Ray Bradbury Theater – The Lake (S3E3)

Oh, bloody hell.  I was pretty generous with the previous episode.  But how much can a man take?  And WTH — I though they were back filming in the USA!  That ain’t no American car.

Douglas is taking his fiancee back to the lake where he spent his summers as a boy.  He flashes back to the sand castle he built that attracted the attention of his first crush, Tally.  After it is knocked down by a bully, they rebuild it together.

Tally runs to the lake for a swim, but Douglas is afraid of the water.  This goes on for the entire summer until the day Tally is to leave the lake.

rbtlake03In the present, Douglas sees a sand castle on the beach.

In the past, Tally has disappeared in the water.  The lifeguard and other swimmers are unable to find her as Douglas waits scared on the beach.  Douglas wipes away half the castle, awaiting Tally to come back and rebuild it.  Eventually the rain and tide take it away.

In the present, as he approaches, Douglas sees it is really half of a sandcastle, just as he had left years ago.  He begins building the other half.  Out on the lake, a man in a rowboat is coming in.  He has found a girl in the water.

The girl is wrapped in a tarp and seems to be dead.  So what is the point?

And how is finishing the sand castle the catalyst to bring her back?  It would have made more sense for the sand castle to appear fully formed, and have him destroy half of it to lure her back to this world.  As a corpse.  Hunh?

The last shot is the tide coming in to wash away the sand castle.  Pretty much like this episode . . . a day later it will have left no trace in my memory.


  • This is the Pat Robins’ only directing credit.  He (?) did go on to be Script Supervisor on two of the Lord of the Rings movies.  As his few credits were New Zealand productions, I’m assuming this episode was filmed there.
  • Exactly how big is this lake that has the tide rolling in and out?  I’m surprised there were no surfers.  The largest lake in NZ is 238 square miles.  By comparison, the smallest Great Lake is 7,500 square miles.
  • This was the story that impressed Bradbury’s future wife enough to go out with him.

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