There is no denying the huge influence of H.G.Wells' science-fiction novel, "The War of the Worlds". Written in the late 19th-century, the thrilling tale of mankind's conflict with aliens must have terrified the life out of its first readers - we are talking the Victorian era here. In fact, it wasn't Wells' first foray into space-age literature - he'd already published "The Time Machine" a few years earlier.
The story itself continues to influence its own renaissance through several generations with literally dozens of branded productions, merchandise and media issued to drive the pioneering, yet timeless, story forward and into the future. Radio broadcasts (including one, aptly narrated by Orson Welles), various computer games (another one is due soon), numerous books and artworks, plus films spanning 50 years, including Spielberg's 2005 effort).
The most-famous musical product has been Jeff Wayne's best-selling 1978 concept album of the same name, starring Richard Burton (what a voice), David Essex, Phil Lynott, Herbie Flowers, Justin Hayward and more. More recently, Burton's image was re-used to great effect during the last stage version of Wells' classic, first presented in 2006. Now it's time for an even bigger and bolder revisit.
2012 will see "War of the Worlds" reappear with a new narrator, new cast, new stage set and new technology. Sub-titled "The New Generation", the new stage-production UK tour follows the recently-released remix and redux digital and CD version of Jeff Wayne's classic soundtrack. The show will star acclaimed actor Liam Neeson in 3D interactive holography on stage (actually his holographic head and shoulder will also be suspended above the stage - woooh, creepy) and will feature a 100 foot 'animation wall' with projected 2-hr CGI imagery, plus the usual live actors. It is going to be immense.
Tickets for the tour, which begins in Liverpool on 1st December 2012 and finishes in Brighton on the 16th, go on sale at 9am on Friday 25th November. Other stops include two in London, one in Wembley on the 6th Dec and one at the O2 on the 15th, plus the usual cities across the UK, including Manchester and Glasgow.
Demand will be, not surprisingly, huge for this new interpretation. Remember: this time the martians really are coming - will you be ready?