- "Would've made a great scientist one day... If he'd survived."
- ―John Nicholson
Ogilvy was the assistant astronomer at the observatory in London that spotted the flashes on Mars that marked the coming of the Martians, and suggested they were some kind of volcanic activity. The journalist, who was with him at the time, voiced a concern raised by some that they heralded the Martians coming to Earth to invade; Ogilvy poo-poohed the idea, stating that "the chances of anything coming from Mars" were millions to one.
When the first cylinder fell on Horsall Common, it was Ogilvy that awoke the journalist and took him out to see it. When the top began unscrewing, he rushed towards it, concerned that there were people inside trying to get out, but was held back before the extreme heat could burn him.
Ogilvy was one of the first (if not the very first) people to fall victim of the Heat Ray. When the Martians first revealed themselves, he was among the group sent to greet them. As they approached, the laser reared up and cut them down where they stood, reducing them to little more than ashes. The journalist tried to look for Ogilvy, not having observed this directly, but was caught up in the panic of the crowd. Ultimately he would become too involved in the coming events to mourn his deceased friend.
Ogilvy was described as a promising young scientist who was extremely sceptical about the idea of Martian invaders. He was clearly excited when the "meteorite" fell on the common; by the same acount he was equally concerned when it became apparent that there was someone - or something - living inside it, trying to get out. Despite his friends warnings however, he refused to believe that the visitors were hostile - an attitude that would cost him his life.
Behind the scenes Edit
In the 1960 BBC Radio adaptation, he was voiced by Martin Jarvis. In Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of War of the Worlds: Live on Stage, he was portrayed by an unknown extra and his line "the chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one" was repeated by the "Spirit of Man" singer Justin Hayward.