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The Ray Bradbury Theater: A Miracle of Rare Device

Two drifters try to make a buck by selling views to a desert mirage that shows everyone their heart's desire.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 4x2
Airdate: Friday July 14th, 1989

Director: Roger Tompkins
Story: Ray Bradbury
Teleplay: Ray Bradbury

Guest Stars
Wayne RobsonWayne Robson
As William

Co-Guest Stars
Des Kelly (1)Des Kelly (1)
As Old Man
William KircherWilliam Kircher
As Ned Bantlin
Barbara LaurensonBarbara Laurenson
As Old Woman
Helen JarroeHelen Jarroe
As Woman
Ben Vere-JonesBen Vere-Jones
As Young Man
Roy WesneyRoy Wesney
As Old Man #2
Stephen LovattStephen Lovatt
As Xanadu Young Man
Peter DennettPeter Dennett
As Farmer
Annie RuthAnnie Ruth
As Farmer's Wife
Sarah McLaughlinSarah McLaughlin
As Farmer's Daughter
Baden CampbellBaden Campbell
As Farmer's Son
Main Cast


Two drifters, Robert and William, are driving across the desert in their battered pickup truck. Ned Bantlin is chasing them on a motorcycle and they try to outrun him, and then pull off behind an old sign. They spot a man on a motorcycle behind them and try to outrun him. Ned drives by and misses them. Robert explains that Ned is always following them, picking up on whatever harvests they happen to find. Robert and William continue on William wonders if their luck is changing. Robert says it is, and pulls off. He admits he doesn't know why he pulled off and there doesn't seem to be anything there. Robert looks out and sees a mighty city in the distance. He explains that it's a mirage, reflecting a city from hundreds of miles away, and it's a gift they shouldn't examine too carefully. William looks at it and sees something different, and Robert figures each person who views it sees what they want...

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Episode Notes
Based on the short story "A Miracle of Rare Device" by Ray Bradbury. This story was first published in Playboy (January 1962).

Episode Quotes
Host: When I was a boy, my dad was looking for work. He took my mom, my brother Skip and myself, and headed west. Along the way, in the middle of nowhere whatsoever at all, on a hot summer desert noon, with the wind still and heat rising from the sand dunes, we were witness to a miracle. Years later, I remembered the miracle. This is that remembrance.

Robert: Oh, Willie, Willie, never ask Nature. There's things about radio waves and rainbows and northern lights, we're never gonna know.

William: Are we the pure at heart?
Robert: Nah. Not like the kids who came through today, who saw anything they wanted to see. Not like the big folks with them, born in wheat fields and by God's grace wandering the world. Nah, we're not the big children, not the little children. Willie, I'm glad to be alive. You know the morning air, early, on the road. Maybe we take it easy, don't think, relax.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRay Bradbury
Executive ProducerRay Bradbury  |  Larry Wilcox  |  Peter Sussman
Supervising ProducerTom Cotter (1)
ProducerGrahame McLean  |  Jonathan Goodwill
EditorJohn McWilliam
CastingMary Ann Barton  |  Susan Forrest  |  Frances Walsh
Line ProducerNarelle Barsby
First Assistant DirectorBrian Wickstead
Second Assistant DirectorCharlie Haskell
MusicClive Cockburn
Make-upTrish Cohen
Key GripDennis Thompson
Production CoordinatorNicky Saggers
GafferNeil Taylor
Director of PhotographyStuart Dryburgh
Production SecretaryLesley Turner
Art DirectorRick Kofoed
Post Production CoordinatorJohannes Konigstorfer  |  John Harcourt
Production ManagementMaria Saunders
Sound EditorRex Potter
Dubbing MixerChris Verburg
Sound RecordistKen Saville
Boom OperatorKim Shaw-Williams
Production AccountantGeorge Wilson (2)  |  Anne Marie Cormier
Sound SupervisorJohn Neill  |  Kit Rollings
Assistant Film EditorMorgan Reid
ContinuityPat Robins
Construction ManagerRobbo Outterside
Wardrobe SupervisorNancy Seaton
Assistant GripDeane Cronin
Scenic ArtistPatrick Jelly
Costume AssistantJane Woodhill
Legal AdvisorLon J. Hall
Assistant Script EditorPenelope Sinclair
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