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The Martian Chronicles 

In the 21st century, Earth begins the colonization of Mars. However, things do not go as planned, at first due to the hostile Martian natives and later because of the self-destructive Earthmen.
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1  
1980  
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Rock Hudson ...  Col. John Wilder 3 episodes, 1980
Gayle Hunnicutt ...  Ruth Wilder 3 episodes, 1980
Bernie Casey ...  Major Jeff Spender 3 episodes, 1980
Christopher Connelly ...  Ben Driscoll 3 episodes, 1980
Nicholas Hammond ...  Commander Arthur Black 3 episodes, 1980
Darren McGavin ...  Sam Parkhill 3 episodes, 1980
Roddy McDowall ...  Father Stone 3 episodes, 1980
Bernadette Peters ...  Genevieve Seltzer 3 episodes, 1980
Joyce Van Patten ...  Elma Parkhill 3 episodes, 1980
Maria Schell ...  Anna Lustig 3 episodes, 1980
Fritz Weaver ...  Father Peregrine 3 episodes, 1980
Linda Lou Allen Linda Lou Allen ...  Marilyn Becker 3 episodes, 1980
Michael Anderson Jr. ...  David Lustig 3 episodes, 1980
Robert Beatty ...  General Halstead 3 episodes, 1980
James Faulkner ...  Mr. K 3 episodes, 1980
Jon Finch ...  Christ 3 episodes, 1980
Terence Longdon ...  Wise Martian 3 episodes, 1980
Barry Morse ...  Peter Hathaway 3 episodes, 1980
Nyree Dawn Porter ...  Alice Hathaway 3 episodes, 1980
Wolfgang Reichmann Wolfgang Reichmann ...  Lafe Lustig 3 episodes, 1980
Maggie Wright ...  Ylla 3 episodes, 1980
John Cassady ...  Briggs 3 episodes, 1980
Alison Elliott ...  Lavinia Spaulding 3 episodes, 1980
Vadim Glowna Vadim Glowna ...  Sam Hinston 3 episodes, 1980
Richard Heffer ...  Captain Conover 3 episodes, 1980
Derek Lamden Derek Lamden ...  Sandship Martian 3 episodes, 1980
Peter Marinker ...  McClure 3 episodes, 1980
Richard Oldfield ...  Captain Nathaniel York 3 episodes, 1980
Anthony Pullen Shaw 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.

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 January 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Crónicas marcianas See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

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.
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User Reviews

 
A reminder of how far we have NOT come
9 May 2011 | by jacksflicksSee 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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