Verbal Diorama
Verbal Diorama
Aug 19, 2019
John Carter
Play • 35 min

Jarsoomians! Welcome to Barsoom Airlines. Exits are here, here, here and here. Please fasten your seat belts, there's a lot of turbulence on our journey and honestly we're all in for a bumpy ride to visit John Carter (of Mars).

John Carter, fictional hero of the American Civil War and of Edgar Rice Burroughs' popular Barsoom series of novels should have had an easy road to Hollywood glory. His name in lights should have enticed men, women and children to his big screen adventures, with multiple sequels, telling a story beloved by many. He should be as big as Star Wars or Avatar, movies that were inspired by his adventures.

He's not though. His movie spent 81 years in development hell before being released, flopping terribly and fading into relative obscurity. It's almost like it's a swear word in Disney canon, (because lest we forget, this is a Disney movie). The House of Mouse wants nothing more to do with this character or this movie.

Join me, as we follow John to Mars, discover why Mars was actually deemed part of the problem, how an inexperienced director managed to get complete creative control over a $250 million movie and just how they managed to market an Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptation without even mentioning Edgar Rice Burroughs.

The thing is, it's actually not a terrible movie. It's convoluted and confusing, but it's also fun and interesting. It's just not the masterpiece it should have been.

Ock, ohem, oktei, weis, Barsoom!


Bob Clampett's test footage -

Kerry Conran's presentation -

John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood by Michael D Sellers -

I would love to hear your thoughts on John Carter! You can get in touch on

Twitter @verbaldiorama

Instagram @verbaldiorama

Facebook @verbaldiorama

YouTube @verbaldiorama

or you can email me general hellos, feedback or suggestions:

verbaldiorama [at] gmail [dot] com

You can rate or review the show in iTunes or at Apple Podcasts and I'd very much appreciate that!

For Augstravaganza, please don't donate to Ko-fi. Instead please donate to so they can provide advice and support to families dealing with spina bifida, hydrocephalus and related conditions. Any Ko-Fi donations I receive in the month of August will instead be donated to Shine.

My website is at

Thanks to the following for their contributions to this episode:

Twitter peeps

Andy @geeksaladradio

Mike @gundam_guyver

Jeff @AttheflicksPod


Christopher @TimeShiftersPod






Next up is Willow - look out for that in your podcatcher in about a week's time!

Theme Music: Verbal Diorama Theme Song

Music by Chloe Enticott - Compositions by Chloe Facebook

Lyrics by Chloe Enticott (and me!)

Production by Ellis Powell-Bevan of Ewenique Studios.

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