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 »
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>
A 90 minutes version, edited out of three episodes of the series, was theatrically released in France a year before the complete version was weekly aired on television. See more »
Characters on Mars talk to characters on Earth with no perceptible delay in communication. Even at their closest approach, signals would take at least 3 minutes to travel the distance between Mars and 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 remembered seeing this mini-series when I was ten or eleven. There were some scenes that were ever etched in my mind, and there were others which immediately raced to my mind as I began reliving my past watching it once again. This mini-series is extraordinary in many ways, yet problematic and flawed in many ways too. The whole concept is a huge undertaking when you consider when this was made. There were no CGI effects. The special effects are the things which have aged the poorest in this series. Some of the effects are probably even crude for 1979, but the design of the sets and costumes helps overshadow that now glaring flaw. The set designs, when you consider budget, etc..., are very innovative and even dream-like. The Martian landscape does seem to have a life of its own in this set of tales loosely connected about expeditions sent to Mars, the colonization of Mars, the realization that Martian life exists, the destruction of Earth from human vice, and some small anecdotal stories of people living on Mars. The thing which does bind all these together is the character of Rock Hudson. Hudson does a serviceable job, albeit a bit bland in his role. The script by legendary writer Richard Matheson is pretty good when considering how difficult Ray Bradbury's works are to film or televise. Matheson injects humour, heart, and hope in his teleplay about the human spirit and its quest to survive. Matheson also added some very nice narration that tries, if not always successful, to bring cohesion to the varying plot elements. In the end, the story is successful for its spirit. It is a thoroughly entertaining story. It has some good character acting by the likes of Roddy McDowell, Darren McGavin, Barry Morse, Bernie Casey, and Bernadette Peters. In fact the story that I seemed to remember best from my adolescent days was the one concerning Miss Peters. Hmmm....I wonder why. Anyway, if you like a pretty decent science fiction story, The Martian Chronicles will fit the bill. Its message about living life for the joy of being is a strong one, and one not to be taken too lightly.
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