Monday, 22 November 2010
Here There Be Tygers by Ray Bradbury
“The rocket ship sank down towards planet seven of star system eighty-four. They had travelled millions upon millions of miles. Earth was far away; her system and her sun forgotten and now the rockets of these tiny men could travel anywhere, for the speed of their rockets was the speed of a god...”
I downloaded this dramatisation of Ray Bradbury's original short story from his book 'R is for Rocket' from itunes and I was not disappointed. The title was inspired by the ancient practice of marking unexplored regions of the world with the words 'Here There Be Dragons'
The story is quite typical of Bradbury's science fiction; a team of astronauts land on a strange, previously unexplored planet. From the outset there is something very different about the place. There are no people there aside from the men themselves but the planet seems to be alive. Before long it becomes apparent to the men that whatever they day dream or fantasise about the planet makes a reality for them. By way of example one of the men muses that when he was a kid he always wanted to fly like a bird. The next thing you know he's up in the sky flying around. Another man thinks about how hungry he is and some pre-cooked fish appears in a stream for him to eat. One of the group has very negative feelings about the planet, he believes it has a sinister motive for its behaviour and he attempts to destroy it. In retaliation the planet kills him prompting the other astronauts to try to escape (albeit reluctantly) but the planet doesn't want them to leave...
Although it is only thirty minutes long the dramatisation is very entertaining and only cost a few quid. I thought it was excellent value for money and I have re-listened to it several times since.
The story is very tense and exciting not to mention original. It is very easy to get caught up in it. The voice acting is very good if a little hammy at times. Also the music and sound effects are convincing and really give the whole thing atmosphere.
I have bought a copy of 'R is for Rocket' and am expecting it any day now, I am looking forward to comparing the short story to the dramatisation.
Final verdict 4/5