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The Ray Bradbury Theater: The Playground

A man is disturbed when he sees a face from the past. As a child, he was bullied by this person and is worried his son may suffer the same torment on a neighborhood playground.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 1x2
Airdate: Tuesday June 04th, 1985

Director: William Fruet
Story: Ray Bradbury
Teleplay: Ray Bradbury

Guest Stars
William ShatnerWilliam Shatner
As Charles Underhill
Keith DutsonKeith Dutson
As Steve
Kate TrotterKate Trotter
As Carol

Co-Guest Stars
Mirko MalishMirko Malish
As Ralph
Steven AndradeSteven Andrade
As Charlie
Barry FlatmanBarry Flatman
As Robert Peerless
Main Cast


As a child, Charlie Underhill is at a playground when bullies pick on him...

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Episode Notes
Based on the short story "The Playground" by Ray Bradbury. The story was first published in Esquire (October 1953).

Episode Quotes
Host: You know it's amazing how fond I've become of the sound of this typewriter's, ah, till the power fails, very comforting. (lights candle) Well like a night-light when we were kids in a dark room. Remember how it used to be? When we'd wander around our homes and be terrified of the littlest things. Of course it's not true for us nowadays. At the moments like this what we long for is an old warm friend and I have one right here. (accidentally blows out camera) Damn.

Charles Underhill: You should have seen it. Smelled it, heard it. The playground stinks of tennis shoes, blood, dirty bandages. Their mean little faces, with green jelly running out of their noses.

Charles Underhill: Bob, tell me...
Robert Peerless: Yeah, Charlie?
Charles Underhill: How do you raise a boy?
Robert Peerless: Geez, I don't know. What? I mean, you find a cement mixer, you throw him in, you let it run for five minutes, you take him out.

Changes from the short story:

* In the original story, the playground is more of a "personality," and an unseen manager is implied to be the source of the transformations.
* Charles deliberately chooses to trade places with his son, an exchange that is not made clear in the episode itself.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRay Bradbury
DeveloperMark Massari
Executive ProducerRay Bradbury  |  Larry Wilcox  |  Michael MacMillan
ProducerSeaton McLean
EditorRalph Brunjes
CastingDiane Polley
Line ProducerGillian Richardson
First Assistant DirectorMichael Zenon
Second Assistant DirectorRocco Gismondi
MusicDomenic Troiano
Costume DesignerGina Kiellerman
Make-upMarlene Aarons
GripGreg Palermo
Key GripMark Manchester
Set DecoratorElinor Rose Galbraith
Location ManagerWoody Sidarous
Transportation CoordinatorJeff Steinberg
Property MasterPeter Fletcher
Production AssistantRusty Deluce  |  Susan Levi
Production CoordinatorSandie Pereira
Assistant EditorMichael Fruet
Re-Recording MixerJoe Grimaldi
GafferMaris H. Jansons
Director of PhotographyMark Irwin
Art DirectorDavid Moe
Post Production CoordinatorSusan Gerofsky
Sound MixerJohn P. Megill
Special EffectsFrank Carere
Third Assistant DirectorWendy Ross
Boom OperatorJack Buchanan (2)
Key Makeup ArtistKathleen Graham (1)
Production AccountantJames Crammond
Set DresserDanielle Fleury
Best BoyIra Cohen
ContinuityNancy Eagles
Assistant Art DirectorStephen Roloff
HairJocelyn Macdonald
Wardrobe MistressTrysha Bakker
Construction ManagerKirk Cheney
Still PhotographerMichael Courtney (2)
Second Camera AssistantBrian Gedge
1st Camera AssistantMalcolm Cross
Assistant Key GripRon Paulauskas
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