History Radio / TheWaroftheWorlds

18th Nov '16 3:53:15 PM CaptEquinox
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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 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...

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. In fact, there was little to no actual panic[[note]]What ''did'' happen was that police and fire stations, newspaper offices nationwide, and the CBS studios, were swamped with thousands of telephone calls -- less a mass panic than a mass attempt to verify.[[/note]] and the 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. The fact remains that CBS telephone switchboards were lit up like pinball machines with calls not just from listeners but from reporters, the hallways outside the studio were swarming with reporters and cops, the cast and crew had to leave via a rear exit, and 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."

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...

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. In fact, there was little to no actual panic[[note]]What ''did'' happen was that 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.[[/note]] and the [[http://mssv.net/realityart/wotwemails.html breathless reports that ran in the next day's newspapers newspapers]][[note]]but see the comments to that page also[[/note]] were an attempt by said newspapers both to sell more papers and discredit radio--see NewMediaAreEvil below. The fact remains that CBS telephone switchboards across the country were lit up like pinball machines with machines, the calls not just from listeners but from reporters, the hallways outside the New York studio were swarming with reporters and cops, the cast and crew had to leave via a rear exit, and 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."



* WeInterruptThisProgram: The first ten minutes of the show involves "Ramon Raquello and His Orchestra" playing Thirties dance music, with the plot occasionally interrupting to provide breaking news.

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* WeInterruptThisProgram: The first ten minutes of the show involves "Ramon Raquello and His Orchestra" playing Thirties dance music, with the plot occasionally interrupting to provide breaking news. Later on it changes to piano music by Debussy, in a textbook example of classical music on radio being shorthand for world-threatening disaster.
18th Nov '16 2:32:13 PM CaptEquinox
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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 the events taking place were really happening, and a nationwide panic ensued. Or so the UrbanLegends say, at least. In fact, there was little to no actual panic[[note]]What ''did'' happen was that police and fire stations, newspaper offices nationwide, and the CBS studios, were swamped with thousands of telephone calls -- less a mass panic than a mass attempt to verify.[[/note]] and the breathless reports that ran in the next day's newspapers were an attempt by newspapers both to sell more papers and discredit radio--see NewMediaAreEvil below. The fact remains that CBS telephone switchboards were lit up like pinball machines with calls not just from listeners but from reporters, the hallways outside the studio were swarming with reporters and cops, the cast and crew had to leave via a rear exit, and 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."

to:

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. In fact, there was little to no actual panic[[note]]What ''did'' happen was that police and fire stations, newspaper offices nationwide, and the CBS studios, were swamped with thousands of telephone calls -- less a mass panic than a mass attempt to verify.[[/note]] and the 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. The fact remains that CBS telephone switchboards were lit up like pinball machines with calls not just from listeners but from reporters, the hallways outside the studio were swarming with reporters and cops, the cast and crew had to leave via a rear exit, and 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."



The incident was dramatized in "The Night America Trembled", a 1957 episode of ''Westinghouse Studio One'', and ''The Night That Panicked America'', a 1975 MadeForTVMovie co-starring Creator/JohnRitter; and touched upon in feature films like ''Film/RadioDays'' by Creator/WoodyAllen. It was analyzed in a [[http://www.radiolab.org/story/91622-war-of-the-worlds/ hysterically funny episode]] of NPR's ''Radiolab'' in 2008, talking about the power of mass media and humanity's need for storytelling. Two episodes of Music/Negativland's weekly KPFA radio happening ''Over the Edge'', helmed by master culture jammer Don Joyce, focused on the program as an example of "[[https://archive.org/details/OTE_20060518_How_Radio_Was_Done_3_-_WOTWW How Radio Was Done]]" and an examination of how we discern [[https://archive.org/details/OTE_19990200_True_and_False true from false]] information in modern life.

to:

The incident was dramatized in "The Night America Trembled", a 1957 episode of ''Westinghouse Studio One'', and ''The Night That Panicked America'', a 1975 MadeForTVMovie co-starring Creator/JohnRitter; and touched upon in feature films like ''Film/RadioDays'' by Creator/WoodyAllen. It was analyzed in a [[http://www.radiolab.org/story/91622-war-of-the-worlds/ hysterically funny episode]] of NPR's ''Radiolab'' in 2008, talking about the power of mass media and humanity's need for storytelling. Two episodes of Music/Negativland's Music/{{Negativland}}'s weekly KPFA radio happening ''Over the Edge'', helmed by master culture jammer Don Joyce, focused on the program as an example of "[[https://archive.org/details/OTE_20060518_How_Radio_Was_Done_3_-_WOTWW How Radio Was Done]]" and an examination of how we discern [[https://archive.org/details/OTE_19990200_True_and_False true from false]] information in modern life.
18th Nov '16 2:29:59 PM CaptEquinox
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The incident was dramatized in "The Night America Trembled", a 1957 episode of ''Westinghouse Studio One'', and ''The Night That Panicked America'', a 1975 MadeForTVMovie co-starring Creator/JohnRitter; and touched upon in feature films like ''Film/RadioDays'' by Creator/WoodyAllen. It was analyzed in a [[http://www.radiolab.org/story/91622-war-of-the-worlds/ hysterically funny episode]] of NPR's ''Radiolab'' in 2008, talking about the power of mass media and humanity's need for storytelling. Two episodes of Music/Negativland's weekly KPFA radio happening ''Over the Edge'', helmed by master culture jammer Don Joyce, focused on the program as an example of "[[https://archive.org/details/OTE_20060518_How_Radio_Was_Done_3_-_WOTWW How Radio Was Done]]" and an examination of how we discern [[https://archive.org/details/OTE_19990200_True_and_False true from false]] reports in media.

to:

The incident was dramatized in "The Night America Trembled", a 1957 episode of ''Westinghouse Studio One'', and ''The Night That Panicked America'', a 1975 MadeForTVMovie co-starring Creator/JohnRitter; and touched upon in feature films like ''Film/RadioDays'' by Creator/WoodyAllen. It was analyzed in a [[http://www.radiolab.org/story/91622-war-of-the-worlds/ hysterically funny episode]] of NPR's ''Radiolab'' in 2008, talking about the power of mass media and humanity's need for storytelling. Two episodes of Music/Negativland's weekly KPFA radio happening ''Over the Edge'', helmed by master culture jammer Don Joyce, focused on the program as an example of "[[https://archive.org/details/OTE_20060518_How_Radio_Was_Done_3_-_WOTWW How Radio Was Done]]" and an examination of how we discern [[https://archive.org/details/OTE_19990200_True_and_False true from false]] reports information in media.
modern life.
18th Nov '16 2:29:22 PM CaptEquinox
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The incident was dramatized in "The Night America Trembled", a 1957 episode of ''Westinghouse Studio One'', and ''The Night That Panicked America'', a 1975 MadeForTVMovie co-starring Creator/JohnRitter; and touched upon in feature films like ''Film/RadioDays'' by Creator/WoodyAllen. It was analyzed in a [[http://www.radiolab.org/story/91622-war-of-the-worlds/ hysterically funny episode]] of NPR's ''Radiolab'' in 2008, talking about the power of mass media and humanity's need for storytelling.

to:

The incident was dramatized in "The Night America Trembled", a 1957 episode of ''Westinghouse Studio One'', and ''The Night That Panicked America'', a 1975 MadeForTVMovie co-starring Creator/JohnRitter; and touched upon in feature films like ''Film/RadioDays'' by Creator/WoodyAllen. It was analyzed in a [[http://www.radiolab.org/story/91622-war-of-the-worlds/ hysterically funny episode]] of NPR's ''Radiolab'' in 2008, talking about the power of mass media and humanity's need for storytelling.
storytelling. Two episodes of Music/Negativland's weekly KPFA radio happening ''Over the Edge'', helmed by master culture jammer Don Joyce, focused on the program as an example of "[[https://archive.org/details/OTE_20060518_How_Radio_Was_Done_3_-_WOTWW How Radio Was Done]]" and an examination of how we discern [[https://archive.org/details/OTE_19990200_True_and_False true from false]] reports in media.
18th Nov '16 2:22:53 PM CaptEquinox
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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 the events taking place were really happening, and a nationwide panic ensued. Or so the UrbanLegends say, at least. In fact, there was little to no actual panic, and the breathless reports that ran in the next day's newspapers were an attempt by newspapers to discredit radio--see NewMediaAreEvil below. 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.

to:

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. In fact, there was little to no actual panic, panic[[note]]What ''did'' happen was that police and fire stations, newspaper offices nationwide, and the CBS studios, were swamped with thousands of telephone calls -- less a mass panic than a mass attempt to verify.[[/note]] and the breathless reports that ran in the next day's newspapers were an attempt by newspapers both to sell more papers and discredit radio--see NewMediaAreEvil below. The fact remains that CBS telephone switchboards were lit up like pinball machines with calls not just from listeners but from reporters, the hallways outside the studio were swarming with reporters and cops, the cast and crew had to leave via a rear exit, and 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.
radio. Later that night, the ''New York Times'' building's famous neon headline crawler in Times Square was announcing "ORSON WELLES CAUSES PANIC."
16th Sep '16 9:52:53 PM Mdumas43073
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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]].

The incident was dramatized in "The Night America Trembled", a 1957 episode of ''Westinghouse Studio One'', and ''The Night That Panicked America'', a 1975 MadeForTVMovie co-starring Creator/JohnRitter; and touched upon in feature films like ''Film/RadioDays'' by Creator/WoodyAllen. It was analyzed in a [[http://www.radiolab.org/story/91622-war-of-the-worlds/ hysterically funny episode]] of Creator/{{NPR}}'s ''Radiolab'' in 2008, talking about the power of mass media and humanity's need for storytelling.

to:

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]].

1971]]. For the 50th anniversary of the broadcast in 1988, Creator/{{NPR}} aired yet another remake directed by Creator/TheFiresignTheater's David Ossman and featuring several of the network's on-air personalities.

The incident was dramatized in "The Night America Trembled", a 1957 episode of ''Westinghouse Studio One'', and ''The Night That Panicked America'', a 1975 MadeForTVMovie co-starring Creator/JohnRitter; and touched upon in feature films like ''Film/RadioDays'' by Creator/WoodyAllen. It was analyzed in a [[http://www.radiolab.org/story/91622-war-of-the-worlds/ hysterically funny episode]] of Creator/{{NPR}}'s NPR's ''Radiolab'' in 2008, talking about the power of mass media and humanity's need for storytelling.
7th Jun '16 2:54:30 PM gallium
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* NarratingTheObvious: This trope, usually nigh-unavoidable in radio drama, is here averted. Usually in an audio play characters have to explicate things that they are seeing for the benefit of the audience. Thanks to the decision to stage this show as a PhonyNewscast, and a reading from Pierson's journal in Act Three, the characters are already narrating the action, so this trope is avoided.

to:

* NarratingTheObvious: This trope, usually nigh-unavoidable in radio drama, is here averted.justified InUniverse. Usually in an audio play characters have to explicate things that they are seeing for the benefit of the audience. Thanks to the decision to stage this show as a PhonyNewscast, and a reading from Pierson's journal in Act Three, the characters are already narrating the action, so this trope is avoided.which makes the whole broadcast sound more natural.
16th Apr '16 8:52:54 PM Jeduthun
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Added DiffLines:

* EverybodysDeadDave: In the radio drama, large numbers of people are killed, either by heat rays or poison gas spewed from the alien spaceships. Several "field reporters" make note of this fact before they, too, succumb to the imminent danger. After a cutaway where a reporter describes millions of fleeing New Yorkers dying en masse falling victim to gas clouds or falling into the Hudson River to commit suicide a ham radio operator desperately calls out, "2X2L calling CQ. Isn't there anyone on the air? Isn't there anyone on the air?! Isn't there ... anyone???!!!"
28th Feb '16 9:19:16 PM Mdumas43073
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The incident was dramatized in ''The Night That Panicked America'', a 1975 MadeForTVMovie co-starring Creator/JohnRitter, and touched upon in feature films like ''Film/RadioDays'' by Creator/WoodyAllen. It was analyzed in a [[http://www.radiolab.org/story/91622-war-of-the-worlds/ hysterically funny episode]] of Creator/{{NPR}}'s ''Radiolab'' in 2008, talking about the power of mass media and humanity's need for storytelling.

to:

The incident was dramatized in "The Night America Trembled", a 1957 episode of ''Westinghouse Studio One'', and ''The Night That Panicked America'', a 1975 MadeForTVMovie co-starring Creator/JohnRitter, Creator/JohnRitter; and touched upon in feature films like ''Film/RadioDays'' by Creator/WoodyAllen. It was analyzed in a [[http://www.radiolab.org/story/91622-war-of-the-worlds/ hysterically funny episode]] of Creator/{{NPR}}'s ''Radiolab'' in 2008, talking about the power of mass media and humanity's need for storytelling.
9th Feb '16 12:31:26 AM Mdumas43073
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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 the events taking place were really happening, and panic ensued. Or so the UrbanLegends say, at least. In fact, there was little to no actual panic, and the breathless reports that ran in the next day's newspapers were an attempt by newspapers to discredit radio--see NewMediaAreEvil below. 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.

to:

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. In fact, there was little to no actual panic, and the breathless reports that ran in the next day's newspapers were an attempt by newspapers to discredit radio--see NewMediaAreEvil below. 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.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Radio.TheWaroftheWorlds