I'm trying to track down the sources used for the 1979 mini-series of THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES written by Richard Matheson and starring Rock Hudson. When I checked the original book, I could not find correlates for some of the scenes that occur in the mini-series. I was recently informed that there are other Martian stories written by Bradbury. I haven't read his work for the past 30 years or so, so I can't remember what else there is. I'm told the the various Martian stories RB wrote & which appear in other works have never been put a 1-vol complete 'MC'.
I'm particularly interested in the scene between the priest and the Martian "Jesus" (a changeling) that occurs in the mini-series. I'm now told that this story--maybe two stories--can be found in one of RB's collected short stories books, but my informant can't remember which. Can someone help me here?
I'm now also told that RB actually wrote some of the additional scenes/dialogue in the TV version, which i assumed was solely the product of Matheson's script. Background information on this would be useful as well.
I am not altogether sure of the answers to your questions, so I'll let it pass in hope that someone informed enough will read and answer your questions.
In the meantime, here's an interesting article I came across. It may prove beneficial to you. I am not familiar with the writer of the article, but I thought it's a darn good one.
click on, or type into finder: http://www.dothings.com/WBookBrad.htm
Although I haven't seen the Rock Hudson mini-series, I'd be willing to bet that the scene you describe derives from the excellent short story, "The Fire Balloons." Although not included in the 1950 first edition of 'The Martian Chronicles,' it has since been included as part of that book, and you can find it in the new William Morrow hardback edition.
Hope this helps,
[This message has been edited by Greg Miller (edited 05-08-2003).]
"The Messiah" in the collection, "I Sing the Body Electric", I think, is the story you're thinking of. A priest has always wanted to see Christ. A Martian, who changes shape in response to the thoughts of others, is "trapped" in the shape of Christ by this man's yearning. When the Priest realizes this, he cuts a kind of deal with the martian that he (the martian) will appear to him each Easter (I think) so he can see "The Messiah".
"The Fire Balloons" is a great story about some priests who encounter beings on Mars who seem to transcend religion in any traditional sense.
Several of these stories have been discussed under "Resources" a while back.
I stand corrected! Wow, I haven't read that story in a long time. You've inspired me to read it today.
Thanks to all for the valuable information. I am new to this site and this discussion board, so I know nothing of past discussions on this topic and where to find it.
I have been unable to locate the Morrow edition of MC mentioned.
I read several of RB's key collections of short stories several decades ago, but obviously I remember nothing. You've hit the nail on the head regarding the priest & the Martian Jesus, which is just what I'm looking for, though I will be interested in related material.
Some time ago I looked up the MC miniseries on the web, found some info on Richard Matheson, but if there's more to be learned about the sources of the teleplay, I'd sure like to know.
Ralph...or, if you prefer, Pip...
There are probably too many Martian Stories to comfortably fit in one "Martian Chronicles" volume. They might not double the size of the volume, but they'd come close. We don't even know for sure the exact number of Martian stories because of those in the rare and uncollected list I haven't had a chance to even look at, but there's been talk of editing a "Martian Chronicles II" volume. The uncollected list can be found under the "Complete Story Listings" thread. I'm also noting settings in the "Story Classifications" thread, with "Mars non-MC" denoting Martian stories not found in "The Martian Chronicles," so you may want to give that a look. Both threads are in this forum and are currently under construction.
My local branch library came through for me for a change. First, I got hold of the 40th anniversary edition of MC, in which "The Fire Balloons" appears for the first time. Does anyone know why it was excised from the first edition? Religious heresy perhaps? This story is based on Fathers Peregrine and Stone and their theological concerns about sin on Mars and evangelizing the Martians.
I found "The Messiah" in the volume LONG AFTER MIDNIGHT. This begins with a dialogue between Frs. Kelley and Niven. Fr. Niven has the encounter with the Martian "Jesus". This indeed would appear to be the basis for the scne in the MC miniseries, with a possible trasnposition of the names of the priests concerned. (I have to acquire an unadulterated video of the miniseries to check this, as I think my off-the-air copy might have been butchered for broadcast.) There are no editorial notes connecting this story to MC, so I don't know what connection Bradbury himself may have had in mind. Nor do I know how Richard Matheson came to including this story in his teleplay.
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