History Radio / TheWaroftheWorlds

26th Jan '18 12:43:03 PM Mdumas43073
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When Creator/OrsonWelles needed to come up with a HalloweenEpisode for the October 30, 1938 broadcast of his Creator/{{CBS}} radio program ''Radio/TheMercuryTheatreOnTheAir'', he decided to adapt Creator/HGWells' 1898 novel ''Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds'' to a contemporary American setting. Rather than staging a regular radio play like all of the previous ''Mercury Theatre'' broadcasts, for this episode the program aired what seemed like a regular night of music, until reports came over the air of strange phenomena on the surface of Mars and what seem to be meteorites landing in locations across America...

By the time large alien tripods emerged from the cylindrical meteorite and began destroying the American countryside, many listeners believed that a bona fide AlienInvasion was taking place, and a nationwide panic ensued. Or so the UrbanLegends say, at least. Later research indicates there was little to no actual panic and the [[http://mssv.net/realityart/wotwemails.html breathless reports that ran in the next day's newspapers]] were an attempt by said newspapers both to sell more papers and discredit radio--see NewMediaAreEvil below. However, the story's more complex than that. What people believed and continue to believe ''about'' the broadcast is as important as the fact that people believed the broadcast itself. The legend of this program has become part of American folklore.

to:

When Creator/OrsonWelles needed to come up with a HalloweenEpisode for the October 30, 1938 broadcast of his Creator/{{CBS}} radio program ''Radio/TheMercuryTheatreOnTheAir'', he decided to adapt Creator/HGWells' 1898 novel ''Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds'' to a contemporary American setting. Rather than staging a regular radio play like all of the previous ''Mercury Theatre'' broadcasts, for this episode the program aired what seemed like a regular night of music, until reports came over the air of strange phenomena on the surface of Mars and what seem appeared to be meteorites landing in locations across America...

By the time large alien tripods emerged from the cylindrical meteorite "meteorites" and began destroying the American countryside, many listeners believed that a bona fide AlienInvasion was taking place, and a nationwide panic ensued. Or so the UrbanLegends say, at least. Later research indicates there was little to no actual panic and the [[http://mssv.net/realityart/wotwemails.html breathless reports that ran in the next day's newspapers]] were an attempt by said newspapers both to sell more papers and discredit radio--see NewMediaAreEvil below. However, the story's more complex than that. What people believed and continue to believe ''about'' the broadcast is as important as the fact that people believed the broadcast itself. The legend of this program has become part of American folklore.
15th Dec '17 10:09:59 AM Malady
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* FaceDeathWithDignity: The radio reporter in New York[[note]]played by ''PerryMason'''s Ray Collins[[/note]], who narrates the advance of the Martian tripods into the city, knowing perfectly well he's going to die. ("This is the end, now.")

to:

* FaceDeathWithDignity: The radio reporter in New York[[note]]played by ''PerryMason'''s ''Series/PerryMason'''s Ray Collins[[/note]], who narrates the advance of the Martian tripods into the city, knowing perfectly well he's going to die. ("This is the end, now.")
29th Nov '17 1:31:59 AM jamespolk
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* MoralGuardians: Lots of them in the wake of the sensationalized post-broadcast reports, calling for censorship, speaking up against "terrorizing" broadcasts, the fake-news format (which wasn't new, as any listener to ''March of Time'''s news re-enactments could have told you), radio as a corrupter of children, &c., &c. The kids, of course, knew the story or caught on quickly; thousands wrote fan letters to Welles.
29th Nov '17 1:26:48 AM jamespolk
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A 60-minute radio drama that is the most famous (infamous?) broadcast in the history of American radio.



!!The radio version contains examples of:

to:

!!The radio version contains examples of:
!!Tropes:
29th Nov '17 1:25:31 AM jamespolk
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By the time large alien tripods emerged from the cylindrical meteorite and began destroying the American countryside, many listeners believed that a bona fide AlienInvasion was taking place, and a nationwide panic ensued. Or so the UrbanLegends say, at least. If you believe the research done by Jeff Pooley and Mike Socolow, there was little to no actual panic and the [[http://mssv.net/realityart/wotwemails.html breathless reports that ran in the next day's newspapers]] were an attempt by said newspapers both to sell more papers and discredit radio--see NewMediaAreEvil below. However, the story's more complex than that. What people believed and continue to believe ''about'' the broadcast is as important as the fact that people believed the broadcast itself. The legend of this program has become part of American folklore.

Police and fire stations, newspaper offices and CBS affiliate stations nationwide, and the CBS New York studios, were swamped with thousands of telephone calls -- less a mass panic than a mass attempt to verify. People with loved ones in the area tried to call them (the jammed switchboards gave the impression that ''something'' was happening); some drove or flew there. Following the broadcast, CBS, the FCC and Orson Himself were flooded with mail.[[note]]Writing to a show or network back then was as common as comments sections and blog posts today.[[/note]] People of all ages and walks of life wrote that they'd believed the broadcast, although not all succumbed to panic, fled their homes or behaved irrationally.

Some thought the "invasion" was really Nazis; some faced "the end of the world" calmly;[[note]]Two sisters left their apartment to warn people, then decided to have cocktails before the Martians arrived. They later billed Welles for the cost of the drinks.[[/note]] others simply prepared as for a UsefulNotes/WorldWarI gas attack. College students fell for it by the dozen, much to the delight of those who knew it was a play and [[JumpScare set off firecrackers or shut off the lights]]. Many believed only until they heard something that told them it was a play. Some of the more extreme reactions may have been people who hadn't heard the show but heard ''about'' it from friends or neighbors who had. Many letter writers were thoughtful, wondering about radio's influence on behavior, on democracy.

The fact remains that CBS telephone switchboards across the country lit up like pinball machines, the calls not just from listeners but from reporters; the hallways outside the New York studio swarmed with reporters and cops who besieged the cast and crew after the show until they had to leave via a rear exit; Welles himself ended the program by saying that the program was little more than "dressing up in a sheet, jumping out of a bush, and saying 'Boo!'" and suggesting that the audience shouldn't be taken in by make-believe stories on the radio. Later that night, the ''New York Times'' building's famous neon headline crawler in Times Square was announcing "ORSON WELLES CAUSES PANIC."

Welles thought it was the end of his career. But the one-hour program became a media sensation. Welles and his show were instantly internationally famous. The Campbell Soup Company jumped at the chance of becoming the sponsorless show's underwriter, and ''The Mercury Theatre on the Air'' was renamed ''The Campbell Playhouse''. Whether or not Welles used the format to [[ForTheEvulz intentionally troll radio listeners]] is still up for debate [[note]]massive evidence has been found that he did not, and was horrified at what had happened[[/note]], but the show made him a star, and led before too long to a movie contract, and ''Film/CitizenKane''.

The broadcast was actually [[http://www.war-ofthe-worlds.co.uk/war_worlds_quito.htm recreated in 1949 in Quito, Ecuador]] by director Leonardo Páez, ''definitely'' as an intentional prank, although not on the diabolical level that's been attributed to him. A huge riot erupted when listeners were finally told it was a gag. An angry mob with TorchesAndPitchforks set fire to the station, with 100 workers trapped inside. Seven people died. It was tried again in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-oTTyGOkIg an updated version by WKBW]] in Buffalo, New York in 1968. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1A0R1vldv4 Conceived]] by engineer-director Dan Kriegler and program director Jeff Kaye, it used the station's news staff and contemporary music and commercials and put the action in nearby Grand Island. Instead of a script, Kaye wrote out a series of events and had the news people read them as they would normally. In spite of fairly frequent "this is a dramatization" announcements, the show's format meant that people who tuned in late were going to think, at least for a few minutes, that it was real. A local newspaper, several police officers and the Canadian National Guard (which sent troops to the border) were among those deceived. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXTEUM4OF7Q WKBW updated the format again and rebroadcast the show in 1971]]. For the 50th anniversary of the broadcast in 1988, Creator/{{NPR}} aired [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIeYnoutthU yet another remake]] directed by Creator/TheFiresignTheater's David Ossman and featuring several of the network's on-air personalities. And in 2008, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjF0KVDdMuo another revival]] was presented on NPR by the LA Theatre Works with a nearly all-''Franchise/StarTrek'' cast including Creator/LeonardNimoy as Prof. Pierson and Gates [=McFadden=] as [[GenderFlip reporter Carla Phillips]].

to:

By the time large alien tripods emerged from the cylindrical meteorite and began destroying the American countryside, many listeners believed that a bona fide AlienInvasion was taking place, and a nationwide panic ensued. Or so the UrbanLegends say, at least. If you believe the Later research done by Jeff Pooley and Mike Socolow, indicates there was little to no actual panic and the [[http://mssv.net/realityart/wotwemails.html breathless reports that ran in the next day's newspapers]] were an attempt by said newspapers both to sell more papers and discredit radio--see NewMediaAreEvil below. However, the story's more complex than that. What people believed and continue to believe ''about'' the broadcast is as important as the fact that people believed the broadcast itself. The legend of this program has become part of American folklore.

Police and fire stations, newspaper offices and CBS affiliate stations nationwide, and the CBS New York studios, were swamped with thousands of telephone calls -- less a mass panic than a mass attempt to verify. People with loved ones in the area tried to call them (the jammed switchboards gave the impression that ''something'' was happening); some drove or flew there. Following the broadcast, CBS, the FCC and Orson Himself were flooded with mail.[[note]]Writing to a show or network back then was as common as comments sections and blog posts today.[[/note]] People of all ages and walks of life wrote that they'd believed the broadcast, although not all succumbed to panic, fled their homes or behaved irrationally.

Some thought the "invasion" was really Nazis; some faced "the end of the world" calmly;[[note]]Two sisters left their apartment to warn people, then decided to have cocktails before the Martians arrived. They later billed Welles for the cost of the drinks.[[/note]] others simply prepared as for a UsefulNotes/WorldWarI gas attack. College students fell for it by the dozen, much to the delight of those who knew it was a play and [[JumpScare set off firecrackers or shut off the lights]]. Many believed only until they heard something that told them it was a play. Some of the more extreme reactions may have been people who hadn't heard the show but heard ''about'' it from friends or neighbors who had. Many letter writers were thoughtful, wondering about radio's influence on behavior, on democracy.

The fact remains that CBS telephone switchboards across the country lit up like pinball machines, the calls not just from listeners but from reporters; the hallways outside the New York studio swarmed with reporters and cops who besieged the cast and crew after the show until they had to leave via a rear exit; Welles himself ended the program by saying that the program was little more than "dressing up in a sheet, jumping out of a bush, and saying 'Boo!'" and suggesting that the audience shouldn't be taken in by make-believe stories on the radio. Later that night, the ''New York Times'' building's famous neon headline crawler in Times Square was announcing "ORSON WELLES CAUSES PANIC."

Welles thought it was the end of his career. But the one-hour program became a media sensation. Welles and his show were instantly internationally famous. The Campbell Soup Company jumped at the chance of becoming the sponsorless show's underwriter, and ''The Mercury Theatre on the Air'' was renamed ''The Campbell Playhouse''. Whether or not Welles used the format to [[ForTheEvulz intentionally troll radio listeners]] is still up for debate [[note]]massive evidence
broadcast has been found that he did not, and was horrified at what had happened[[/note]], but the show made him a star, and led before too long to a movie contract, and ''Film/CitizenKane''.

The broadcast was actually
re-created several times: [[http://www.war-ofthe-worlds.co.uk/war_worlds_quito.htm recreated in 1949 in Quito, Ecuador]] by director Leonardo Páez, ''definitely'' as an intentional prank, although not on the diabolical level that's been attributed to him. A huge riot erupted when listeners were finally told it was a gag. An angry mob with TorchesAndPitchforks set fire to the station, with 100 workers trapped inside. Seven people died. It was tried again in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-oTTyGOkIg an updated version by WKBW]] in Buffalo, New York in 1968. 1968 and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1A0R1vldv4 Conceived]] com/watch?v=eXTEUM4OF7Q WKBW again in 1971]]; a 50th anniversary edition by engineer-director Dan Kriegler and program director Jeff Kaye, it used the station's news staff and contemporary music and commercials and put the action in nearby Grand Island. Instead of a script, Kaye wrote out a series of events and had the news people read them as they would normally. In spite of fairly frequent "this is a dramatization" announcements, the show's format meant that people who tuned in late were going to think, at least for a few minutes, that it was real. A local newspaper, several police officers and the Canadian National Guard (which sent troops to the border) were among those deceived. [[http://www.Creator/{{NPR}} [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXTEUM4OF7Q WKBW updated the format again com/watch?v=wIeYnoutthU in 1998]], and rebroadcast the show in 1971]]. For the 50th anniversary of the broadcast in 1988, Creator/{{NPR}} aired a 2008 [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIeYnoutthU yet another remake]] directed by Creator/TheFiresignTheater's David Ossman and featuring several of the network's on-air personalities. And in 2008, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjF0KVDdMuo another revival]] was presented on NPR by the LA Theatre Works with a nearly all-''Franchise/StarTrek'' cast including Creator/LeonardNimoy as Prof. Pierson and Gates [=McFadden=] as [[GenderFlip reporter Carla Phillips]].
1st Nov '17 11:20:28 PM Mdumas43073
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Welles thought it was the end of his career. But the one-hour program became a media sensation. Welles and his show were instantly internationally famous. The Campbell Soup Company jumped at the chance of becoming the sponsorless show's underwriter, and ''The Mercury Theater on the Air'' was renamed ''The Campbell Playhouse''. Whether or not Welles used the format to [[ForTheEvulz intentionally troll radio listeners]] is still up for debate [[note]]massive evidence has been found that he did not, and was horrified at what had happened[[/note]], but the show made him a star, and led before too long to a movie contract, and ''Film/CitizenKane''.

to:

Welles thought it was the end of his career. But the one-hour program became a media sensation. Welles and his show were instantly internationally famous. The Campbell Soup Company jumped at the chance of becoming the sponsorless show's underwriter, and ''The Mercury Theater Theatre on the Air'' was renamed ''The Campbell Playhouse''. Whether or not Welles used the format to [[ForTheEvulz intentionally troll radio listeners]] is still up for debate [[note]]massive evidence has been found that he did not, and was horrified at what had happened[[/note]], but the show made him a star, and led before too long to a movie contract, and ''Film/CitizenKane''.
1st Nov '17 11:19:11 PM Mdumas43073
Is there an issue? Send a Message


By the time large alien tripods emerged from the cylindrical meteorite and began destroying the American countryside, many listeners believed that the events taking place were really happening, and a nationwide panic ensued. Or so the UrbanLegends say, at least. If you believe the research done by Jeff Pooley and Mike Socolow, there was little to no actual panic and the [[http://mssv.net/realityart/wotwemails.html breathless reports that ran in the next day's newspapers]] were an attempt by said newspapers both to sell more papers and discredit radio--see NewMediaAreEvil below. However, the story's more complex than that. What people believed and continue to believe ''about'' the broadcast is as important as the fact that people believed the broadcast itself. The legend of this program has become part of American folklore.

to:

By the time large alien tripods emerged from the cylindrical meteorite and began destroying the American countryside, many listeners believed that the events a bona fide AlienInvasion was taking place were really happening, place, and a nationwide panic ensued. Or so the UrbanLegends say, at least. If you believe the research done by Jeff Pooley and Mike Socolow, there was little to no actual panic and the [[http://mssv.net/realityart/wotwemails.html breathless reports that ran in the next day's newspapers]] were an attempt by said newspapers both to sell more papers and discredit radio--see NewMediaAreEvil below. However, the story's more complex than that. What people believed and continue to believe ''about'' the broadcast is as important as the fact that people believed the broadcast itself. The legend of this program has become part of American folklore.
1st Nov '17 11:18:16 PM Mdumas43073
Is there an issue? Send a Message


When Creator/OrsonWelles needed to come up with a HalloweenEpisode for the October 30, 1938 broadcast of his Creator/{{CBS}} radio program ''Radio/TheMercuryTheatreOnTheAir'', he decided to adapt the Creator/HGWells 1898 novel ''Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds'' to a contemporary American setting. Rather than staging a regular radio play like all of the previous Mercury Theater broadcasts, for this episode the program aired what seemed like a regular night of music, until reports came over the air of strange phenomena on the surface of Mars and what seem to be meteorites landing in locations across America...

to:

When Creator/OrsonWelles needed to come up with a HalloweenEpisode for the October 30, 1938 broadcast of his Creator/{{CBS}} radio program ''Radio/TheMercuryTheatreOnTheAir'', he decided to adapt the Creator/HGWells Creator/HGWells' 1898 novel ''Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds'' to a contemporary American setting. Rather than staging a regular radio play like all of the previous Mercury Theater ''Mercury Theatre'' broadcasts, for this episode the program aired what seemed like a regular night of music, until reports came over the air of strange phenomena on the surface of Mars and what seem to be meteorites landing in locations across America...
1st Nov '17 11:17:40 PM Mdumas43073
Is there an issue? Send a Message


When Creator/OrsonWelles needed to come up with a HalloweenEpisode for the October 30, 1938 broadcast of his Creator/{{CBS}} nationwide radio program ''Radio/TheMercuryTheatreOnTheAir'', he decided to adapt the Creator/HGWells 1898 novel ''Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds'' to a contemporary American setting. Rather than staging a regular radio play like all of the previous Mercury Theater broadcasts, for this episode the program aired what seemed like a regular night of music, until reports came over the air of strange phenomena on the surface of Mars and what seem to be meteorites landing in locations across America...

to:

When Creator/OrsonWelles needed to come up with a HalloweenEpisode for the October 30, 1938 broadcast of his Creator/{{CBS}} nationwide radio program ''Radio/TheMercuryTheatreOnTheAir'', he decided to adapt the Creator/HGWells 1898 novel ''Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds'' to a contemporary American setting. Rather than staging a regular radio play like all of the previous Mercury Theater broadcasts, for this episode the program aired what seemed like a regular night of music, until reports came over the air of strange phenomena on the surface of Mars and what seem to be meteorites landing in locations across America...
12th Aug '17 12:10:33 AM CaptEquinox
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Added DiffLines:

* MoralGuardians: Lots of them in the wake of the sensationalized post-broadcast reports, calling for censorship, speaking up against "terrorizing" broadcasts, the fake-news format (which wasn't new, as any listener to ''March of Time'''s news re-enactments could have told you), radio as a corrupter of children, &c., &c. The kids, of course, knew the story or caught on quickly; thousands wrote fan letters to Welles.
This list shows the last 10 events of 86. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Radio.TheWaroftheWorlds