Synopsis: A curiosity falls to Earth on Horsell Common, and a nightmare begins. England is laid waste by huge fighting machines, armed with devastating heat rays. Humanity brings its own weapons to bear upon the invaders, but can they be any match?
Trapped in a war of two worlds, one couple battles to survive. Herbert and Amy bear witness to… The Martian Invasion of Earth.
Review: H.G. Wells was a seminal force in Science Fiction. As adapter/director Nicholas Briggs said in his behind the scenes interview, Terry Nation was likely influenced by the Martians from The War of the Worlds encased in their war machines when he created The Daleks. Indeed, without Wells’ body of work, we wouldn’t have Doctor Who, or by extension Big Finish, at all.
That said, Wells is an author who benefits from adaptation, as there are significant structural flaws in his tales. These were born of the period in which he wrote. The War of the Worlds, or The Martian Invasion of Earth, is no exception. First, there is a remoteness to the text, which is natural with a nameless protagonist who chronicles events happening peripherally. Second, women barely figure into the story. Briggs addressed these problems by significantly increasing the roles of women and by ensuring there were no peripheral events. All characters contributed, and all events were centrally and viscerally conveyed.
Richard Armitage, Lucy Briggs-Owen, Nicholas Briggs, and a superb audio production team were integral to the centrally and viscerally conveyed traumas. I felt like I was experiencing the harrowing events along with them in IMAX for sound, and that’s saying quite a lot given the normally high quality of Big Finish productions. Indeed, Briggs’ performance as the Martians that saw Humans as blood farms and the sound treatments for their heat rays were premium nightmare fuel.
Thank you, Big Finish, for an excellent season of HG Wells adaptations. Again, you’ve proven how much you truly do love stories.
- You can purchase The Martian Invasion of Earth here.
Written By: HG Wells, dramatised by Nicholas Briggs
Directed By: Nicholas Briggs
Richard Armitage (Herbert), Lucy Briggs-Owen (Amy), Hywel Morgan (Curate), Ewan Bailey (Daniel), Richard Derrington (Ogilvy), Helen Goldwyn (Agatha), Christopher Weeks (Edward), Benedict Briggs (Boy), Nicholas Briggs (Martians / First Officer). Other parts played by members of the cast.
Producer David Richardson
Script Editor Matt Fitton
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs
- Audio Production10