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The Ray Bradbury Theater: Downwind From Gettysburg

At an animatronic exhibition featuring Ford's Theater and the death of the 16th President, a man named Booth decides to assassinate a robotic Abraham Lincoln.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 6x10
Airdate: Saturday October 17th, 1992

Director: Chris Bailey (3)
Story: Ray Bradbury
Teleplay: Ray Bradbury

Guest Stars
Howard HessemanHoward Hesseman
As Walter Bayes
Robert JoyRobert Joy
As Norman Llewellyn Booth

Co-Guest Stars
Kelly Johnson (1)Kelly Johnson (1)
As Phipps (John Phipps)
Roy BonnellRoy Bonnell
As Lincoln
Jim RawdonJim Rawdon
As Attendant
Timothy DaleTimothy Dale
As The Boy
Main Cast


Technicians work long and hard on a robot. Finally, they present their completed work to their boss, Walter Bayes: a robot Abraham Lincoln...

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Episode Notes
Based on the short story "Downwind from Gettysburg" by Ray Bradbury. The story was first published in Playboy (June 1969).

Episode Quotes
Walter Bayes: There are plenty of stories, John. Things that passion will force a man to do. Me at five in the morning, Gettysburg, listening to the dawn chorus, trying to capture the atmosphere. Or at Bull Run in the teeming rain. Wanting to feel what he must have felt about the waste of war. Or in jail, in Washington, trying to explain what I was doing crawling around the Lincoln Memorial with a tape measure.

Walter Bayes: The tomb was not your place. Arise. We must, oh, we must stand, all of us, downwind from Gettysburg. It is the only hearing place.

Walter Bayes: Isn't it fine? They will stand in the meadow fields of Gettysburg and listen, learn, see, hone the edge of their razor souls and live!

Walter Bayes: Subtext: you're a coward.
Norman Llewellyn Booth: No.
Walter Bayes: Yes.
Norman Llewellyn Booth: No, not a coward. Brave. Brave enough to know I had to do something about fear.
Walter Bayes: Fear of what?
Norman Llewellyn Booth: Things, people, places. Things I wanted to have but never took. People I wanted to boss around, never could. Places I wanted to go, never went. So I thought if you can't find something to be glad about, find ways to be sad. Find something awful to do and cry about it.

Norman Llewellyn Booth: I'm jealous. Jealous of anything that works, anything that lasts, anything that's perfect.
Walter Bayes: Machines?
Norman Llewellyn Booth: Damn right, machines. I could never be as perfect as that... that eternal President.

Changes from the short story:

* The story of the man and his son at Gettysburg is told by Bayes, not Phipps
* Phipps is the creator of the robot in the short story, which isn't made clear in the episode
* Phipps never appears in the short story except in flashback, although he is a critical part of the tale. In the episode, he appears throughout and functions as a sounding board for Bayes' exposition.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRay Bradbury
Executive ProducerRay Bradbury  |  Larry Wilcox  |  Peter Sussman
Supervising ProducerDon Reynolds
ProducerChris Bailey (3)  |  Mary Kahn  |  Tom Cotter (1)
Production DesignerRon Highfield
EditorChris Gurr
CastingSusan Forrest  |  Marianne Willison  |  Darlene Kaplan
Line ProducerJanine Dickens
First Assistant DirectorGeorge Lyle
Second Assistant DirectorPhee Phanshell
Music SupervisorDavid Greene (4)
Costume DesignerNgila Dickson
Make-upTrish Cohen
Key GripKevin Donovan
Camera OperatorPeter McCaffrey
Location ManagerLisa Kissin
Production CoordinatorJane Lindsay
Assistant EditorRob Jayne
Post Production SupervisorJohn Harcourt  |  Johannes Konigstorfer
GafferIan Beale
Production SecretaryLynn Hargreaves
Art DirectorJennifer Ward
Post Production CoordinatorSteve D'Onofrio
Sound RecordistGraham Morris (2)
Third Assistant DirectorSarah Miln
Boom OperatorMyk Farmer
Production AccountantSally Campbell
Sound SupervisorJohn McKay (3)
Wardrobe AssistantEmily Carter
Best BoyMark Smith (3)
Executive In Charge Of ProductionNicholas Wry
Production ExecutiveRick Weaver (2)
Unit ManagerPeta Sinclair
Assistant To The Executive ProducerDel Mehes
Assistant To The ProducerNikki Walker
ContinuityRowena Yalland
Focus PullerFred Renata
HairTrish Cohen
ComposerChris Dedrick
Construction ManagerPhil Chitty
Wardrobe SupervisorGavin McLean
Still PhotographerKen George
Additional PhotographyMatt Bowkett
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