The Ray Bradbury Theater (TV Series 1985–1992) Poster

(1985–1992)

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Childhood favorite
Flameshadow20 April 2005
I used to watch this show when I was somewhere between fourth or fifth Grade. I didn't always understand everything. I knew that almost every episode had a twist ending, like Twilight Zone, but I was confused sometimes. Even so, the show changed the way I thought about the world and several episodes, although I haven't seen them in years, still stick with me. Every time someone is yakking on a cell phone, I think of the episode The Murderer, and I think "I want a chocolate milkshake". At a fifth Grade book-fair one fateful day I remember seeing the the name "RAY BRADBURY" blaring on the cover of a shiny book, The Martian Chronicles. I still recall my exact thoughts. I ran up, surprised, and said to myself "Heeeeeeey! thats that guy from TV!." So I bought the book, still sitting on my bookshelf next to numerous other Bradburys. I was impressed by some stories, baffled by others. The Cold War references were lost on me, and for a long time I was confounded looking for a continuous plot. The story "There will Come soft Rains" introduced me to a favorite poet, Sara Teasdale. Although I was left a little confused, I continued to raid the school library for more Bradbury, reading Something Wicked This Way Comes, S is For Space, R is For Rocket, Twice Twenty-Two, Death is a Lonely Business. My only disappointment is that I never got around to reading I Sing the Body Electric.

Now, years later, as a teenager, I found The Ray Bradbury Theater DVD set at a best buy. 68 episodes, and only 30$! Well, needless to say, I grabbed the only copy they had left and clung to it for my life. I got home, and, perusing though episode titles, came across many of my favorite stories, A Sound of Thunder, The Lake, The Murderer, and many others I realized I had read since I watched the series as a child. In fact, I recall my elation at coming across "The Murderer" (always my favorite) as a short story.

In short, Ray Bradbury Theater is a great series for people of all ages. It will make you think, an stick with you, and possibly cause you to read more Ray Bradbury stories than you watch in episodes.
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Brilliant writer - original ideas - creative stories.
Dan Aldridge12 December 1998
Ray Bradbury is an absolutely brilliant writer. I am totally impressed with the original ideas that he evolves into thoughtful and creative stories. I had nearly given up TV when his series came to our PBS affiliate in Denver. I made it a goal, early on, to see every episode.

My favorite episodes include `There Was an Old Woman' and `A Miracle of Rare Device.' They are true masterpieces. It is also fun to look for my favorite stars in these little-known vignettes.

I grew up reading Ray Bradbury's books and I enjoyed, even more, the screen portrayals of his works. His insistence on creative control over the finished product has resulted in a legacy that he can truly be proud of. Don't miss these excellent stories!
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9/10
Excellent series, albeit a bit dated
etpowell19 January 2012
Ray Bradbury will doubtless be remembered as one of the 20th century's most brilliant writers. This series captures some of his best short stories, including some fairly obscure ones, quite well. In many episodes, Bradbury does a special introduction, giving the viewer a tidbit of background about the story, which is a nice touch.

If there is one major flaw in this show, it is the production values. The show was an independent production, shot on a modest budget for cable TV. The first few episodes were done for HBO and the remainder for USA Network. The visual effects are lackluster, even for the time in which it was produced, and many of the episodes seem a bit dated--not exactly modern but not quite vintage either. Still, Bradbury's amazing ability to spin a yarn comes through to save things. Had the show been based on material from a lesser writer, it would have been unwatchable.
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DVD Set
radioman970us23 September 2005
I saw this on "Home Box Office" (heh! Love that...HBO now) when it first aired. Drew Barrymore's Screaming Woman has always impressed me and still does.

I recently picked up the Platinum Disc Corp DVD set for this series and was pleasantly surprised by the image quality. It's has nice color for the most part but may appear too pink at other times. I doubt the source material was outstanding visually. The biggest problem is something that was not a big surprise: image tearing. This happens when there is a lot of action on screen. It's infuriating that a company does this to a series that isn't available any way else just to save a few bucks. I paid about $25 but I'd pay more for better quality spread across more DVDs. It really sucks! And they could've turned themselves around with this collection. Yey to PDC for releasing these but boohiss for dropping the quality. For that I WON'T BE buying this for Christmas for another member of the family who is a fan. :(
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5/10
Some gems, some duds, and a lot of mediocrity in between
gridoon201830 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The best thing about "The Ray Bradbury Theater" is its diversity: you never know what the next episode will bring you. There is sci-fi (both on Earth and on Mars), tales of the supernatural, mystery, horror, black comedy, just plain comedy, heartwarming stories, etc. The most disappointing thing is how many of the episodes don't have a memorable punchline or payoff, something that is required in this type of anthology show. Sometimes Bradbury's stories get lost in translation due to the generally dismal production values, or the usually unimaginative directors. But other times the stories themselves begin with a great idea that is never developed; too many endings make little sense or leave you wondering "Huh? Is that it?". There are episodes that make 22 minutes feel like an eternity; there are also episodes that achieve a kind of poetry. I won't go extensively into specific titles, because everyone has their individual tastes; I will just mention three episodes that I think are painfully unwatchable ("Colonel Stonesteel and the Desperate Empties" "There Was An Old Woman", "Exorcism"), and three that are clever and successful ("Touch of Petulance", "By The Numbers", "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl"). Most of the others are somewhere in between. The DVD of this show is extremely cheap (under 10 US dollars), but you'll find out why: they have stuffed all 65 episodes in 5 discs (13 in each), resulting in frequent, and distracting, pixelization. Still, you can't beat that number of episodes for that price.
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A must for fans and highly recommended for everybody
AMar_rom17 August 2012
Every episode (totally 65) in this TV series is based on a short story written by Ray Bradbury. I have seen most of them and I am more than happy on the way Bradbury's stories are presented on screen. The lack of budget for some episodes at least does not get in the way and the presentation exposes sufficiently well Bradbury's imaginative power.

Bradbury is one of my favorite novelists. He is (perhaps) mostly known for his science-fiction novel 'Fahrenheit 451' and the compound stories of 'The Martian Chronicles'. Nonetheless, his strength I think lies to his short stories that contain a rich blend of many themes ranging from lighthearted comedies to horror stories of the macabre. These episodes (for the most part produced for cable TV) do a more-than-decent job of introducing us to Bradbury's universe and can be an ideal starting point for many viewers to discover Bradbury. 'The Ray Bradbury Theater' is a must for fans and highly recommended for everybody.
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10/10
A great formative influence for the Sci--Fi buff
Cristi_Ciopron28 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
It was a discrete, wise, quite, charming and weird TV show.Pére Bradbury's filmed sketches were on TV during my adolescence, and they shaped my idea of a Sci—Fi show and of how it should look (and taste, as well…). That's why a later exposure to TV space operas was practically useless—I was lost for the space—opera ,and educated, as it were, by Pére Bradbury's quiet marvels and paradoxes—nice, wise ,gentle things, often with a humorous or a paradoxical side …;and by the '80s TWILIGHT ZONE (whose score still thrills me …).These humble things looked to a 13—14 yrs. old quite exquisite and stylish and even maybe somewhat sophisticated; never dull or disappointing. This was my idea of a Sci—Fi show, of vintage Sci—Fi TV. The intro was unforgettable—Pére Bradbury in the elevator, than entering his small office—the toys, the objects around his office ….We were told he never took the plane; we felt that his mind was imposing, and the oldster looked friendly and peaceful.

At the same age, I had the pleasure of reading a weekly magazine that sometimes offered a Bradbury short story (it offered a short story—sometimes two, if even shorter …--each time …), and then the treat was manifold. I think that there, in that magazine, I first encountered Bradbury's literature in its printed form.

I remember your TV show,Pére Bradbury,with fondness and gratitude;it was first—hand Sci—Fi.

It cultivated the taste for the concise TV sketch.
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