Bradbury Thirteen

was a horror/science fiction anthology produced by Brigham Young University Media Services in 1984, with a grant from NPR. The series was written, directed, and produced by Mike McDonough and included 13 episodes. Episodes were in standard 30-minute format.

The series boasts an impressive depth of sound, effective musical cues, and no one less than Paul Frees as narrator. Some commercial editions include snippets of an interview with Bradbury following the show.

Sources used to create my own log and double-check titles, dates and cast members: Phil Nichols' Bradbury Media fan website, Spaceage City fan website, Radio Horror Hosts, and Digital Deli Too.

Currently this archive contains 13 of 13 plotlines and 10 reviews

Webmaster Recommends:

Jeff Dickson Recommends:
A Sound of Thunder | Dark They Were and Golden-Eyed | Here, There be Tygers | Kaleidoscope

Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed

Year: 1984
Duration: 30 mins
Genre: Mars
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

Harry Bittering is resigned to the idea of living on Mars, until a nuclear war back on Earth strands the settlers. Is this the chance the Red Planet has been waiting for to take revenge for the destruction of its own people? Part of Bradbury's Martian Chronicles future history.

A listing of all the radio adaptations of the Martian Chronicles may be found on the Famous Authors on Radio page.

Reviews:
Maybe it's the acting that's annoying me. Or maybe I'm not in a RB mood. This tale, like the episode 'The Man', seems to take forever to get to a conclusion that's telegraphed in the first two minutes. (C-) for what I heard. Not interested enough to finish it. --- HT

Fox and the Forest, The

Year: 1984
Duration: 30 mins
Genre: Time Travel
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

Desperate to escape an inhuman war in the year 2155, a couple escape to 20th century Mexico, a virtual paradise compared to their world of disease bombs and widespread horror. The government, however, can't allow its citizens to get away so easily...

Versions of this story appeared on the BBC and CBC under the same title; Other versions appeared as "To the Future" on Dimension X and X Minus One.

Reviews:

Happiness Machine, The

Year: 1984
Duration: 30 mins
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

A home inventor builds a machine guaranteed to make everybody happy - everybody, that is, except for his wife.

Reviews:
Entertaining and light-hearted with colorful character voices. Gets a bit overly sappy and wordy at the end, but still enjoyable overall. --- Steve Franklin

Here There Be Tygers

Year: 1984
Duration: 30 mins
Genre: Space Exploration
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

Deep space prospectors searching for planets to strip mine land on an idyllic world which seems to be eager and able to accommodate their every desire. However, if they insist upon raping the planet for its mineral wealth, that's another story...

See also 'Colony', 'Drop Dead', and 'Student Body' (all from X Minus One)

Reviews:
Interesting idea on a very fantastical world. The characters seem overly accepting of this fantastic world they find, so much so that the ending doesn't seem to fit with the beginning. Still, this story is nice for a quick diversion from our own world. --- Steve Franklin

Kaleidoscope

Year: 1984
Duration: 30 mins
Genre: Space Exploration
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

When a meteor destroys a spaceship, its crew is hurled outward into space in a dozen directions. Their suit radios will maintain contact range for only a few hours. What do men talk about when death is imminent?

Versions of this story also appeared on Bradbury 13, Dimension X, Mindwebs, Suspense, and The Shape of Things to Come (BBC).

See also 'Program Completed' (Miscellaneous Shows)

Reviews:
Definitely the best version of the four produced for radio. The show opens with some clever use of sound (especially when the scene switches from the Earth-bound control station to the ship in orbit), and a nerve-shattering explosion when the meteor hits. The rest of the time we are dealing primarily with voices and very little effects, but don't let that fool you - this is a story with a lot of heart and pathos (if occasionally a bit confusing as to which character is doing the talking) and the ending is unforgettable. --- Jeff Dickson.

What is Ray Bradbury to me? Well this story reminds me that he is perhaps the most... human of writers. In the best, and finest meaning of that word. As he touches universal fears, to speak of universal longings and questions... and dreams of life's labors lived. A brilliant, well acted adaptation. (A). --- HT

Man, The

Year: 1984
Duration: 30 mins
Genre: Space Exploration
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

The captain of a first contact mission from Earth to a distant planet is indignant to discover upon his arrival that the natives apparently have a more important visitor to welcome.

Reviews:
First real misstep I've heard from this series. A slightly predictable religious allegory. Found it trite and annoying in a, "Why don't you get to the point" way. (D). --- HT

Night Call, Collect

Year: 1984
Duration: 30 mins
Genre: Mars
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

Decades after Armageddon on Earth, the last man left on the Mars colony receives a phone call - from himself. Part of Bradbury's Martian Chronicles series.

A listing of all the radio adaptations of the Martian Chronicles may be found on the Famous Authors on Radio page.

Reviews:

Ravine, The

Year: 1984
Duration: 30 mins
Genre: Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

A small town is plagued by a series of murders of women, committed by a psychopath known only as 'the Lonely One'. His favorite killing ground is the dark, mist-shrouded ravine that separates Lavinia and her friends from their homes after a night on the town.

Versions of this story also appeared on The Vanishing Point; and as "The Whole Town's Sleeping" on Adventure Theater and Suspense; also as "The Lonely One" on CBC Playhouse

Reviews:

Screaming Woman, The

Year: 1984
Duration: 30 mins
Genre: Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

Children playing in a field claim to hear the sound of a woman screaming from under the ground. Children make up the craziest things...

Two versions of this story appeared on Suspense.

Reviews:
Completely captivated and enthralled by this tale of innocence and horror. Piles on tension until your nerves are pulled to a razor edge. Excellent. (A). --- HT

Sound of Thunder, A

Year: 1984
Duration: 30 mins
Genre: Time Travel
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

Time Safari, Inc. offers hunting enthusiasts the chance of a lifetime, the opportunity to travel back to the Cretaceous to bag the biggest trophy of all time: Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Versions of this story appeared on Bradbury Thirteen, Golden Apples of the Sun, Future Tense (as "An Imbalance of Species"), and SF 68.

See also: "A Gun for Dinosaur" and "Project Mastodon" (both from X Minus One)

Reviews:
My personal ALL-TIME FAVORITE audio drama! Whenever I want to turn someone on to the pleasures of the medium, this is the one show I always use to hook them. (Heck, it was the one show that got me hooked.) Usually it makes them hunger for more. There is an incredible depth to the sound effects, the musical cues are downright creepy, and the T-rex roars are guaranteed to have you hiding under the covers. The logic of the story line has holes large enough to drive a herd of hadrosaurs through, but ultimately, who cares? Load up your dino-rifle and enjoy the ride - it doesn't get much better than this. --- Jeff Dickson

I can remember hearing "A Gun for Dinosaur" and it was a good show but not near as real as "Sound of Thunder". GREAT SHOW!! --- Don Walker

There Was an Old Woman

Year: 1984
Duration: 30 mins
Genre: Ghosts, Humour
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

Following her unfortunate demise, Aunt Tildy's body is removed to the morgue. That's proper enough, except that Aunt Tildy isn't quite finished with it yet.

Reviews:

Veldt, The

Year: 1984
Duration: 30 mins
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

Vintage Bradbury, and one of the most popular of his stories among radio producers. A couple has a virtual holograph theater installed into their house to entertain their children, but the recreation of the African savannah they create, complete with lions, seems all too real.

See also 'The House on Chimney Pot Lane' (CBS Radio Mystery Theater).

One of Bradbury's most popular stories. Versions appeared on BBC, Bradbury 13, CBC Playhouse, Dimension X, Mindwebs, and X Minus One

Reviews:

Wind, The

Year: 1984
Duration: 30 mins
Genre: Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

A man is obsessed with the idea that violent winds have a consciousness, and one in particular has been hunting him down across the globe. Another version of this story appeared on Radio City Playhouse.

Reviews:
A fascinating premise shores up a rather passive approach to telling the story. The entire show is told via a series of telephone conversations between two friends, one of whom is convinced that winds are living entities and they don't like the fact that he knows it. I found a certain frustration here, since I wanted to be with the poor devil in his hour of need, but we never leave the comfort and security of his friend's home. Nevertheless, the show does succeed in keeping your interest, and may make you think twice about answering the phone the next time a needy friend calls. --- Jeff Dickson