H G Wells War of the Worlds- an adaptation

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:54 pm

Wells eventually stopped writing fiction in favour of dissertations and the like. His style always leant that way however- the main character in WotW is a thinly veiled version of himself. And the job of the main character is mainly to witness. He is rarely even proactive (his eventual assualt on the Curate being the most active he ever gets).
And the Curate himself is mainly an excuse for Wells to express his own views on religion.
The book is also preoccupied by things of the time that Wells was interested in. So evolution, Empire, extincion of races (like the Tasmanians), new scientific theories about the development of the solar system, the age of Mars, religion, breeds of men ect all take up a lot of the writing in long essay like sections.
None of that makes it a natural for adapting to a visual medium despite all the tripods zapping everyone.

Put this in spoilers as it mentions changes I have made which you might prefer to just read first in their proper place in the adaptation (then come back and read it!)
Spoiler:

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Post by Orwell Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:38 pm

Soon we'll see... Yessss..... we'll see, Precioussss!

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:42 pm

Soon?! You're doing this to punish me aren't you? Evil or Very Mad

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Post by Orwell Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:52 am

I intend in the short term to assist someone write the second part of a Tale based on a Case Book entry of Dr Sissimun Fjord first! Very Happy

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:49 pm

This your idea of soon is it?! Mad

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Post by Mrs Figg Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:07 pm

Told you he's flighty, a right old flibertygibbet. Mad
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:07 pm

This must be some new usage of the word' soon' I was not previously aware of! H G Wells War of the Worlds- an adaptation - Page 3 Impatient

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:32 pm

H G Wells War of the Worlds- an adaptation - Page 3 Impatient

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:55 pm

Oi Orwell! Are you not supposed to have taken me to task over this yet? Think of it as something entertaing to do inbetween studying to be Ruler of Oz or whatever it is you're up to.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:49 am

In the hope of bumping this and attracting someones attention, in amongst all the old photos I was looking at today was my first official badge of honour as a writer.
My first rejection letter.
Given who its from I reckon I must have been about 12 at the time, thereabouts. As Channel 4 who ran 4-tel didnt start broadcasting until I was 11. But for the life of me I cant remember what the story was I sent in.

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Post by Norc Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:31 am

aaaawww!!!!! I really wanna know what the story was Very Happy
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Post by Mrs Figg Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:36 pm

yes do you still have it? Very Happy sounds like they were interested.
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Post by Lancebloke Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:46 pm

Just read through your adaptation.

I would like to see how that translates in to a screenplay and how long it would end up being on screen.

I get bored of all these huge budget films that come out with overwhelming alien hordes that humans (americans) manage to beat through 'courage' and 'resourcefulness' and all those other stupid things (if only the aliens in Independence Day had McAfee!!)

I would like to see a film where we actually get our backsides kicked. I have always thought a flim where aliens invade as part of a resource gathering exercise, maybe for a war with a race of their own or superior technological prowess. Or possibly in the cross fire (kind of transformerish without michael bay involved).

Something fresh and realisitic should be done!!

Specific to your story, I think I would like to see some elements expanded upon. I would imagine that at that time we would have had a LOT of troops and there would have been some tactical stuff going on (seems easy to hide from the machines.... a bit of guerilla warfare not just open battles) and even some more desperate 'throw the lot at them' type mass infantry charges to little effect.

I know with the visuals you would get more sense of the character feelings too which I thought would have needed much more description had it have been a novel. As per my second line.. would be interesting to see how it would translate in to a screenplay and how the actors would be directed to try and make the audience feel the sheer horror of what would be unfolding.

One thing with this story.. not yours, the WotW in general, is how abruptly it ends. I would guess that they may have brought some of their own stores of food/water etc and that the effects of disease etc would take slightly longer to go through all of their ranks. Maybe starting with a battle that doesnt go the invaders way entirely and leaves some questions as to what is going on with them, later revealed that they are all getting ill.

I do like your version and would watch it if it came on to my TV screen... just a few things I would consider if I were doing it.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:07 pm

Thanks for reading Lance- part of the aim was to try to stick quite close to the book. Mainly because I have yet to see an adaptation of it that does (when the closest is a musical you know you are in trouble!) so I was wary of expanding too much beyond the books events.
However there is some stuff in the book I would love to get in but as of yet haven't found a way.
As the book is written after the events described the author often adds info that was only discovered afterwards- my favourie being that Mars had a humanoid life form, but flimsy and stupid-and these were the main martian cattle and foodsources- so humans just looked like really fat cattle to them. Some of the dried out husks of these beings were found in the capsules afterwards, brought as nourishment on the journey, but earths gravity is too much for their flimsy bodies.
I can easily enough put the find of the remains in there- but its finding how to shoehorn in the explanation thats the trick.

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Post by Lancebloke Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:33 pm

I can only vaguely remember parts of the original story which I am sure, for the time, were probably quite fantastical (thanks to Lady Gaga for that word). With the luxury of having a plethora of bad films and only a handful of good ones since this was written, I think there are probably some changes that could be made that wouldnt be deterimental. Like taking the big blocky buttons off of the starship Enterprise since we have already far surpassed that kind of technology and havent reached space yet.

I think when you start doing something like that probably puts what PJ is doing in to perspective a bit.... maybe? Not that you have to agree with what he is doing.

Maybe you should think about your own version completely... renamed and everything? I think your version is fine, I just think the original (and many since) have their faults.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:59 pm

I'm in two minds about doing that.
On the one hand I think there is a cracking story in there where the martians don't die and what the artillerymen predicts for the future comes true- humans being breed for food, some trained up to hunt down other humans. Resistance groups living underground using the drains and sewers ect.

But changing technology I am not so sure about. Most versions of WotW, or any alien invasion film, the alien ships always have shields for example- Wells didn't so his Martian tripods are susceptible to canon fire, or just being rammed in the legs by a warship- I like that, the Martians win because they have greater mobility and better weapons- but they are not invulnerable. Its a short fight mankind puts up- but it is a fight at least.

And since I first read the book I have a desire to see a battle between the tripods and canons.

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Post by Lancebloke Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:22 pm

Sorry, i meant that, in general, with a modern viewpoint there are some things that probably should be changed, not just technology.

I suppose you could suggest that with the greater mobility that the tripods have, they sacrifice on armour and so could be vulnerable to old explosives and cannon fire.

It is the original story itself that I find has it weaknesses, the concept is good just not executed as I would have done it. But that is just me!



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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:33 pm

I agree Lance- its not actually really that suitable to tv or film- its largely a lot of discourse pretending to be conversation. Or its social and political comment pretedning to be conversation.
The main character is merely a witness- he takes no proactive role at all and the resolution of the story has nothing to do with any characters whatsoever- it just happens.
Of course thats a modern viewpoint- the discovery of bacteria and how it creates illness was an exciting notion of these new fangled scientists- cutting edge stuff- so in tis time it was an intreting resolution.
They all caught a cold and died does however to modern viewers seem a little unlikely.

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Post by Lancebloke Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:22 pm

I think the virus thing maybe isnt so silly if the right explanation is behind it. You would expect an advanced civilisation to have some kind of medical technology too (i know that was kinda of brushedaside in the narration... but you would) but maybe they were coming from a dying planet, low on resources and time and just had to make a go of it without time to prepare properly.

Obviously round 2 might not go so well!!
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:43 pm

Well in the book Mars is a dying planet but the Martians seem to have been preparing for a while-at least a decade according to the narrator.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:00 pm

{{was rereading Wow (did anyone other than Lance (thanks Lance! Thumbs Up ) ever read this?

Anyhow the thing you mentioned Lance about the Martian having advanced medicine- in the book the notion is that the Martians wiped out all disease on Mars long, long ago- they've forgotten about illness or how to treat it. There is also a secondary point about how man, by having evolved (controversial new-fangled idea at the time) on earth has earned his right to survive here, but the Martians, coming from outside lack all the natural defences we have evolved- so even the most simple bacteria can and does cause infection and death- mainly got by their manner of feeding- ingesting human blood.


Anyway, what I actually came here for was this- a fan vid, they have remixed the Jeff Wayne opening music, but its the vid to it I really like, apparently its from something the History Channel did, but I cant seem to find it, but I really like a lot of whats in this vid- as close as I am going to get probably to seeing tripods v canon in the right time period.

Also sort of like the tripods here- about the only thing I thought Spielberg did well was the tripods, the book is at pains to say that they move like organisms, not stilted like machines- in this vid I think they get that organic feel right for the tentacles but not for the legs- still decent try!}}}



{{Far as I can tell they have used a lot of genuine footage from the time and inserted the tripods into it}}

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Post by halfwise Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:40 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:I agree Lance- its not actually really that suitable to tv or film- its largely a lot of discourse pretending to be conversation. Or its social and political comment pretedning to be conversation.
The main character is merely a witness- he takes no proactive role at all and the resolution of the story has nothing to do with any characters whatsoever- it just happens.
Of course thats a modern viewpoint- the discovery of bacteria and how it creates illness was an exciting notion of these new fangled scientists- cutting edge stuff- so in tis time it was an intreting resolution.
They all caught a cold and died does however to modern viewers seem a little unlikely.

No, not so unlikely. Europeans killed off 90% of the native Americans just by arriving. And that was the same planet. Even today it takes us months if not years to find vaccines, and that's only because the most rapacious kill off their hosts too fast to propagate.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:57 am

{{True Halfy, but on the other hand outside of Von Daniken, the Americans were not meant to be an ancient super intelligent technologically advanced space flight capable race.

Narratively I think the main issue with it is the lack of any sort of participation by the main characters, or any characters in the resolution. In its day the notion and the idea of bacteria and disease in this way was new and cutting edge science, so it worked fine as an ending for the audience of the day.
Of course got top be careful how you involve your main characters (Independence Day for example stole the ending, computer virus instead of virus, virus, by essentially same thing- a virus wipes them out. But it really doesn't work there because it creates more questions than it answers. And Spielberg keeps the ending and non-participation but it feels anti-climatic because of it, Spielberg's solution to that was to make the story about a father and his kids, but the resolution to that, the son reveal at the end just feels cheesy corny, and contradictory to what we last saw of him, so its a mess too- but I rather like Lance's notion of a series of clues along the way witnessed by the main character that leads to the conclusion of disease rather than just the reveal that's what it was after the event.}}

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Post by azriel Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:05 am

The video was both brilliant & sad. Sad as it was real. Real men & boys killed, never to see home & loved ones again, to die anonymously in a field somewhere. But visually it was brilliant as it seemed so real with those scary tripods clanking & killing. I find it more powerful in black & white, more home hitting. Spielbergs film, although good, it was the usual candyfloss fluff. I did like the chase down the street when we 1st see the Martians & the way they zapped humans. The dust of their being dousing Tom Cruise in a grey powder. The noise those machines made still rings in my brain bucket & its creepy, fartingly creepy.

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H G Wells War of the Worlds- an adaptation - Page 3 Th_cat%20blink_zpsesmrb2cl

H G Wells War of the Worlds- an adaptation - Page 3 Jean-b11
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H G Wells War of the Worlds- an adaptation - Page 3 Empty Re: H G Wells War of the Worlds- an adaptation

Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:00 pm

{{{yeah if it is all genuine WW1 footage and stuff I'd rather they'd left shots of the dead out. But apart from that its very effective I think and shows why, visually, tripods v cannons and stuff is  as great as I always though it would be.

But looking back through this thread I should also thank Figg, David and Halfy for also reading along, oh an done other thing......ORWELLL!!!!! Evil or Very Mad  You promised to read this and then take me to task over it if I'd butchered Wells work- you even went and bought the book and read it first to be fully prepared for my dissection- then nothing- not a bloody word!!!! Evil or Very Mad  WELL? }}}}

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