the novel by Ray Bradbury, the Martian Chronicles was transformed into a
mini-series during the late 70ís, thanks to director Michael Anderson
who was also responsible for the classic, Loganís Run.
protagonist of the series is Colonel John Wilder (Rock Hudson), an
astronaut who is the first to visit Mars in the late 1990ís. Later on,
he becomes one of the first colonists to call the red planet home.
Interestingly enough, The Martian Chronicles is split into three
chapters which translates rather well to three different movie length episodes, each
focusing on a certain aspect of man on Mars.
At its core, The Martian
Chronicles is a thinking manís science fiction as it dissects the psyche
of humankind away from Earth and how they have brought their own issues
with them as well. From the first few steps of Mars (Hudson) to the
colonisation (Darren McGavin and Roddy McDowell) and finally the war on
Earth, The Martian Chronicles is an interesting story that contains
some quite watchable acting of the era and more importantly, a plot that
you can follow.
It brings forth many issues of
the time such as the extermination of the indigenous Mars
population by chicken pox and the unfair treaty by Earth to the Martians which is quite
reminiscent of the Native American Indians. However, the biggest problem
with the Martian Chronicles is that it has dated quite poorly and
although some of the ideas are quite interesting such as shape shifting
Martians or the Wild West attitude of the colonists, the special effects
are poor, especially when you compare it to something like Star Wars of
Star Trek of the 70ís.
Nonetheless, this is strictly for fans of the
original story or science fiction historiansÖ itís not bad, itís just
dated! The video and audio quality has seen better days!