Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bad Movie Endurance Test Part 13: The Infinite Worlds of H.G. Wells

After all the bad movies in the first collection, I decided to save the Best of the Worst collection for later and start watching the Sci-Fi Fever collection, which at the very least doesn't admit its badness right in the title. The first 3 "movies" in the collection are three parts of a mini-series called The Infinite Worlds of H.G. Wells, which I'm going to review as a single movie here. 

The series was produced by the Hallmark Channel, so the thing that immediately set it apart form the movies in the Freakshow Cinema collection was the fact that it was made by people who do this professionally, with real live actors and costumes and sets and camera work, not somebody's dumbass friends out in the woods with a shakycam. Each episode adapts two Wells stories to the conceit that the stories were based on actual events in the Wells' life. The stories are framed as old man Wells' recollections to an agent of an unnamed secret British science agency about a recently-deceased scientist friend who had worked for the agency and left behind a locked chest full of artifacts of his adventures with Wells. 

Overall, I enjoyed the series. The characters were likable, the plots made sense and stuck to their own rules, and there was even some humor. While I'm not familiar enough with Wells' work (I read War of the Worlds and The Time Machine when I was a kid, but that's about it) to know how faithfully they were retold here or how much they were altered to fit the "really happened to Wells" narrative, the tone of the stories fit my idea of turn-of-the-century science fiction. I was especially happy that the writers who adapted the story didn't feel the need to "update" any of the stories to fit modern science. For example, the story involving Martians stayed about Martians. No need to move them to some other planet just because we now know there aren't any Martians. 

Takeaway: Kind of plays out like a late 19th Century version of Fringe
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