HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Shortcut
Stray
Butterfly Murders, The
Pimp
Feedback
Lady is a Square, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
   
 
  Martian Chronicles, The The Silver Locusts
Year: 1980
Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Rock Hudson, Gayle Hunnicutt, Bernie Casey, Christopher Connelly, Nicholas Hammond, Darren McGavin, Roddy McDowall, Bernadette Peters, Joyce Van Patten, Maria Schell, Fritz Weaver, Jon Finch, Barry Morse, Nyree Dawn Porter, Terence Longdon, Laurie Holden
Genre: Science Fiction, TV SeriesBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: In the year 1976 a probe from Earth landed on the planet Mars, but failed to find any signs of life, not that this stopped the optimists from believing that something - or someone - lived there. When a manned mission, the brainchild of Colonel Wilder (Rock Hudson), was sent there in 1999 it was hoped that the puzzle would be cleared up once and for all, but it was not to be as the two-man crew was lost, having landed they failed to contact Earth ever again. The reason? Nobody was to know, but it was actually because there was indeed a race living there, and they feared the arrival of these visitors from another world...

Ray Bradbury published The Martian Chronicles back in 1950 essentially as a collection of themed short stories all based around what could possibly happen to a colonisation of the Red Planet. Unlike his contemporaries such as Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov, he was less interested in the science as he was in the emotion and imaginative possibilities, which proved hard to translate to the screen so it was little wonder that when his book was made into this 1979 miniseries, the response was muted. Not least from Bradbury himself, who famously proclaimed the results to be "boring" and scuppered the production's hopes for being a major work of television science fiction, yet there were those at the time who really liked this.

For others it was impossible to overlook the unavoidably episodic script by Richard Matheson (himself no slouch when it came to penning genre material) or the low budget afforded to the special effects, and to make things worse they didn't like the acting either. But for viewers wanting to be transported by the ideas, this was very worthwhile, flawed, yes, but its biggest premise was that mankind needed to find a new way of living lest they destroy all that was good in the world - in the universe, for that matter. Couple that deeply felt worry about needing to avoid the Armageddon that we were all capable of with a genuinely eerie and angst-filled sense of what would happen if our home world were destroyed, and you could see why certain parts of this, even the overall atmosphere, would stay with some.

The trouble with series television, even miniseries television, was that they needed recurring characters and the book did not supply those, so Matheson had to contrive a way of getting the same faces into what was really a succession of brief tales that spoke of a larger picture. Thus Hudson became the conduit through the three episodes, cropping up here and there to guide the audience through what began as a space exploration theme, then turned to thoughts of being the alien in a different world with all the problems and blessings that brought, then to a cosmic loneliness when it considered where mankind might be heading; rather typically of science fiction writing during the Cold War that was to be some kind of apocalypse. Stars appearing included such TV stalwarts as Roddy McDowall (as a monk), Darren McGavin (as a trigger happy associate of Wilder) and Christopher Connelly (lumbered with the comic relief plot).

Although each of these actors and their co-stars were not hired to bring out deep characterisation, Bernie Casey did very well with the role delineating the Martians' ideas of having their home overrun with invaders who inadvertantly spell the end of the line for them, yet also a new hope. With Lanzarote filling in for the planet's landscape, you had to accept that science was not the strong point which was a given when the source had been started forty years before, but would give pedants something of a headache. Nevertheless, this was very well designed, and the awestruck nature of people exploring, settling and eventually being stranded upon this foreign world was, in parts, quite hauntingly achieved even if it did lack Bradbury's essential poetry. Assisting in this was an excellent score by Stanley Myers which ranged from the portentous to the disco without doing the material a disservice. Some say Bradbury is a pessimist, not liking the future really, but this series got his more nostalgic view right: don't forget the past as you forge ahead.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3065 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: