Saturday, November 22, 2008

Looking Backward and Forward - The Time Tunnel

Re-runs of The Time Tunnel allow looking backward in more ways than one. 

It, of course, offers a return to various historic eras--via TV sound stage--in its plots of heroes thrust into out of control time travel.

As with every show from time gone by, it channels memories of when it was first viewed as well.

First viewing
I didn't see Time Tunnel when it was on network TV. Loved Lost in Space, also from Irwin Allen, but We just didn't discover it, I guess. 

However, though it lasted only one season, the 30-odd episodes worked for a weekly slot on one of the Baton Rouge, LA, TV stations, which we got on cable when I was a kid.

Educational opportunities
My old man and I must have found it while flipping the dial one Sunday after church, and periodically we'd tune in to catch scientists Doug and Tony as they hopped from one historic event to another--the fall of Jericho, the Alamo, the Titanic. My old man was better informed about the historic underpinnings so it usually allowed a little educational discussion along the way.

The heroes seemed to land at pretty much the worst possible times in history. Funny how those technical glitches in time travel apparatus work.

They were using the Time Tunnel--developed by the military industrial complex--pre-maturely in order to avoid a funding cut from Congress. Their activities were monitored by soldiers and scientists using one of the most impressive big-screen TVs on the Earth's side of Capt. Kirk's flat screen monitor. The Time Tunnel itself allowed viewing of but not communication with Doug and Tony, you see.

Catching up with the past
I'm getting the gaps filled in on episodes I've missed on Hulu. Who knew they landed in the belly of a moon rocket? I don't recall encounters with silvery, Lost In Space style aliens either. I think those must have been introduced to give ratings a boost with young viewers. Oh well.

The earlier episodes stand up surprisingly well. Irwin Allen knew how to stage a disaster after all, and he re-staged the Titanic long before he sunk the Poseidon.

It's good to watch again, almost like having my dad kicked back in his recliner at my side.

Extra reading


Miladysa said...

I remember this one too :D

Miles McClagan said...

I know now where the English comedy The Time Trumpet got it's name!

Erik Donald France said...

I specifically remember the Titanic, the Trojan War, and, more hazily, seems there was an MP shooting a machine gun at Romans at some point. Loved Time Tunnel.

How about Land of the Giants?

Man, these were cool -- at least from a kid's eye view ;->

Charles Gramlich said...

I never regularly watched this but I have seen a few reruns and enjoyed it. I don't know if I'll try to catch them regularly but I enjoyed when they ran some of them on the Sci Fi Channel.

Sidney said...

Yeah, I remember "Land of the Giants" too. Another good one. It's on Hulu as well. I'll have to check some of those out. I'll have to look for The Time Trumpet as well, Miles.

Rick said...

Didn't the Sci-Fi channel do a made for TV movie based on the series. I'd swear their version was on last night. I'll see if I can dig up the name, but it was kind of a combo of "The Time Tunnel" and the "Philadelphia Experiment."

Sidney said... lists a remake from 2002, apparently a pilot that didn't get a revamp off the ground. I'll have to watch for it if is turning up on SCI FI.

Steve Malley said...

I wish Hulu worked outside the US.

Of course, back on dial-up, nothing like that works. At least, not the same day you start it...

Lana Gramlich said...

Guess I'm just a bit too "Generation X." I don't remember this at all. <:(

Shauna Roberts said...

"Time Tunnel" was my favorite show when I was little. Thanks for the memories.

Sidney said...

Yeah, it is kind of a bummer that it's the World Wide Web but there are blocks on content. There's lots of British content blocked here.

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