peetee wrote: But now we are falling into the realm of SciFi as a tripod of that stature would be very unstable if it could move. The mass of the body would sink towards the rising leg so locomotion would be next to impossible.
I thought that too. H G Wells doesn't seem to have quite grasped that problem in the book. From Chapter 10, the first sighting of the 'tripods':
H G Wells wrote:And this Thing I saw! How can I describe it? A monstrous tripod, higher than many houses, striding over the young pine trees, and smashing them aside in its career; a walking engine of glittering metal, striding now across the heather; articulate ropes of steel dangling from it, and the clattering tumult of its passage mingling with the riot of the thunder. A flash, and it came out vividly, heeling over one way with two feet in the air, to vanish and reappear almost instantly as it seemed, with the next flash, a hundred yards nearer. Can you imagine a milking stool tilted and bowled violently along the ground? That was the impression those instant flashes gave. But instead of a milking stool imagine it a great body of machinery on a tripod stand.
In the 1953 movie, they ditched the idea of tripods altogether, instead they housed the Martians in flying saucer-like machines. But when Spielberg came along in 2005, technology had I suppose 'mastered' the problem of how to manipulate tripods on screen. I can't recall how they actually 'walked' (only seen the film once), perhaps someone can enlighten us?
I also recall the (unrelated) children's BBC series The Tripods
, back in the 1980s. They certainly had tripods, though how often they were seen actually 'walking' I can't remember.
I suppose there has always been something sinister about 3-legged alien monsters in SF, because there is not a single 3-legged creature (other than amputees) native to Earth. A surprising fact.