What started as a ground-breaking sci-fi novel by HG Wells in 1898, has been made into a famous radio play, several films and a musical, is now an immersive experience. It seems people cannot get enough of War of the Worlds.
The latest expression of this classic tale of Martian war machines, the desperation of humanity to flee from the invasion and the unexpected salvation through Earth’s micro-organisms can be found in London. It features 24 scenes from the story,
complete with actors, tripods, heat rays and creeping Martian red weed.
Opened last year, it is now back in an even more advanced form, with more scenes, especially the journey into London from the battlefields of Surrey.
The experience uses a mixture of physical design, holograms and other special effects to create the most vivid of themed environments.
This combination has certainly managed to create a lot of different settings, from the astronomer Ogilvy’s Observatory to the open spaces of Horsell Common where the first Martian landing took place, through to the sea where the battleship Thunderchild fought the tripods and the cocktail bar with the red weed all over the walls.
In total, there is 130 minutes of action, including the 20-minute break in the bar in the middle, so that requires a lot of scenes and effects. The authenticity is important, because this is a story that has a number of iconic elements that will be instantly recognisable.
Immersive experiences based on science fiction are becoming increasingly popular, mixing set design with holograms and other images.
Other examples include an immersive Doctor Who Experience called Time Fracture, which features all the iconic elements from the inside of the TARDIS to encounters with Daleks and Cybermen.
It features no less than 17 different worlds to explore as those enjoying the experience seek to save the universe.