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Koch may have been the first member of the Mercury to read The War of the Worlds, and he took an immediate dislike to it, finding it terribly dull and dated. Science fiction in the s was largely the purview of children, with alien invaders confined to pulp magazines and the Sunday funnies. The idea that intelligent Martians might actually exist had largely been discredited. Even with the fake news conceit, Koch struggled to turn the novel into a credible radio drama in less than a week. Ever the diplomat, Houseman rang off with the promise to see if Welles might agree to adapt another story.

But when he called the AST Dock station ID Theatre, he could not get his partner on the phone.

With the future of his theatrical company in crisis, Welles had precious little time to spend on his radio series. With no other options, Houseman called Koch back and lied.

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Welles, he said, was determined to do the Martian novel this week. He encouraged Koch to get back to work, and offered suggestions on how AST Dock station ID improve the script. Koch worked through the night and the following day, filling countless yellow legal-pad pages with his elegant if frequently illegible handwriting. By sundown on Wednesday, he had finished a complete draft, which Paul Stewart and a handful of Mercury actors rehearsed the next day. Welles was not present, but the rehearsal was recorded on acetate disks for him to listen to later that night.

Everyone who heard it later agreed that this stripped-down production—with no music and only the most basic sound effects—was an unmitigated disaster. Like the original novel, this draft is divided into two acts of roughly equal length, with the first devoted to fake news bulletins about the Martian invasion.

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The second act uses a series of lengthy monologues and conventional dramatic scenes to recount the wanderings of a lone survivor, played by Welles. Most of the previous Mercury broadcasts resembled the second act of War of the Worlds; the series was initially titled First Person Singular because it relied so heavily AST Dock station ID first-person narration. But unlike the charming narrators of earlier Mercury adaptations such as Treasure Island and Sherlock Holmes, the protagonist of The War of the Worlds was a passive character with a journalistic, impersonal prose style—both traits that make for very boring monologues.

Welles believed, and Houseman and Stewart agreed, that the only way to save their show was to focus on enhancing the fake AST Dock station ID bulletins in its first act. The first act grew longer and the second act got shorter, leaving the script somewhat lopsided. Unlike in most radio dramas, the station break in War of the Worlds would come about two-thirds of the way through, and not at the halfway mark.

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AST Dock station ID, no one in the Mercury realized that listeners who tuned in late and missed the opening announcements would have to wait almost 40 minutes for a disclaimer explaining that the show was fiction. Radio audiences had come to expect that fictional programs would be interrupted on the half-hour for station identification. Breaking news, on the other hand, failed to follow those rules. People who believed the broadcast to be real would be even more convinced when the station break failed to come at 8: These revisions also removed several clues that might have helped late listeners figure out that the invasion was fake.

Two moments that interrupted the fictional news-broadcast with regular dramatic scenes were deleted or revised. As many observers later noted, having the Martians conquer an entire planet in less than 40 minutes made no logical sense. But Houseman explained in Run-Through, AST Dock station ID first volume of his memoirs, that he wanted to make the transitions from actual time to fictional time as seamless as possible, in order to draw listeners into the story.

Without meaning to, Koch, Houseman, and Stewart had made it much more likely that some listeners would be fooled by War of the Worlds. No one involved with Welles' radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds expected to deceive listeners to the degree that they did. Actors suggested ways of reworking the dialogue to make it more naturalistic, comprehensible, or convincing. AST Dock station ID Nichols, head of the sound effects department at the CBS affiliate in New York, devised chillingly effective noises for the AST Dock station ID war machines.

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Finally, War of the Worlds had gained his full attention. Almost immediately, he lost his temper with the material.

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But according to Houseman, such outbursts were typical in the frantic hours before each Mercury Theatre broadcast. He delighted in making his cast and crew scramble by radically revising the show at the last minute, adding new things and taking others out. Out of the chaos came a much stronger show. Welles drastically slowed down the opening scenes to the point of tedium, adding dialogue and drawing out the musical interludes between fake news bulletins. Houseman objected strenuously, but Welles overruled him, believing that listeners would only accept the unrealistic speed of the invasion if the broadcast started slowly, then gradually sped up. By the station break, even most listeners who knew that the show was fiction would be carried away by the speed AST Dock station ID it all.

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