‘War of the Worlds’ back for more death and destruction

It’s been over a yr since “War of the Worlds” wrapped its first season on Epix — so followers of the sci-fi sequence, headlined by Gabriel Byrne and Daisy Edgar-Jones, is perhaps a bit rusty on plot particulars.

But Season 2, premiering June 6 (9 p.m.) on Epix, does a pleasant job in its opening moments summing up final season’s invasion of Earth by these horrific, dog-like, metallic creatures that killed tens of hundreds in the UK and France with their nail-gun-type cranium piercings.

For causes unknown, the intergalactic invaders confirmed an affinity for one of the human survivors, Emily (Edgar-Jones), who — via some type of intergalactic ESP — appeared empathetic to what passes for feelings in these killer creatures. In the season finale, she boarded one of their ships anchored in the Thames and was whisked away to factors unknown.

Photo showing Daisy Edgar-Jones as Emily as she's rescued in "War of the Worlds."
Emily (Daisy Edgar-Jones) is rescued from the creatures’ ship in the season premiere of “War of the Worlds.”
Simon Ridgway / Urban Myth Films

That’s the place Season 2 picks up the motion.

It’s six months later. London is affected by rotting corpses and there are bands of mercenaries planning assaults on the creatures’ strongholds, together with their ginormous submarine-type vessels (there are 4 or 5 of them). Professor Bill Ward (Byrne), whose spouse Helen (Maureen McGovern) was killed final season by one of the whirring creepy crawlers, remains to be attempting to codify their very human-like DNA (they’ve soft-tissue innards) and work out a technique to exterminate them whereas they proceed to kill — and take human infants and embryos to develop organs via stem cells (or one thing like that).

Meanwhile, Emily has returned, apparently none the worse-for-wear after her six-month sojourn (she says she will be able to’t keep in mind something); she now has a bizarre tattoo emblazoned on the back of her hand. Over in the French Alps, an injured man, close to death, treks via the snow to the observatory from which the alien invasion was first detected final season. He shares DNA with the creatures (“He’s one of them,” somebody says) and he’s carrying a pocket book with indecipherable mathematical formulation that, he insists, Bill must see.

That’s simply the tip of the proverbial iceberg as Season 2 kicks off, and the premiere episode doesn’t disappoint in pushing the storyline ahead whereas, at the identical time, introducing twists and turns straight linked to each Emily and Bill that may play out via the relaxation of the eight-episode season. Season 1 took its time to map out the scope of the assault, its aftermath and its affect on the present’s core characters, and I anticipate that may proceed this season, since the “War of the Worlds” narrative seems to be taking a number of new instructions.

Photo showing survivors Sophia, Catherine and Nathan holding guns and rifles.
Emilie De Preissac (Sophia), Lea Drucker (Catherine) and Paul Gorostidi (Nathan) on the hunt.

The gray, virtually colorless cinematography (it’s by no means sunny right here) lends an added air of menace to the environment. The sequence, created by Howard Overman and based mostly on the basic HG Wells novel, is a global co-production — explaining, partly, its European taste — and it’s acquired fairly an enormous solid, with pivotal co-stars Léa Drucker (Catherine), Natasha Little (Sarah), Stéphane Caillard (Sophie), Adel Bencherif (Col. Mokrani) and Stephen Campbell Moore (Jonathan) all returning.

Just a few scenes are dulled by science-speak gobbledygook, notably when Bill tries explaining his theories on how DNA hyperlinks the creatures to people. But that’s each a minor quibble and a well-known sci-fi trope — and it takes nothing away from what guarantees to be a repeatedly twisted journey into the hellish “War of the Worlds” apocalypse.

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