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on 5 February 2008
An atmospheric swirl of a radio adaptation, this is arguably the closest in spirit to Wells' original novel. Appropriately, by updating old HG to the 1950s, with helicopters and Landrovers, the overall effect is to create a "new" John Wyndham story. Manchip-White's script was originally written and produced as a BBC radio series soon after World War 2, and this radio production is actually a reworking of those original scripts, which by 1967 were already 15 years old. I can't say whether there has been any attempts to update the material for the sixties - but as the previous reviewer states, characterisations are very redolent of the immediate post-War era (in fact, in the case of the montage of over-gentlemenly MPs arguing in the Commons, it seems immediately post-Crimean!)

The setting, like Jeff Wayne's later musical version, is the commuter belt of Surrey, and in particular the rather maligned town of Woking. In the original novel, Wells used his new bicycling skills to pick out individual houses (and people) he didn't like and subject them to malicious Martian Heat Ray destruction. One of the many "jokes" within the novel's set up was the Fighting Machines' rather robust idea of town planning (all those quaint Victorian villas we see round Maybury and Horsell today were actually newbuilds - and probably garish ones at that - in 1895). That said, the radio adaptation doesn't strictly need to be in Woking - it could be anywhere on the outskirts of a very powerful city (hence, Orson's incident at Grover's Mill, New Jersey, back in 1938) - but the fact that it happens on the same streets and buildings as the 1898 novel lends it an air of (if this is possible) authenticity.

Finally, a brief word on the music, by David Cain (with an uncreditted input from Delia Derbyshire). Although it may not be Wayne's kaleidoscopic rock soundtrack of ten years later, or anything like it, the hooting and wheezing within the electronic soundtrack has much in common with the way Wells' originally describes the Martian's sounds; certainly, far more than a rock session musician shouting "Ulla!" through a vocoder, anyway.
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on 18 December 2007
Fans of War of the Worlds with a tenner to spare will find this radio version well worth the money. I picked it up from ebay for a lot less than that, so I'm doubly pleased. Updated to the sixties, the radio version handles the new modern setting well and follows the original Well's plot to a considerable degree - more so than even Mr. Wayne managed.

The downsides are the irritating accent of the 'Australian' helicopter pilot who replaces the artilleryman character from the original book, the seemingly WWII language used throughout [did people in the sixties really call each other "old boy"??!] and - in comparison with Jeff Wayne's version - the lack of fear and atmosphere generated by a musical score throughout. There are odd moments of unnerving music that punctuate the script, but by and large you are left to a few sound effects and the actors themselves.

Overall, though, it's a very enjoyable rendition and well worth adding to your collection.
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on 1 May 2012
This version of War of the worlds is by far my favourite..I have listened to it numerous times in the car..far more than watching any of the movie remakes.
This is the reason why I started to listen to classic radio..
Really a must to have..love it!
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on 18 September 2013
It`s probably better to read the book that this slightly dated dramatisation. The real problem was the screeching at the beginning and end of each section that was supposed to represent alien noises.
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on 9 May 2013
This is fantastic adaptation of the book by HG Wells and that's why I love it. I recommend this to anyone who likes radio Dramas and is a fan of science fiction.
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on 22 March 2013
Aliens v humans!

This is a fantastic production of a brilliant story. The BBC have done H.G Wells proud.

The sounds effects and music are chilling and the acting is superb. You won't be disappointed.
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on 6 November 2014
Top quality recording of this BBC Radio dramatisation from the 1960's
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on 12 December 2015
Like new, delivered on time. Excellent, recommended.
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on 24 October 2014
Very good value for money
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