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The Veldt - Recap

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George and Lydia Hadley live in their perfect automated house that provides everything for them. George comes in and asks where their children Wendy and Peter are. The children call on the videophone to inform their parents they'll be late for supper. Lydia worries that the nursery has changed and suggests that George have their psychiatrist, David McLean, take a look at it. She takes her husband to see the room, which contains a holographic representation of an African veldt. George is impressed at the fact they're getting their money's worth, and Lydia tells him to wait. She points out vultures in the distance, gathering around a carcass, and a scream in the distance. She wonders what the lions ate and left behind, and insists she can feel something. As George reaches out to touch one of the lions, a lioness runs toward them and Lydia hastily pulls them out and locks the door. She wonders if the lions can get out and they hear growling on the other side of the door.

Lydia insists something is wrong and dares George to lock the door. He refuses until she calms down and Lydia refuses to calm down. When she says that he should shut the room down, George wonders how the children will react and Lydia insists they should shut down the entire automated house. She explains that they've grown too accustomed to being pampered and should go on a vacation. George thinks that she's crazy but Lydia says they should do it and children the children. Peter and Wendy call to say they'll be later than they thought at the megamall. Lydia tells them to come home immediately and they reluctantly agree. She then tells George they're locking the nursery door for a couple of days. George warns the children live for the room but she insists.

George goes to the nursery and enters the chamber. He tries to reprogram the room for a different display but nothing happens, and he notices that dirt has appeared on the floor. George repeats the command but the lions continue eating their prey.

Later, George contemplates the dirt and Lydia realizes the room isn't responding because the children have become obsessed with Africa and the lions. She believes that Peter programmed the room to resist change. Peter and Wendy arrive and Lydia asks how long they've been playing in Africa. The children insist there's no Africa in the nursery and run to the room. Inside they show that there's a pleasant lake and no signs of a veldt or lions. Lydia accuses them of changing the room and sending them to bed. Once the children are gone, George finds Lydia's old purse lying on the floor, chewed and covered in blood.

That night, Lydia tries to sleep without success. She goes to the nursery and finds that the veldt is back. As she leaves, she hears roaring noises on the other side of the door.

The next day, the family enjoys a meal and Peter asks if he's going to lock up the nursery for good. George tells him that they need to use the room to explore other scenes. He reluctantly gives in and the children wonder if they're considering shutting off the house. George admits they were and Peter tells them not to consider it any more.

George and Lydia call David McLean in to discuss the room and ask if he noticed anything during the last family session. He observes that children feel a certain amount of paranoia toward parents which manifests in their fantasy environments. They take David to see the nursery, insisting that it's sick, and show him the veldt. They watch as lions stampede a herd of zebras. Afterward, David concludes that the children must hate George and Lydia, and asks what they've ever done with the children recently. George admits he hasn't and David tells them to lock up the nursery and turn off the entire house. George wonders if the house will hate him if he shuts it off. The children return and overhear the conversation, and George begins to shut down the entire house, limiting it to parental access. Peter and Wendy run into the nursery and watch it power off. They go back and accuse their parents of killing the animals. Lydia tries to explain that they're just images but the children refuse to listen and run off. David says that George should have handled it better but George says they're now on vacation.

That night, George plans a skiing vacation as he lights a fire and enjoys the silence. Lydia isn't so sure.

In the house, the systems start up again as the parental override is bypassed. George and Lydia hear their children yelling for help from the nursery. They run inside and find that the veldt is back. They can hear the children yelling but can't find them. The door locks behind them and informs them that the children have access only. A lion runs at them and they scream…

Later, David visits and discovers the house has been reactivated. There is no sign of George and Lydia. He goes to the nursery and finds Peter and Wendy having a picnic in the veldt. He comes in, failing to notice the blood on the door behind him. David asks where their parents are, but they choose not to answer and offer him a cup of tea. Behind him, the door closes and locks.

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Warning: The Ray Bradbury Theater season 4 episode 11 guide may contain spoilers
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