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 »
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1980  
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Col. John Wilder (3 episodes, 1980)
...
 Ruth Wilder (3 episodes, 1980)
...
 Major Jeff Spender (3 episodes, 1980)
Christopher Connelly ...
 Ben Driscoll (3 episodes, 1980)
...
 Commander Arthur Black (3 episodes, 1980)
...
 Sam Parkhill (3 episodes, 1980)
...
 Father Stone (3 episodes, 1980)
...
 Genevieve Seltzer (3 episodes, 1980)
...
 Elma Parkhill (3 episodes, 1980)
...
 Anna Lustig (3 episodes, 1980)
...
 Father Peregrine (3 episodes, 1980)
Linda Lou Allen ...
 Marilyn Becker (3 episodes, 1980)
...
 David Lustig (3 episodes, 1980)
...
 General Halstead (3 episodes, 1980)
...
 Mr. K (3 episodes, 1980)
...
 Christ (3 episodes, 1980)
Terence Longdon ...
 Wise Martian (3 episodes, 1980)
...
 Peter Hathaway (3 episodes, 1980)
...
 Alice Hathaway (3 episodes, 1980)
Wolfgang Reichmann ...
 Lafe Lustig (3 episodes, 1980)
...
 Ylla (3 episodes, 1980)
...
 Briggs (3 episodes, 1980)
Alison Elliott ...
 Lavinia Spaulding (3 episodes, 1980)
Vadim Glowna ...
 Sam Hinston (3 episodes, 1980)
...
 Captain Conover (3 episodes, 1980)
Derek Lamden ...
 Sandship Martian (3 episodes, 1980)
...
 McClure (3 episodes, 1980)
Richard Oldfield ...
 Captain Nathaniel York (3 episodes, 1980)
Anthony Pullen Shaw ...
 Edward Black (3 episodes, 1980)
Burnell Tucker ...
 Bill Wilder (3 episodes, 1980)
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Storyline

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 <mmccorry@nb.sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

... a warning to all mankind.

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Sci-Fi

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Release Date:

27 January 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crónicas marcianas  »

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(compact video) | (PAL DVD) | (DVD) | | (theatrical) | (TV) (edited)

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The miniseries was originally scheduled for release in September 1979 as a major kickoff to the 1979-80 season. Unfortunately, it fell victim to some negative publicity from Ray Bradbury himself. Although Bradbury had worked with scriptwriter Richard Matheson in adapting his book to the small screen, he was less than thrilled with the final production. At one point, shortly before the miniseries' scheduled release, Bradbury found himself the sole representative of the production at a press conference. When one reporter asked him what he thought of the miniseries, he responded candidly, "Booooooooring!" NBC soon shelved the miniseries and did not air it until January 1980. See more »

Goofs

[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 »

Quotes

Maj. Jeff Spender: I just believe in things that were done. And there were so many things done here. Streets and houses and books and big canals and clocks and places with names - things that were used and touched for centuries. And I don't see how we could ever use them without feeling uncomfortable. Oh, we could change the names, but the old names will still be there. So no matter how we touch Mars, we won't be able to really touch it. See, that'll make us angry. We'll get mad at that and just rip it up. We'll ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: The Marge-ian Chronicles (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A reminder of how far we have NOT come
9 May 2011 | by (Hollywood) – See all my reviews

This is a British production, made in 1979. The same time as UK's Dr. Who. The production values are almost identical. Of course, there was whimsy in Dr. Who, that made the cheesy effects campy. But still, there they were.

As for the implausibility of a Martian atmosphere and climate like earth's, Bradbury wrote these stories before 1950, when such was considered possible. The producers made a creative choice to retain the conceit that Mars was like Nevada, so the characters wouldn't have to wear space suits all the time.

Those who trash this miniseries because of its production values miss its point. What the Martian Chronicles have going for them are terrific story lines, which the technical problems unfortunately obscure. I can't help thinking Rod Serling took a page from them when he came up with Twilight Zone, with its emphasis on people rather than the technology.

Also fascinating is how the near future is projected. As in 2001: A Space Odyssey, our advancement into space was wildly optimistic, not because it wasn't possible, but because in reality we've lacked the character to see it through. The fact that we should have settlements on Mars by now, if not manned missions to Jupiter, but don't, speaks to how contemptible we are, in choosing rather to pursue personal gratification, while accommodating the barbarous primitives among us. At the end of the Martian Chronicles is an affirmation of what we could yet be, if only we'd decide to stop wallowing in the gutter and once more reach for the stars. Too bad this message is lost on today's fatuous audience.


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