In Search of… Martians

The Martians are coming, the Martians are coming!

Maybe not.

Hard to believe, but when this episode of In Search of… was produced, it was hot on the heels of our first landers on Mars, Vikings 1 and 2.  The question of “is/was there life on Mars” was in the forefront of many people’s minds.  In Search of… was quick to exploit that.

A brief, not very accurate explanation of the formation of the solar system involved the sun being a collection of stuff (rather than gasses, primary hydrogen) and the planets being the “burnt cinders” flung out from the “igniting” sun that then formed the planets.

There’s some lovely footage of lava to represent the surface of the sun.  Well, what are you going to do?  There were no CGI effects in those days.

Nimoy, in a surprisingly authoritative setting – in front of a model Viking lander at JPL, tells about man’s desire to understand Mars, our sister planet.  Of how Percival Lowell first discovered the canals on Mars (remember them?)  He tells of how Mars once had water and that, perhaps, life on Mars left there to come to Earth, possibly forming life here.

If we return to Mars and terraform it, will we be returning the favor?

Not much to this episode, but there’s a great line from one of the scientists – “With all that water at the poles, we might as well melt it.”

I miss the good old days!

In Search of… Martians first aired on May 21, 1977.  Only 135 episodes to go.

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