Filming on the three-part drama, which is produced by ITV-owned Mammoth Screen, has started in Liverpool with Wallander’s Peter Harness adapting the classic H.G. Wells alien invasion story.
The War of the Worlds will be directed by Craig Viveiros (And Then There Were None, Rillington Place) and produced by Betsan Morris Evans (The City & The City).
The series is the first adaptation set in Edwardian England, rather than America, and follows George, played by Spall, and his partner Amy, played by Tomlinson as they attempt to defy society and start a life together against the escalating terror of an alien invasion. Graves plays George’s older brother Frederick, while Carlyle stars as Ogilvy, an astronomer and scientist
The War of the Worlds is executive produced by Damien Timmer, Preethi Mavahalli, Peter Harness, Craig Viveiros and Tommy Bulfin. ITV Studios Global Entertainment will be responsible for international distribution.
Tomlinson said she was delighted to be “taking on the martians” with Spall. “I’ve been a fan of Craig Viveiros’ work for a while, so creating this world with him at the helm is very exciting” while Spall called it a “much loved” story.
Mammoth Screen boss Timmer added, “Here we are, making the original and best alien invasion story for the BBC One audience – it doesn’t get much better than this. With a stellar cast and some very scary Martians up our sleeve we look forward to terrifying large sections of the audience soon.”
Craig Viveiros said, “H.G. Wells’ seminal novel has been adapted for the screen many times but it’s always had a contemporary, and American, setting, this is the first version to be set in London and the Home Counties during the Edwardian period. Peter’s scripts manage to honour the source material with great skill, but we aim to provide a thoroughly modern thrill ride for the audience, delivering an alien invasion story that will shock and awe audiences across the globe.”