War Of The Worlds feels like it would be a massive hit if it were on Netflix
The new series arrived without much fanfare a few days ago...
The first character to get killed is a small child.
This is after the monumental attack on the planet that resulted in over 99% of humanity being killed off, but once the survivors begin to regroup and we start learning their names and personalities, the first of these to get killed off is a very young girl.
That was the exact moment we knew that War Of The Worlds was not fucking around, and we began to ask why everyone wasn't talking about this show.
All eight episodes of the first season arrived with little-to-no promotion on Disney+ on Friday, but it is exactly the kind of show that Netflix would be bombarding our social feeds with ads for.
It has some big recognisable names (Gabriel Byrne, Daisy Edgar-Jones), and some medium, 'oh yeah, I know them from that thing' names (Stephen Campbell Moore, Elizabeth McGovern), and it gives a scary sci-fi remix to The Walking Dead-style of storytelling.
But if you scour the Disney+ YouTube account, you won't even find a trailer for it. We've sourced this one from when the show debuted on US telly last year.
Perhaps there is the sense that this is very much a case of been there, done that. Tom Cruise's 2005 blockbuster adaptation is still fresh enough in our collective minds that another big screen outing seems a while off, while in 2019 the BBC attempted a period-setting version of the famed 1898 novel, but it was a dud.
This new version borrows from the disaster movie mentality by having the survivors all be exactly the people that humanity will need to survive and potentially fight back.
After the cataclysmic attack in the very first episode, those who happened to be underground - be it in a subway, an elevator, a bunker, etc. - emerge to the surface to find most of the world's population killed, and everything electronic no longer working. Families and friends try to find each other, scientists and soldiers attempt to get more information on their space-based attackers, and they all soon learn that the first attack scouts are already among them.
Anyone who has seen the 'Metalhead' episode of Black Mirror will see similarities in the early arrivals, and they instil a sense of dread and fear immediately, made all the more evident by the sudden little girl murder.
And it doesn't stop there, as at least once per episode, something incredibly dark and shocking will take place, usually right when you think the characters are finally getting a moment's peace.
Sure, the subtext winding the show is far from subtle - Did you know that sometimes humans can be the REAL monsters?? And with the show taking place in the UK and France, there are plenty of Brexit and refugee inflections to be found throughout - but they rarely take away from the engaging and often gripping horror-drama playing out.
For anyone concerned that maybe the lack of a big publicity push is because there won't be another season of the show, then you'll be happy to hear that War of the Worlds Season 2 will land on Disney+ in July.
But maybe don't watch the trailer for this one until you've watched the first season...
All clips via JoBlo