Eps 2: The war of the worlds

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Fred Rodriguez

Fred Rodriguez

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Wellss forty-year-old science fiction novel The War of the Worlds, as told to Orson Welles. Orson Welless 1898 novel The War of the Worlds - although John Hausman doubts that Welles had ever read it. One of the key Orson Welles changes to The War of the Worlds, according to Houseman, was to his pacing. Radio was a new medium in 1938, so actors such as Welles wanted to push the limits.
In 1938, American filmmaker Orson Welles produced a radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds, which some listeners misinterpreted as an actual news story, leading to widespread panic. By 1938, The War of the Worlds had become familiar to children via comic strips and a variety of novels and bestselling adventure stories, As Orson Welles told the press a day after the broadcast. The War of the Worlds formed something of an Orson Welles crucible, from which Orson Welles burst on the national stage as a media genius and an extraordinary prankster. The radio play helped Orson Welles get a contract at a Hollywood studio, and by 1941, Welles was director, writer, producer, and star in Citizen Kane--a movie many called the greatest American movie ever made.
Without knowing what book Orson Welles wanted to adapt, Welles brought the idea to his producer, John Houseman, and Paul Stewart, the veteran radio actor who was the Mercurys broadcast co-director. John Houseman vehemently opposed it, but Orson Welles prevailed, believing listeners would accept only an unrealistic pace for a Martian invasion if a radio adaptation of H.G. It began slowly, and gradually increased in pace. Welles was just 23 years old when his Mercury Theatre Company decided to revamp H.G. Despite his age, Welles had been on the radio scene for a few years, notably voicing the Shadow on the popular mystery show of the same name.
Welles, upon waking, had been subjected to scores of angry, front-page newspaper headlines following his broadcast. Welles introduced his radio drama by giving a spoken introduction, followed by the announcer reading the weather report. The radio drama is remarkably realistic, Welles uses elaborate sound effects, and Welles actors are superb at playing frightened announcers and other characters. Orson Welles borrowed liberally from these ideas when crafting his story about alien invasions--the first such stories--and his work inspired a whole genre of science fiction.
In his novels introduction, Welles referred to European invasion literature, likening Welless fictional alien invasions to Britains 1820s-30s genocide of Aboriginal peoples in Tasmania. Even films not versions of Wellss novels appear influenced by its plot twist, that the Martians lack immunity to Earths germs. Wellss books, the aliens do not give a damn about humans, just death and destruction.
This Earth, the Earth, is supposed to be to Mars inhabitants as foreign and inferior, as monkeys and lemurs are to us. Mars seems to have calculated its descent with astonishing delicacy--their mathematics is obviously much beyond that of this world--and conducted its preparations with almost perfect uniformity. Men such as Schiaparelli watched Mars -- curiously, for the untold centuries, Mars has been a war-star -- but failed to explain the mercurial aspect of the signs which they had mapped so perfectly.
I understand, the BBC was trying to create a real-world basis for this period. Instead, this production team seemed to me like they were dumped on with The War Of The Worlds, and then they brushed off the Alien Invasion bit, and hijacked it as a means of furthering the contemporary agenda, and made it the story instead. The impression I got was this production team was not keen on War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells, or perhaps even science fiction in general.
Wells keeps raising all that humans are doing to animals all throughout the book, a rare display of lucid thought on humankind, particularly from an 1898 British man. Now, there is something missing from the book as we begin following our protagonists through and experiencing an invasion alongside our own. This book loses something when adopting our MC telling us his experiences in the invasion, but Wells redeems itself with some breathless dissections of morality, ethics, the horrors of war, and survival. This book rescues itself in several ways. One, the writing by Wells. He gets plenty of great writing and some wonderful turns of phrase in this book. Two, he chooses to take not just the vainglory and confidence out of mankind, but tries to provide comments about religion, class differences, and morality and ethics, particularly within the context of the war.
It is staggering just how many things Wells decides to take a stab at here, but those takedowns keep the reader engaged the entire book.He also does not skimp out on horror --not just on the terror and destruction of war, but on the terror of the aliens and what they are doing to humans. Being clever is the issue at hand here, and there is no denying Wells revolutionized and charged the science-fiction genre in a similar fashion to Mary Shelley in her groundbreaking, head-spinning Frankenstein. Many read her groundbreaking work today, and were disappointed. Wellss The War of the Worlds, which turned the 40-year-old novel into fake news reports, describes the Martian invasion of New Jersey.