Aliens invade! WTJU broadcasts “War of the Worlds”

UVA public radio station WTJU is broadcasting an updated version of Orson Welles' infamous 1938 War of the Worlds radio drama Wednesday night. Image courtesy of WTJU. UVA public radio station WTJU is broadcasting an updated version of Orson Welles’ infamous 1938 War of the Worlds radio drama Wednesday night. Image courtesy of WTJU.
Don’t be surprised if you hear about crop circles and UFOs landing on farms in Crozet tonight. Halloween has arrived, and WTJU 91.1FM is broadcasting a re-imagining of “The War of the Worlds,” the infamous Orson Welles alien invasion radio drama that terrified the country 74 years ago tonight.
The UVA public radio station will air the show tonight at 7pm, and features eight UVA drama students and 12 members of WTJU.
“There has been an amazing rediscovery of radio-drama and audio storytelling at community and public radio stations around the country,” said Nathan Moore, WTJU’s general manager, in a press release about the broadcast. “I’m so glad that we can be part of this movement. It not only provides an outlet for creative expression, it’s also fun for both WTJU listeners and WTJU volunteers.”
The 1938 CBS production was based on H.G. Wells’ science fiction novel about an alien invasion, and was adapted to name locations listeners would recognize. CBS used a realistic news-bulletin format, causing panic among some listeners. Moore said WTJU doesn’t want to recreate the mass fear, but thinks an updated version will make for great Halloween night radio.
Two volunteers at the station—UVA senior and WTJU’s director of public affairs Lewis Reining and producer and host of WTJU’s “Soundboard” news program, and UVA graduate Rebecca Barlas—co-directed and produced WTJU’s “The War of the Worlds” after Barlas got the idea from listening to an old radio broadcast in Washington, D.C. The original broadcast was about 60 minutes, but WTJU’s will only last a half hour, and will be available online tonight at and for two weeks in the archives.
So grab your radios—or laptops—gather close to the fire, and bundle up while you stay informed about tonight’s imminent alien invasion.

Posted In:     Arts

Previous Post

Boyd Tinsley’s film debut is a distinctly Charlottesville experience

Next Post

Fear factor: These film fest frights keep you on the edge of your seat

Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

If you have questions or comments about our policies or about a specific post, please send an e-mail to

Leave a Reply

Notify of