Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bradbury 13: The Man

Whatever we worship, short of God, is sure to be our undoing.
–Mignon McLaughlin,
The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

Today's Bradbury 13 radio drama episode is The Man. It aired ninth in the series and was based on the story of the same name in The Illustrated Man in 1951 and S is for Space in 1966. Of all the episodes, this is the only one with a religious theme to it. The Man is a religious figure without a name, allowing Him to be whomever the reader/listener wants Him to be. As I listened to it again, my mind pondered over my religious beliefs and the way they fit into my life.

The Man
They were the first earth men to reach the planet. They had travelled millions of miles through black space and landed in a fury of smoke and flames, but no one in the city noticed. The chances were one in a billion that they'd arrived at this planet, among millions of planets, at this precise moment, but they had.
My Rating: :question: :question: :question: :question:
A space expedition from Earth lands on a distant planet and no one finds it even remotely interesting because they've just been visited by a Man. The ship's captain is put out by the non-existent welcome from the people and demands to see the Man or proof of the Man's visit. Frustrated by the lack of solid evidence that the Man has actually been there the captain insists that the people are hiding the Man from him and demands to be taken to him. The mayor tells him to look into the faces of the people and asks if he can see the Man there. The captain replies that he cannot to which the mayor says, Then I'm sorry for you. Religion isn't something that can be quantified or definitively proved. If only he'd searched our faces with his heart. . . It is a feeling in your heart that leads to a knowledge in your mind of things that are true. And sometimes that requires using a little faith.

Air Date:
May 28, 1984

{Mike McDonough at the console,
with performers Scott Wilkinson, Max Golightly,
Lynn McKinlay and one other.
Photo courtesy of Phil at
Ray Bradbury & Media.
©Mike McDonough}
Paul Frees

Max Golightly
Scott Wilkinson
Lynn McInlay
Mike McDonough
Mike Flynn

Roger Hoffman
Greg Hansen

Production Assistant:
Patrick Mead

Associate Producer:
Jeff Raider

Created, Produced, Directed:
Mike McDonough

Executive Producer:
Dean Van Uitert

Audio Clip of The Man
Buy The Man mp3
Buy Bradbury 13 Audio CDs


Anonymous said...

Of all the BradBury 13's, this was not on top of my list (maybe #6) until I got much older. I guess after 27 years have past since it was aired, I am starting to think a little more about how much has gone by and how little is left.

I think it has moved up on the list to #2 now. The happiness machine is #1.

Jill said...

I forgot about this story. This one is always one that is internally reflective to me. I love the quote you used. "If only he'd searched our faces with his heart." Isn't that what we want to portray? Our religion on our faces? In brief exchanges with millions of people, often your face is the focus. They should see it, see who you are, just by looking at you.
It's one story that, for me, makes me look back on myself, and wonder if I'm living how I know I should, and if I know the truth when it's presented to me, even if the physical evidence isn't obvious.