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: Famous for the mistaken panic that ensued from Orson Wellesâs 1938 radio dramatization, The War of the Worlds remains one of the most influential of all science fiction works. The night after a shooting star is seen streaking through the sky from Mars, a cylinder is discovered on Horsell Common in London. NaÃ¯ve locals approach the cylinder armed just with a white flagâonly to be quickly killed by an all-destroying heat ray, as terrifying tentacled invaders emerge. Soon the whole of human civilization is under threat as powerful Martians build gigantic killing machines, destroying all life in their path with black gas and burning ray. The forces of Earth, however, may prove harder to beat than they appear.