MUSEUM OF TELEVISION & RADIO, THE: 1998 RADIO FESTIVAL: SEEING EAR THEATRE: ORSON THE ALIEN! THE UNTOLD STORY BEHIND "THE WAR OF THE WORLDS"
One in this series of live radio dramas cybercast on the Sci-Fi Channel's internet website. This program, broadcast live from The Museum of Television & Radio in New York, and part of the 1998 Radio Festival at the Museum, commemorates the sixtieth anniversary of Orson Welles's famous Mercury Theatre on the Air broadcast of "The War of the Worlds" on October 30, 1938. This dramatization presents an alternate history of what might have happened on the evening of Welles's broadcast. The tape begins with approximately ten minutes of discussion and preparation with the studio audience.
The program then begins with two aliens picking up Welles's broadcast on their spacecraft's radio. The cadet, anxious for adventure and excitement, wants to investigate the situation, while the commander, wishing to finish his last tour of duty before retirement without incident, at first refuses to believe that the radio signals they've received are at all significant. Once they hear over the airwaves about the "massacre" taking place, they decide to act and try to save Earth's inhabitants from destruction by martians. In the meantime, two burglars, Bud and Lester, attempt to rob Rosie's Diner in Brooklyn, but end up instead saving the depressed Rosie from killing herself. When Rosie tells Bud that she recognizes him as wanted for armed robbery, he realizes that in order to save himself, she must die after all. However, before he can go through with it, the three of them hear Welles's broadcast, and Bud frees Rosie, burns up the money he'd stolen, and calls the police to tell them his whereabouts. Not long afterward, though, they realize that the martian invasion was totally fictitious. Bud, in a rage and fearing that he will be apprehended by the police, vows to kill Welles for this turn of events. Concurrently, the aliens beam up an earthling who tells them that the invasion they heard was all a hoax, and the cadet hurries off to "null" Welles as well. All of the characters arrive at Welles's studio, but it's because of the bumbling Lester that Welles actually gets shot. Using his alien powers, however, the commander sets everything right in the end. Commercials deleted.
- NETWORK: Sci-Fi Channel
- DATE: October 30, 1998 Friday 10:00 PM
- RUNNING TIME: 1:11:41
- COLOR/B&W: Color
- CATALOG ID: T:54695
- GENRE: Seminars
- SUBJECT HEADING: Drama, fantasy/science fiction
- SERIES RUN:
- Charlene Smith … Executive Producer
- Brian Smith … Producer, Director, Writer
- George Zarr … Associate Producer, Writer
- Terry Bisson … Writer
- Calucci, John (audio i.d. only) … Composer
- Rebecca Nice … Cast, Rosie
- Betz, Jeff (audio i.d. only) … Cast, Bud
- Dick Rothstein … Cast, Orson Welles
- Paul Singleton … Cast, the Cadet
- Walter Koenig … Cast, the Commander
- George Zarr … Cast, Lester