A visual history of the War of the Worlds

A chronology of the many adaptations including the upcoming CBC Gem rendition.

A chronology of the many adaptations including the upcoming CBC Gem rendition


English novelist, H.G. Wells is considered the founding father of sci-fi. And his creative work presented through books such as The Time Machine, The First Man in the Moon, The War in the Air and The Sleeper Awakes may have predicted the advent of aircraft, flights to the moon, automatic doors, nuclear weapons and satellite television.

His 1898 novel War of the Worlds was the first to detail extraterrestrial and human conflict. This epic tale of alien invasion has spawned many radio, film, television, game and print renditions as well as inspiring iterations and parallel sequel stories by other authors and filmmakers.

The classic novel even influenced the works of renowned scientists, most notably Robert H. Goddard, who was inspired by the book when he read it at the age of 17 and subsequently went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree. Goddard ended up developing both the liquid-fuelled rocket and multistage rocket which, 71 years later, resulted in the Apollo 11 moon landing. His inventions continue to be used in space vehicles to this day.

The  newest adaptation of Wells' novel, an eight-part series created by Howard Overman (Misfits, Merlin) and starring Gabriel Byrne, Elizabeth McGovern, Léa Drucker and Daisy Edgar-Jones, premieres October 7th at 8 p.m. (8:30NT) on CBC Television and CBC Gem. 

To celebrate its arrival, we present an infographic style list of some of the most notable, odd and amazing adaptations of this classic work.

Note - Click here for a text version only.

One of the most adapted stories

(Artwork by Vladan Mutabdzija, IG:@iikawache)

Follow @waroftheworldscbc on Instagram for more info, behind the scenes and updates on this series.

About the Author

Vanja Mutabdzija Jaksic is a producer, journalist and a perpetual optimist who loves a good show/film, breathes music, writes poetry, and dabbles in tech and innovative ways of storytelling (including through XR/VR/AR/MR). You can find her stories at and or follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @neptunes_blues.