The Verge is announcing that the BBC is developing a miniseries based on the classic alien invasion novel by H. G. Wells, “The War of the Worlds.” By so doing, the network has opted for an outside the box, unique approach to the story. The TV series will set the Martian invasion in Victorian England, the very place and time where Welles set his novel.

Previous film versions of “The War of the Worlds” were not quite as respectful of the source material. The 1953 version produced by George Pal took place in early fifties southern California. The 2005 version by Stephen Spielberg was set in the American northeast of the early 21st Century.

Wells had written his story as an allegory of British imperialism, fantasizing how a technologically superior alien race could visit the same treatment on what was then one of the most powerful nations on the planet. The 1953 movie, just like many films of the fifties, could be seen as playing on the fears of a Cold War-era Soviet invasion. One of the screenwriters suggested that the 2005 film was a retelling of the war in Iraq, a slander no doubt upon American fighting men and women. The modern version was also a story of how a 40-something teenager played by Tom Cruise is finally forced to accept some responsibility as a father as the whole World is collapsing all around him.

The original “The War of the Worlds” novel spawned an entire genre of alien invasion stories in literature and on the small and large screens.

The most memorable ones in modern times were the 1996 epic blockbuster “Independence Day” and it's somewhat less successful sequel.

One of the problems with alien invasion stories is why some race from outer space would want to conquer the Earth to start with. The excuse, when it happens at all, is that ET is after our resources, especially water.

The problem with that is that plenty of resources, including water, exists on uninhabited bodies throughout the solar system, in asteroids, and on moons. An alien species hungry for resources would be able to get all they want without having to fight pesky humans for them.

Of course, other reasons in human history besides fights over resources have existed for going to war.

Alexander the Great went to the East at first to avenge the Persian invasion of Greece but later to feed his own megalomania. Julius Caesar invaded Gaul to gain popularity at home and to secure a traditional invasion route used by Germanic tribes.

The most devastating excuse for going to war had been religion, either a real one or a more secular one. The Muslims poured out of Arabia in the 7th Century to conquer the entire world for Islam. The Soviets wanted to establish communism around the world.

Now there is a perfect allegory for an alien invasion movie. ET wants our planet, not for our resources, but because their God tells them they must convert the universe to the one, true faith.