The Great Martian War 1913 - 1917 (2013) Movie Script

these fields
were the bloody arena
for the most terrible
conflict in human history
In 1913, an alien
invasion shook the world
and hurled it into an
unimaginable future.
The next four years
of ferocious combat
has forever marked this ground
as the land of the vanished.
We were fighting monsters.
There was life
beyond our planet.
It went completely
against everything
I'd been raised to believe.
I'm standing feet away
from this huge dome,
the cockpit sticking out of the
earth like a half-closed eye.
No one had fought a war
remotely like this one before.
An entire
generation of young men,
all of them vanished.
I'll never stop hating
them for what they did.
2013 is the hundredth
anniversary of the outbreak
of the Great Martian War -
a conflict unequalled
in devastation
and often mired in controversy.
But the lost legacy
of a forgotten hero,
unearthed only last year
might just ignite the
biggest controversy of all.
My great grandfather,
he died about nine years
before I was even born.
He was Anishinaabe man,
traditional man,
and he kept to himself,
so I never really knew
much about him at all.
Lafonde's great grandfather Gus
was a First Nations
Canadian soldier.
His youth was spent fighting
on the Martian front line.
His final years were spent
in this remote cabin.
The things that
are inside of that cabin
have been there for years
It changes everything -
everything we know
about the war,
and everything that we
know about the enemy.
What Kim found in
her great grandfather's cabin
may shed light on a dark warning
from our alien invaders.
And for this man,
it's both a blessing
and a curse.
Historian Lawrence Hart
has spent his entire career
attempting to decipher
the alien texts
recovered after the war
the so called 'Martian code'.
He believes Gus Lafonde'
obsessive study
has cracked the code
and finally given a voice
to the alien invaders.
I have been intrigued
by the mysteries of this
impenetrable alien text.
And though a lot of
people have tried,
no one has been able to break
what they call the Martian code.
For Hart,
the revelations hidden
within the Martian texts
cast the invasion in
a shocking new light.
They confirm a threat
he has long suspected.
On its 100th anniversary
we expose the truth behind
the Great Martian War.
We finished it.
We killed the bastards..
But I don't know.
When I close my eyes...
I don't feel it's all over.
Here is where it all began -
London's Herne Hill observatory.
Through this telescope,
on the night of the
24th of June 1913,
astronomers observe a
mysterious speck of light
close to the planet
Mars and moving fast...
towards earth.
Two days later,
the world would change forever.
An enormous shockwave,
emanating from a
single blast point,
is felt all across Europe
War historian and broadcaster
Duncan Mitchell Myers
takes up the story.
It soon became apparent
where the shock had been
most strongly felt...
in the Bohemian Forest.
This forest at
the centre of the blast
is deep within
the German Empire.
Relations between Germany
and its European neighbours
have been tense for many years,
and with the observations from
Herne Hill going unreported,
everyone jumps to a very
dangerous conclusion.
This looks like the beginning
of the rush to war
that everybody's been expecting.
The Kaiser angrily
denies German responsibility.
He orders his troops
into the Bohemian Forest
to uncover the truth.
The men enter the
area on July the 3rd.
They never return.
No one in Europe
knew what happened
to the expeditionary party,
and no one knew that
in the heart of Europe,
this was created -
an eight mile wide
impact crater.
No one knew until the
morning of July the 9th,
when a telegram was received
in all the capital
cities of the world,
and it was from Berlin.
His Majesty the Emperor,
in the name of God,
the Fatherland,
and the German people,
begs the assistance of
his brother nations.
Germany is under attack by
assailants not of this earth.
A ten year old,
to find out that
monsters are for real,
that they come from
somewhere up there,
or somewhere in the dark...
You don't feel safe ever again.
Most of all was the fear
that more would come for us,
and do here what
they did in Germany.
We woke up with that
thought everyday.
Within days,
there is carnage across Germany.
It was totally unstoppable.
With frightening ease,
one by one the
great cities fell.
The name that most
endures is Munich,
which was the first to be hit.
Munich was home to
14 year old Arnold Tckelt.
He and his brother Bernie were
among the first civilians
to endure the full horror
of an alien attack.
Daylight came,
I got out of the rubble,
and there was no dead bodies,
nothing to see.
And my brother was nowhere.
Within four days,
civil society in Germany
has essentially collapsed
The alien invasion shows no
sign at all of slowing down,
and people in other
European countries
realized that they have to act,
and fast.
With Germany ravaged,
and her entire army missing -
presumed dead -
Britain helps forge
a grand alliance
between the surviving
nations of Europe.
On July the 20th,
speaking for all the Allies,
King George the Fifth
declares the world is at war,
and calls for all able-bodied
men of planet Earth to enlist.
The call is answered -
Britain and its
colonies lead the way.
Among the recruits from afar
is bombardier Hughie Logan,
of Calgary, Canada.
For Hughie,
going to war will mean
parting from his new bride,
We started going together
when we were 15.
We got married at 18 -
the same year they came.
And I shipped out for Europe.
The troops shipped from Halifax.
I made her two promises
before I left.
First promise -
two girls, one boy.
That's what we were gonna have.
And the second promise wa
I'd write to her as
often as I could.
So that's what I did.
For Hughie and the thousands
of volunteers like him,
there is hope and determination.
But for those left behind
it's a different story.
He was my dad,
and I didn't want him to go.
I was hanging onto
his leg 'cause I knew,
I absolutely knew,
that the monster would
come for him, too.
They had to pull me
off him in the end,
one finger at a time.
And now I can't even
remember his face.
It's a month since impact
and humanity is mobilizing.
Little is known of the origins
of the alien invaders,
but as the speck of light
that signalled their approach
was first seen beside
the red planet,
the enemy gets a name...
The Great War against th
"Martians" has begun.
It is four weeks since
impact in the Bohemian Forest.
An alien invasion force has
annihilated much of Germany
and is pushing across Europe.
Halting the Martian advance
is the Allies' immediate goal.
In London,
50 feet below the
Palace of Westminster,
a command centre is established
and plans swiftly laid.
The chief curator of
the Martian War Museum
and these preserved war rooms
is Alexandra Banham.
As the alien force
crossed the German border
into France,
it was right here
in front of this map
that the joint chiefs of staff
ordered the tiny British
Expeditionary Force
and the French
standing army forwards
to hold the line here
along the western banks
of the Moselle River.
Among those awaiting
the terror of the alien attack
is a young English
stretcher bearer -
William Payne.
His diary contains some of
the earliest description
from the Martian battlefront.
It is a complete,
personal account
of the entire war,
and it is undoubtedly one of
the most important artifacts
in this museum's possession.
You can see that the dat
is August the 2nd, 1913.
Through the mist,
towering shapes emerged
not creatures, but machines.
I whispered to God for mercy,
and in response,
our artillery exploded to life.
Within moments of this
opening Allied barrage,
the alien army responds.
We cannot hold them.
Our lines are torn to pieces.
Our guns are useless.
Hell was not beneath us
it has fallen from the sky.
We must fall back.
The soldiers give these giant
fighting machines a name
There were two component
to these machines
that became immediately
apparent to the Allies -
Firstly, they were entirely
protected by an energy shield.
This was the first
introduction that we had
had to the many uses of
dark energy particles.
The second was a slow firing,
immensely destructive
energy cannon.
It was used to
destroy defences,
to cause chaos,
but mainly to flush men
out into open view.
Each Heron is
shrouded in a toxic cloud
Combat troops are soon
issued with gas masks,
but civilians must make d
with crude,
home-made versions.
For frontline soldiers
like Jock Donnelly,
protection came at a price.
Well, you can't see a thing.
And you can't talk to anybody -
it's just you.
You're sitting
alongside 50 other guys,
but you're alone.
There's nobody.
At the feet
of the lumbering Herons
are battalions of
smaller machines -
their attack dogs.
They rampage the battlefield
by the thousands.
Fast and merciless
killing machines,
these bring death
at close quarters.
This was their
infantry division,
and they were quickly
named the Iron Spiders.
And they were wielding
a weapon from here -
you can see it reconstructed -
that was like nothing
that had ever been seen.
These were the
"ribbons of death".
They snare us, entwine us
stab us, skewer us,
strangle us,
tear us in half still alive.
The worst were the night raids.
The Spiders would sneak across
the no man's land
and hover over us,
and the ribbons would descend.
I knew we couldn't move,
because any movement
would be certain death
when the Spiders are around.
They were ripping
the Allies to pieces,
whole cavalry battalions
were tossed aside.
The very front itself was in
a chaotic fighting retreat
right across France.
On the 19th of August,
General Sir John French
wires Downing Street,
and he tells them that the
alien force cannot be stopped,
that Paris will fall,
the continent is lost,
and the only thing
Britain can do
is prepare for
imminent invasion.
That same day,
Europe is given one last hope.
An unexpected messenger
arrives at
Allied Field Headquarters
His news may be
the saving of Paris
and perhaps the entire war.
He is a corporal in the
army believed destroyed
in the first week of the war.
His communique states,
"Though the
Fatherland has fallen,
the German Army has not,
and we are on our way".
It is signed by
Count Paul von Hindenburg
So he issues an
absolutely unprecedented
Mobilization Order directed
at every living German,
telling them that they
must make their way
as fast as possible -
"blitzartig" -
lightning fast
is the word he uses -
through Belgium,
south towards Paris,
to sweep in and reinforce
the increasingly
desperate Allied line.
Germans head for
France in huge numbers.
Among them is young
Arnold Tockelt,
who had survived Munich
and now craved revenge.
And we marched and marched
until we finally reached
the Belgium border
and we received an embrace from
there I will never forget.
They gave us flowers...
They looked after the wounded,
and fed the hungry,
and the Belgian men joined us
and became our brothers.
Over the next few days,
wave after wave of German
troops join the Allied line,
and by August 29th,
the alien army
had come to a standstill
and a communique
arrives upstairs
stating that the
attack had been halted.
The Germans had saved the day
with the now famous
"Hindenburg manoeuvre".
A plan originally
conceived years before
by Count von Schlieffen
to conquer France,
rather than save it!
It's one of the most
audacious manoeuvres
in the whole of
military history.
Now that the
alien advance is stopped
the Allies regroup and prepare
to go on the offensive.
The offensive actions
of the autumn of 1913
were aggressive,
large-scale artillery barrages,
followed by
mass infantry assaults -
what the Allies were trying to
do was outflank the alien army,
and of course press home
the advantage in numbers
There was a real belief here
that, at this point,
victory could be
achieved by Christmas.
Waves of new
recruits are arriving daily.
Among them is a minister'
daughter from South Wales
Nerys Vaughn.
Her post-war account of
life at the Martian Front
"Anthem for the Vanished,
would come to embody the
fate of a generation.
How did it
feel, heading for war?
Well, it wasn't a
single emotion -
it was the most
tantalizing cocktail -
excitement, fear, hope,
dread, longing, calm,
but together they created the
most powerful feeling of all.
For the first time,
I felt my life had meaning.
Another young volunteer
was also
disembarking in France.
He was corporal Gus Lafonde,
of the Canadian
Expeditionary Force,
a First Nations soldier proud
of his Anishinaabe heritage
and eager to serve.
Gus's war would turn boy to man.
He drew on legends from
his warrior ancestors
to try and comprehend
the unimaginable horrors he saw.
This takes him deep
into enemy territory -
uncovering dark secrets
of the Martians.
A lone voice
lost in the horror.
Yeah, exactly,
that's exactly who he was
Over two months,
hundreds of thousands
of enlisted troops arrive
hoping for victory by Christmas.
But hope soon turns to hell.
Not one of the offensive
of the autumn of
1913 was successful.
Every attack was repulsed
And the Allied casualty list
just got bigger and bigger,
along with something else -
the battlefront itself is
now of an unprecedented size.
And it was growing,
and growing, and growing.
It's about to get worse.
Out in the dark,
the Allies encounter a third
type of alien machine,
and confront the grisly mystery
of their 'vanished' comrades.
By early December,
the vast Martian Front
slices Europe in two.
Herons and Spiders are
holding their line,
repulsing every Allied attack.
A mass of human dead
wrapped in the wreckage of war
litters the battlefield.
But as the sun sets,
the horror rises.
A third alien war machine
crawls out into the
gloom of no man's land,
and begins its work.
It was the threat
of what these machines
were doing during
the hours of darkness
that occupied the thought
of so many of the men.
Not one of us can sleep
not when those fiends ar
moving beyond the wire.
The mere thought of them
of what they're doing
to our dead and wounded,
fills every living
man with dread.
The men called them lice
and there were thousands
and thousands,
and thousands of them.
We could hear the
noise from the lice
coming behind us and cleaning
the ditches for their harvest.
The men at the front believed
the vile purpose of the
night-prowling herds of lice
is to harvest the dead.
Dawn breaks -
The lice retreat
like a black tide.
And everything is gone!
Every shell,
every last shard of battle,
and every one of our dead
My fallen brothers are taken.
Their bodies stolen.
For food?
For fuel?
We hardly dare imagine why
but this is why those
devils are here.
They came for us.
Back at the home front,
entire streets begin receiving
telegrams from the war office
informing them their men
are missing in action.
These missing men become
known as "the vanished"..
It was the first telegram
I'd ever seen.
It said there'd been a battle,
and that he was missing.
That was it.
Oh, my poor mum,
they might just as well
have taken her, too.
'Vanished' is what he was
By now, Gus Lafonde has been
on the front line
for three months.
His duty is to scout
the enemy lines.
But his passion for his
Anishinaabe heritage
pushes him much further
than mere duty.
Unlike his comrades,
Gus ventures behind
the enemy lines,
and into the monstrous
alien camp itself.
Here, he begins to count coup.
In Anishinaabe culture,
a warrior could
prove his courage
by the form of counting coup,
and it was a way
to defeat the enemy
without actually killing them.
The highest form
of counting coup
was to sneak
into the enemy's camp
and to steal something
without being harmed,
without being noticed.
And that's what
Gus began to do.
Gus's ghostlike
scouting behind the alien lines
puts him into frighteningly
close contact
with the Martian army.
For him, each coup is a window
on the aliens' secrets.
This ledger book
is how Gus counted his coup.
There's a sketch of the exact
coup that he had taken -
it's all documented -
it's absolutely amazing.
From this collection of
curious alien markings
and artifacts,
Gus is constructing a key -
a key that Lawrence Hart is now
using to crack the Martian code.
As Christmas 1913 approaches,
the war's influence is being
felt around the world.
In the United States,
although President Wilson
is resisting
committing forces to the front,
American business is eagerly
supplying munitions
and machinery.
Never were the transatlantic
shipping lanes so busy -
a marked contrast to affairs
on the Martian Front.
By December 1913,
all activity on the line
has come to a complete stop -
both Allied and alien.
Their earthwork systems
had gone completely silent,
and everything remained that
way until Christmas night.
It was a rumble.
I felt the mood
change all around me.
We saw a light,
a flashing light,
and it's just like
it says in the song -
"Like a diamond in the sky."
This was the Christmas
star of 1913.
All along the lines,
scores of these objects
begin to be seen,
and then later that nigh
there are tidal disturbances.
There's flooding
in coastal areas.
And then three days later
something much,
much worse happened.
The war has
moved beneath the sea.
The Christmas lights
were colossal machines
launched from deep within
Martian-occupied Europe.
Now moving freely through
the shipping lanes,
these submarine monsters
begin to starve the Allies of
their most vital supplies -
a crippling,
potentially fatal blow.
Throughout 1914,
the savage conflict rages
Desperate refugees flee
the shattered cities.
Victories are
bought at huge cost,
then stolen back within days.
Other than terrible losses,
we'd achieved next to nothing.
And slowly but surely,
the notion of a swift
victory had died.
The sea war intensifies.
The July 1914 sinking of an
American passenger liner
openly divides public
opinion in the United States.
President Wilson remains adamant
that while the Americas
are free of Martians,
US troops stay home.
But former president
Teddy Roosevelt
demands "action this day.
Roosevelt gets th
permission of Congress
to raise a volunteer force to
fight on the Martian Front.
But Wilson use
his presidential powers
to stop the troops shipping out.
Now Roosevelt is enraged
He travels the country
to drum up support...
It works...
Two weeks later,
the presidential
veto is withdrawn
and a small volunteer
force, "the Frontiersmen,
sails for Europe.
And Roosevelt waves
them off from New York harbour.
I didn't see him.
He didn't see him.
I saw him.
And yeah, he waved us off,
and it was really gung-ho.
I mean this was, you know,
images of San Juan Hill
all over again.
Yeah, bully for him.
Yeah. So we imagined,
as we left on the boat, we thought, "Boy,
this is going to be a great adventure.
We're going to go over there, and
beat the hell out of these guys,
and come home heroes."
Heroes -
and it didn't quite
work out that way.
But we were eager -
eager to go.
In autumn 1914,
corporal Gus Lafonde finally
pushes his luck too far
and is severely injured.
Lawrence Hart believes an entry
Gus made in his notebook
while recovering
shows he had spotted
a Martian strategy
Allied command had missed
Here it is -
here's what he wrote -
"Ki gii baadenmigoome
mi shaa miigaadying."
That's Anishinaabamowen.
The phrase that
Corporal LaFonde
wrote in his diary describes
a type of battle strategy.
Now, in fencing,
we call it a faint -
it's a false attack,
or it could be a false retreat -
and it's to make the
enemy act the way
you want the enemy to act -
to deliberately look weak
or to even seem to lose,
in order to gain a later
more important victory.
Gus Lafonde has worked
out what no Allied general had -
that the Martians
were deliberately
losing battles in 1914
to entice the Allies
into ever larger
offensive campaigns.
These so-called experts
that held the lives of
millions in their hands
didn't have a clue.
Why is it vital to
acknowledge this?
Because of what they
decided to do next.
By 1915,
the Chiefs of Staff
were under huge pressure
to deliver a definitive victory.
At this point,
their only strategic
advantage was manpower,
and so they planned
to make fuller use
of that than ever before
The Allies plan -
a simultaneous attack along
the entire Martian line.
The aim was to stretch
the alien army's resource
past breaking point,
and then to decisively penetrate
and then overrun
the enemy defences.
With this great push,
looming aerial reconnaissance
units and French spotters
deliver disturbing
news to their masters -
legions of Martian
are moving towards France
The success of an
all out offensive
is now in grave doubt.
The Allied command
is in a difficult situation,
but to do nothing,
and just let the alien
reinforcements arrive,
well, that would
have been madness.
They had to make a decision
- they had to act quickly.
A controversia decision is made
to bring forward the
push by one month.
The war at sea
had already compromised
their ability to move troops,
and equipment they
deemed necessary.
And now they wanted to move
the attack from June to May -
Total, utter folly.
And so the
push is launched early -
I believe you were on
the front line itself
that first day?
Yes, with the 4th
Newfoundland Regiment.
We were expecting casualties,
of course,
but that day,
endless waves of men
went out over the top.
I've never been so
frightened in my life.
My heart just jumped
right out of my body.
These were horrible,
horrible, horrible things
And you were scared
to death to think
that they were going to get you
and tear you to ribbons.
They had no rules at all
We saw almost nothing,
but we could hear it
all while we waited -
the guns, the shells,
the deafening machines.
But through all that noise,
we could still hear the screams,
and we just stood there,
But nobody came back.
Not a single wounded man
for me to help.
Did you know that
on that first day,
over 850,000 men went out
into those fields,
and at the end of
the day they were all gone?
After three weeks,
the High Command calls
the push to a halt.
In that time
3 million men had vanished.
They had no
idea how their actions
were actually aiding and
abetting the aliens.
They had no perception
of what Corporal
Lafonde had realized.
They had no clue.
The terrible news of the push
reached Gus in hospital.
As the scale of the
disaster became clear,
the normally analytical
pages of his notebooks
are scrawled with sketches
of an all-consuming monster.
The creature he drew is from
Anishinaabe mythology -
a wendigo.
This is a wendigo,
and its sole purpose is to
take as much as it can -
and it will stop at nothing.
For the wendigo,
the bigger it gets,
the more it wants to eat
Lawrence Hart believes
that Gus's wendigo
sketches are further proof
he had deduced the
central Martian tactic -
that they were relying
on Allied command
to make mass attacks,
with the lice deployed to
harvest and directly fee
the alien war machine.
What if the formation
of this enormous Front
was part of their grand scheme?
What if it was the surest way
to get exactly what they wanted?
The abject failure of the push,
and the relentless consumption
of men and resources,
had cast doubts upon
the Allies' leadership.
The government back in
Britain is finished.
They were in an
impossible situation.
No one had ever fought a war
remotely like this one before.
Something had to change.
The catastroph of spring 1915
forces a change of
government back in Britain.
Younger, more progressive
minds demand a fresh approach.
To address the technological
imbalance between the two sides,
a new goal emerged -
to lay hands on
alien technology,
and then to harness it
and to turn it back
against the enemy.
But that was easier
said than done.
Capture a Heron.
That was the plan.
At St. Jans Cappell,
on the French-Belgian border,
tunnels are dug in secret all
the way under the Martian line.
Crammed with
tons of explosives,
the blast is
designed to take down
one of the Martians'
ultimate killing machines.
This mission impossible would
hinge on an elite force
of 3,000 men racing in to
salvage the downed Heron
before Spiders arrive.
Hughie Logan was
one of those men.
Oh, it was an honour
to be selected.
No doubt about that,
a great honour -
And it was absolutely
We were scared to death.
They hope to destroy
a 5-mile section of the alien
line in a single blast.
On the 1st of July 1916,
at exactly 7:00 AM,
the dawn silence is shattered.
The blast just knocked
the wind right out of you
They said they could fee
it all the way in London
At least one Heron is down.
But could it be
successfully retrieved?
3,000 men will have to
go tearing across 400 yards
of blasted,
shattered fields of mud.
I pulled myself up,
grabbed the sides
of the ladder,
climbed up and
over the parapet.
Where the ridge had been
there was this
enormous cloud of dust
expanding across no man's land,
and a single mass of men was
running straight into it.
And when the two came together,
the men were gone, engulfed.
We're moving forward,
and then a shape appeared
and then another one.
And up ahead,
there's guys' voices shouting,
"We got two of them!
We got two in the blast.
I can't believe it.
I can't believe what we've done.
I'm standing feet away
from this huge dome,
the cockpit sticking out of the
earth like a half-closed eye,
but then I see something moving,
something moving
fast towards us,
coming straight at us.
There are two of them,
and then there was four,
and then three more came
and seven of them, right
And then I'm thinking,
"Jeeze. It's all over."
With the Herons down,
the Spiders have
lost their masters.
And the war takes
an unexpected turn.
There was no attack -
then one of them
starts moving slowly,
and the ribbon starts
moving and spiraling up.
All of them are doing
the exact same thing.
And they just stayed
that way the whole time.
Then we realize it's
a gesture of surrender.
They've surrendered.
I looked and I saw coming
out of the dust cloud
the two Heron cockpits carried
by those seven machines.
The surrendered
Spiders are helping the Allies.
They are carrying
the Heron cockpits
back to the Allied line.
Dear Clara,
remember that race
I wrote you about?
Well, I got the gold Bluebell -
in fact we all did.
We won more than we
ever hoped to.
News of the
triumph quickly spreads.
And when the captured
Heron cockpit is opened,
at last the people of Earth
know the face of their enemy.
Those stupid newspapers...
they said that we
should be less scared
now we know they're
no bigger than us.
Well I think they're wrong!
Almost disregarded alongside
the creature in the
Heron cockpit
are the first of
many alien texts.
They are sent to
the code breakers,
as all attention turns
to the unopened Spiders.
Transported to Roundway Down
Experimental Station in Britain,
scientists and soldiers prepare
for their first encounter
with a live alien.
Of course there
was no encounter -
For the soldiers positioned
here directly underneath,
they were the first
to see clearly that,
unlike the Heron cockpits
there was no pilot inside
In fact, there was nothin
discernibly living at all
This unexpected
mystery is followed
by the gravest of discoveries -
one that would finally reveal
the fate of the vanished,
and damn the
High Command's entire war plan.
It begins when Roundway Down
deduces the composition
of the alien machines.
This piece is a piece
of Heron cockpit,
and these pieces -
from two of
the seven surrendered Spiders -
They're all made from
metals and alloys
which are abundant on earth -
iron, steel, lead,
copper, tin.
In other words,
Roundway Down realized
that the majority of
the alien war machines
had been built after
they had arrived.
And that was when
the activities
of the Martian lice
on no man's land
began to make a
dreadful new sense.
The long-held
belief that the lice
are harvesting the
bodies of the dead
is silenced by
a shocking truth.
In fact, all along,
there had been something of far
greater worth to the aliens -
the thousands of tonnes
of shells and bullets
and materials of warfare
that we had been depositing
on the fields of the
Front every single day.
The aliens build
their killing machines
with metals carried into
battle by the Allies.
Well, every shell I ever fired
only ever made them stronger.
With this realization,
the true fate of the millions
of missing soldiers -
"the vanished" -
was finally understood.
Here's the truth -
and the truth is much worse
than the rumours about th
human rendering factories
and the alien food stores
and that's this -
They were still there
out in those fields -
crushed, eviscerated,
ground into the mud.
All the while the lice
were swarming around
and they were foraging for
what they truly valued -
and that was the lead,
the metal,
the steel to make even bigger
and greater machines of war.
And then we learnt
what really happened.
They weren't taken away
by the Martians at all!
They were still there,
in that mud.
They were crushed
and churned up!
And all they wanted
was the metal!
I'll never stop hating
them for what they did.
These corridors under
the Combined Allied
Commission for the Vanished
bear mute witness to the
sheer numbers who died.
Look in each of these boxes -
34 files -
each file is a human life
lost in the war,
and there are
27 miles of corridors.
This is the
lowest moment of the war
Humanity is staring
into the abyss,
but Roundway Down
are about to discover
an alien secret that could
turn the tide of the war...
Across Europe,
the mood is dark.
But at Roundway Down,
there is a breakthrough.
In analyzing the
surrendered Spiders,
the element that
enables and powers them
is examined in detail.
To the perplexed scientists,
it's nothing short of a wonder.
This liquid
element which powers
all movement and weaponry
in the Martian machines
is like nothing
previously observed.
An organic metal capable
of self-replication
and what we can only
term as awareness.
As we investigate it responds
and appears to work with us.
Though impossible to classify,
we have given it a name
The discovery is a lifeline.
The order immediately goes out
to turn the wonder
material victicite
back against the aliens.
There were profound
philosophical questions
to be asked about victicite -
its nature,
its properties -
but all that was
left by the wayside.
Progress was being made!
A first wave of
victicite-based war machines
are soon rolling
off the assembly line -
including an all terrain
fighting vehicle
called a landship.
They are swiftly tested,
made front line ready,
and in October 1916, deployed.
Prematurely, as it turned out.
At Douchey, les Mines,
we were hasty,
and it ended in failure.
But it was an
encouraging failure.
We had successfully engaged
the alien for a while
and it was his overwhelming
superiority in numbers
and really bad
battlefield conditions
that proved too much.
So there was ground
here for real optimism.
Faced with weapons
made using their
own technology,
the Martian strategy shifts.
All along the Front,
attacks intensify.
The aliens are no
longer nurturing war.
They're going for
outright victory.
Then, on November the 5th
Allied command's worst
fears are realized.
Near the
northern tip of the line
in the Netherlands,
a single Heron breaks
through to the Channel ports.
This is the stuff
of nightmares -
After three years,
the moment everyone
in Great Britain
has been dreading has arrived.
Well, there is chaos
here in Command Centre.
It's low tide in the Thames,
so the navy can't give chase,
and the small force that
was originally assigned
to protect the
British mainland,
the Home Air Defence Squadron,
it was critically depleted.
There are just two pilots
within striking
distance of London,
testing new
victicite-based weaponry
British aces Edwin Sinclair
and Gregory West.
They are immediately scrambled.
As the invader advances
up the Thames estuary,
warnings spread
throughout London,
and anti-alien batteries in
Regent's park take up position.
Now most people flee
westward, away from the danger,
but thousands of people,
with no conception of
the danger they're in,
choose to line the embankment.
The police are
issued with rifles.
But as they attempt to
drive the crowd back,
a silence suddenly falls as
a shape heaves into view.
And there it is.
Do I run?
Do I hell!
I run straight at it!
The new
weaponry stalls the Heron
but it's not enough.
And it's here that it fires
a single shot at
Sinclair's plane,
and as we all know,
the shot misses and
strikes Big Ben.
But help is on the way..
A third aircraft is coming in.
It has followed the
path of the Heron
all the way from
the Dutch coast.
In the cockpit is a young
Hungarian aristocrat,
Count Laslo Andrazovski,
and he is about to become the
most famous man in Europe.
I saw him give the signal
to the other two,
and they came in behind him,
and he leads 'em straight
down to the bastard.
The expertly coordinated fir
had broken through
the Heron's shield.
Count Lazslo's first
visit to London
would become
the stuff of legend.
And as for the brief footage
of the falling Heron,
that would be replayed
again and again
throughout the entire world.
It was of immense value
for public morale.
Of greatest importance,
of course,
was what happened
in the aftermath.
The London
crowd, baying for blood,
descends on the fallen Heron.
Then we are runnin'
onto the bridge,
and there's fire and all
sorts falling on top of us,
but we don't care,
'cos we're so busy
tearing at the cockpit.
And I want to do it, too
because I want the same
as they want,
I want to be
the one that finds him
and rips him out
of the wreckage!
Then there's a surprise.
I see him and he's alive!
Wriggling like an eel on a hook
and then he sees me
and he's scared.
I know he's scared of me
And then the police come
racing through on their horses
and we're all forced
back on the bridge.
The mounted
police clear the crowds
and escort the living alien as
it is rushed to Roundway Down.
But within minutes
of its arrival,
the Martian pilot is dead
Any initial disappointment
vanishes during the post-mortem,
because here Roundway Dow
make their key discovery
of the entire war,
and it's immediately
classified "Most Secret"
The autopsy
reveals the alien died
from infection by an animal
virus called glanders.
It was caught through contact
with the police horses.
Now at Roundway Down,
the race is on to
replicate the virus
and create a super weapon
The code name of the
weapon is Trojan Horse.
It couldn't come soon enough.
After three
years of crippling war,
the Allies have found a
virus lethal to the aliens.
But the Martian attacks are
intensifying on land and sea.
The troops at the front cannot
hold them off much longer.
They seemed indestructible.
I remember one of them -
There was this guy next to you,
and then this foot comes
down and crushes this guy
like leaves on the sole
of your boots.
I mean, how do you fight
something like that?
We needed something,
and we needed it fast.
As the line continues to fray,
the Aerial
Reconnaissance Division
sights large numbers of
alien machines moving west.
There is no time to lose
In January 1917,
a solemn report is delivered
to the Allied leadership.
It is wit
the heaviest of hearts
we must conclude within
the next six months
the total breakdown
of our defensive line
on the Martian Front
is a certainty.
Just nine days
after this statement
predicts the fall of Europe,
three American naval
destroyers returning to New York
are sunk off
the gulf of Mexico.
You do know there
weren't any actual
sightings of alien machines -
just distress signals
and garbled messages
about coming under attack
Allied U-boats did have
a range of 5,000 miles -
more than enough
to be in those waters.
Look, I'm not saying the
were in those waters.
All I'm saying is that
they could have been
in those waters.
Aliens or Allies,
the debate still simmers as to
who was behind the attacks.
What is certain is hysteria
took hold on American streets.
Roosevelt's pro-war supporters
besieged the White House.
Wilson has become
the lamest of
presidential ducks.
This can come to
only one conclusion,
and it's an unprecedented one.
Woodrow Wilson resigns,
Roosevelt is sworn
in as US president,
and on the 17th
of February 1917,
America finally enters th
war against the Martians
Within months,
the volunteer "Frontiersmen",
now hardened veterans,
see their conscripted American
countrymen arriving in France,
at the rate of
12,000 men a day...
That was a good thing.
They were finally coming
Yeah, nice to see them.
Mazel tov!
What took you so long?
You know,
I'm serious -
I mean, what took them so long?
We'd been in this thing
for three years already.
With this massive injection
of troops from the States
Allied command prepares
for the end game.
The Allies are
playing all their cards here.
This is it now.
This is all or nothing.
Immediately after
the Westminster alien's
death from infection,
Roundway Down begins
the glanders virus.
They must now deliver
the weapon to the enemy.
The risks to humans
are uncertain,
but for High Command,
there is no alternative
to biological warfare
on the Martian Front.
In the summer of 1917,
rumours of an Allied secret
weapon are spreading fast,
infecting the men with hope.
It hardly seems possible
but I feel it like
a fire inside me.
After four years of losses -
four years of blood, of agony,
of endless murder -
we can win.
They had developed
a secret weapon.
So you know, alright -
bring it on.
We're ready to go.
No one knew what it was,
but we believed that
it could help us win.
The days tick by,
and the alien army
continues to reinforce.
Roundway Down are struggling
to mass-produce the virus.
With no sign of a new weapon
at the Front, hope fades.
Each day there were a million
Spiders creeping closer,
and then every day we're saying,
"Okay, where's the weapon?"
They were only
50, 40, 30 miles away,
and still nothing.
And then we were told
that we were going into
battle in three days,
and now there was
no feeling at all,
'cause we knew nothing's
coming to save us.
It was a terrible realization.
There was no answer -
just disillusionment.
That's all -
utter disillusionment.
Desertions were occurring
up and down the Allied Front,
as well as several mutinies
which had to be
forcibly put down.
I had it. I left.
I knew this was my last time,
I would not survive.
I had this feeling
that my time was up.
I was a soldier for four years,
and yet from now and forever,
I'll be a deserter.
Only the elite few know
Operation Trojan Horse
is finally ready,
but its success is dependent
on a mass assault.
It's vital the
troops are rallied.
Field marshal Sir Douglas Haig
issues a
special order of the day
Many amongst us are tired.
To those, I say hold firm.
Ultimate victory is
within our grasp.
With our backs to the wall,
and believing in the justice
of our cause,
each one of us must
fight on to the end.
The safety of our homes and
the freedom of mankind alike
depend upon the conduct
of each one of us
at this critical moment.
Haig's words hit the mark
The line rallied.
Order seemed to restore itself -
even though very few
remained in any doubt
as to their probable fate
The night
before the last offensive
William Payne leaves his
diary in a field hospital
The final entry is addressed
to the young nurse
he had long admired.
You bestow a million kindnesses
upon men you know not
and never see again.
Perform one more for another -
keep this safe
as if it were my heart.
At 7:00 AM
the following day,
the largest military offensive
in human history begins.
The secret weapon is ready,
and the means to
carry the infection
to the aliens is in place
Great herds of glanders-infected
horses are waiting,
massed in vast pens
along a 50-mile line.
These unwitting weapons
of mass destruction
are tended by
volunteer wardens...
like Hughie Logan.
I'd never seen so many
horses all together -
nobody had.
And that was just our station.
Success requires an
attack to draw the Martians in,
followed by a surprise retreat,
which will lure the alien
towards the horse pens.
The entire attack is focused
on one 50-mile section.
This is the greatest
of troops ever seen.
The entire army is throw
against the alien legion
The results are predictable.
The Allies take
horrendous casualties,
barely holding the line.
Then the order goes up
to pull the trigger
on the secret weapon.
They suddenly turn
and begin a full retreat
The Martians give chase,
annihilating everything and
everyone in their path.
This has become a rout.
And it is exactly
what High Command
had hoped for.
The triumphant aliens,
charging after the
retreating troops,
are heading right where
the Allies want them.
The whistles sound and th
wardens open the gates,
sending thousands
of infected horses
stampeding through the
ranks of retreating soldiers
towards the Martians.
We had to drive the horse
back towards the line.
We lined up at
the back of the pen
and we shouted at them,
screamed at them, hit them.
And I was glad I was
wearing my gas mask,
because I didn't
want them to see me.
And once they panic,
they'll all go in a herd
even the old cart horses
They'll get the scent
in their nostrils,
and they'll follow, too,
and that's what happened
Away they went at full gallop,
right into that fury, that hell.
The infected
horses are engulfed
by the alien advance.
To the soldiers on the ground,
this action seems both
horrific and futile.
The alien force resumes
its pounding action
towards the coast,
without any clue that the fatal
blow has already been struck.
And that the day and indeed the
entire war are finally ours.
Operation Trojan
Horse has delivered.
The invading army never
reached the coast.
Within days and within hours,
the Herons come to a
complete standstill.
In each of the cockpits,
the lone pilot is rapidly dying.
The symptoms are
always the same -
frothing at the mouth,
grossly swollen
respiratory tract,
and in their single lung,
a fatal accumulation of fluid.
Simply put, they drowned
Two day later,
the Allies proclaim
victory around the world
Victory, but a victory
won on the hardest terms.
Two million were lost.
Now, let me be quite
clear about that -
that's two million that Allied
command were willing to lose.
It was an immense price,
but it was the price
that was necessary
in order to induce the deep
systemic infection of the alien
that was needed for us to win.
In the immediate
aftermath of the war,
the infected horses and
millions of refugees
struggled to survive in the
ruins that was once Europe.
In the squalor,
the glanders virus spreads.
As it does, it mutates,
and soon becomes
an airborne contagion
that easily infects the
mass of susceptible humans.
Over the next five years
the death toll
from "Martian flu"
would reach 100 million.
One casualty is
young Clara Logan.
She died in 1920.
It was nearly the end of it.
She was one of
the last it took.
She was 23.
Was it me?
Was I one of the guys
that brought it back?
I didn't know.
I still don't know.
All I knew was...
she was gone.
As Europe begins
to put itself back together,
the Martian nest sites reveal
their immense
stockpiles of victicite.
The contents of
the alien nest sites
were the biggest,
and most valuable
prize of all waiting for us.
Vast quantities of victicite
presented humankind
with enormous possibilities.
The products of victicite
become a vital part of
the modern world.
This organic metal,
with its ability to
perceive and respond,
opens up a
technological gold rush.
I'm constantly surprised
at the number of our visitors
who just don't seem to realize
how many aspects of modern life
can be traced right back
to the Martian war -
So many advancements
that we've made
in telecommunications,
in science and engineering,
and in medicine -
even in travel.
They can be traced right
back to this time, to them.
Kim Lafonde
has grown up in a world
that has prospered through the
widespread use of victicite.
But the key to the
Martian code she uncovered
in her great grandfather's cabin
is set to question the
benefits of this progress
Kim may have lifted
the lid on a warning -
the invasion is not over.
My family, at some point,
we forgot my great grandfather.
I was born nine
years after he died,
and 21 years later,
I came here and
opened up that trunk.
The things that he
learned about the war,
those things survived.
They remain in this book
and they were here
for me to find.
In his study
of these notebooks,
the historian
Lawrence Hart believes
that Gus's Anishinaabe heritage
granted him a unique
on the alien symbols,
and led directly to the
cracking of the Martian code.
Hart has completed the work,
and applied it to the
collected alien texts.
To his surprise,
many appear to be very
personal writings,
even laments.
These are not unlike our letters
and diaries written by our own.
Now, this symbol here
is the most common symbol
translated in the texts.
We find it over and
over and over again.
And the nearest word
I can translate is this
But most extraordinary
is the text recovered fro
the Westminster Heron.
Hart is convinced it wasn't
trying to obliterate London,
but offer a warning.
These are some
of the key symbols
that make up the text.
Now this first row here
the alien describes himself
as a warrior that
represents all warriors.
Now here, he says that
he has been deceived,
like we will be deceived
Hart believes
that the deception
described by the Westminster
alien is that their race
was itself once invaded,
and infected by a parasite -
the same parasite that drove
them to invade Earth in 1913 -
to infect us.
The text goes
on to recount how,
a long time ago
in their history,
their planet was invaded
by an alien species
whose technology was powered
by this symbol here -
a thriving metal
that feeds on life.
The strange metal material
described in this translation
Hart believes is victicite.
Victicite has long
been recognized
as a form of life
in its own right.
So ask yourself this -
What is a form of life
that takes possession
of another species,
that modifies its host behaviour
to dispense itself in
even greater numbers?
What else if not a parasite?
But that is precisely
what victicite is.
If Lawrence Hart is right
and the aliens were
infected carriers
forced to spread the parasitic
victicite across the galaxy,
then what next for us?
Now it's our turn to stand
at the gateway to the stars.
It's our turn to reach
out to the void of space
and our turn to carry and spread
the parasite yet further.
How can you win a war, when
with every blow you land,
you're only making
the enemy stronger?
This one was for
the last offensive.
It's says "bravery",
but I say it was crazy -
because I'd have to
be crazy to go back.
We just volunteered!
And do you know the
first thing we learned
when we were in the army?
Never volunteer for anything.
Two girls, one boy.
That's what we're gonna have.
My whole life since then...
I've been waiting for
them to come back...
But I don't know...
I don't believe they ever left.