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)
John Cassady ...
 Briggs (3 episodes, 1980)
Alison Elliott ...
 Lavinia Spaulding (3 episodes, 1980)
Vadim Glowna ...
 Sam Hinston (3 episodes, 1980)
Richard Heffer ...
 Captain Conover (3 episodes, 1980)
Derek Lamden ...
 Sandship Martian (3 episodes, 1980)
Peter Marinker ...
 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

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 »

Quotes

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.
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

A dated but enjoyable series
8 October 2004 | by (Birkenhead, England) – See all my reviews

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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