Published: 06:00, 12 November 2020
| Updated: 11:57, 13 November 2020
The second series of a new adaptation of timeless story War of the Worlds - by 'The Father of Science Fiction' HG Wells - wrapped filming last month.
Shot during the coronavirus pandemic in Wales, the show is set in a dystopian society, where civilisation has all but been wiped out by an alien invasion.
The novel it is based on is one of Wells' most famous works, which in the 122 years since it was written has been adapted for film, TV and radio.
And while you may have seen one of these adaptations, there is probably more about the writer that you don't know, including the fact he wrote more than 50 novels in his lifetime plus scores of short stories.
He wrote several of his books while staying there.
Here, KentOnline explores his life, his works and his love for the Kent seaside.
Herbert George Wells was born 154 years ago, on September 21, 1866, in Bromley.
His love for writing came when, aged eight, he broke his leg and while stuck in bed would spend his time immersed in books.
He had many jobs at a young age, including as a draper's and chemist's apprentice, and teaching younger pupils, before winning a scholarship to the Normal School of Science, now part of Imperial College London, to study biology aged 18.
While there, he was one of the founders of The Science School Journal, a school magazine that allowed him to express his views on literature and society and try his hand at fiction.
He went on to teach again after leaving the Normal School of Science, including teaching Winnie the Pooh author AA Milne at the Henley House School in London.
Wells had several stories published in newspapers and his success with these shorter pieces encouraged him to write book-length work, and he published his first novel, The Time Machine, in 1895.
The Time Machine, which was an immediate success for Wells, is generally credited with the popularization of the concept of time travel by using a vehicle or device to travel forward or backward through time.
The novella has since been adapted for TV, radio, film - including one in 2002 starring Guy Pearce - and many comic books.
It was followed by The Wonderful Visit in 1895, The Island of Doctor Moreau in 1896, The Wheels of Chance in 1896, The Invisible Man in 1897 and The War of the Worlds in 1898, and many, many more.
The Invisible Man has influenced many films and TV shows - including the 2000 film Hollow Man starring Kevin Bacon and the 2020 film The Invisible Man featuring Elisabeth Moss.
War of the Worlds spawned feature films - one starring Hollywood's Tom Cruise - radio dramas, a record album, various comic book adaptations, a number of television series and sequels or parallel stories by other authors.
It famously caused quite a stir when it was dramatised in a 1938 radio programme directed by and starring Orson Welles. There was panic among listeners who did not know the Martian invasion was fiction.
The novel has even influenced the work of scientists, notably Robert H Goddard, who, inspired by the book, helped develop both the liquid-fuelled rocket and multi-stage rocket, which resulted in the Apollo 11 Moon landing in 1969.
Its latest adaptation - which has just finishing filming series two - is produced by Fox and stars Gabriel Byrne, Elizabeth McGovern and Daisy Edgar-Jones.
All together Wells wrote more than 50 novels, including A Modern Utopia, and more than 60 short stories.
He also wrote essays, articles, textbooks, scripts, history books and pamphlets on sociology and politics.
Wells first came to Sandgate in 1896 for the benefit of his health, wanting to escape the pollution of London.
He lived in houses in Castle Road and Granville Parade, prior to the building of Spade House, a large mansion designed by architect CFA Voysey. It cost £1,760 to build.
Voysey typically included a signature heart shape on the door of every home he designed but Wells rejected this in favour of a spade, hence the name.
Wells's two sons were born in the house, in Radnor Cliff Crescent, and while living there he wrote books including Kipps, Tono-Bungay and Ann Veronica.
He enjoyed writing in the garden, with views over the sea. He and his second wife also enjoyed walking and cycling in the area.
During this time, his social circle included Joseph Conrad, George Bernard Shaw, Arnold Bennett, Ford Madox Ford and Henry James, as well as political figures such as the local MP, Sir Edward Sassoon and his friend Winston Churchill.
Wells and his family left in 1909 and it later became a hotel.
The house has been Grade II-listed on the National Heritage List for England since March 1975.
Change of use
Today, Wells' former cliff-side home is used as a 21-bed residential home, called Wells House.
A description on the home's website states: "Wells House is a truly wonderful home with a great heritage having originally been built for the author HG Wells who wrote a number of his famous books whilst living there.
"Newly refurbished, the home offers modern nursing facilities in a building with great character, sea views and a caring team of nursing professionals.
"Interestingly, HG Wells is understood to have come to Folkestone for the restorative qualities of the sea air and he certainly chose a fine location upon which to build his beautiful home and to this day we still trust in his judgement."
Paul Burns, managing director of Victoria Nursing Group, which runs the care home, added: "It seemed appropriate to name the building in his honour since he is unquestionably an iconic author whose presence in Sandgate should not be forgotten.
"Sadly, there is nothing left of his time in the home or indeed of the architect Charles Voysey, another highly respected individual.
"The home now has 21 bedrooms which is no doubt very different to the configuration originally imagined by Wells and Voysey."
Wells died of unspecified causes on August 13, 1946, aged 79 at his home in London.
He lives on in his writing and influences to popular culture.
Each year, a writing competition is held in his name titled the HG Wells Fiction Short Story Competition, set up to encourage creative writing, especially among the young.
It began in 2009 with a £20,000 bequest from Reg Turnill, the former BBC space correspondent, who lived in Sandgate.
Between 300 and 400 people enter each year, from the UK and around the world.
There are two competitions, one for over 21s and one for under, and all short-listed entries are published in a paperback anthology.
This year, a virtual awards ceremony will be held on November 22.
There are also several blue plaques in his name, including one to commemorate his time living in Sandgate, and societies have also been set up to support his ideas.
HG Wells fact file