Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Weird Tales on Film

The Ray Bradbury Theater

In the tradition of The Twilight Zone and Rod Serling's Night Gallery, The Ray Bradbury Theater presented an anthology of science fiction and fantasy stories, all drawn from the work of the host, Ray Bradbury. Produced in Canada, The Ray Bradbury Theater ran for six seasons between 1985 and 1992. (There weren't any episodes in 1987 or 1991.) Each episode ran twenty-three minutes and there were sixty-five episodes in all. Stars of the show included William Shatner, Jeff Goldblum, Peter O'Toole, Drew Barrymore, Leslie Nielsen, James Whitmore, Patrick Macnee, Shelly Duvall, Paul Le Mat, and Susannah York, all of whom had previously performed in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. (You can test your knowledge of those genres by guessing an appropriate TV show or movie--and no peeking at the Internet Movie Database.) At least eleven episodes of The Ray Bradbury Theater were based on short stories that originally appeared in Weird Tales magazine, all under their original titles with only slight variations:

"The Crowd" (1985; from Weird Tales, May 1943)
"Skeleton" (1988; from WT, Sept. 1945)
"There Was an Old Woman" (1988; from WT, July 1944)
"The Lake" (1989; from WT, May 1944)
"The Wind" (1989; from WT, Mar. 1943)
"The Black Ferris" (1990; from WT, May 1948)
"The Jar" (1992; from WT, Nov. 1944)
"Let's Play Poison" (1992; from WT, Nov. 1946)
"The Dead Man" (1992; from WT, July 1945)
"The Handler" (1992; from WT, Jan. 1947)
"The Tombstone" (1992; from WT, Mar. 1945)

Text copyright 2012 Terence E. Hanley

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