalibur (1981) ), by interrogating him over what happened to her more recent husband.

Sasha the creepy French kid becomes obsessed with the Englishman's family, and steals a photo of them. It turns out that, by incredible coincidence, that he is the father of the blind girl and her family. Yes, out of the tiny handful of humans still alive what are the chances that could happen?

War of the Worlds (2020) War of the Worlds (2020) [Season 1, Episode 8]
Shown 18th November 2019

The French army descend the hill, and discover what happened to the deserters. Next they try to help the survivors in the ski resort.

Sasha the creepy French kid has run off by himself. For some reason the robot dogs will not harm him. Does he have the incest gene, like Fry in Futurama ? His mother and the Englishman go looking for him - firing the rifle from the him when they see a robot dog.

Bill Ward (Gabriel Byrne Excalibur (1981) ), the scientist, should be working out a way to kill the aliens. Instead he is distracted by his personal issues. Luckily the French scientist with the soldiers has a plan.

This ends on a series of cliffhangers, and asks more questions than it answers.

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War of the Worlds (2020)

War of the Worlds (2020) War of the Worlds (2020) [Season 1 , Episode 1 ]
Shown th December 2020

Reviewed in our special supplement War of the Worlds (2020)

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