Skip to main content

XM re-creates War of the Worlds

This time, "it came from space" could apply to both the aliens and the radio

XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. is re-creating Orson Welles' War of the Worlds
broadcast Oct. 30 from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. from its Washington, D.C., studios, complete with
15-piece orchestra.

The radio drama -- which begins with the interruption of an orchestral-music
radio broadcast and ends with the near annihilation of the planet by Martians --
originally aired Oct. 30, 1938. Its use of fictitious news bulletins and reports
frightened hordes of unwitting listeners already unnerved by the war in Europe
and led to rules preventing mock news broadcasts without sufficient disclaimer.

The radio play has since been rebroadcast and readapted numerous times,
including an updated 50th-anniversary edition for NPR in 1988.