Handling machine (The War of the Worlds)

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The Handling machine is one of the fictional machines used by the Martians in H. G. Wells' science fiction novel The War of the Worlds. It is a crawling device used by the Martians to lift and manipulate other objects. It is one of the four types of heavy machine the Martians bring with them when they invade Earth, along with the fighting machine, the flying machine, and the embankment machine.


The handling machine is depicted making, moving, and assembling machinery under control of a single Martian. Handling machines are described as having five jointed legs, with numerous jointed levers and whip-like tentacles. They are described as "spider-like" and "crab-like", in both appearance and behavior.

In Jeff Wayne's musical adaptation of The War of the Worlds, the handling machine was the primary vehicle for capturing humans, a cage being placed on the "back" of the machine. In the 1998 PC game, largely based on Jeff Wayne's album, the handling machine is used by the player to construct and maintain Martian facilities. It has two giant claws for smashing into buildings and two much smaller claws which come out of vents by the big claws.

Handling machines appear in the 2005 Pendragon Pictures' adaptation H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds; these machines have six legs and a jointed tail and closely resemble a scorpion.

No handling machine is seen in any other film adaptation. Crab-like walkers appear in The Asylum's modernized War of the Worlds film and are the Martian fighting-machines, not handling-machines. The novel's tripod appearance is absent from the film.

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