Preview: Alien Season @ Royal Observatory Greenwich

on Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Alien Season at Royal Observatory Greenwich (London, summer 2013) // Words: Saam Das

Greenwich has been invaded this summer by a clutch of alien movies, shown at the Peter Harrison Planetarium at the Royal Observatory. Tying in with the free Alien Revolution exhibition, which explores our scientific and cultural relationship with extra-terrestrial life, the Alien Season presents classic offerings such as 'The War Of The Worlds' (1953) and 'It Came From Outer Space' in a unique setting.

'The War Of The Worlds'

(20th June)

Long before the Steven Spielberg version, director Byron Haskin delivered an excellent film adaptation of HG Wells's influential novel of the same name. It even won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects, alongside two further nominations. 'The War Of The Worlds' arrives at the Planetarium at 18.45 this Thursday, including a short talk on our evolving visions of alien invasions in science fiction works.

'It Came From Outer Space'

(18th July)

Another 1953 sci-fi classic, 'It Came From Out Of Space' was written by the celebrated scribe Ray Bradbury, perhaps best known for his novel 'Fahrenheit 451'. This film centres around the crash landing of peaceful aliens on Earth and their attempts to quickly repair their ship before being discovered by humans - a reflection of the Cold War paranoia at the time. A short talk follows the film, discussing where aliens may be if they indeed do exist, and what they might think of humans.

'This Island Earth'

(15th August)

Described as a "classic space opera", 1955's 'This Island Earth' finds Earth's brightest abducted by aliens to help fight an interplanetary war - leading to the usual gamut of space battles and grotesque monsters. The film has deeper themes however, such as questioning the increasing reliance on nuclear power in the 1950s. The post-film talk will examine the alien tech portrayed in the film and the changing views of society from the 50s to the present.

Tickets are available from just £5. For more info and to purchase tickets, head to

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