The Ray Bradbury Theater is an anthology series that ran for two seasons on HBO, three episodes per season from 1985 to 1986, and four additional seasons on USA Network from 1988 to 1992. It was later shown in reruns on the Sci Fi Channel and later Retro Television Network. All 65 episodes were written by Ray Bradbury and many were based on short stories or novels he had written, including "A Sound of Thunder", "Marionettes, Inc.", "Banshee", "The Playground", "Mars is Heaven", "Usher II", "The Jar", "The Long Rain", "The Veldt", "The Small Assassin", "The Pedestrian", "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl", "Here There Be Tygers", "The Toynbee Convector", and "Sun and Shadow".
Many of the episodes focused on only one of Bradbury's original works. However, Bradbury occasionally included elements from his other works. "Marionettes, Inc." featured Fantoccini, a character from "I Sing the Body Electric!". "Gotcha!" included an opening sequence taken from "The Laurel and Hardy Love Affair". Characters were renamed, and elements added to the original works to expand the story to 23–28 minutes or to better suit the television medium.
Each episode would begin with a shot of Bradbury in his office, gazing over mementos of his life, which he states (in narrative) are used to spark ideas for stories. During the first season, Bradbury sometimes appeared on-screen in brief vignettes introducing the story. During the second season, Bradbury provided the opening narration with no specific embellishment concerning the episode. During the third season, a foreshortened version of the narration was used and Bradbury would add specific comments relevant to the episode presented. During the fourth and later seasons, a slightly shorter generic narration was used with no additional comments.
Famous actors appearing in the series included Eileen Brennan, James Coco, William Shatner, Peter O'Toole, Patrick Macnee, Jeff Goldblum, Drew Barrymore, Hal Linden, Michael Ironside, Robert Vaughn, Eugene Levy, Saul Rubinek, Donald Pleasence, Denholm Elliott, David Ogden Stiers, John Saxon, Harold Gould, Bruce Weitz, Barry Morse, Eddie Albert, David Carradine, Sally Kellerman, Vincent Gardenia, Robert Culp, Shawn Ashmore, Richard Benjamin, John Vernon, Elliott Gould, Tyne Daly, Lucy Lawless, Jean Stapleton, Marc Singer, Michael Hurst, Louise Fletcher, Magali Noël, John Glover, Howard Hesseman, and Shelley Duvall.
|The Ray Bradbury Theater|
|Created by||Ray Bradbury|
|Starring||Ray Bradbury, miscellaneous special guests|
|Theme music composer||John Massari|
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||65 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||23 to 28 min.|
|Original network||HBO (seasons 1–2) |
USA Network (seasons 3–6)
|Original release||May 21, 1985 –|
October 30, 1992
"A Sound of Thunder" is a science fiction short story by American writer Ray Bradbury, first published in Collier's magazine in the June 28, 1952 issue, and later in Bradbury's collection The Golden Apples of the Sun in 1953.Diane D'Aquila
Diane D'Aquila (born 1953) is an American-Canadian actress. She has appeared in both television and film roles, but is best known for her stage appearances at the Stratford Festival.
Born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, D'Aquila has spent her adult life and career in Canada, and holds dual citizenship.She originated the role of Elizabeth I of England in Timothy Findley's play, Elizabeth Rex. She won both an ACTRA Award and a Gemini Award in 2005 for her performance in the play's television adaptation.
She appeared on television and films including such appearances in Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Street Legal, Used People, The Ray Bradbury Theater, Hangin' In, Jane's House, The Long Island Incident, 72 Hours: True Crime, Milk and Honey and Slings and Arrows.
She has done voice-overs in animation including Little Bear, Franklin, Bob and Margaret, Bad Dog, Ultraforce, The Busy World of Richard Scarry, Medabots, Roboroach, Rescue Heroes, Rolie Polie Olie, Freaky Stories, Ned's Newt, Angela Anaconda, Monster Force, Flash Gordon, George Shrinks, Timothy Goes to School, Blaster's Universe, Flying Rhino Junior High, The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police, Pippi Longstocking, The Dumb Bunnies, Highlander: The Animated Series, World of Quest, The Seventh Portal, Chilly Beach, Wilbur, The Berenstain Bears, Tales from the Cryptkeeper, The Neverending Story, Corduroy, The Dumb Bunnies, Pandalian, Busytown Mysteries, Kaput and Zosky, Jane and the Dragon, The Avengers: United They Stand, Silver Surfer and Cyberchase.
In 2017, D'Aquila portrayed the title role in King Lear at Toronto's Shakespeare in High Park, one of relatively few women ever to have performed the traditionally male role.Frank Whitten
Frank Edgar Richard Whitten (15 November 1942 – 12 February 2011) was a New Zealand television actor. He was more recently known for playing Ted "Grandpa" West in the New Zealand television show Outrageous Fortune.Helen Moulder
Helen Moulder (born 1947) is an accomplished New Zealand actor.John Laing (director)
John Laing is a New Zealand film and television director.
He was born in Dunedin.Laiang made his major directorial debut with the film Beyond Reasonable Doubt (1982). He directed a number of other films including Abandoned before starting a career in television, directing episodes of the Canadian series The Hitchhiker. His other television credits include The Ray Bradbury Theater, Mysterious Island, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess, Jack of All Trades, Cleopatra 2525, Power Rangers Ninja Storm, Power Rangers S.P.D., Power Rangers Mystic Force, Orange Roughies, Nothing Trivial, Duggan and the television film Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior (2006) starring Brenda Song.
His 1992 film Absent Without Leave was entered into the 18th Moscow International Film Festival.Kenneth Welsh
Kenneth Welsh, (born March 30, 1942) is a Canadian film and television actor (sometimes credited as Ken Welsh). He is known as the multi-faceted villain, Windom Earle, in Twin Peaks and played the father of Katharine Hepburn as portrayed by Cate Blanchett in Martin Scorsese's The Aviator. He lives outside of Toronto.List of Ray Bradbury Theater episodes
This is a list of episodes of The Ray Bradbury Theater. The series ran to 65 episodes over 6 seasons in the 1980s and early 1990s.List of programs broadcast by Retro Television Network
The following is a list of programs airing on Retro Television Network (Retro TV).List of sources for anthology series
Many anthology series made for television have been based on literary sources. These sources have gone back as far as Chaucer (The Canterbury Tales) and have included works by classic writers such as Edgar Allan Poe (The Black Cat from Masters of Horror) and Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from Climax!).Long After Midnight
Long After Midnight is a short story collection by American writer Ray Bradbury. Several of the stories are original to this collection. Others originally appeared in the magazines Planet Stories, Collier's Weekly, Playboy, Esquire, Welcome Aboard, Other Worlds, Cavalier, Gallery, McCall's, Woman's Day, Harper's, Charm, Weird Tales, Eros, and Penthouse.Marionettes, Inc.
"Marionettes, Inc." is a short story by American writer Ray Bradbury, originally published in Startling Stories (March 1949) and later reprinted in his collection of short stories The Illustrated Man. In the story, Bradbury conjures a conflict between man and machine and depicts the human dependence on technology, a common theme for Bradbury's stories.Paul McIver
Paul McIver (born 26 March 1986) is an actor and musician from New Zealand. His first film appearance was in the television series The Ray Bradbury Theater. He has appeared in the Hercules: The Legendary Journeys films and television show as Hercules' son, and the 1993 movie, The Tommyknockers.Roger Tompkins
Roger Tompkins (born 28 February 1952 in Paddington, England) is a British television director of series such as The Ray Bradbury Theater and a tourism entrepreneur.Sun and Shadow (short story)
"Sun and Shadow" is a short story by Ray Bradbury first published in 1953 in the American news magazine The Reporter. Later that same year, Bradbury anthologized it in The Golden Apples of the Sun.
In 1957, Quenian Press published a limited edition of 90 copies of the story for members of the Roxburghe Club of San Francisco.
"Sun and Shadow" was one of Bradbury's short stories adapted into an episode of the television series The Ray Bradbury Theater. In the episode, which aired on October 3, 1992, the title is misspelled "Shaddow" both on-screen and on the DVD menu.The Illustrated Man
The Illustrated Man is a 1951 collection of eighteen science fiction short stories by American writer Ray Bradbury. A recurring theme throughout the eighteen stories is the conflict of the cold mechanics of technology and the psychology of people. It was nominated for the International Fantasy Award in 1952.The unrelated stories are tied together by the frame device of "the Illustrated Man", a vagrant former member of a carnival freak show with an extensively tattooed body whom the unnamed narrator meets. The man's tattoos, allegedly created by a time-traveling woman, are individually animated and each tell a different tale. All but one of the stories had been published previously elsewhere, although Bradbury revised some of the texts for the book's publication.
The book was made into the 1969 The Illustrated Man, starring Rod Steiger and Claire Bloom. It presented adaptations of the stories "The Veldt", "The Long Rain" and "The Last Night of the World".
A number of the stories, including "The Veldt", "The Fox and the Forest" (as "To the Future"), "Marionettes, Inc.", and "Zero Hour" were dramatized for the 1955-57 radio series X Minus One. "The Veldt", "The Concrete Mixer", "The Long Rain", "Zero Hour", and "Marionettes Inc." were adapted for the TV series The Ray Bradbury Theater.The Long Rain
"The Long Rain" is a science fiction short story by American writer Ray Bradbury. This story was originally published in 1950 as "Death-by-Rain" in the magazine Planet Stories, and then in the collection The Illustrated Man. The story tells of four men who have crashed on a planet where it is always raining. As they try to reach the safety of the Sun Domes, they end up being driven insane by the endless rains.
The story was republished in several collections and was incorporated into a film also titled The Illustrated Man.The Pedestrian
"The Pedestrian" is a science fiction short story by American writer Ray Bradbury. This story was originally published in the August 7, 1951 issue of The Reporter by The Fortnightly Publishing Company. It is included in the collection The Golden Apples of the Sun (1953).The Toynbee Convector
"The Toynbee Convector" is a science fiction short story by American writer Ray Bradbury. First published in Playboy magazine in 1984, the story was subsequently featured in a 1988 short story collection also titled The Toynbee Convector.USA Saturday Nightmares
USA Saturday Nightmares was an unhosted show on the USA Network in the 1980s and early 1990s. The show came on at 8:00 p.m. every Saturday night. They showed a lot of B Horror and Sci-Fi Films. Most of the movies shown also appeared on Commander USA's Groovie Movies and USA Sci-Fi Theater. They also showed episodes of The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Hitchhiker, and The Ray Bradbury Theater.