"Do You Know How To Use This Weapon?"

Ray Bradbury’s “The Martian Chronicles”, 1980

I had no idea Ray Bradbury’s “The Martian Chronicles” had been adapted as a miniseries. I knew parts of it were done for TV here in NZ in the ’80s and early ’90s but not about the three feature length episodes I found on YouTube. Apparently Bradbury was less than excited when he saw what Richard Matheson and the rest of them did with his book. No matter. I still like the look of it and I have a LONG attention span when it comes to sci-fi on the idiot box.

I’m in for a busy evening…

The Martian Chronicles is a television miniseries based on Ray Bradbury‘s The Martian Chronicles and dealing with the exploration of Mars and the inhabitants there. The series starred Rock Hudson, Darren McGavin, Bernadette Peters, Roddy McDowall, Barry Morse, and Maria Schell. It was aired on NBC in January 1980 in three episodes with a total running time of just over four hours (nearly five hours on the DVD version).

Bradbury found the miniseries “just boring”.

The script (by Richard Matheson) differs significantly from Bradbury’s original novel from the 1940s, see episode summary.

EDIT: I did have these movies embedded here but they’ve disappeared from YouTube. Do a search and you may well find copies elsewhere.

LATER: It was good but I’m disappointed Matheson & co left out “Usher II”. Bradbury’s riff on “The Fall Of The House Of Usher” is my favourite part of the book.

Here’s the adaptation that was done in 1990 for “The Ray Bradbury Theater” – of course I’m going to have to watch it now.

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2 responses

  1. I have good memories of this TV version but I’m the sort of Ray Bradbury fan who will eat up any version of The Martian Chronicles — it’s hard to screw up that magic. but I also always liked Rock Hudson — such a warm screen presence. I should watch it again. Thanks for the reminder.

    30/01/2014 at 16:31

    • No worries. I liked the “Ray Bradbury Theater” series too. One thing I particularly like about it is that the New Zealand actors in it actually sound like New Zealanders. I found the way Kiwi actors in Xena and Hercules had to fake U.S. accents annoying. And I found it incredibly jarring when a broad Nyoo Zillun vowel would slip out in the midst of all that generic Yankee.

      I detest Bradbury’s politics but I love his writing. Who said the world is or has to be consistent…

      01/02/2014 at 21:00

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