Ray Bradbury’s ‘The Martian Chronicles’

After watching Ray Bradbury’s ‘The Martian Chronicles, part 1’ last night, I was up early this morning to watch parts 2 & 3.

Considering I hadn’t watched them since I was a kid, there was quite a lot I remembered. There was also a lot more that I understood, now.

Granted the effects are a very dated, but the storyline still holds true today.

The theme of whether it is right for us to go to Mars, even as explorers, gives rise to many questions. Would the Martians take our arrival as us trying to colonise or conquer their world? Would we soon destroy their planet as we did ours? Would we be able to co-exist with the Martians or would we resort to genocide?

Each part is, in itself, a separate Chronicle of the colonisation of Mars.

Part 1 begins in 1976 with the first unmanned landing on the Red Planet, followed by the first two expeditions, the first in 1979, which end in tragedy for both the Human crew members and the Native Martians. The third expedition shows one crew member, Spender, trying to save the Martian ideals while also trying to stop the his own crew members from disrespecting and polluting the Martian world.

Part 2 follows on with many Human colonists spread out in small colonies over Mars. The underlying story in part 2, is what is going on back on Earth. With the last superpowers escalating hostilities toward each other, it soon becomes clear that War is inevitable. On Mars, the colonists have to decide whether to return home, to maybe die with their families and friends or stay on Mars and hope for a better future. Unfortunately, War does come and both sides annihilate each other, leading the Earth burned and dying.

Part 3 continues with the last handful of colonists each trying to survive on an almost deserted planet. The year is now 2007 and Colonel Wilder, whose story has tied the three parts together, returns from a trip to the now barren Earth and, goes on a search to find some living Martians. This ends with him taking his family to learn the Martian way of life and to hopefully learn how they survived for Millennia. And with the consent and understanding of his family, Colonel Wilder destroys the last Rocket, that could take them away from Mars.

After nearly five hours of classic sci-fi, I just had to write this synopsis / review of what has now become one of favourite sci-fi adventures, ever.

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