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The Ray Bradbury Theater: To the Chicago Abyss

In a not-so-distant future, the tyrannical rulers of a devastated landscape forbid the remembrance of the past... but one old man defies them.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 4x9
Airdate: Friday September 22nd, 1989

Director: Randy Bradshaw
Story: Ray Bradbury
Teleplay: Ray Bradbury

Guest Stars
Harold GouldHarold Gould
As Old Man
Neil MunroNeil Munro
As The Stranger

Co-Guest Stars
Bill MeilenBill Meilen
As The Policeman
Doreen IbsenDoreen Ibsen
As Woman In Park
Arne MacPhersonArne MacPherson
As Young Man In Park
Linda RavinovitchLinda Ravinovitch
As Stranger's Wife
Ronald RaultRonald Rault
As The Betrayer
Chad KrowchukChad Krowchuk
As Joseph
Main Cast


In the distant future in a barren landscape where people live in the ruins, an old man notices a woman stitching and compliments her on her wool. When he notes that it is so rare, she runs away in terror. ..

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Episode Notes
Based on the story "To the Chicago Abyss" by Ray Bradbury. It was first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (May, 1963).

Episode Quotes
Host: I have what seems to be total recall from the moment of my birth. But if it should falter, the toys, the trivia that surround me in my workroom help me remember back 60 years. But what if I lost all these in a fire? Then I'd be forced to rely on sheer memory alone. But what about everyone else? Would they choose to remember, or prefer to forget. Would my memories be an affront to them? To find the answer, I wrote "To the Chicago Abyss."

Old Man: Why, it's like a theater. Like motion picture houses. Yes. And the lights dim, and the people hold hands and listen like in the old days. With the balconies and the dark. And in the midst of the smell of popcorn and Orange Crush, my show begins.

Old Man: All I am, really, is a trash heap of the mediocre. The third-rate, the hand-me-down, useless and chromed over, slush and junk. Of a race track civilization that ran over a precipice and still hasn't struck bottom.

Old Man: Oh, once I would have raved. Only the best is best. Only quality is true. But roses grow from blood manure, and mediocre must be so that most excellent vine can bloom. And I shall be the best mediocre there is. And I'll fight all those who say "slide back," "slip under," "dust wallow," "let brambles scurry over your living grave." No, no, I shall protest.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRay Bradbury
Executive ProducerRay Bradbury  |  Larry Wilcox  |  Peter Sussman
Supervising ProducerSeaton McLean  |  Tom Cotter (1)
ProducerArvi Liimatainen  |  Jonathan Goodwill
Production DesignerJohn Blackie
EditorEric Hill (1)  |  Marke Slipp
CastingMary Ann Barton  |  Susan Forrest  |  Bette Chadwick
First Assistant DirectorAvrel Fisher
Second Assistant DirectorCynthia Gillespie
MusicGeorge Blondheim
Costume DesignerJill Blackie
Make-upGail Kennedy
GripGeoff Yates  |  Christopher Tate
Set DecoratorLouise Middleton
Location ManagerGreg Coyes
Property MasterCaroline George
Construction CoordinatorBill Rayment
Script SupervisorMimi Wolch
Re-Recording MixerRick Ellis  |  Tim Archer
GafferChris Meakes
Director of PhotographyTobias Schliesller
Art DirectorScott Dobbie
Post Production CoordinatorJohn Harcourt
Production ManagementMichael Sulyma
Sound EditorDan Sexton
Sound MixerGeorge Tarrant
Special EffectsJim Cammaert  |  Deryle Mullaney
Third Assistant DirectorTracy Long
Boom OperatorKelly Zomber
Production AccountantLinda Chapman
Set DresserDoug Blackie
Wardrobe AssistantKathleen Mulder
Assistant To The ProducerSpyro Egarhos
HairRosemary Diekmann
Best Boy GripRandy Swanson
Still PhotographerDouglas Curran
Second Camera AssistantDale Jahraus
Legal AdvisorLon J. Hall
1st Camera AssistantJon Joffin
Best Boy ElectricianBruno Bittner
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