H G Wells War of the Worlds- an adaptation

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Post by Orwell Sat Jul 30, 2016 3:56 am

Oh great! A hobbit can't make an idle and fatuous threat anymore without being held accountable.

Well, I did read the book and enjoyed it very much. But now I can't remember a lot, so I guess I'll read it again and THEN read this! Can't do better than that!

In the mood, actually. And with what I remember from reading all that not very long ago, and reading it again now, I will really give your adaption a thorough going over! (Well, a flippant lazy going over, but a going over just the same! Give us a few days).

(And btw, I do remember my original threats --- eventually.... Very Happy )

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Post by Orwell Sat Jul 30, 2016 6:40 am

News is good, Petty. I have already read (in my Penguin Edition), a biographical note by Patrick Parrinder, the introduction by Brian Aldiss, 'further reading' by Patrick Parrinder, 'note on the text', 'sources of substantive emendations' and 'significant variant readings'.

All I've got to do now is read the book!

Oh dear! 170 pages!!! I don't recall it being that long. No wonder I can only remembers bits about it. Mm.... Some Martians... Umm.. Destruction of London.... Ummm... Disease killing the Martians...

Maybe I know enough. I guess if your adaptation sticks closely to that, I won't need to read the book again!?!?!

But, no, I know my duty...  Not like I can properly humiliate your adaptation... Err... Humbly review your adaptation unless I know a bit more detail.

(Couldn't come at a worse time for me either. What with that young upstart Eldo challenging me to a Poet's Duel!  Sad )

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Post by halfwise Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:01 am

170 pages is long? Somebody has not been reading his Game of Thrones.

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Post by Orwell Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:52 am

Some have no intention of reading Game of Thrones, let alone owning it!

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sat Jul 30, 2016 5:18 pm

{{{I am suitably impressed and gratified Orwell that you would take the time to read the book and my adaptation- but then I was the first time you said it too Mad Bloody Ozhobbits Mad }}}

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Post by Orwell Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:16 pm

Hey! I did read the book last time! Half the job is better than... err... less than half! Very Happy

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:43 am

{{{{So long as you dont assume that doing the same again means two halves make a whole job! Mad }}}

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Post by Orwell Mon Aug 01, 2016 1:43 am

Oh! So you spring that on me, do you! You Scotshobbits are insufferable! Mad

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Post by Orwell Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:20 am

Half way through, Petty... The book that is. Very Happy Once I've got through LotR, War and Peace, the Collected Works of Charles Dickens and the Encylopedia Brittanica (1958 Edition, it was a good year!) I'll be able to get onto your adaptation. cheers

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Post by Orwell Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:30 am

Only thirty pages to go, Petty! Amazing how much I had forgotten. Like I'm reading the book for the first time. My brain is a faulty machine. It's old age. I'm scared. I only read it a couple of years ago and really liked it!!!! Why don't I remember much? The upside is, I'm really enjoying it - almost like new. If only I could be like that with The Hobbit... Must try that. But only after I've read your Adaptation ----- but only if I remember to do that, of course.... Very Happy

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Post by Orwell Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:39 am

Petty, it is done! Tomorrow, as surely as the sun rises, I will get up, Eru wiling. I might even read your Adaptation. Wink

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Post by azriel Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:17 pm

For some reason, I dont know why but, I always think of "War of the Worlds" as American ? Its those dam yankie films I think Smile Cuz its not, you know, set in the US of A is it Smile

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:34 pm

Tomorrow, as surely as the sun rises, I will get up, Eru wiling. I might even read your Adaptation.- Orwell

{{{I am somewhere between somewhat excited at the prospect Orwell, and more than a little nervous- will my purist credentials survive! }}}

Cuz its not, you know, set in the US of A is it - Azriel

{{Its all set around London and the south of England where Wells lived (Wells used to take great pleasure in cycling round his neighbourhood and imagining it being blown up by Martians Very Happy It being England makes sense in the time period as it was the heart of the largest Empire in the world at the time so would be the main target to remove in any attempted takeover (and in the book its a takeover not a wiping out, they plan to move in and use humans as a foodsource like cattle). }}}

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Post by Orwell Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:38 pm

Took a sneak peek before nodding off last night. Wedding? Names for characters? Starting to sound like PJ again!!! Nah! Just joshing. I guess, I'll needs accept some changes to please the public who haven't read Wells and have no reason to respect him. Wink there will be Martians, won't there? Not Venetians?!?! Laughing

Don't worry, Petty... I'm okay with all the changes in the first three paragraphs.... Wink

Should get a chance to read more sometime today. Got a few things to do today.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:42 pm

I'm okay with all the changes in the first three paragraphs...- Orwell


{{{Yes but those arent the BIG changes pale Oh dear I think I need more buckie in preparation for this Nod drunken }}}

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Post by Orwell Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:49 pm

i thought they were the BIG changes!!! You know, get 'em out of the road early.... Very Happy

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:00 pm

{{{ I am almost afraid to say this in light of the scurrilous PJ accusation  Mad  but I, um, kept the female bit of the audience in mind when writing this.....}}}}

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Post by Orwell Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:59 pm

Ohhhhhhh myyyyyyyy gawwwwwwwwwd! pale

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Post by Orwell Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:21 pm

Read Episode 1!! cheers

I think you have captured HGW's style and atmosphere extremely well. Not initially sure about the wedding and brother's presence, but once I Recovered consciousness from my faint, and then bandaged my bleeding forehead where it hit the floor, I thought it was a good move. Wells probably should have done it himself. Like how you depicted Gertrude like I imagine a more expansive Wells would have if he had pursued her female character a bit more. Love the way she is the very male stereotype of a woman of their time, but the smoking hints (to me) of Emily Pankhurst for some reason, which is also evocative of the time. The trouble for your actress is being the character without actually sending her up. I really imagine that both male and female readers of the time would have not blinked an eye at your quasi-Wellsian take on her. Well done, laddie!

A minor quibble or two. I don't think Ogilvy needs to "welcome (them) to my observatory."  I think it would have been blindingly obvious to them all that they were at Ogilvy's observatory. Welcoming them, of course, in general principle, was only good manners! There was another similar thing, but I can't remember what it was now. All will easily be edited out anyway. But I do feel I need to quibble on some things, you know, keep you in your place.

Love wherever the conversation is not from World of the Worlds. You still capture Wells really well.  Caught me wondering if you'd borrowed stuff from some of his other works or just creatively mimicked him. Either way, you don't miss a beat on that score. (Save for a couple of statements of the obvious as mentioned above).

There seemed to be an awful lot of kissing. I remember the artillery man and the curate, but I don't recall any kissing in relation to the Missus. Indeed, I'm not sure there was much kissing in relation to the other two either - more's the pity. Nor staying in bed until ten. Oh dear! Mind you, not taking the hint a night or two later when the Missus was clearly suggesting they have anothe night if rough and tumble in bed, instead, looking up at Mars, showed George's commitment to all things scientific. Me, I would have chosen to bonk the new wife as a first recourse and leave the science to later. Kidding.

Will read more a little later. I'd definitely watch this movie!

(Bozo? People have stupid names for dogs. Whatever happened to plain old Spot or Killer? Oh well...)

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Post by Orwell Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:19 am

Episode 2. Done!

I hope you don't take this the wrong way, Petty, but I think I'm enjoying your version better than the book! Shocked It certainly moves more quickly. I'm thinking, because I already know about ecology and microbes and all that, all Wells explaining, while fascinating and enjoyable, does slow the adventure side of the story somewhat. Also, having introduced most of the lead characters early, and naming them, it helps personify what is happening. L

Incidentally, I do Li ke the early hint about the artillery man's dreamy laziness. Though, maybe it was already in the book and I just read over it??? I'm referring to his conversation with other soldiers about digging and it being sarcastically suggested he should have been a Sapper, except he's both a dreamer and lazy. I thought it was something 'George' only learns later. Maybe you could enlighten me there. Can't be bothered looking it up myself as I am, too, a lazy dreamer....

Episode 3 soon....

Once I've finished reading this, I'm going to read The Time Traveller. Bought it a few days ago. Love the movie with the actor Taylor in it. Your script has a similar feel to me, actually. Perhaps it's scriptwriter got Wells pretty right too. Well done, laddie!

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:45 am

she is the very male stereotype of a woman of their time, but the smoking hints (to me) of Emily Pankhurst for some reason- Orwell

{{I hate retro interjection- sticking modern sensibilities forcibly into older material- women in Victorian era did do things like faint a lot (hell so commonly it had a name- 'fit of the vapours') and cooked the meals, and thought it was right and proper to look after their men folk in an almost motherly manner- I didn't want to get rid of all that as its lends truth to it, but at the same time I did have plans to beef her role up form that in book of object main character is aiming to get back too. So I tried to work with the material and just bring out more stuff that already seemed to me to be there in the original just not explored further.
I agree however its a tricky balance for an actress not to fall into Mr Chumley Victorian parody territory with some of her lines.


'I don't think Ogilvy needs to "welcome (them) to my observatory."


Mmm you might be right there, although I never thought of it so much as stating the obvious as stating a touch of pride, like when upwardly mobile middle class types insist on showing you their 'lounge' as if you'd never been in a house before and didnt know what a lounge was.

'Caught me wondering if you'd borrowed stuff from some of his other works or just creatively mimicked him. '

Mainly mimickry, thought the style is influenced by his writing in Wow, obviously, and In the Days of the Comet mostly. There is actually not a huge amount of dialogue in the book, and often its said there is talking without actually giving you any of it 'talked long into the night' style lines.

'Bozo? People have stupid names for dogs.'

I cant actually recall now if Bozo is the name of the dog in the book, or the name of Wells' real life dog, its one or the other. I cant recall because I took real elements of his life and mixed them a bit with characterisations, as the main character is so clearly a version of Wells himself, hence his name of George (Wells' second name and the one he mostly went by in everyday life). The wife, like many other characters, doesn't have a name in the book, Gerturde was my Grans name and had that suitably old fashioned ring to it I felt fitted the period.

'because I already know about ecology and microbes and all that, all Wells explaining, while fascinating and enjoyable, does slow the adventure side of the story somewhat.'

In fairness to Wells that stuff was all cutting edge science discoveries of the day. And would have been as mind blowing to most of its audience as the martians themselves. I tried to honour it whilst cutting it down, so the evolution conversation with Ogilvy and a few other short bits are nods to all the sciencey stuff Wells throws in at the start.

'Though, maybe it was already in the book and I just read over it??? '

Its based on a  few lines from the book and expanded out into a bigger conversation between the soldiers. Its sort of foreshadowing but mainly I felt it just helped establish the character early on without being too blatant about it.
Actually the biggest bit of foreshadowing is right at the start, when Georges brother is having a pop at Henderson and comments he would like to meet, in his medical capacity, and thank whichever little virus finally kills him off. Which of course foreshadows the fate of the martians as well as maintaining the science references theme.


I hope you continue to enjoy it Orwell, especially as the biggest changes are still yet to come! }}}}

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Post by Orwell Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:04 am

Episode 3!!!!

Well, well, well... Gertrude and Anna, hey! I blinked, but then thought, 'movie'. Yep. Makes sense. Good sense. This is going along very well. Even the train smash up from Woking. It would be disturbing and alarming. Like a fiery ghost train in the context. Excellent, Petty. This is all very very good. Even the creativity on top of things fits well enough with the story.

One thing occurred to me as I read. Thinking about the start. Is the Narrator, George? If so, maybe you should consider another voice, or find some other way of presenting the story narrative at the beginning. Give the film goer no idea or hint at all that George survives to tell the tale?

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:58 am

Is the Narrator, George? If so, maybe you should consider another voice, or find some other way of presenting the story narrative at the beginning. Give the film goer no idea or hint at all that George survives to tell the tale?- Orwell


{{Yes its George. To be honest I had not given much thought to changing it so the viewer doesn't know if he survives, mainly because the book it so openly done in a style that makes it clear from the start its being written post events. It even once or twice goes outside the 'present' narrative to give some information on the Martians only discovered after they all died.
Changing it would be to change the books premise.

But now you bring it up and have got me thinking about it you also have me quite concerned! You see in the book the 'will he wont he live' thing doesn't exist but it is transferred to the wife he is trying to reunite with- will she be alive or dead? We don't find out until the end.

In the book its basically 3/4 the account of George 'how I survived the disaster movie' Harrilson and 1/4 his brother's tale of what happened in London.

In my telling, in order to make the wife a more prominent character I added her tale to the existing two and interwove it with the second part of the brothers tale after he leaves London. But that means the viewer sees what is happening to her and therefore the question of is she dead or alive does not arise and is no longer an unknown. In short it risks removing the sens oe fperil or threat form either of them.

However changing the opening narrator means I cant segue from the books famous opening paragraph into Georges account of local events and the fact he is getting married (I'd also lose that lovely line about learning to ride a bike, which is one of those little bits of actual real world stuff Wells dropped in there, he was learning to ride as he went about imagining blowing up local landmarks). Its the sort of line writers are precious about and the average viewer would not get the reference to anyway- but still, I really like it!

I suppose if I was to change who does the opening narration, at least the first half of it, then Stern the Royal Astronomer would be the likely choice. But damn you for pointing out a major problem I had missed!!!!! Mad (thanks really this is just the sort of thing I need in my feedback, its easy to miss stuff like that when you're close up to it }}}}

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H G Wells War of the Worlds- an adaptation - Page 4 Empty Re: H G Wells War of the Worlds- an adaptation

Post by Orwell Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:07 am

Episode 4. It's over!

I've got some quibbles, but maybe not ones that I'm dead certain are ones others would worry about.

I don't think killing Wilfrid and Anna was necessary. The two scenes where they happen have enough excitement and fear factor to not worry about doing that. To me, it seems a bit.. err.... contrived, and with no real gain in the pathos - indeed, I think for me it weakens what you and Wells came up with otherwise. Just me maybe. (Jonathan stumbling over Gertrude and Anna earlier is a really good idea, I reckon, as we already have empathy for them because we already have met them and I reckon you are always more worried about people you know than soon met strangers).

Btw the baby falling 'splat'! and the little boy being sucked driy are gruesome but creepily excellent ideas. We don't know them personally - and you can't kill young ones you know personally, surely - but it sure makes you hate the Martians more, and fear them more! Inhumane bastards... Oh yeah, they're not humans... Suppose I should show more respect for foreign customs then... Very Happy

The dog returning? Yes... But I reckon it could be handled slightly differently. This segues into a big quibble for me. When the curate gets dragged out, why can't he be unconcious? I don't mind the change to the bottle too much. But even here, George going with the cleaver which only at the last second is turned to knock him down seems more original somehow. Also, yelling out the repent stuff. It doesn't work for me. A bit cliched somehow. Like your ghost train crash earlier, I think a silent dragging is better in the creepy area. More evocative. Then George hides in the coal store. Surely that is one of the most tense scenes in the book... and you left it out!!!!!! How is that not film worthy???? Are you mad!!?!??!? Once George survives, perhaps, the tentacle can actually leave the door open. (The tentacle opening the latch of the coal store door is an awesome terrifying idea. Simple, casual, and awesome!!!) If the door is left open, George can sit awhile, fall into a nervy unconscious sleep, only to be woken up by the snuffling doggie. The audience's hair will stand up on end, surely - until they realise it's just the doggie. Then George can find that the Martians have gone, just like in the book. (Frankly, I could give or take the dog).

Hey! I've been pretty positive about your Adaptation otherwise! Mad

Indeed, I love it. It would be a great film script for a great (and unpretentious) movie! Four parts. Nah. The film could be done in less than two hours I reckon using your script. I'd love it! Love your adaptation in spite of my quibbles.

I really mean it. Many of your changes seem really obvious ones - once you encounter them. Coming up with changes - consonant with the overall story by HGW - is the hard part! Bully for you, laddie! I love you

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H G Wells War of the Worlds- an adaptation - Page 4 Empty Re: H G Wells War of the Worlds- an adaptation

Post by Orwell Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:28 am

You could always have George in the first scene trying to ride a bike and then Jonathon laughing at him and saying that they better get to the church on time... I don't know.

Funny you should mention the fact we know now what happens to Gertrude. Thought the same thing myself while reading. But there is still fear for her. And George's actions in trying to reach her, when we know she's with Jonathon, will only make the audience go: "oh no, George. She's safe kinda for the moment. Oh dear! Someone tell George. He's going to get himself killed in a fruitless quest!" With what all he goes through trying to reach her, I don't see that as a weakness at all. Very Happy Even at the end, we'll watch George return home knowing Gertrude will arrive safe and sound but still feeling upset for him knowing how he feels and then getting that enormous sense of his relief when she arrives. Perfik.

Back to the bike. I agree it is a great line. But even if it's not in the film, it'll still be in the book....

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