‘The War of the Worlds’ Summary & Ending, Explained – A BBC Version of Martian Invasion

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H. G. Wells’ science fiction novel, The War of the Worlds, has been often approached for adaptations. The most famous among the lot is Steven Speilberg’s film starring Tom Cruise. The source material follows a Martian invasion which in itself is a thrilling concept.

Mostly, in its adaptations, the creators have played with the period of the invasion. For example, in Speilberg’s version, the attack takes place in the year 2019. In comparison, the three-part miniseries created by BBC is set in Edwardian England.


‘The War of the Worlds’ Summary

The story follows a struggling journalist, George (Rafe Spall), who shares a live-in relationship with a free thinker, Amy (Eleanor Tomlinson). In Edwardian England, their relationship is perceived bitterly, but George couldn’t marry Amy legally until his ex-wife grants him the divorce. To stay out of trouble, they start a new life in Woking, England.

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In a conservative society, Amy is a non-conformist woman. She is also the assistant to a local scientist Ogilvy, who constantly observes extraterrestrial movements. When George and Amy shifted to the new neighborhood, Ogilvy gifted them a picture of Mars. In the photograph, Mars was closest to earth. It was a visual marvel, and they were unaware of the red invasion coming up. series of meteors hit the earth. A burning metal sphere hit the forest area of Woking. The investigation begins, and Ogilvy, along with Amy, becomes a part of it. However, soon ferocious ash burns down everyone in the vicinity. The terror escalates when a metal monster crawling on four legs starts killing humans with a laser beam. Amy, George, and other survivors run for their lives while assessing a solution to the invasion.

A burning metal sphere hit the forest area of Woking. The investigation begins, and Ogilvy, along with Amy, becomes a part of it. However, soon ferocious ash coming out of the meteor, burns down everyone in the vicinity. The terror escalates when a metal monster crawling on four legs starts killing humans with a laser beam. Amy, George, and other survivors run for their lives while assessing a solution to the alien invasion.


Ending Explained

Ogilvy meets Amy, who now lives with his only son, on a planet clouded by red air in the ending episode. She informs Ogilvy that her husband George is long gone, and she is hardly left with any will to live. Her son is struggling with typhoid and may die soon. However, Ogilvy brings new hope to the worried Amy.

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As per Ogilvy’s research, it is explained that the black smoke that came out of the meteor/ or the martian ships, were a kind of virus that plagued the earth. It was an attempt by the Martians to create new earth in the image of mars. The virus infected the land and grew into red weeds, and soon the green vegetation failed. The water got red and human babies weren’t being born. If it isn’t stopped soon, humanity will perish.

According to Amy’s encounter with the aliens, she noticed that they became weak and died soon after eating human flesh. The planet might have turned red, but none of the Martians survived. The mystery led to a theory in which Ogilvy deduced that the bacteria/ or the illness that affects humans killed Martians. It was transmitted into their body when they ate human flesh. Since they didn’t have a strong immune system, they ended up dead.

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Later, Ogilvy cultivates the bacteria from a typhoid infection extracted from Amy’s son to create a serum. He uses the serum to heal the earth. Fortunately, the red virus couldn’t stand the infection. A last visual depicts green grass in a small patch of land. It provides new hope to Amy and others. It is suggested that the red dawn will come to an end, and the planet will be suitable for humans again.


The War of the Worlds is a 2019 British Mini Series created for BBC. In three episodes of one hour each, the narrative follows the martian invasion and a solution to it.

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Shikhar Agrawalhttps://dmtalkies.com
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 6 years, majorly writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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