‘Thunder Child’ and the Epic Signal

Must have been nine, maybe eight, when first I learned about those Martians. Relying upon the primitive television devised by humans, my cousin Tamara and I were witness to the frightening arrivals of their deadly saucer ships, and we gaped at the destruction they wreaked, with their murderous heat beams. We drank in the scenes of global annihilation: Homo sapiens, defeated by ugly alien invaders with stick-like limbs and three-colored lenses for eyesight.

The aliens laid waste to Los Angeles, so this film depicted, in a handful of days. We were a pair of ’tweens —…