Dangerous Visions - The Martian Chronicles

Dangerous Visions - The Martian Chronicles

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Review

The astronomer Carl Sagan sagely noted that “Mars has become a kind of mythic arena onto which we have projected our Earthly hopes and fears.” Writer Ray Bradbury does exactly this in The Martian Chronicles. The Earth has been exhausted by human greed and so mankind turns to Mars, with plans to use it as a nuclear dumping ground and to mine the life out of it.

Derek Jacobi turns in a subtle, nuanced but incredibly powerful performance as Captain Wilder, the leader of an expedition to the Red Planet. He’s been sent to Mars to find out what happened to the crew of a reconnaissance mission who never returned — but, unbeknown to his fellow astronauts, his secret instructions are to find the perfect setting for the first giant mine.

As nationalistic tendencies and concerns about immigration swell in the United Kingdom, there is a timely relevance in Bradbury’s portrayal of “foreigners” colonising someone else’s homeland.

And a special note must go to sound designer Alistair Lock, whose work on the audio versions of Doctor Who has an out-of-this-world effect here.

Summary

By Ray Bradbury. Dramatised by Richard Kurti and Bev Doyle. Authorities begin to worry when astronauts taking part in Earth's first mission to Mars mysteriously disappear. A second expedition is mounted, and the team is given instructions to find out what happened to their predecessors, but the commander - Captain Wilder - has another, secret agenda. An adaptation of the sci-fi author's space-age short story collection, starring Derek Jacobi and Hayley Atwell.

Cast & Crew

Capt Wilder Derek Jacobi
Spender Hayley Atwell
The Lawyer Anna Madeley
Hathaway Mark Lewis Jones
Parkhill John Altman
Evie Zoe Tapper
Biggs Jonathan Rhodes
Thompson Dean Harris
Young Wilder Ryan Sewell
Pluto survey officer Rachael Naylor
Soldier Jacob James
Prison officer Robert Lock
Miss Edwards Melissa Aston-Munslow
Robert Owen Sewell
Mayflower Rocket Kids The pupils of Polehampton Junior School
Director Andrew Mark Sewell
Dramatised By Richard Kurti
Dramatised By Bev Doyle
Producer Andrew Mark Sewell
Writer Ray Bradbury
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