The Ray Bradbury Theatre (1985–1992)
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After fantasy and horror books were banned, librarian William Stendahl builds a replica of Edgar Allan Poe's "House of Usher" and populates it with androids set to murder government officials.


Lee Tamahori


Ray Bradbury (screenplay), Ray Bradbury (story)

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Episode cast overview:
Patrick Macnee ... Stendahl
Ian Mune ... Pikes
Stuart Devenie ... Garrett (as Stewart Devinie)
Desmond Kelly Desmond Kelly ... Dr. Steffans (as Des Kelly)
Alice Fraser Alice Fraser ... Miss Blunt
Susan Wilson Susan Wilson ... Miss Pope


Twenty years after the government has banned all fantasy novels, Stendahl seeks revenge by building an enormous castle populated by androids and based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. When the government censor, Garrett, comes to inform him it will be burned to the ground. Stendahl kills Garrett and replaces him with an android to lure the other members of the government censor committee to his castle and destroy them in a suitable manner. Written by Gislef

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Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

17 August 1990 (France) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode takes place in 2125. See more »


Bigelow: Is it everything you wanted, Mr. Stendahl?
Stendahl: Yes.
Bigelow: Is it desolate and terrible?
Stendahl: Very terrible.
Bigelow: The walls are bleak?
Stendahl: Amazingly so.
Bigelow: The sedge, we dyed it, you know. Is it properly hideous?
Stendahl: It's beautiful.
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Crazy Credits

Instead of the usual series theme, more appropriate gothic horror music (with choir, harpsichord, and organ) is heard over the closing credits. See more »


References The Stepford Wives (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

Rescuing Poe
31 March 2015 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

In a dystopia, far in the future, books, movies, and art have been destroyed. A Mr. Stendahl has decided to build a replica of the House of Usher from the Edgar Allen Poe story. He is soon visited by the "moral" police. It is their job to humorlessly destroy those things which smack of imagination and creativity. He is fortunate that he accumulated enough money to carry out a plan that flies in the face of all that is destroying or has destroyed joy in the world. Patrick McNee plays Stendahl, and he is marvelously in control throughout. He has created robot versions of all the characters and caricatures in his haunted castle. We are treated to the comeuppance of the smug, dangerous forces of evil that rule the world. Very good episode.

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