Earth sends its first manned probe to Mars in 1999, and a jealous Martian murders the two astronauts when his wife has erotic dreams of meeting them. Members of a subsequent expedition are ... See full summary »
The Illustrated Man is classic Bradbury, a collection of eighteen startling visions of humankind's destiny, unfolding across a canvas of decorated skin, visions as keen as the tattooist's ... See full summary »
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Soviet paratroopers drop into Alaska to sabotage the oil pipeline in retaliation against a United States grain embargo. A skirmish occurs at a pumping station, lightly defended by Col. Jake... See full summary »
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Earth sends its first manned probe to Mars in 1999, and a jealous Martian murders the two astronauts when his wife has erotic dreams of meeting them. Members of a subsequent expedition are hypnotized into believing that they have landed in the childhood community of their leader and have been reunited with deceased family and friends, and they are poisoned by the Martians. Col. John Wilder leads a third expedition and learns that a chicken pox virus brought to Mars by the first two expeditions has almost eradicated the Martian population. A member of Wilder's team becomes obsessed with protecting Mars from Earthman and murders some of the others in Wilder's party, before Wilder kills him. Colonists arrive on Mars to settle, among them priests seeking God, and a lone Martian masquerades as the most desired persons of various settlers. Global war on Earth reduces man's natal planet to radioactive waste, and most of the settlers returned there prior to the holocaust. Wilder struggles to ... Written by
Kevin McCorry <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Robert Powell was asked to play the Jon Finch cameo See more »
[Probably intentional] People on Mars move about in normal Earth gravity, but Mars has only about 38% of the gravitational pull of Earth. See more »
Maj. Jeff Spender:
You know, a race creates itself for a million years, refines itself, does everything it can to give itself respect and beauty, and then it dies - part in its own time, with dignity as it should be, but the other part... Does it perish of some majestic affliction? No, it doesn't. It dies of a disease that does not kill the youngest child on Earth. It's like saying that the Greeks died of mumps. Or the Roman Empire was decimated by athlete's foot.
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I saw "The Martian Chronicles" as a child during its first UK transmissions between 1980 and 1984 then didn't see it for many years but so many moments from it stuck with me.
Now I've just had my video tapes of it out and watched it again for the first time in 8 years or so. The series looks very dated now in terms of special effects, photography, costumes and even in the acting - typical of late seventies US television rather than what we see today. The dates of man's arrival of Mars are now known to be rather ambitious and of course the whole "cold war" idea is something that film & television has moved on from nowadays.
Despite these faults, I still found the three episodes to be highly enjoyable. Its certainly not Star Wars or even 2001, but The Martian Chronicles gives us a refreshingly different kind of science fiction. The series is not so much about martians as about humans and many human feelings are explored - loneliness, bereavement, faith, nostalgia, vanity, greed...
What I really liked was the realization of the martian landscapes - even watching it now there's a real feeling of it being an alien planet and the strange stone monoliths and spheres linger in the memory.
Rock Hudson I found okay as the lead. Some say he's too bland but he's not meant to be a big hero or even a particularly dominant character. It's a relaxed performance that allows the story lines, rather than Mr Hudson himself, to come to the fore.
Although each episode lasts 90 minutes, they're broken up into shorter stories which are more easily digestible, although a couple of sequences are played out a little too long. The direction is functional for the most part but there are some nice touches along the way - for instance when the second expedition lands and the fog slowly clears to reveal the ship to be in what appears to an American town is very well done, and then there's a very Prisoner-esque shot early in episode three when Rock Hudson opens the double-doors of the base back on Earth and finds it deserted.
The music's quite good too!
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