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The Ray Bradbury Theater: The Concrete Mixer

After reading various comic books, an alien from Mars is very reluctant to attack Earth.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 5x17
Airdate: Friday January 31st, 1992

Director: Eleanore Lindo
Story: Ray Bradbury
Teleplay: Ray Bradbury

Guest Stars
Ben CrossBen Cross
As Ettil Vyre
Howard JeromeHoward Jerome
As Van Plank
John Gilbert (1)John Gilbert (1)
As The Assignor

Co-Guest Stars
Jan SmithJan Smith
As Tylla


On Mars, the Assignor meets with military commander Ettil Vyre, who assures him that he hasn't changed his mind. Ettil refuses to go with them on their invasion on Earth, insisting it's ill-conceived and fated for disaster. The Assignor takes him out for execution, but brings his wife Tylla and his son out to witness his execution. Ettil reluctantly agrees to lead the invasion and embraces his family...

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Episode Notes
Based on the short story "The Concrete Mixer" by Ray Bradbury. The story was first published in Thrilling Wonder Stories (April 1949).

Episode Quotes
The Assignor: What's this?
Ettil Vyre: It's called "hot dog."
The Assignor: How do you know?
Ettil Vyre: I used to read banned literature.

Ettil Vyre: I'm not sure. But something's going to happen to us.
The Assignor: You've got a plan. Something evil and terrible?
Ettil Vyre: Look, all I know is they're going to do something to us.
The Assignor: Let them fire their mystic facts, Vyre, facts.
Ettil Vyre: But they're I sincere. I feel as if we're in a big acid vat, melting away.
The Assignor: Thanks for the science. All right, we'll kill every one of them.
Ettil Vyre: How can you kill people who give you flowers? And call you pal, and buddy? Do you know what "hail, fellow, well met" means?

Ettil Vyre: We have been dropped like a shovel full of seeds into a large concrete mixer. Nothing of us will survive. We will be destroyed not by the gun, but by the glad hand.

Changes from the short story:

* In the short story, Ettil's father also accuses his son of cowardice.
* In the short story, Ettil explains why the Earthmen are unbeatable to the assignor. In the episode, he explains to his wife.
* Perhaps thankfully, a scene from the story where the Martians throw up after eating too much hot dog, lemonade, popcorn, and pastrami, and believe that they've been poisoned, is omitted.
* In the story, Ettil writes a letter to his wife explaining his plight on Earth. In the episode, he sends a telepathic message.
* The Assignor's death is added for the episode, somewhat weakening the ending since Ettil dies the same way.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRay Bradbury
Executive ProducerRay Bradbury  |  Larry Wilcox  |  Peter Sussman
Supervising ProducerTom Cotter (1)
ProducerTom Cox  |  Randy Bradshaw  |  Don Reynolds  |  Doug Macleod (3)
Production DesignerJohn Blackie
CastingBette Chadwick  |  Susan Forrest  |  Darlene Kaplan
Second Assistant DirectorColin Leadlay
Music SupervisorDavid Greene (4)
Costume DesignerWendy Partridge
Make-upGail Kennedy
Key GripOstap Toroshenko
Camera OperatorJohn Holbrook
Location ManagerMurray Ord
Transportation CoordinatorColeman Robinson
Property MasterDoug Blackie
Construction CoordinatorBill Rayment
Post Production SupervisorJohn Harcourt
GafferBruno Bittner
Director of PhotographyJohn Spooner
Post Production CoordinatorSteve D'Onofrio  |  Catherine Hall (2)
Production ManagementLes Kimber
Sound EditorDavid Evans (4)  |  Jane Tattersall
Special EffectsRichard "Buck" Stevens
Dubbing MixerJessica Casavant  |  Austin Grimaldi
Sound RecordistGarrell Clark
Third Assistant DirectorEhud Ellman
Boom OperatorPeter Wugalter
Set DresserJim Murray  |  Avery King
Production ExecutiveRick Weaver (2)
Dolly GripMichael McLellan
ContinuityLeslie Druker
Focus PullerJim Stacey
Assistant Sound EditorJudy Kemeny  |  Richard Harkness
HairRosemary Diekmann
Best Boy GripGerry Mackie
ComposerAmin Bhatia
Still PhotographerChris Large
Best Boy ElectricianMartin Wilde
Model MakerKen Rempel
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