Based on the popular Tomorrow book series by John Marsden, Tomorrow When The War Began is an Australian action/drama series that has wrapped up its first season on ABC3 EU. Originally, the book was adapted as a movie, and when plans for a sequel fell through, it was rebooted in this six-episode series.
The show begins with a group of teenagers camping in the remote Australian region known simply as “Hell,” only to find that their country is under occupation upon their return. and that their hometown has been captured. The story chronicles the teenagers as they try not only to avoid capture but find a way to save all the other prisoners in their home, becoming an unlikely team of guerrilla fighters in the process.
Having concluded on a dramatic point with the invasion of their safe haven of Hell, as well as having plenty of book material still to work from the original , there is much reason for fans to want the story to continue.
As of now, a second season for the show has not been formally announced, which has many concerned that the show will not be renewed. While adaptations generally garner mixed reviews from newcomers and purists of the source material, the strength of this show’s young cast has led to some decent reviews. Some of the review aggregates include a 7/10 on IMDb, 64% on Rotten Tomatoes and 54% on Metacritic. In addition, the series also has gotten some critical attention, being announced as a finalist in the 16th Screen Producers Australia Awards.
While the cast and cinematography have been praised, many original fans of the books have had more mixed reviews, as the presentation of the story deviates from the books a fair amount. For example, while the original invading force in the movie was clearly Asian, the show decided to take a more multicultural turn for its antagonists, perhaps in an attempt to avoid offending Asian markets. (Sure enough, the series has been recently been picked up by Escapade Media for Asian distribution.)
Perhaps the most telling indicator is the ratings. While this series had a strong 120,000 viewers for its debut, this number was halved for its second episode and slid even further as the show progressed. Clearly, the audience for this property is there, but this adaptation may not have hooked them the way the creators had hoped. The show’s themes of young men and women learning to grapple with adult themes like death and independence, as well as its Australian setting, are part of what drove the initial success both of the book series and movie that led to this show. Do you think this series did a good job adapting this property? If you are a newcomer, was it good enough to hook you in by itself?
Despite declining ratings, though, the fanbase for this show has become a passionate group, starting up a #RenewTWTWB hashtag that has been acknowledged by the cast via Twitter. In the meantime, those who want to get their fix of the show can purchase the show on digital DVD. If you’d like updates on when Tomorrow When The War Began’s second season is announced, be sure to subscribe to us for an automatic email when the announcement is made or show is canceled.