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Devil Girl From Mars

"The Devil Girl From Mars" (1954) is a British gem based on the premise that, as Martian males have been dying out, the Martian females have decided to herd up some male humans for assistance with breeding activities. Accompanied by a bully of a robot, vinyl-coated Nyah (Patricia Laffan) is forced by fog to crash-land her saucer on the Scottish moors rather than near her target, London. No matter: committed to her mission's success, she's willing to point her raygun at the handful of fellas she finds in a local inn.

Fans of sci-fi camp will have a hard time deciding what's more delightful, the unexplained explosion of the airplane in the opening credits, bossy-boots Nyah or Chani (sounds a lot like "Johnny"), the Martian's oversized robot. Throughout the film, Nyah brags extensively about her planet's superior technology—which includes the clunky Chani—and demonstrates her ability to shift at will into what the characters in the film call "The Fourth Dimension." Though Nyah doesn't clarify whether the Fourth Dimension truly is a non-Euclidean spacetime (such as that articulated by Hermann Minkowski in 1908) or is instead some more advanced construct the Martians have discovered, her demonstration shocks her witnesses and how.

The Science

Robert Bigelow

Robert Bigelow Robert Bigelow, Education Specialist at the Clark Planetarium discusses the math of large numbers and unintended humor in the film "Devil Girl from Mars."

Jessica Straley

Jessica StraleyLiterature scholar Jessica Straley of the University of Utah discusses gender roles and the film "Devil Girl from Mars."

 

More Science to go with the Show

Related Resources

Clark Planetarium

Science Technology Engineering and Math

Careers in Physics

Jessica Straley

University of Utah

Teachers—Postsecondary

Gender Studies Program

British Science Fiction Cinema

Women Scientists In Fifties Science Fiction Films

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