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A man rebels against a government that has tried to ban imagination by recreating Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher.


Episode Info


Episode number: 5x5
Airdate: Friday August 17th, 1990

Director: Lee Tamahori
Story: Ray Bradbury
Teleplay: Ray Bradbury


  • Currently 10/10
10/10 (1 Vote cast)
Guest Stars
Patrick MacneePatrick Macnee
As Stendahl
Ian MuneIan Mune
As Pikes
Stuart DevenieStuart Devenie
As Garrett (as Stewart Devinie)

Co-Guest Stars
Des Kelly (1)Des Kelly (1)
As Dr. Steffans
Recurring
Susan WilsonSusan Wilson
As Miss Pope
Recurring
Alice FraserAlice Fraser
As Miss Blunt
Main Cast

Recap

Government agents go through the libraries, burning works of fiction including Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
Based on the Ray Bradbury short story "Usher II" also known as "Carnival of Madness". This story was first published in Thrilling Wonder Stories (April 1950).



Episode Quotes
Bigelow: Is it everything you wanted, Mr. Stendahl?
Stendahl: Yes.
Bigelow: Is it desolate and terrible?
Stendahl: Very terrible.
Bigelow: The walls are bleak?
Stendahl: Amazingly so.
Bigelow: The sedge, we dyed it, you know. Is it properly hideous?
Stendahl: It's beautiful.

Stendahl: There's always a minority afraid of something, and a great majority afraid of the past, afraid of the future, afraid of themselves.

Garrett: Now suppose you tell me about this place, Mr. Stendahl.
Stendahl: It's a haunted castle, if you like.
Garrett: I don't like, Mr. Stendahl. I don't like.

Stendhal: In this house, copper bats fly in make-believe attics. Brass rats scuttle in plastic cellars. Robot skeletons rattle in dreary closets.
Garrett: Robot skeletons?
Stendhal: Vampires, wolves, phantoms. Done with chemicals and ingenuity.

Garrett: Mr. Stendahl, what exactly is going on here?
Stendahl: Murder.
Garrett: Murder?
Stendahl: Murder most foul!

Garrett: What are you doing?
Stendahl: I'm being ironic. Never interrupt a man when he's being ironic. It's not polite.



Analysis
Changes in the short story:

* The short story is set on Mars. No mention is made of Mars or the censors' recent arrival in the episode.
* Due to budgetary constraints, an android witch kills Garrett, rather than a sophisticated robot ape.
* Also due to budgetary constraints, Stendahl's collection of androids only includes human figures from Poe's story. In the short story, he uses all manner of fantastical creatures: Santa Claus, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, giant mice, and so on.
* Finally, due to budgetary constraints, Stendahl and Pike simply ride away from the House of Usher. In the short story, the building collapses into the ground, emulating the end of Poe's Fall of the House of Usher.



Other Episode Crew

CreatorRay Bradbury
Executive ProducerRay Bradbury  |  Larry Wilcox  |  Peter Sussman
Supervising ProducerSeaton McLean  |  Tom Cotter (1)
ProducerPamela Meekings-Stewart  |  Jonathan Goodwill
Production DesignerRick Kofoed
CastingMary Ann Barton  |  Frances Walsh  |  Susan Forrest
First Assistant DirectorGary Ryan
Second Assistant DirectorWi Rakete
Make-upSarah Anderson (2)
Key GripAndy Reid (2)
Camera OperatorRichard Bluck
Location ManagerMartin Walsh (3)
Production CoordinatorKaren Gleave  |  Steve D'Onofrio
Assistant EditorKirsten Muxlow
Post Production SupervisorRoss Chambers  |  John Harcourt
GafferSteve Latty
Director of PhotographyWarrick Attewell
Production SecretarySarah Bailey
Art DirectorMark Robins
Production ManagementMaria Saunders
Sound EditorGrant Lawrey  |  Don Paulin
Dubbing MixerMike Hedges  |  John Neill
Boom OperatorGrant Lawson
Production AccountantMaureen Zust  |  Anne Marie Cormier
Extras CastingLorae Parry
Film EditorOwen Ferrier-Kerr
Wardrobe AssistantHilary Niederer
Executive In Charge Of ProductionFern Field
Production ExecutiveMarie Watson
Unit ManagerAlex Collins (2)
Music DirectorLouis Natale
ContinuityBarbara Morris (2)
Focus PullerJames Cowley
ComposerCharles Cozens
Wardrobe SupervisorGlenis Foster
Still PhotographerMartin Stewart
Assistant GripRoger Feenstra
 
Warning: The Ray Bradbury Theater season 5 episode 5 guide may contain spoilers
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