This October, I am devoting several blog posts to the War of the Worlds. Why October, you ask? Well, the famous Orson Welles radio adaptation of H.G. Wells’ story was intended as a Halloween “trick”, airing on October 30, 1938. That’s enough of a spooky-month tie-in for me, so I’m going with it!
Throughout the month, I will be talking about the various adaptations of the original H.G. Wells classic. I’m going in chronological order as I experienced them throughout my life, from a kid-focused adaptation all the way to recent TV series adapting the War of the Worlds concept.
Here’s what’s coming:
- The Classics Illustrated edition. Remember those small, squarish, kid-friendly classics?
- Orson Welles’ Radio Broadcast itself, and the transcript of it that appeared in the Basal Reader my class used in 5th Grade way back in 1985.
- The 1953 film version of War of the Worlds, which I originally saw when I recorded it off of cable TV.
- The 80s TV series version of War of the Worlds – This show was a direct sequel to the 1953 film. I only vaguely recall the show, but my memory of reading the novel adapting the pilot is much stronger. I’m watching the show all this month, though I doubt I will be able to finish both seasons this October!
- The original book by H.G. Wells, which I read when I was a teenager.
- The audiobook version, with a great voice acting cast, that added in Jeff Wayne’s music to great effect.
- Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version itself, which somehow I had never heard of all these years!
- The 2005 film starring Tom Cruise
- The 2019 BBC adaptation TV mini-series, which, unlike most versions, was set in the same time frame as the original novel.
Other possibilities include The Great Martian War, The Night America Trembled, The Night That Panicked America, the Killraven stories from Marvel Comics, and the currently running TV adaptation set in modern-day Europe. Or perhaps I will save these for next year!