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The Ray Bradbury Theater: The Long Years

A man and his family wait for a ship to rescue them from Mars. However, when a ship finally arrives, the crew make a startling discovery.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 5x11
Airdate: Friday November 16th, 1990

Director: Paul Lynch
Story: Ray Bradbury
Teleplay: Ray Bradbury

Guest Stars
Robert CulpRobert Culp
As John Hathaway
George TouliatosGeorge Touliatos
As Captain Wilder

Co-Guest Stars
Judith BuchanJudith Buchan
As Cora Hathaway
Judith BuchanJudith Buchan
As Cora Hathaway
Donna LarsonDonna Larson
As Margurite Hathaway
Donna LarsonDonna Larson
As Margurite Hathaway
Bruce MitchellBruce Mitchell
As Tom Hathaway
Bruce MitchellBruce Mitchell
As Tom Hathaway
Jason WolffJason Wolff
As Bill Williamson
Jason WolffJason Wolff
As Bill Williamson
Main Cast


A man, John Hathaway, walks the empty streets of a colony on Mars past a sign announcing an evacuation. He remembers telling his family that someone will come some day. He looks to the sky and watches for anything that might move. He then goes out into the nearby desert and checks a signal dish, and then goes to his home. Inside, his wife Cora and their two children Tom and Margurite quietly wait. Cora asks if everything is okay and he assures her it is. After sending the children to bed, Cora goes outside and asks John if he's thinking over the past again. He admits there's nothing else to think about, and tells her to go inside while he goes for his evening walk. He walks to a nearby cemetery where three gravestones rest, marked with the names of his family, and begs their forgiveness for doing what he did and admits he was lonely. John looks up again and hopes that a rocket will come after twenty years. ..

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Episode Notes
Based on the Ray Bradbury short story "The Long Years" also known as "Dwellers in Silence". This story was first published in MacLean's (September 15, 1948).

Filming location: Calgary

Episode Quotes
John Hathaway: I created... recreated my family. I reprogrammed the new ones with all the memories of what they had been, what they could still become. And now they are my family.
Captain Wilder: You've been living with androids for 20 years.
John Hathaway: With memories. My memories. In the end, that's all anybody has.

Cora: He told us this would happen one day. But he didn't want us ever to feel sad or cry. He said, "The worse thing for anyone is to know how to be lonely, sad, or cry." So he didn't teach us.

Changes from the short story:

- John has one less child.
- The ending is changed by having the androids create an android John to replace the one they've lost.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRay Bradbury
Executive ProducerLarry Wilcox  |  Peter Sussman
Supervising ProducerTom Cotter (1)  |  Jonathan Goodwill
ProducerPamela Meekings-Stewart  |  Tom Cox
Production DesignerScott Dobbie
EditorDoug Forbes
CastingLeslie Swan  |  Susan Forrest  |  Mary Ann Barton
First Assistant DirectorDon French (2)
Second Assistant DirectorAndy Mikita
MusicAmin Bhatia
Costume DesignerWendy Partridge
Make-upAl Magallon
GripJohn Adshead
Key GripOstap Toroshenko
Set DecoratorJan Goodine
Location ManagerMurray Ord
Transportation CoordinatorColeman Robinson
Property MasterDean Goodine
Construction CoordinatorWarren Simmons
Production CoordinatorSteve D'Onofrio  |  Nancy Gullett
Post Production SupervisorJohn Harcourt
GafferBruno Bittner
Director of PhotographyJohn Spooner
Production SecretaryJoan Kingsmith
Art DirectorRick Roberts
Production ManagerLynne Bespflug
Sound EditorArnie Stewart  |  Jim Hopkins
Special EffectsLee Routly  |  Maurice Routly
Dubbing MixerTodd B. Warren  |  Allen Ormerod
Sound RecordistGeorge Tarrant
Third Assistant DirectorAndy Price (2)
Boom OperatorKelly Zomber
Production AccountantMarilyn Moyer
Wardrobe AssistantJan Kimber
Best BoyJim Gregor
Dolly GripCarey Toner
Focus PullerJill MacLachlan
HairIloe Flewelling
Still PhotographerDouglas Curran
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