MARTIAN CHRONICLES, THE [1979] TV miniseries shooting scripts


Ray Bradbury (source) Richard Matheson (screenwriter) Vintage original Shooting script, USA. [Los Angeles]: Charles Fries/Stonehenge Production, [1979] Quarto, printed wrappers, brad bound, in three volumes (one for each episode of this mini-series), one front wrapper has a minor vertical staining, generally JUST ABOUT FINE. 92, 103, [1], 88 pp.

A significant script, in that this is a rare example in film history of an admittedly great science-fiction writer adapting the work of another great writer. Matheson was, of course, a friend of Bradbury’s, who had started as a younger member of Bradbury’s literary circle.

The resulting film was quite controversial when screened on NBC in 1980. It was criticized for its slow pace, at a time when STAR WARS and then THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK were awakening a new audience for fast-paced science-fiction movies. Some more recent reappraisals of this film now consider it to be deliberately contemplative. Matheson did take Bradbury’s set of episodic tales and connected them with a linear narrative. Memorably, one character, Major Jeff Spender, has the line: “Us Earthmen have a talent for ruining things. If there are any Martians alive in those hills, they’re going to grow to hate us.”

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