Tag: The War Of The Worlds

The Real Life Controversy H.G. Wells’ ‘War of the Worlds’

H. G. Wells died this week in 1946. In honor of his death, we’re taking a look at the fake news broadcast that supposedly panicked many listeners.

 

 

Some people may know that H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds was originally released as a radio broadcast in 1938. Played out by a cast of actors and presented as though it were really taking place, The War of the Worlds broadcast caused mass panic, and many people believed aliens were actually invading New Jersey. Or at least that’s how the story goes.

 

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Hg wells | Image via thought co

 

There’s some evidence of this. According to NPR‘s Radiolab, about one in twelve people were listening in, enough to constitute mass panic, and many ran from their homes to see what was happening. This matter is contested, however.

Slate argues that this one in twelve number is just out of those with their radios on, in addition to the fact that Wells’ masterpiece was competing with a particularly popular variety show. In a ratings survey shortly after it aired, most respondents referred to it as a “radio play”. Certainly not as a news broadcast.

Still, contemporary news papers seized the opportunity to discredit radio as an unreliable source, and claimed that masses of people had taken to the streets in panic. Sort of ironic. At least we got a few movies about all that hype. And we finally got to see Tom Cruise running for once.

 

Related image
Gif via Gifer

I kid. Somebody let that man rest. He must have other skills that are being neglected. At least put him on a motorcycle sometimes. Wait.

So was there an actual scare? Maybe. A little. Certainly it occurred to someone that it could be interpreted as real news. Ultimately, though, people knew what it was, and if they didn’t, they dismissed it as a prank. Still, pop culture myths are pernicious, and it’s interesting to imagine a world in which a broadcast could convince a nation that aliens had invaded.

 

 

Featured image via Fandom 

New ‘War Of The Worlds’ Adaptation Begins Filming

Another adaptation of H.G. Wells’ epic science-fiction novel War of the Worlds is coming to the small screen. Filming has begun in Bristol for an eight-episode miniseries from AGC Television.

First published in 1897, War of the Worlds was one of the first stories to deal with the concept of contact with extraterrestrial life and follows two protagonists, a father and daughter, as they try to survive an incoming attack from martians. Two of its most famous adaptations include a 1938 radio broadcast, which fooled people into thinking that aliens were actually invading, and a 2005 feature film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning.

 

Movie poster for War of the Worlds starring Tom Cruise
Image Via Amazon

 

The miniseries will star Gabriel Byrne and Elizabeth McGovern and will be set in present day Europe as a re-imagining of the classic story. It is unknown when the series is scheduled to be released.

 

Gabriel Byrne and Elizabeth McGovern
Image Via The Hollywood Reporter

 

This is not to be confused with the BBC adaptation starring Rafe Spall and Eleanor Thompson which will be airing later this year.

 

 

Featured Image Via BloodyDisgusting