Tales of Tomorrow – Appointment on Mars (06/27/52)

ttapptonmars09aka Treasure of the Sierra Martians.

aka The Martians are Due on Maple Street.

Bart and Jack come running into frame, climbing all over each other, horse-playing.  Robbie sticks his head out of the tent and tells them to quiet down.  Family vacation?  Boy Scout Jamboree?  Krazy days at camp?  No, these are adult US Astronauts.  In fact they are the first men to land on Mars.  By the way, this is the Bradbury concept of Mars where it has Earth-like gravity, fresh air and a low budget.

Robbie brings a box out of the tent.  He brags about bringing it 34 million miles from earth.  That might not seem worth noting, but it could be the first time I’ve watched a show for this blog that actually got an astronomical distance correct.  Bobbie unpacks illicit beers for the boys who whoop it up at the sight of the cans.  Later there is talk of lighting each others farts [1] and swimming across the lake to the girl’s camp.

ttapptonmars16Turns out the men are astronauts, but not from NASA.  Their trip was subsidized by Standard Motors (a division of Average Mechanical, a wholly owned subsidiary of Just OK, Inc).  The evil corporation will get half of anything they find, and any wallets they make.  Bart is disappointed that they did not find any people on Mars.  He suggests that since there is plant life similar to earth’s, that there should be intelligent life.

Around this time, I noticed that Bart is wearing a holster and pistol.  So he wanted to discover intelligent beings, but he wasn’t taking any chances.  After their beer break, they decide to do a little prospecting.  Bart grabs his rabbit’s foot and they take off.

They quickly discover a vein of uranium — why didn’t they set this on Uranus? —  and stake out a claim — literally — by driving a stake into the ground.  They’re millionaires! Maybe it’s affluenza, but they immediately have problems.  Jack gets a bad headache. Bart feels that he’s being watched (the quick zoom in on his face as he says this is almost Mel Brooksian).  Robbie plays camp counselor and keeps his irritable crew from killing each other.

ttapptonmars26After Robbie leaves, Bart realizes his rabbit’s foot is missing and accuses Jack.  Bart says it “didn’t just walk away by itself” which is a pretty god gag that I don’t think they even realized.  Bart goes after Jack with a hammer and they start wrestling as we go to commercial.  Robbie breaks it up and demands that they hand over their guns.

Bart refuses to hand over his gun because he says something out there is watching them.  Jack quite reasonably refuses to disarm while Bart has his.

When Bart wakes up the next morning, he claims to see a Martian and starts blasting away.  Robbie jumps him to take the gun.  Bart gets shot in the tussle; also in the stomach.  Jack tells Robbie it was murder!  He is paranoid that Robbie is going to take all the uranium for himself.  They fight and Robbie and Jack kill each other.

After all three are dead, we hear two Martians speaking of how easy it was to manipulate the weak Earth-men.  Then they decide to take a look at the earthmen’s ship which is more than the audience ever got.  It should prove interesting,” one of them says.

Which is more than the audience ever got.


  • [1] I had always assumed this was an urban legend.  For some reason, I find it hilarious that the result is known as a blue angel.  Sadly, there is no such disambiguation at Wikipedia:  Blue Angel (1930 Marlene Dietrich Film), Blue Angel (highly skilled Air Force Aerial Team), Blue Angel (lit fart).
  • I think I’ll just wallow in my ignorance and continue to believe that Circle Jerks really are just an urban legend.
  • A fairly, dare I say, stellar cast:  Leslie Nielsen, Brian Keith and William Redfield.

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