Tuesday, 18 November 2008

The Heat Ray

The trouble with the Jeff Wayne version is that i listen to it far more than i read the book. So there's a tendancy to take the events and descriptions on the album as being what actually occurs in the book.
Case in point, the Heat Ray. Listen to the album and you get "a tall funnel rose and an invisible ray of heat leaped from man to man..."
Nice - but not accurate. Wells is vague (there's a surprise) on what it looks like and it doesn't appear at all during the slaughter at the Cylinder, just the invisible heat.
We don't get a description of it until the Artilleyman is recounting what he saw. There it is descibed as a " kind of arm carried a complicated metallic case, about which green flashes scintillated, and out of the funnel of this there smote the Heat Ray".
(By the way, the "interesting" Pendragon film has confused the Heat Ray with the wobbling mirror which rises up prior to the Heat Ray first firing. Of course, its not the Heat Ray but rather a periscope affair.)

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