Showing posts with the label H.G. Wells

The War of the Worlds

A hoax that will be remembered for all time, Welles’ broadcast of an adaptation of H.G. Wells ’ “War of the Worlds” on Oct. 30, 1938, stands as a vivid reminder of the power of the media and of the general public’s vulnerability when it is gripped by fear. In Fall of 1938, Europe was at war. Hitler had just stormed into Czechoslovakia and had earlier taken the Sudetenland. He was a force the likes of which the world, including the American public had never seen. Welles was interested in exploring the evils of fascism, which he was doing with his current project for Mercury Theatre, Danton’s Death. Clearly, the idea of powers large enough to wreak an apocalypse was on his mind as Halloween approached and he was pressed to choose programming for his “Mercury Theatre on the Air” radio series. While re-tellings of the episode suggest that Welles merely read “The War of the Worlds” by the science fiction author, his colleagues in fact did adapt it into an original script. Howa