H.G. Wells, Orson Welles : “War of the Worlds” radio play

On 30th October 1938 a radio play caused mass panic in the U.S. I am, of course “talking” about the famous play “War of the Worlds” by Orson Welles based on H.G. Wells’ equally famous story.

Well, well, 70 years since that happened.

I have listened to the play a few times, and I find it fascinating story telling. OK – this is not a character piece, but the radio play is so well organised, as if a normal musical entertainment program is interrupted by news flashes, telling the story.

Some may ask, why the panic ? In order to understand that we must remember that at that time there was no mobile phones, no internet, no hundreds of tv (or radio channels) – even fixed telephones were not that common. What *was* available ? I should think one – maybe two radio programs. It was just not possible – like it is today – to go and check on the net, or CNN/BBC/whatever news channel you wanted. Information was just not there to find.

True, a radio play made in a similar way today simply could not have this effect. It is too easy to check news items for that.