A major 3-part adaptation of The War of the Worlds has started shooting in Liverpool.

Produced by Mammoth Screen for BBC One, Rafe Spall (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, The Big Short) and Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark, Loving Vincent) lead the cast. It also stars Robert Carlyle (T2:Trainspotting, Once Upon a Time) and Rupert Graves (Swimming with Men, Sherlock).

It’s the first British television adaptation of the H.G. Wells’ novel, and has been written by Peter Harness (Wallander, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell).

“The version of The War of the Worlds that I wanted to make is one that’s faithful to the tone and the spirit of the book, but which also feels contemporary, surprising and full of shocks: a collision of sci-fi, period drama and horror,” explained Harness.

“There is nothing cosy or predictable about Wells’ novel, and that’s what I want to capture in the show. We have an incredible cast, a brilliant director and a wonderful crew – and I can’t wait for them to explode the terrifying story of the first alien invasion on to our screens.”

Craig Viveiros (And Then There Were None, Rillington Place) directs, with Betsan Morris Evans (NW, The City in The City) producing.

“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,” said director, Craig Viveiros.

“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.”

Set in Edwardian England, the story follows George (Spall) and his partner Amy (Tomlinson) as they attempt to defy society and start a life together. It tells their story as they face the escalating terror of an alien invasion.

“I’ve been a fan of Craig Viveiros’ work for a while, so creating this world with him at the helm is very exciting,” said Eleanor Tomlinson.

Spall added:

“I am thrilled to be a part of bringing this much loved story to the small screen. I couldn’t be in better company with Craig Viveiros, Peter Harness, all at Mammoth Screen and of course, the very talented Eleanor Tomlinson.”

ITV Studios Global Entertainment will be responsible for international distribution