Friends, for most of us the day is done and we have enjoyed dinner and cleaned and dried the plates – as well as taken the trash out for pickup. While looking at the clock on the wall shows it is nearly time for bed… there is still a little bit of the day remaining to be entertained. Instead of watching television, might we suggest you join us for a new Retro Radio Memories offering – with an adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s The Veldt from the cult favorite Bradbury 13 radio show?
I have for nearly a decade on the both the Retroist as well as on this site, shared once or twice even in podcasts how much I enjoy the writing of the late Ray Bradbury. A lot of that has to do with 1983’s adaptation of Something Wicked This Way Comes – which I believe perfectly captures how Bradbury could present a slice of childhood and still leave you with chills thanks to the horror elements. That applies to The Veldt as well, which was originally published in the September 23rd issue of The Saturday Evening Post in 1950 – although it was originally titled The World the Children Made. It is a bit of science fiction horror that masterfully presents the horror capable by children… well… with a lot of help from an advanced technological nursery.
Now Bradbury 13 isn’t Old Time Radio as it was aired in 1984 on the NPR Playhouse for 13 radio show – naturally – although it does have a solid connection to OTR with Paul Frees acting as narrator. Actually Frees and Bradbury had worked together before thanks to this truly hilarious television commercial for Sunsweet Pitted Prunes mini-paks!
So dim the lights if you are able and lean closer to the electronic glow of your monitors and laptops – enjoy Bradbury 13‘s adaptation of The Veldt!
Bradbury 13 was not the first radio series to have adapted The Veldt – the honor of being first goes to Dimension X in 1951, then 1955’s X Minus One. The latter which apparently used the same radio script as the 1951 version – featured an addendum – I suppose they felt audiences wouldn’t appreciate the strong horror ending, revealing that none of the events in the show actually occurred but was just a psychological test.