Aliens were thus first conceived as Darwinian competitors with mankind, a scheme worked out in spooky Huxleyan detail by
H.G. Wells, whose slimy, bloodsucking Martians possessed intellects vast, and cool, and unsympathetic. Wells The War of the
Worlds (1898) was all the more successful for its implication that the highly advanced British Empire was finally experiencing
from the other side the gunboat diplomacy that it had meted out to others. In 1938 Orson Wells radio adaptation of The War of
the Worlds was mistaken by the gullible for actual news reportage of marauding Martians sacking and looting New Jersey. The
episode provoked a famous attack of mass panic, making it perhaps the most famous radio drama of all time.