Epix's 'War of the Worlds' may be a sci-fi show but it is surprisingly well-grounded in reality

Does it have aliens? Yes. Are they hostile? Almost certainly. But if you were expecting Michael Bay explosions and cheesy animation, these are not the aliens you're looking for

Epix's 'War of the Worlds' may be a sci-fi show but it is surprisingly well-grounded in reality
Michael Marcus (IMDb)
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Spoiler alert for 'War of the Worlds' Season 1 Episode 1

The brand new reimagining of HG Wells's 'War of the Worlds' airing on Epix isn't your garden variety alien attack show. Does it have aliens? Yes. Are they hostile? Almost certainly. But if you were expecting Michael Bay explosions and cheesy animation, these are not the aliens you're looking for.

For a science fiction show, 'War of the Worlds' is surprisingly well-grounded in actual fact. One of the major changes that the show makes to the original story, among a host of others, is that the aliens do not come from Mars. 

Sure, back in the 19th century it was perfectly plausible that there may be aliens living on Mars with weapons of mass destruction pointed right at us but in 2020, after spending decades scouring the Red Planet's surface, Martians attacking is about as likely as ghosts or werewolves showing up on 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians'. 

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In fact, the planet the aliens do come from is one that scientists actually suspect might harbor extraterrestrial life. Ross 128b, the aliens' homeworld in the show, is an actual planet 11 light-years away from Earth that caused quite a stir in the scientific community back in 2017 when strange signals were picked up that seemed to be coming from the planet. 

Getting down to the actual matter of the first episode, there's none of the grandiose action that we're so used to seeing in movies like 'Mars Attacks' or 'Independence Day: Resurgence'. People do panic and try to leave major population centers but that's really just the most instinctive reaction to any tragedy and not an excuse from gratuitous violence.

What's most surprising about Episode 1 is the way the show manages to scare the audience and create an atmosphere of doom without actually showing any actual aliens or monsters. We know nothing more about these strange visitors from another world at the end of the episode than we did at the beginning and that just makes it a whole lot more terrifying. 

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'War of the Worlds' airs new episodes on Sundays at 9 pm ET on Epix.

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