Ray Bradbury Theater – The Wind (S3E4)

bradbury02The wind is a perfect subject for this series.  Many of the episodes just have some movement, some rustling around, but there is nothing solid at the heart of them.

For some reason Michael Sarrazin just makes me think of the 70’s.  Not sure if it is his face, or just because that was really his heyday (1969-1975), and he never really seemed to live up to his promising start.

Here he is playing a weather nerd, which in the days before the internet or even the Weather Channel must have been a pretty frustrating hobby.  He is flipping through a book of maps with page headings like Cloudiness, Visibility, Gale Persistence when suddenly a persistent mini-gale blows through his living room and flips the pages.

Image 001He recognizes the wind as a presence immediately and greets it.  I’m trying to outline the episode, but it gives me nothing.  What can I say?  He calls his friend Herb, but Herb is busy.  He opens his front door.  He lights a cigarette which the wind blows out the first try. The wind blows his door shut.  He looks for batteries for his flashlight.

He says to himself, “My God, it’s like a great big shuffling hound, it’s trying to smell me out.”  He begins making a tape for Herb.  He describes climbing a mountain in Tibet to see what he should never have seen — hundreds of winds.  OK, so the wind has come after him.  I can totally buy into that — we’ve seen all kinds of voodoo follow people back to “civilization” for revenge.  Crikey, TZ even put a lion in a dude’s Park Avenue bedroom.  I can imagine this story being the basis for a great episode, but this ain’t it.

Image 002

“Note to self: I’ll do one more episode in 3 years, but that’s it!”

In the limited “killer wind” genre, this makes The Happening look like Citizen Hurrikane.

I give it an F1 on the Fujita Scale (F5, of course, being Finger of God).  And that’s being generous, because the Fujita Scale actually starts at F0.

The short story is actually pretty good and if I had read it before seeing the episode, I would have looked forward to an adaptation — on Outer Limits or TZ, maybe.

Strangely, the short story centers on his friend Herb.  Sarrazin’s character Allin (renamed the manlier John Colt for TV) literally phones it in, never physically appearing in the scenes.   I’m not sure what is the benefit of this choice, but it worked for me.

Naturally, the short story form has the advantage of being able to deliver more pure exposition.  We are given a lot more information about the wind, how it has absorbed the souls of those killed in hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons; how it has pursued Allin across the globe.

Another wasted opportunity.

Post-Post:

  • Sarrazin’s character mentions that they are in New Zealand, so my hunch about The Lake was correct.  This episode was all shot indoors, so the NZ location was not exploited at all.
  • Like everything filmed in New Zealand in the last 50 years, The Wind has an actor that appeared in one of the Lord of The Ring movies.  OK, The Lake didn’t; well, that theory didn’t last long.

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