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  • gilwilson 10:01 PM on December 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Brent Spiner, Daryl Schultz, Gates McFadden, h.g. wells, Jerry Hardin, John de Lancie, , leonard nimoy, Megan Fay, orson welles, Tom Virtue, war of the worlds, Wil Wheaton   

    Audio Drama Review: “War of the Worlds” by H.G. Wells, Radio play adapted by Orson Welles 


    Audio Drama Review: “War of the Worlds”

    By H.G. Wells, Radio play adapted by Orson Welles

    A full cast audio performance

    Produced by L.A. Theatre Works

    Total Running Time 77 Minutes


    Okay are you ready for a full on nerdgasm?  This one is it.  L.A. Theatre works distributed free copies of this audio drama on Halloween this year.  I have always been a fan of the Orson Welles dramatization of the H.G. Wells classic space invasion story.  I also am a big fan of the audio dramas produced by L.A. Theatre Works, I have listened to many of their classic stage performances turned audio and every single one is the perfect production from stage to audio that when listening you feel as though you are in the center of the audience.


    But what got me the most, and this is where the nerdgasm comes in, was the cast of this production.  This production stars; John de Lancie,  Gates McFadden, Leonard Nimoy,  Armin Shimerman, Brent Spiner, Wil Wheaton , Tom Virtue,  Jerry Hardin,  Megan Fay and Daryl Schultz.  It is directed by John de Lancie and Recorded before a live audience at Guest Quarters Suites, Santa Monica, CA in October, 1994.  So yes all you Star Trek fans get a supreme dose of actors from the series and a great sci-fi production.


    The radio adaptation of this story has an intriguing history.  When Orson Wells first performed the adaptation on Halloween 1938, even after several announcements that it was a dramatization, many of the audience thought the Martian invasion was real and panic ensued.  I have listened to the original recordings several times and while I find it hard to figure out why the broadcast was taken as reality, I have to admit the adaptation is drama at its best.


    Any Star Trek fan knows how talented these actors are, and bringing them together in a sci-fi production is just perfect.  It’s amazing picking out the voices but what is more amazing is how they all meld together as a cast and bring this drama to life.  Each actor is definitely convincing in their role in this program and their camaraderie is apparent when the production absorbs you and you stop listening to them as characters from Star Trek, but rather characters that are involved in an invasion from Mars.


    The production is presented as a radio performance with news breaks reporting first explosions on the planet mars then strange objects landing in the U.S.A.  With a roving report on the scene at an observatory and then later being vaporized (spoilers) at the landing site of one of the vessels, the action and actors present the story in little breaks between musical radio broadcasts.


    Just over an hour of your time will be taken but that time is well spent listening to this classic performed by epic sci-fi actors.



  • gilwilson 2:42 PM on October 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , dr. watson, , h.g. wells, john joseph adams, neil gaimen, , , , , , the improbable adventures of sherlock holmes   

    “The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” edited by John Joseph Adams 

    “The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”
    edited by John Joseph Adams
    Performed by Simon Vance and Anne Flosnik
    produced by Brilliance Audio
    Approx 21.5 hours

    If you are a constant reader of my postings, you may be wondering what I’m doing listening to a Sherlock Holmes audio book.  I know, it sounds weird and most of my readings are in the Sci-fi, Horror and Fantasy realms, but once in a while I dive into the classics, but this time I’m not straying away from my favorite genres.  This collection of short stories takes the world’s most famous “Consulting Detective” into some very interesting adventures.

    The defining quote Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote for Holmes, “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth,” is what guides this collection.  This collection explores the improbable and bends the limits on improbability.  There are 28 stories in this collection written by authors whose specialties range throughout the sci-fi, horror and fantasy realms.  Just a few of the authors are; Neil Gaiman, Tanith Lee, Laurie R. King, Anthony Burgess, Stephen Baxter.

    Some of the stories in this collection are rewrites of original Holmes adventures, such as “A Study in Emerald” by Neil Gaiman.  Gaiman takes the introductory story to Holmes’ adventures , “A Study in Scarlet,” and places Holmes and Watson in an alternate universe in which Lovecraftian creatures have invaded the Earth and rule the contintents.  In the original story Scarlet referred to the color of the blood of the murder victim, in this story Emerald refers to the alien’s greenish blood color.   I found this story to be the most fun, in that having known the original story, how the aliens created a strange turn to the clues Holmes had to decipher.

    In the other stories you have Holmes traveling through time, meeting with the authors, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H.G. Wells, explaining his 3 years of missing time when Watson believed him to be dead at the hands of Professor Moriarty.

    Whether you are a Sherlock Holmes fan or a fan of the strange genres of fiction you will have fun when listening to this collection.  There is a bit of something for everyone here.  Even some normal Holmes Adventures that just don’t seem to be solvable by Holmes.

    The readers, Simon Vance and Anne Flosnik swap the reading depending on whether the story is told from a woman’s point of view or a man’s.  Anne Flosnik reads the stories using various accents and emotions perfectly.  The gem in this audio book, in my opinion, is Simon Vance, throughout the book Vance captures the characters of Holmes and Watson flawlessly.  No matter where the adventure takes them he is consistent with their vocal qualities and that keeps the listener tuned in to the adventure.  I know there were several times I couldn’t stop listening until Holmes solved the crime.

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