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The Ray Bradbury Theater: A Sound of Thunder

After mastering time travel, a company sends safaris into the past to hunt dinosaurs under carefully controlled circumstances. Unfortunately, circumstances take a turn for the worse.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 4x6
Airdate: Friday August 11th, 1989

Director: Costa Botes
Story: Ray Bradbury
Teleplay: Ray Bradbury

Guest Stars
John BachJohn Bach
As Travis
Kiel MartinKiel Martin
As Eckles

Co-Guest Stars
John McDavittJohn McDavitt
As Hunter
Main Cast


In the future, Keith wins a Presidential election against Deutscher. A rich man, Eckles, listens to the results as he takes an elevator to Time Safari, Inc. An agent greets him while discussing the election results, noting that Deutscher would have been a dictator. Eckles presents his ID and tries to pay, but the agent says he pays upon return. He then shows Eckles photos of dinosaurs, and assures him they were taken yesterday… 60 million years ago. Eckles examines the photos of Tyrannosaurus Rex and is eager to be off...

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Episode Notes
Based on the short story "A Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury. The was first published in Collier's (June 28, 1952).

Episode Quotes
Host: Dinosaurs large and small fill my junkyard workroom. This one given to me by a friend 30 years ago. These given as toys to my daughters. And when they didn't play with them, I simply took them back. So with dinosaurs coming into my life, I often wondered, what would happen if I could go back into theirs. Dinosaurs, time machines. Put them together and you have a tale one million years old.

Eckles: Does the safari guarantee I come back alive?
Agent: We guarantee nothing, except the dinosaurs.

Travis: Didn't you write a book... Dinosaurs I Have Known?
Eckles: Mere fantasy.
Travis: Right. You know nothing until today.

Eckles: Every hunter that ever lived would envy us today. Huh. From now on, Africa will seem like Illinois.
Travis: Have you ever visited Hell, Mr. Eckles? Until you visit Hell, don't make comparisons.
Eckles: I'm ready.
Travis: Yes.

Travis: That is the jungle of sixty million, two thousand, and fifty-five years before the moment you stepped into our office, Mr. Eckles. Christ isn't born yet. Moses has not gone to the mountains to talk with God. The Pyramids lie still in the Earth. Hell.

Travis: If we kill a mouse here, all the future family of that mouse is killed, right? And all the families of all the families. You step on a mouse, you annihilate one, a thousand, a million possible mice.
Eckles: Well?
Travis: Well... For want of ten mice, a fox dies. For want of a fox, a lion starves. For want of a lion, infinite billions of life forms cease to exist. A caveman goes hunting, but you, friend, have stepped on all his lions. The caveman starves. From his loins might have sprung ten sons. From these a hundred. Kill this one man, you destroy a race of people, an entire history of life. Europe remains forever a dark forest. Step on a mouse, you leave your print like a grand canyon across eternity. So stay on the path!

Travis: His breathing could vacuum clean the Empire State Building. Oh, I do go on.

Changes from the short story:

* In the original short story, Deutscher is simply elected instead of Keith. In the episode, the alteration is much more substantial. There is no election, and Deutscher commands "The 15th Rule."

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRay Bradbury
Executive ProducerRay Bradbury  |  Larry Wilcox  |  Peter Sussman
Supervising ProducerSeaton McLean  |  Tom Cotter (1)
ProducerGrahame McLean  |  Jonathan Goodwill
EditorJohn McWilliam
CastingFrances Walsh  |  Susan Forrest  |  Mary Ann Barton
Line ProducerNarelle Barsby
First Assistant DirectorBrian Wickstead
Second Assistant DirectorCharlie Haskell
MusicRob Winch
Make-upTrish Cohen
Key GripHamish McIntyre
Location ManagerJonathan Tapley
Property MasterViv Kernick
Production CoordinatorNicky Saggers
GafferNeil Taylor  |  Brendan Shadbolt
Director of PhotographyStuart Dryburgh
Production SecretaryLesley Turner
Art DirectorMark Robins
Post Production CoordinatorJohn Harcourt  |  Johannes Konigstorfer
Production ManagementMaria Saunders
Sound EditorKit Rollings
Special EffectsKevin Chisnall
Dubbing MixerChris Verburg  |  Mike Hedges
Sound RecordistKen Saville
Boom OperatorKim Shaw-Williams
Production AccountantAnne Marie Cormier  |  George Wilson (2)
Assistant Film EditorMorgan Reid
ContinuityPat Robins
Construction ManagerRobbo Outterside
Wardrobe SupervisorNancy Seaton
Assistant GripTerry Williams (2)
Scenic ArtistDave Cleary
Costume AssistantJane Woodhill
Legal AdvisorLon J. Hall
1st Camera AssistantCameron McLean
Assistant Script EditorPenelope Sinclair
Model MakerRobert Astley  |  Shayne Radford
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