Review: The Nightmare Worlds of HG Wells | Virgin Media
The Nightmare Worlds of HG Wells

Review: The Nightmare Worlds of HG WellsAired Thursday 28th January at 9pm on Sky Arts (CH 122) | Rating: ★★★★

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We all remember him as the writer of classics like War of the Worlds and The Invisible Man, but now some of the lesser known yarns of the great HG Wells have been brought to the small screen. Consider us well and truly spooked.

In a nutshell

HG Wells is one of those writers who’ve become too beloved, too eminent, for their own good. Yes, most people know he gave us the first great alien invasion story, but his name evokes thoughts of dusty old volumes and sepia-tinged photos from a bygone Britain. In fact, the man was quite a character – charismatic, swaggering, and quite the babe magnet (his talent for seduction is legendary).

Of course, he was nothing at all like Ray Winstone, making this a bit of an odd casting. But hey, at least it does make us think of Wells as a living, breathing, vital figure again, so in that sense it’s rather effective having the big bruiser of British cinema playing the great writer, introducing his more obscure, but marvellously macabre tales. First up, the Faustian story of a penniless young lad who made a dreadful bargain with an older philosopher played by none other than Michael Gambon. What the yarn lacked in surprises (you could basically see exactly where it was going from the start) it made up for in atmosphere, eeriness, and the sight of Gambon being Gambon. Always a good thing, that.

What's the verdict?

Think a kind of English, dapper-dressed take on The Twilight Zone, with a suitably nightmarish atmosphere and a haunting soundtrack to boot. Great fun, all in all, and it’s a splendid reminder of HG Wells’ other works too. 

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