TONIGHT: The Man Who Sold The World


NPR: Shortly after 8 p.m. on the Halloween Eve, 1938, the voice of a panicked radio announcer broke in with a news bulletin reporting strange explosions taking place on the planet Mars, followed minutes later by a report that Martians had landed in the tiny town of Grovers Mill, New Jersey. Although most listeners understood that the program was a radio drama, the next day’s headlines reported that thousands of others plunged into panic, convinced that America was under a deadly Martian attack. It turned out to be H.G. Wells’ classic The War of the Worlds, performed by 23-year-old Orson Welles. Orson Welles’ radio production of The War of the Worlds was first heard on this date 75 years ago. We’ll re-air it at 9 p.m. Following this historic production, we air the documentary War of the Welles. This program tells the back-story of the production, correcting many myths, and explaining why it works as a radio broadcast. Both the 1938 rebroadcast and the new radio documentary are introduced by sci-fi icon George Takei, star of the Star Trek TV and film series. This program will air from 10 to 11 p.m., preempting This American Life). MORE