Thursday 12 June 2014


This next Ray Bradbury play is one of my personal favourites because it is mysterious, metaphysical and profoundly moving. 'The Scythe' has provided cover imagery for several editions of Ray's 1947 collection of short stories, The October Country – such as the one on the left.

From time out of mind, popular culture has depicted the scythe-wielding Grim Reaper as a cowled, phantom figure with skeletal limbs. In this story, however, the harvester of humanity assumes a human face...

'The Scythe' was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 4 December 1997 with an exceptional cast featuring John Guerrasio, Bryony Glasgow, Hugh Dickson, Barbara Barnes and Barclay Wright.

I hope you find it a memorable listen: it still brings a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye...

Tomorrow: 'The Wind'

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