1/07/2011. Contributed by Rod MacDonald
region 2 DVD: pub: Revelation Films Ltd B004FS27JA. 9 DVDs 30 episodes plus extras. Price: GBP 27.93 (UK)). stars: James Darren, Robert Colbert and Lee Meriweather.
check out website: www.revfilms.com
During the 1960s in the USA, the producer Irwin Allen was responsible for four magnificent TV series, namely ‘Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea’, ‘Lost in Space’, ‘Land Of The Giants’ and, this one, ‘The Time Tunnel’. Recently in the UK, Revelation Films have released the complete series on DVD in a boxed collection. This is essentially a package which was previously released in the USA and made compatible to European standards.
You get quite a lot for your money. The show only lasted for one season but there are thirty episodes in glorious colour plus lots of extras to give some background information. This is good family entertainment and it stands the test of time.
Like most of Irwin Allen's material, it's not to be taken too seriously. The guy had entertainment as his main aim and in-depth analysis is a complete waste of time. He went out to achieve entertainment and in that he was very successful. ‘The Time Tunnel’ fits the bill.
What's the story about? Basically a couple of scientists, Dr. Tony Newman and Dr. Doug Phillips, played by James Darren and Robert Colbert, are catapulted throughout time to various situations in our history and, on a couple of occasions, into our future. This is a top secret American project into the research of time but before it was coming to fruition the government decided to close it down. In order to prove it was working the two scientists decided to try it out but became lost in time moving from one cataclysmic event to the other. Strangely, they always turned up at eventful moments in history. Additionally, they couldn't get back to their own time and at the end of each episode they were transported to another event.
The scientists are clean-cut moralistic types. They are the good guys. The first episode takes them to the Titanic just before it was going to hit the iceberg. As with all of the episodes in history they find it impossible to change the course of events, this often despite their best efforts to make things different, but this lets them escape tricky paradox problems.
Sadly, the Titanic is sunk, Abraham Lincoln is assassinated and Troy is sacked! Think of any important event and you are taken there with the two scientists. Pearl Harbour, Krakatoa, the Battle of Gettysburg and the French Revolution are all included. When Allen found it difficult to recreate some of the scenes he simply borrowed them from famous movies.
There's lots of excitement in this DVD package and you won't be disappointed. Excellent family entertainment, it will keep kids of all ages, including adults, occupied for weeks and months during the bad weather our summer invariably offers. The special features are also very impressive with a couple of pilot episodes, cast interviews, still pictures and lots of Irwin Allen material on offer.
The plots are predictable and fairly straightforward. The two scientists arrive at crucial times in history, meddle about for a while and then they are transported to another time. They don't get back home. Perhaps thirty episodes was about the time limit for this series because after that it begins to get a bit tiring. On the plus side, it's very good TV with plenty of action and excitement. As said, not to be taken too seriously but it is to be enjoyed and appreciated for what it is. Being old enough to watch this the first time round, it isn't diminished by time.
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