Richard Matheson incorporates and rewrites the following Ray Bradbury stories:
* "The Locusts" (The Martian Chronicles, 1950)
* "The Naming of Names" (The Martian Chronicles, 1950)
* "The Martian" (Super Science Stories, November 1949)
* "The Messiah" (Welcome Aboard, Spring 1971)
* "The Fire Balloons" (first published as "...In This Sign", Imagination, April 1951)
* "The Off Season" (Thrilling Wonder Stories, December 1948)
Narrator: Now the rockets come like beating drums. Like silver locusts swarming through the emptiness of space. And from the rockets come men to beat the strange world into a shape that is familiar to the eye. They come to find something or leave something or get something. To dig up something or bury something or leave something alone. To bludgeon away the strangeness.
Father Peregrine: And Lord, we have come to a new land. We shall need new eyes. We shall hear new sounds and needs new ears. And there will be new sins, which we ask the gift of purer and firmer hearts. Amen.
Father Stone: We are lost.
Father Peregrine: Keep the faith, Father.
Father Stone: I shall keep the faith. But it does have its limits.
Father Stone: But Father, you are risking the entire expeditionary mission just--just so these--these inhuman...
Father Peregrine: Can't you recognize the human in the inhuman?
Father Stone: I would rather recognize the inhuman in the human.
Old One: We have lived in the winds and skies since then, apart from those that we left behind. How we came to be has been forgotten, but we shall never die. We have put away the weaknesses of the body and live in the grace of that being whom you call "God." We covet no one's property, we do not steal nor kill nor lust, not hate. We have left sin behind. We thank you for the thought of building us a church, but we have no need of it. For each of us is a temple unto himself. Build your church among your own kind and cleanse them. We are at peace.
Narrator: And so Father Peregrine leaves the place where he had seen and heard the Old Ones of Mars, thinking that there is truth on every planet. All parts of a larger truth. And men will go on to other worlds as well, adding together the parts of the overall truth until the glorious total stands before them like the light of a new day. And all their journeys will have ended then. They will be at home.
Father Peregrine: What are you then?
Christ: You know.
Father Peregrine: That?
Christ: No more, no less.
Father Peregrine: And I have made you like this? With my thoughts?
Christ: When you came into the church, you looked at the crucifix. Your old dream of meeting Him seized you once again, and seized me. My body still bleeds from the wounds you gave me with your secret mind.
Narrator: Wilder's mind is a confusion of troubled thoughts. Thoughts about the dead Martian who might have taught them something of the planet they were living on, thoughts of the planet they had left behind, the world about to face its final war.
Ruth: If what you say is true, then we'll be cut off. Isolated. Forgotten.
Wilder: There may be no one left on Earth to forget us.
Narrator: A million years in the future, a million light-years away, some civilization will perceive a brief flicker in the heavens. Will they know us? That what we had was worth preserving? No. A falling star, perhaps, and their telescopes will continue to gaze into the universe. But we will be gone.