It’s a Ray Bradbury birthday surprise! Yesterday, on what would have been the Fahrenheit 451 author’s 95th birthday, Boing Boing stumbled across a treasure trove in the form of all 65 episodes of 1980s/90s TV series The Ray Bradbury Theater. Like The Twilight Zone, this dark science fiction anthology series put dozens of Bradbury’s clever stories on the small screen—all inspired, he said in the adorable intro for each episode, by an object in his study: “I never know where the next one will take me. And the trip? Exactly one-half exhilaration, exactly-one half terror.”
Seriously—even if Fahrenheit 451 or “A Sound of Thunder” weren’t part of your literary and pop culture vocabulary, you wouldn’t want to change that dial (or these days, click away) after watching that. And now you can watch every episode on YouTube! It originally aired in 1985-86 on HBO, then continued for a few more seasons from 1988-92 on USA.
You can start with the first episode, “Marionettes, Inc.”:
Or “The Lake,” one of Bradbury’s best short stories we highlighted after his death in 2012:
Diving into the YouTube playlist, you’ll find a bevy of recognizable actors: William Shatner, Jeff Goldblum, Drew Barrymore, Peter O’Toole, Donald Pleasence, Eileen Brennan, David Carradine, Saul Rubinek, and more.