With Mother's Day, I knew early on which literary character (as seen on TV) would grace the "ASOTV" showcase. But inspiration eluded me for a Father's Day choice. I knew eventually I would think of a good example, but I never dreamt that it would take the death of Ray Bradbury for me to find that inspiration.....
AS SEEN IN:
'The Martian Chronicles'
Peter Hathaway is living retired on Mars with his wife Alice and daughter Margarite, even though everyone else has departed. Hathaway is a mechanical tinkerer, who has wired an abandoned town below their house to sound alive at night with noise and phone calls.
One night, he sees a rocket in orbit, and puts on a laser light show to signal the rocket. It turns out to be Father Stone and Wilder, who have just returned from Earth. They land and have a reunion with Hathaway, who is troubled by his heart. Undeterred, Hathaway brings the crew to his house for breakfast. Wilder remarks that Hathaway's wife looks exactly as she did many years ago when they got married, as he knows her real age and was present at their wedding. Wilder goes off to check some headstones that he saw earlier. He returns, pale, and says that the adults now before them died in July 2000.
Even though he worked on the script, Ray Bradbury wasn't too thrilled with 'The Martian Chronicles', calling it "boring". So when he got the chance to play Rod Serling with his own anthology series, he set out to re-do several of the stories. ("Mars Is Heaven", "And The Moon Be Still As Bright", "The Martian", and this tale.......)
AS SEEN IN:
'The Ray Bradbury Theater'
("The Long Years")
Yet another alternate Toobworld
The more O'Bvious changes made by Bradbury begin with the father's name - from Peter to John. And because he wasn't telling the whole story of "The Martian Chronicles", characters like Ben Driscoll and Father Stone were dropped. Also, Hathaway now has a son as well - Tom.
As I mentioned previously, because Mr. Bradbury stuck with his timeline in which this story took place in the first decade of the new millennium, it had to be placed in an alternate TV dimension, just as 'The Martian Chronicles' had to be.
The ending on each story was different as well. Without a Ben Driscoll to come in and replace Peter Hathaway as the paterfamilias, "The Long Years" came up with a new solution which would give the Hathaway androids a reason to continue. (As you'll see with the next post.)