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The NBC mini-series version Of The Martian Chronicles
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I'm sure everyone has seen this six hour mini-series, whether it was during its original broadcast on NBC, on VHS, or the numerous times it has been on the Sci-Fi Channel. I know of Mr. Bradbury's opinions regarding Richard Matheson's teleplay and Michael Anderson's direction of the production. I'm curious to know what other fans think of the 1979 production. What's your opinion of it?
 
Posts: 41 | Location: Louisville, Kentucky | Registered: 31 March 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I thought that there were really wonderful segments thruout the three nights. The opening scene, from the first chapter of Chronicles, was wonderful. The Sunday Los Angeles style TV-Guide had a great front cover picture of the opening scene, which I think I still have somewhere. The music was poor. Overall, it was an event, not the best, and not the worst.

[This message has been edited by Nard Kordell (edited 04-01-2003).]
 
Posts: 3954 | Location: South Orange County, CA USA | Registered: 28 June 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The soundtrack was not that bad. As a matter of fact, the original soundtrack is available on-line. I ordered my copy of it this week. The Martian Chronicles mini-series was an event to behold. It is certainly better than Star Trek and Star Wars. Unlike those two science fiction productions, The Martian Chronicles is in no immediate danger of being run into the ground.
 
Posts: 41 | Location: Louisville, Kentucky | Registered: 31 March 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Already talked about the miniseries in another post, but I really want to get a copy of it somewhere! It's wonderfully creepy. The music is dated, to be sure, but I like it that way, especially the "action sequence" wa-wa guitar! That music made Spender seem even *more* of a bad ass with a bee gun than he already was!

The production value may have been low, but I thought the artistry of all the Martian props and buildings was superb. Very simple and very alien.
 
Posts: 5 | Location: Minneapolis, MN USA | Registered: 02 May 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I received my uncut video copy in the mail yesterday and began watching it tonight. Paused after end of 2nd expedition. I think the version I had taped off the air in the '80s was butchered, so now I'm watching to see what was missing. (I saw the original broadcast over two decades ago.) I'm expecting the missing sequences to show up in the second or third parts. I'm not into the childish American obsession with special effects, so I can live with the defects of the production: earth clouds in the Martian sky, crummy spaceships traveling in outer space, etc. On the other hand, the visual quality of the cave where the Martian husband and wife live (1st expedition) is beautiful. The miniseries is a bit slow-moving at first by contemporary attention deficit disorder standards, but the human quality of it shines through, as does the poetry of Bradbury in the voice-overs.
 
Posts: 28 | Registered: 08 May 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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3rd expedition is definitely the most interesting of the first part of the series,in particular, the philosophical conversations between Spender and Wilder. Spender gives a few memorable spiels: his mourning of the loss of an ancient yet superior civilization, his anger at the thuggish behavior of his fellow earthmen,his warning that the earth colonists will despoil Mars, and his characterization of Martian civilization, combining science, art, and religion, cooperating with nature, cultivating simplicity and "the enjoyment of pure being." Wilder is the only other intelligent earthman, but he only sees the implications after he kills Spender in self-defense. On earth Wilder innocently asked Spender "What's wrong with colonization?" On Mars he says that earthmen are like children to the Martians, but basically harmless. After he kills Spender he gets a glimpse of the ominous future.

From the preview of part 2, "The Settlers", I can already see that the tape I had before wqas of a badly butchered telecast. It looks like "The Fire Balloons" will be part of the story, missing from my tape.
 
Posts: 28 | Registered: 08 May 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't know why the version that had been broadcasted on television over the years had been butchered, leaving out quite a bit from the original six-hour broadcast. That's network television for you. At least when it has been broadcasted on the Sci-Fi Channel, it has been shown in its entirety.
 
Posts: 41 | Location: Louisville, Kentucky | Registered: 31 March 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Mars will be closer to Earth in the next couple months than in any time in the last 50,000 years. I wonder if you could've scientifically known that in the 1940's, when most of the Martian Chronicles stories were written...?
 
Posts: 3954 | Location: South Orange County, CA USA | Registered: 28 June 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Recently came across a comment I heard long while ago, but perhaps worth repeating here. If you really want to know Bradbury's feelings concerning the NBC mini series of 'The Martian Chronicles', then consider this: Ray was 'asked' to appear in a small segment at the start... introducing the series, but 'refused'!
 
Posts: 3954 | Location: South Orange County, CA USA | Registered: 28 June 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It would have been easy for advanced mathematicians and/or astronomers to predict the nearness of Mars at this period in history. Now-a-days one simply can use a consumer level computer program such as Starry Night Pro to project planetary distances.

I personally believe it was just a cool coincidence.

Can't say enough good things about such a talented writer. Has anyone seen a movie or television show which even came close to the quality of the written story? I have not.
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: 22 July 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Actually I think Stephen King is constantly upstaged by adapted movies. The Shining (Kubrick version), It, The Green Mile. Heck, even The Night Flier was better on film.
 
Posts: 135 | Registered: 22 July 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In the small flyer of The Martian Chronicles soundtrack, there is a segment about Ray Bradbury's unhappiness at the mini-series, and how it delayed its initial broadcast. I don't know what his problem was with the production, but I thought it was an excellent adaptation of his classic book. The same could be said of Stanley Kubrick's version of The Shining. Oh, well....
 
Posts: 41 | Location: Louisville, Kentucky | Registered: 31 March 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Spender:
" His " problem was...that he didn't like the way they handled his work....
See. Simple!
He didn't like the music.,
He didn't like some of the actors.

For starters....
 
Posts: 3954 | Location: South Orange County, CA USA | Registered: 28 June 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Bradbury considered the miniseries version boring, and Stephen King HATED the Kubrick version of "The Shining"--the ONLY film adaptation of any of his works, at least to that date, that he actively disliked, which is saying a lot considering how much of his writing was adapted for film and TV. He bought the rights back from Kubrick on condition that he never speak publicly of why he disliked Kubrick's version. Frankly, I thought the movie was brilliant in many respects. It inspired me to read the book, but once I had, I was glad I'd seen the movie first. It made too many changes which would have outraged a reader of the book. I was surprised in King's version of "The Shining" how well certain things worked, such as the hedge animals and the fire hose, which I thought would never be scary onscreen at all, particularly small screen.
 
Posts: 7175 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I can't say that I was impressed with King's version of his own material. After watching part one of that mini-series, I felt that was enough for me. Truth be told, he should stick to writing books instead of making films.

I did not know that Ray did not like any of the actors. He really did not go into much detail about his dislike for the mini-series, when I first heard about it. I can understand why he did not care much for Rock Hudson in the leading role. He was not that convincing. He was downright bland! Aside from that, the other actors did an excellent job, and were well chosen for the roles they were given.
 
Posts: 41 | Location: Louisville, Kentucky | Registered: 31 March 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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