Main The War Of The Worlds Discussion

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03:04:38 PM Jun 12th 2010
I'm thinking Jeff Wayne's musical should really have its own page as well. Jeff Waynes War of the Worlds is already taken by the PC game, so perhaps we should have a "Jeff Wayne" page that covers both War of the Worlds and Spartacus?
04:07:05 PM Jun 5th 2010
Anyone fancy creating a seperate page for the Spielberg film?
04:20:25 PM Jun 5th 2010
I don't think I could do it effectively, but it definitely needs to be done. There's just too much Adaptation Decay for that film to be filed here.
04:38:01 PM Jun 5th 2010
edited by AnonymousMcCartneyfan
Well, I started Film/TheWarOfTheWorlds. It Needs a Better Description, but I've got a start here.
05:50:01 AM Jun 17th 2010
Is it too late to rename it to War of the Worlds? The movie didn't include the first "the" iirc.
10:23:12 AM May 30th 2010
edited by BritBllt
Reducing all this...

Science Marches On: The book is based on two scientific theories popular at the time, both since discredited:
  • Firstly, and most obviously, that Mars has "canals", artificial waterways, visible from Earth. This suggests a vast and advanced civilization. Apparently this all came about when an Italian astronomer saw what he called "canale" - "Channels", meaning natural rock formations that looked like rivers. The English press then got the translation wrong. The so-called canals were a product of the condition that Percival Lowell, head of the Lowell Observatory, suffered from. The blood vessels in his eyes were visible so he saw straight lines on Mars where none existed. The condition is known as Lowell's Syndrome after him.
  • Secondly, that the digestive system actually converts food into blood for the circulatory system. This explains why the Martians feed in the way they do - bypassing the mouth to mainline blood straight into their own system.
    • This idea does still have some basis in fact. There are a large amount of nutrients floating around in blood, as this is the main way to transport things the body has consumed. It makes the concept feasible, but the incompatibilities of blood types, the fact that it is only packed with nutrients after eating, and that the Martians would get more nutrition out of actually digesting it, this idea is still very much impractical.
  • Also, the idea of the invaders being wiped out by terrestrial diseases has been shown to be fairly unlikely. The novel does say that the Martians fell victim to necrotizing bacteria, and suggests that they had eliminated Martian diseases so long ago that their immune systems had atrophied to nothing. Wells might've historically dodged a bullet concerning viral diseases: viruses, as they're understood today, had barely been discovered when the book was written, so the original book only talks about bacteria being responsible for the death of the Martians (which just happens to be more biologically likely than the movie's update to viruses anyway). On the other hand, even without a Hand Wave in the form of Panspermia, bacteria of one sort or another are real experts at breaking down pretty much any organic compound. If even one chemical in the Martians' bodies was at all comparable to Earthly biochemistry, they'd find a way to metabolize it; in fact, the Martians might've only lasted as for long as they did because it took a couple of weeks for a bacterial strain to evolve the ability to chow down on their tissues efficiently, then spread amongst the invaders.
  • Oh, and the fact that there's intelligent life on mars.

To this...

  • Science Marches On — At the very least, there's no Martian civilization invading Earth, and much of the speculation about how the Martians' technology and biology works is based on outdated science. Wells does future-proof the story to some extent, though, by constantly stating that the characters' scientific speculation is just that, and they could be entirely wrong.

All of the above's interesting, but it's gotten too unwieldy for the main article (it'd be a fun topic for discussion, though). Also, I think a lot of the Science Marches On is countered by Unreliable Narrator: the book keeps saying that the explanations are just in-universe guesses by 19th century scientists, so it's easy to interpret them as just the best sense they can make of an alien technology and biology that's way, way above their level.
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