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A Message from Mars

A Message from Mars

Britain's first full-length science fiction feature has been restored by the BFI National Archive and given a new score by composer Matthew Herbert, commissioned by the BFI and the BBC.

Science Fiction 1913 60 mins Silent

Overview

Britain's first full-length science fiction feature, largely unseen for over a century, has been restored by the BFI National Archive and is now accompanied by a new score by composer Matthew Herbert, commissioned by the BFI and the BBC. The plot, an intriguing variation on A Christmas Carol, concerns a Martian who's exiled to Earth with the mission to change the heart of a selfish man.

This fascinating film was based on a highly popular stage play which saw many revivals over 30 years in Britain. It features the first on-screen imaginings of Martians by a British film-maker, as futuristically clad members of the Martian court. Thought transference, instant space travel, mind control and the use of a far-seeing crystal ball all feature in this ground-breaking film. Restoration specialists at the BFI National Archive, in collaboration with Dragon Digital in Wales, spent over six months painstakingly assembling the full-length film from two shorter versions and a tinted print held by the Museum of Modern Art.