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November 2006: Earth is an amber cinder, all life annihilated by total nuclear war. A handful of settlers left on Mars are the sole survivors of the human race, facing a desolate future, cut off and isolated even from each other. Wilder finally meets his Martian counterpart.
Narrator: The earth is dead. But are there people still alive? Caverns mile deep could shelter life from the terrible blast. This is Wilder’s hope as he races to his brother’s rescue. But what will survival mean now on Earth or on Mars?
Narrator: And just as there is stillness in what was once this nerve center on Earth, so there is a small and silent town on the far side of Mars. Lonely lights burn in the stores all day and shop doors are unlocked as if people have run off without using their keys. Debris and memories decay in the still streets. The town is dead. Except for Ben Driscoll.
Genevieve Seltzer: I just wish there was still a masseuse at the club. I could really use a good massage to stimulate my blood cells.
Ben Driscoll: I could stimulate your blood cells.
Wilder: How do you feel?
Alice Hathaway: He didn’t want us to feel badly. He told us this would happen one day and he didn’t want us to cry. He didn’t teach us how. You know. He didn’t want us to know. He said it was the worst thing that could happen to a man. To know how to be lonely and know how to be sad, and then to cry. So we’re not to know what crying is. Or sadness. He was so proud of us. At times he almost forgot that he had made us.
Elder Martian: Life is its own answer. Accept it and enjoy it, day by day. Live as well as possible, expect no more. Destroy nothing, humble nothing, look for fault in nothing. Leave unsullied and untouched all that is beautiful. Hold that which lives in all reverence for life is given by the sovereign of our universe. Given to be savored, to be luxuriated in, to be... respected.
Narrator: Wilder leaves the Martian and leaves his dream as well. His dream of sharing this new world with a few survivors of the race which had existed here for eons. The night is dark, the moons have descended. Starlight twinkles on the empty landscape, where there is no sound but the roar of his own engine shattering the darkness. No living thing. Nothing.
As Hathaway and Wilder walk back to the house, Hathaway talks as if he knew Spender and was on the third expedition with him. However, there were only six crewmen on the expedition. Two of them were Wilder and Parkhill, and Spender killed the other three. There was no crewman named Hathaway.
The grave markers of Hathaway's wife and daughter are dated July 2000 AD. However, the third expedition took place in 2001 so they couldn't have been on Mars when they died.
Changes from the short stories:
* Walter Gripp is renamed Ben Driscoll.
* Genevieve in the short story is unattractively overweight and pale, and she is the one interested in sex/marriage, not the male character.
* Father Stone does not appear in the short story "The Long Years."
* Hathaway has a son as well as a daughter.
* The ending with Ben Driscoll from the first story finding the android family does not appear in the short story.
* The family is unnamed in "The Million-Year Picnic," but the Wilders are incorporated into the mini-series.