By Frances-Catherine Quevenco, on 18 October 2011
On 3 October, at 6:30pm in the Darwin building of UCL, film enthusiasts, science historians, historians, scientists and a collection of many others gathered to watch the screening of Byron Haskin’s The War of the Worlds (1953).
It is an invasion film based on the popular novel written by H.G. Wells. In fact, it was apparently one of the earliest adaptations of the novel and actually won an Oscar for its special effects. That unfortunately did not stop some of the audience snickering at the killer laser beam attacks of the aliens, nor did it stop fans of the Wells novel criticising the film for making the alien machines hover rather than move in a tripod-like fashion in the novel. This was one of the many fun facts that Dr Joe Cain, Head of UCL Science and Technology Studies and Senior Lecturer in the History and Philosophy of Biology, shared with the audience before the movie.