Tags: waroftheworlds




In the latest episode of the Rissington podcast a listener asks What Podcasts do you listen to regularly? The panel answer with some top-notch listening recommendations. I’d just like to chime in with my own number one choice: Radiolab. Yes, technically it’s a radio programme rather than a made-for-Web podcast but that’s also true of my second choice, Mark Kermode’s film reviews.

The latest episode of Radiolab is somewhat special: the whole thing was recorded live in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The subject matter is also pretty special. The episode is devoted to War of the Worlds; not the book, not the many film versions, but the classic Orson Welles radio dramatisation. There’s a lot of resonance with more recent phenomena like ARGs. While we can’t quite place ourselves in the mindset of 1938, it’s still pretty thrilling to listen to that original broadcast. A recording of the radio broadcast is available on the Internet Archive.

Ah, Orson Welles! Most people will remember his best film work as being Citizen Kane but we really know that Touch of Evil (but not the studio cut) is his real meisterwerk. And while everyone remembers his War of the Worlds broadcast, who knows of the genius that is :

We know a remote farm in Lincolnshire, where Mrs. Buckley lives. Every July, peas grow there.

As for his renowned acting talents, surely his finest work was revealed towards the end of his life when he poured his soul into this Paul Masson wine commercial.