Review: The War of the Worlds: The New Generation – Alive on Stage!

Jeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds: The New Generation - Alive on Stage 2012Or, to give it’s slightly-unwieldy full title: Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of the War of the Worlds: The New Generation – Alive on Stage at the O2!

I was introduced to Jeff Wayne’s epic musical adaptation of classic sci-fi story The War of the Worlds back in 2010, and discovered it was touring live that year. Sadly, snow and blizzards conspired to prevent me attending the 2010 show; I was fortunate, however, to be able to attend the 2012 showing of the revamped show. This DVD is a recording of said show from the performance at London’s O2 arena.

As expected, the music is first-rate; certainly, it’s bombastic and its roots as a 70s concept album are evident. However, the modern touches the New Generation production revitalise the music and give it a fresh touch. I was initially reticent when the New Generation was announced but was pleasantly surprised!


In terms of the DVD, the production is pretty slick, capturing the epic moments of the New Generation show rather admirable; however, the full impact of the descending Martian Fighting Machine and Heat Ray can only be seen in a live environment. This is not a shot-by-shot remake of the 2006 DVD; it’s unashamedly Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds but also not afraid to be it’s own entity. There’s ample opportunity to enjoy seeing the band play, Jeff Wayne conduct, see the CGI backdrop and Liam Neeson’s excellent narration while the on-stage performers and singers are not neglected. The sheer scale of the show is readily apparent.

Musically the reproduction of the sound is excellent, almost too much so; sometimes you feel you’re not listening to an actual live performance but nevertheless it’s a music DVD and poor music quality would scupper it from the off. The strings sound deep and striking and the synths a perfect balance; the to-and-fro between each becoming totally anthemic. Every ulla of the Martians reverberates down the speakers!

As a “standard edition DVD” there’s only minimal special features in the form of interviews with the major cast players; a couple of which have been available online for a while as it is. This is a little disappointing in comparison to the “special edition” 2006 DVD that I own that goes into quite a bit of detail behind the scenes but I’m sure a similar “special edition” New Generation DVD is in the works, and I’ll gladly pay again!


With this DVD the filmed concert is the star of the show and rightly so. Any fans of sci-fi and rock should definitely check it out; it’s a two-hour blast of epic-ness! As a massive Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds fan I have no choice:

Rating: 6*

Buy The War of the Worlds on DVD or Blu-Ray on Amazon!


Some Blogosphere Recommendations

I’m still rather busy migrating a lot of content over to my new site, and working on a new short story entitled The Boreal Singularity which I aim to have done in a couple of weeks.

However, this does not mean there is a shortage of content from the smashing people I have decided to place on my links page!

  • First up is Downfall of EAV Cyrium by my good friend Jake. He’s written a corker of a short story based around the starship Cyrium and its besiegement by alien Liberators? Will the crew beat off the attackers and live to see another day? Head over to his page and check it out! (And leave him a comment!)
  • I’ve actually not really been exposed to much zombie/horror fiction but this may be changing very soon! I read Si’s prologue to his story Grey Dawn a few months ago and I was pretty captivated! There’s a definite ominous sense of foreboding and I’m looking forward to new instalments – check it out!
  • If you’d rather something for your more auditory senses, be sure to go over to my friend Jamie’s site and check out his quite trippy electronic music compositions! Actually, Jamie’s a very talented guy and works very well not just on synths, but also guitar and piano! There’s a ton of stuff available on his Audio page; but do read the rest of his site!
  • Finally, there’s a good selection of sci-fi shorts that really get the mind going on Sam’s blog. Great little chunks of fiction that I really enjoyed! Pick one from the list here!

Anyway, that’s all I can think of. I feel that it’s important to not just promote my own work here, but also to give credit where credit is due and shout out to the excellent and promising work of others who have been extremely nice to me as I start off.