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Customer Review

on January 25, 2006
Finally, The Ray Bradbury Theater is back on DVD!!! This forgotten classic is a must for all anthology lovers (Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, Amazing Stories).

The Show began on HBO and showcased some high profile names from the 1980s. It was moved to the USA Network and apparently thrived enough to have been on until the early 1990s. Personally, I think the show would have been better off if it would have stayed on HBO because the early episodes are a few minutes longer and being on a paid movie channel they attracted bigger names. Plus, the original opening to the show with Ray walking around his office was a lot more atmospheric and creepy than the later episodes on the USA Network.

Like all anthology shows there are some bad episodes. However, what I like about this show is that ALL of the 65 episodes were written by one of the greatest American writers of the 20th Century! True there are some sleepers and stinkers in the bunch, but in general this is a very entertaining show. Even the episodes that do fail, I think suffer more from ineffective special effects and/or lackluster acting and dialogue than from Mr. Bradbury's actual "ideas."

This box set is very affordable. Unfortunately, the re-mastering is mediocre in picture and sound quality and because there are like 13 episodes per disc, the episodes look pixilated during fast motion scenes which can be annoying! To top things off, the episodes aren't even in the order of which they aired and there is even misspelling of a title on the DVD menu! However, I'm just happy to have this show on DVD. I got it for a great price and provided like a month full of cheap entertainment. For my 2 cents worth, I would say "The Playground," "The Murderer," and "Tomorrow's Child" are the high-water mark episodes of this show. Down below I rate each episode.

My rating system goes like this:

Excellent ... is a classic episode

Acceptable ... is an enjoyable, but perhaps slightly flawed episode

Poor ... is a boring and/or weak episode

"Marionettes Inc." Acceptable

"The Playground" Excellent (The ONE everyone remembers!!!)

"The Crowd" Excellent

"The Town were No One Got Off" Excellent

"The Screaming woman" Excellent

"Banshee" Excellent

"The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl" Excellent

"Skelton" Poor

"The Emissary" Acceptable ( It bugs me they have a girl playing a boy character!)

"Gotcha!" Excellent (Starts off slow, but then becomes intensely scary!)

"The Man Upstairs" Acceptable

"Small Assassin" Poor

"Punishment without Crime" Excellent

"On the Orient, North" Poor (Zzzzzzz...)

"The Coffin" Acceptable

"Tyrannosaurus Rex" Poor

"There was an Old Woman" Acceptable

"And so Died Riabouchinska" Acceptable

"The Dwarf" Acceptable

"A Miracle of Rare Devices" Poor

"The Lake" Excellent

"The Wind" Acceptable

"The Pedestrian" Poor

"A Sound of Thunder" Excellent

"The Wonderful Death of Dudley Stone" Excellent

"The Haunting of the New" Poor

"To the Chicago Abyss" Poor

"Hail and Farewell" Excellent

"The Veldt" Poor

"Boys! Raise Giant Mushrooms in Your Cellar!" Poor

"Mars is Heaven" Excellent

"The Murderer" Excellent (Both hilarious and thought provoking, my favorite episode)

"Touched with Fire" Acceptable

"The Black Ferris" Excellent (It's like a mini movie)

"Usher II" Acceptable

"Touch of Petulance" Acceptable

"And the Moon be still as Bright" Acceptable

"The Toynbee Convector" Excellent

"Exorcism" Poor (Seems like a pilot for a bad TV show)

"The Day it Rained Forever" Poor

"The Long Years" Acceptable

"Here there be Tygers" Acceptable

"The Earthmen" Poor

"Zero Hour" Excellent

"Colonel Stonesteel and the "Desperate Empties" Poor

"The Concrete Mixer" Acceptable

"The Utterly Perfect Murder" Acceptable

"Let's Play Poison" Poor

"The Martian" Poor

"The Lonely One" Excellent

"The Happiness Machine" Acceptable

"Tomorrow's Child" Excellent (A bizarre episode, Rod Serling would have been proud!)

"The Handler" Acceptable

"Great Wide World Over There" Acceptable

"Fee Fie Foe Fum" Poor

"The Anthem Sprinters" Poor

"By the Numbers" Acceptable (A surprise ending, indeed)

"The Long Rain" Excellent

"The Dead Man" Excellent

"Sun and Shadow" Acceptable

"Silent Towns" Excellent (Very Funny)

"Downwind from Gettysburg" Excellent

"Some live like Lazarus" Acceptable

"The Tombstone" Poor
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