Rendezvous With Yesterday:

I haven't seen these in about 40 years, so, effectively, I'm seeing them as for the first time.

Yeah, even if his name wasn't on it, you'd guess this was an Irwin Allen show about a minute into it.

This is such a 60's show. I miss shows like that.

Whit Bissell as the General. Always good to see our Whit.

Cripes, they've got Altair IV down there! And they're gonna shut this huge place down, just because one senator says so?

I'd forgotten that Tony went back alone first.

Fun facts: Anthony Newman was born in 1938, and is from the year 1968. so, the show was set two years in what was then the future.

Andrew was right - Newman immediately tries to change history. "We're Americans, by God! None of this 'worrying about damaging the web of time' for us!"

The great Michael Rennie as the Captain of the Titanic.

And, they end up on a rocket....

Music by "Johnny" Williams.

Well, the special effects are alot better than Doctor Who of the same time period, and they haven't aged too badly.

Interesting that out of all of human history, they land someplace historically significant on their first try.

All in all, I enjoyed this alot. The disk set has an unaired expanded version of the pilot, I shall take a look at that next, to see what they left out of the aired version. Doug and Tony seem like reasonably likable 60's Americans TV heroes so far.

One wonders what the plan was for using the time tunnel once it was perfected - historical and archaeological research, of course - and perhaps a little judicious nudging of world history into directions more favorable to the USA? Hmmm?

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"There was absolutely no pressure on us to depict history accurately." Time Tunnel series writer Robert Duncan told an interviewer, "Once we entered that combination of aliens from outer space woven into historical episodes, there was no need for accuracy."

Man, I'm glad I never watch shows like that!

"Don't get logical with me!"
Several years back, I read comments by Robert Duncan in a piece on Irwin Allen's television efforts---I believe it was in Filmfax and may have been the source of the quote by Duncan posted by TurningPoint. Those comments corroborated what was always painfully obvious to me about all of Irwin Allen's television fare: initially, the writers were given free rein to develop truly intriguing plots based upon the shows' premises, including genuine emotional and psychological drama. But as soon as Allen, who was notoriously hands off the day-to-day business of production, turned his attention back to a given show, he would start ordering the writers to take out all of that "talk talk talk". He wanted action action action. Lots of running and fistfights.

That, combined with his pecadillos, meant that, in each of his series---Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lost in Space, The Time Tunnel, and Land of the Giants---the best episodes, the most dramatic and thought-provoking ones, were at the beginning of the series' runs, and then at some point, they would all decline to "monster of the week" and/or sheer silliness.

And it's true; all four of his series follow that same parabolic arc. Voyage held on to its quality the longest, delivering some genuinely mature and gripping episodes for the first season and a half. Then Allen-itis set in, and it seemed like every week after that, Seaview was attacked by a giant squid or Captain Crane was turned into a werewolf or something.

If you watch the first season or half-season (or in The Time Tunnel's case, the first half-dozen episodes), you can see the writers trying to mine the gold out of the shows' premises and showing their potential. That makes the later devolution of the programmes more of a pity.
The Day the Sky Fell In:

OK, so they're in Honolulu, the say before Pearl Harbor.

Wait a minute - Tony's seven years old in 1941? But in "Rendezvous With Yesterday", he said he was born in 1938!

That would be weird, meeting younger versions of yourself and your dad.

"Japan Imports"..heh. That might as well have called it "Japan Front Organization".

The General is the one first one to intimate that you can't change the past.

Why doesn't Tony remember? Shock, or temporal flux? That ism because of his presence, what he remembers is still in the process of being determined...

Jerry, you idiot.

Wait, Jerry-the-idiot just happens to know how to disarm WWII-era Japanese bombs?

The scene where his father dies in his arms - very moving, very well done.

And then they're back in pioneer times, and Tony steals some buckskins...

No, don't shoot Doug, we need him!

Cripes, there's a fair chunk of this episode taken up with setting up the next one, which wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't all going to be repeated at the start of the next one.

All in all, another pretty good episode.
The Last Patrol:

I think the guy who says the little narration bit at the start is the same guy who used to narrate Lost in Space.

"Pakenham"? So, they're at the Battle of New Orleans.

Carroll O'Connor? Hot damn! And not too bad of a British accent for an American actor.

Phillips is kid of a pessimist, isn't he? Heh-heh...Douggie Downer...

I had a feeling General Southall was going to end up trying something - I thought maybe he'd go back and help his ancestor. But in the end, he just cleared his name...How "handy" that he was going to check out soon, anyway.

And then, a volcano!

Another interesting episode - we don't see enough fictional treatments of the War of 1812.
The Baron said:
"Pakenham"? So, they're at the Battle of New Orleans.

Not being especially familiar with the Battle of New Orleans, I looked up Pakenham. If Wikipedia is to be believed, his was another one of those soldierly deaths where it’s hard for a non-soldier like me to decide if he was a courageous, determined commander or just an idiot.

The Baron said:
And then, a volcano!

Next Week on The Time Tunnel: Doug and Tony meet … The Master of Fiction!

I’ve gotta dig out these DVDs and watch them sometime.
Doctor Hmmm? said:
The Baron said:
"Pakenham"? So, they're at the Battle of New Orleans.

Not being especially familiar with the Battle of New Orleans, I looked up Pakenham. If Wikipedia is to be believed, his was another one of those soldierly deaths where it’s hard for a non-soldier like me to decide if he was a courageous, determined commander or just an idiot.

No reason he couldn't've been both!
I thought that might be The Robot's voice, but I wasn't sure.
I never saw this episode before, or if I did, I didn't remember it. So I viewed it this morning. By the way, Baron, you are correct: the opening narration of The Time Tunnel was delivered by Dick Tufeld, who not only provided the narration for Lost in Space, but was also the voice of the Robot.

Things I liked about "The Last Patrol".

■ The show was still adhering to its central dilemma---that things Project Tic Toc sent through the tunnel could not be retrieved. That's why Phillips and Newman were in the situation they were. When General Southall insisted on being sent back to 1812, that's why General Kirk advised him that they could get Southall there safely, but could not bring him back.

It wasn't too long after, in fact, two episodes after this one, when that critical limitation started being ignored. In "Revenge of the Gods", Master Sergeant Jiggs was accidentally sent back to ancient Troy, but the scientists snatched him back. (Yes, there was a bit of problem, but they worked it out, and Jiggs was home, safe and sound.) And after awhile, the scientists at Tic Toc were snatching anybody out of time they wished. Well, practically anybody. Anybody, except Doug and Tony. Even as a youngster, that had me scratching my head.

■ I liked the fact that, when General Kirk initially denied General Southall's request to be sent through the tunnel, Southall went over his head to the Pentagon, to a General White. (Just out of curiosity, I wanted to see if the writers took the trouble to make General Kirk's boss the actual Army Chief of Staff at the time; but alas, no---the sitting Chief of Staff then was General Harold K. Johnson.)

I liked it because it was one of the rare times when Project Tic Toc was shown as not operating in a vacuum, just it and Doug and Tony. One rarely saw the "outside world" of 1968 on the show, so any time some evidence of it was seen, it made the whole thing seem more real, if that makes sense.

It was also a prime example of military hierarchal thinking at that level, of which I know a little something about.

General Southall requests to be sent through the tunnel.

General Kirk, while he sees the logic in Southall's argument, really doesn't want to do it. But, instead of putting his foot down to a friend, he dodges the issue by insisting that he hasn't got that authority.

Fine, says Southall, who does? The Pentagon? O.K., I'll speak to the Pentagon.

Then when Kirk speaks to his boss, General White, White does what any top-level military commander would do in such a case---he puts the decision right back on General Kirk.

Now, no matter what happens, everybody's hands are clean. Kirk can state that he informed higher authority of the situation and it was aware. White can claim that he left the decision to the man who understood the problem the best, General Kirk.

■ Once again, we see the "clothing shift" at the end of the episode. And here, just like in "Revenge of the Gods", Doug and Tony are aware of the sudden change and know what it means.


Things I didn't like about "The Last Patrol".

■ Tony steals two complete sets of buckskins, including moccasins, from a laundry line---and somehow, they fit both scientists perfectly, as if they were tailored for them. If I had my own time tunnel, I'd send a note back to the show's 1966 costumers to make any appropriated garments at least a little too big or too small for Our Heroes.

■ There didn't seem to be enough time, once they knew Doug and Tony's time and place, for General Kirk to locate General Southall, contact him, arrange for his security clearance, then transport him all the way to Arizona, as fast as he did.

■ I realised I was 'way too optimistic in checking to see if the writers had bothered make Kirk's boss the real Army Chief of Staff at the time when I heard the modern-day Southall give his rank as "brigadier general". The writers didn't do their homework on British army ranks, either. The Royal Army does not have the rank of "brigadier general"; its equivalent one-star rank is called brigadier. The 1966 Southall should have been addressed as "Brigadier Southall" throughout.


A couple of other notes.

I noticed that, in the end, Ann was losing her fix on General Southall. Swain indicated that was because his radiation signature was dwindling, which meant he was dying. That tends to reïnforce my pet theory that, with each leap through time, Tony and Doug's bodies revert back to the state they were in when they entered the tunnel originally, right down to their clothing. Therefore, an injured Newman or Phillips would be restored to whole with the next jump. However, a dead Newman or Phillips would remain dead.

Somehow, the radiation bath that a living being receives when he is sent out by the tunnel attaches to that being's biology. As long as he lives, he has a radiation signature---which permits him to be tracked by the boys back at Project Tic Toc and enables him to shift through time. But if he dies, the radiation signature dissipates. Thus, he cannot leap, and if he cannot leap, he stays dead.

Another item of interest: this is one of the rare episodes where Doug Phillips never loosens his necktie.
Crack of Doom:

Doug's a volcano expert, too. Is there anything that man doesn't know? I guess he's just one of those polymaths like Professor Roy Hinkley.

Tony speaks Malay.

"Krakatoa" - I've actually read up on this, it's a pretty interesting story. What Doug says is pretty much true - the biggest man-made explosion is nothing compared to what Nature can do what she puts her mind to it.

I have to imagine that people find it irresistible to walk up behind Jerry and yell "Boo!" periodically, just to watch him jump. I bet even Ann does it once in awhile.

"Why don't we think of ourselves for a change?" There ya go!

"It'll take time - do we have it?" Well, yes, dear, you've got a time tunnel.

Ah, Tony skipped a time track. Should he be able to make the machines work if he's outside of time?

The natives don't seem too broken up over their buddy's death, do they? Probably they didn't really like him all that much.

So, now they can yell through time.

Looks like they're back in Ancient Times - 1200 BC...Troy, I'm imagining.

Well, this was another good episode - I've always found volcanos interesting, and Krakatoa's one of the most interesting volcano stories.
Revenge of the Gods:

I see they're taking the bold approach of totally ignoring the language issue. My rationalization? Once upon a time, a man wasn't considered educated unless he'd studied Latin, Greek and Hebrew. Obviously, Doug and Tony are educated men, so, naturally, they're able to converse in Greek. The fact that they all seem to be conversing in English is merely a "translation convention" for the benefit of us viewers what didn't have classical educations. Hey, Doctor Who didn't bring up the language issue until 1976, and then dropped it until 2005, so, I figure we can cut Doug and Tony some slack.

Troy...could've been worse - could've been Utica!

Even if Tony wins the sword fight, how does that prove he's a god? Sardis doesn't really look like an "only a god could beat me" type.

Odd how the time interference only kicks in when it's dramatically necessary...

They're using the Roman names for Ulysses and the gods.

Jiggs, old man!.

The tunnel goes to infinity?

Team Time Tunnel seem particularly chuckleheaded in this episode.

"I fear the Greeks, even when bearing gifts."

Paris, you wuss!

And, now they're in the Old West....

Another interesting story. It's amusing to me how closely this parallels the Doctor Who story "The Myth Makers", which would've aired a year or so before this. In "The Myth Makers", the First Doctor, Steven and Vicki arrive outside Troy, the Doctor is taken for a god, Steven and Vicki end up as prisoners of Paris inside Troy and the Doctor helps out with the Trojan Horse in order to be able to help them escape. Not that I imagine that the author of "Revenge of the Gods" had seen "The Myth Makers" and knocked it off, I just think the parallels are interesting.

One wonders what the Doctor and friends and Doug and Tony would've made of one another. This was during the period when the Doctor couldn't really control the TARDIS*, so it's not as though he could've offered them a ride home.

*Stands for "Time And Relative Dimension In Space"
All right, now I’m behind!

THE DAY THE SKY FELL IN

Wait a minute - Tony's seven years old in 1941? But in "Rendezvous With Yesterday", he said he was born in 1938!

If you hadn’t mentioned that I would have! Didn’t this show have script editors? Those episodes ran back-to-back!

Why doesn't Tony remember? Shock, or temporal flux? That is because of his presence, what he remembers is still in the process of being determined...

Oh, you’re much more charitable than I. It’s December 7, 1941, the day that will live in infamy, you’re on the Pearl Harbor Naval base, and you can’t remember what you did that morning!? “Hmm, not let me see… I remember there were Japanese planes in the sky and…”

Jerry, you idiot.

I honestly don’t know how Jerry got assigned to this project in the first place. I know it was voluntary, but why he’s not removed is a bigger mystery than why Doug and Tony’s clothes “reset” at the end of each episode. Jerry’s becoming my favorite character.

Wait, Jerry-the-idiot just happens to know how to disarm WWII-era Japanese bombs?

As Tracy said, “He loosened a bolt!”

Cripes, there's a fair chunk of this episode taken up with setting up the next one, which wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't all going to be repeated at the start of the next one.

Lost in space did that, too, but eventually dropped it in the third season.

THE LAST PATROL

Carroll O'Connor? Hot damn!

I didn’t recognize him at first as the ancestor, but would have as the descendent even if I hadn’t read his name in the credits by that time.

And after awhile, the scientists at Tic Toc were snatching anybody out of time they wished. Well, practically anybody. Anybody, except Doug and Tony. Even as a youngster, that had me scratching my head.

I haven’t gotten to those episodes yet, but I would assume they had learned from their experiences tracking Doug and Tony how to stabilize the time lock before sending someone through which they didn’t know in time for Doug and Tony’s hasty trips.

General Kirk, while he sees the logic in Southall's argument, really doesn't want to do it.

I don’t see the logic, really. The American’s won that battle due to Pakenham’s mistake. If Southall’s actions in the past should cause America to lose, wouldn’t it be treasonous to send him back in the first place?

Once again, we see the "clothing shift" at the end of the episode. And here, just like in "Revenge of the Gods", Doug and Tony are aware of the sudden change and know what it means.

It really took me by surprise when the space suits disappeared, but if I’d’ve seen a few more episodes I would’ve postulated something similar to the “reversion theory” myself. Still, I would have liked it if each episode they had to deal with finding replacements for whatever clothes they were wearing at the end of their previous adventure: spacesuits in a coal mine, buckskins and British Redcoat on a tropical island, etc.

Tony steals two complete sets of buckskins, including moccasins, from a laundry line---and somehow, they fit both scientists perfectly, as if they were tailored for them.

Yeah, and whatever happened to the original scouts whose buckskins they stole?

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