War of the Worlds has got sci-fi fans watching on SBS with its brand new take on a classic tale.
Yet despite its familiar name, the series created by Howard Overman offers no on-screen credit to writer H. G. Wells.
Wells published the story in 1898 and died in 1946 (meaning the work is legally out of Copyright).
Studio Canal, via SBS, said in a statement, “War of the Worlds draws inspiration from H.G Wells’ novel but given the television series deviates from the plot and does not resemble the book, H.G Wells is not referenced in the credits.”
But is it reasonable to use the title, where there is no on-screen credit to the original author?
Entertainment lawyer Shaun Miller of Shaun Miller Lawyers tells TV Tonight, “It’s odd that the producers did not include a credit such as ‘based on a story by’ or ‘inspired by’, as the title of the show indicates that the producers want potential viewers to believe just that.”
He added, “One might recall Shakespeare asking ‘What’s in a name?’ In this case, the answer would be: a degree of confusion and crossed-wires!”
War of the Worlds – Letter of intent from Howard Overman
“If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus
first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the American Indians.”
– Stephen Hawking
This quote from Stephen Hawking was as much an inspiration for this new version of War of
the Worlds as H.G. Wells’ original novel. I wanted to explore the idea that just like H. G.
Wells’ aliens, mankind has an almost limitless capacity to destroy those it views as inferior