Time Tunnel, Vol. 2
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THE TIME TUNNEL aired on the ABC-TV network in the US during the 1966-1967 television season. Produced by Irwin Allen, THE TIME TUNNEL was the shortest of his series, receiving an untimely cancellation in the spring of 1967.
This set, VOLUME 2, brings us the remaining 15 episodes of the series, completing the run of 30 total episodes. Here are the episode numbers, titles, and original air-dates of the episodes making up VOLUME 2 in the DVD series:
16 THE REVENGE OF ROBIN HOOD-Dec. 30, 1966
17 KILL TWO BY TWO-Jan. 6, 1967
18 VISITORS FROM BEYOND THE STARS-Jan. 13, 1967
19 THE GHOST OF NERO-Jan. 20, 1967
20 THE WALLS OF JERICHO-Jan. 27, 1967
21 IDOL OF DEATH-Feb. 3, 1967
22 BILLY THE KID-Feb. 10, 1967
23 PIRATES OF DEADMAN'S ISLAND-Feb. 17, 1967
24 CHASE THROUGH TIME-Feb. 24, 1967
25 THE DEATH MERCHANT-March 3, 1967
26 ATTACK OF THE BARBARIANS-March 10, 1967
27 MERLIN THE MAGICIAN-March 17, 1967
28 THE KIDNAPPERS-March 24, 1967
29 RAIDERS FROM OUTER SPACE-March 31, 1967
30 TOWN OF TERROR-April 7, 1967
Though the writing quality of some of the episodes tended to deteriorate in the second half, there were still some fine episodes in this bunch. KILL TWO BY TWO plunges our heroes onto a Pacific Island where a sad chapter of World War Two plays out.
CHASE THROUGH TIME features three time-transfers sending the scientists over a two million year timespan. And other episodes deal with historical figures like William Bonney ("Billy The Kid"), Machiavelli, himself displaced in time to the American Civil War, and even Biblical hero, Joshua.
And then there's the aliens... Well, this IS an Irwin Allen series, and you really didn't think that the LOST IN SPACE costumes would go to waste, did you?
As a bonus, this set is also featuring the 1976 TV-movie that Irwin Allen developed called THE TIME TRAVELERS. It featured Sam Groom ("Jerry" from THE TIME TUNNEL) and Tom Halick as a pair from the present day who are sent back in time to find and preserve a long-lost cure to a present-day epidemic. Sent back to Old Chicago, they locate the doctor who developed the cure (played by Richard Basehart) and have to get it from him before the great fire destroys the town. This film was a pilot for another possible time-travel series. It aired on ABC, but was never picked up as a series. The script was from an idea by Rod Serling.
Fans of THE TIME TUNNEL are delighted that this series will finally be out in its entirety. New fans have developed with the release of the first set. All in all, 2006, the fortieth anniversary of THE TIME TUNNEL, is shaping up to be a pretty good year.
It is at this midway point in the season that producer-creator Irwin Allen broadens the series' premise to include capricously outlandish encounters with Robin Hood, Merlin the Magician, the wrathful spirit of the Roman Emperor Nero and even extraterrestrial beings (on four separate occasions).
Featured celebrity guest-stars and veteran film and tv performers impressively in evidence are Robert Duvall, Mako, Robert Walker, Jr., Eduardo Cianelli, Malachi Throne, Michael Ansara, Byron Foulger, Richard Jaeckel, Myrna Fahey, Allan Case, Paul Mantee, Abraham Sofaer, Lawrence Montaigne, Christopher Carey, Mabel Albertson, Anthony Caruso, Vitina Marcus, Del Monroe, Michael Pate, Donald Herron, John Hoyt, Lisa Gaye, Arthur Batanides, Jan Merlin, Peter Brocco, Ronald Long, Phillip Ahn, Arnold Moss and John Saxon.
The remaining 15 episodes are:
16) "The Revenge of Robin Hood" (30/12/1966)
17) "Kill Two By Two" (06/01/1967)
18) "Visitors from Beyond the Stars" (13/01/1967)
19) "The Ghost of Nero" (20/01/1967)
20) "The Walls of Jericho" (27/01/1967)
21) "Idol of Death" (03/02/1967)
22) "Billy the Kid" (10/02/1967)
23) "Pirates of Deadman's Island" (17/10/1967)
24) "Chase Through Time" (24/02/1967)
25) "The Death Merchant" (03/03/1967)
26) "Attack of the Barbarians" (10/03/1967)
27) "Merlin the Magician" (17/03/1967)
28) "The Kidnappers" (24/03/1967)
29) "Raiders from Outer Space" (31/03/1967)
30) "Town of Terror" (07/04/1967)
As in the previous volume one set, series fans can look forward to pristine video transfers taken from fully restored and digitally remastered 35mm source elements with each segment presented, including the original cliffhanger endings, complete and intact.
Welcome supplementary archival material will consist of the made-for-tv film TIME TRAVELLERS (1976) which was intended as Irwin Allen's follow-up to his 1960s SF tv classic (starring former TIME TUNNEL alumni Sam Groom and derived from a story concept credited to Rod Serling) along with original series cast member interviews of James Darren, Robert Colbert, Lee Meriwether and Whit Bissell in addition to a (roughly) 3 minute special presentation of the shelved 2002 TIME TUNNEL revival effort pilot will also be included to further augment this exceptional 4-disc collection.
Despite the fact that our two intrepid time travellers were never returned home again (due to the show's premature cancellation after only a single season) THE TIME TUNNEL (with its stellar luminary casting from Hollywood's finest, always diverse and interesting storylines and groundbreaking Emmy Award winning visual effects) remains to be an enduring, immensely popular Television of the Fantastic favourite since its inaugural primetime airing nearly 40 years later that continues to enthrall and delight new generations of fans captivated by errant Project Tic-Toc scientists Tony Newman and Doug Phillips' ongoing exploits into new realms of colourful adventure and spellbinding excitement that was as much an invention of the vivid imaginations exhibited by the contributing staff writers as it was a reflection of the glorious pages in history.
Jeff T. (...)
It was so sad to know that this show only made 30 episodes at the time. It wasnt by any means a ratings failure either. Like "Gilligan's Island"...some executives decided that they had a better show to put in its place at the last minute which in the end was a mistake for them anyway.
They had already thrown a fantastic party for another season. The show was just getting off the ground when it was cancelled.
The first half of this set Volume 1 shows just how great a new show can be in its first year. Unforgettable episodes like "The Day The Sky Fell In" and "Invasion" are classic reasons why this show has stood so long all these years even being a one season show.
The next set is even more fantastic as we are introduced to aliens when Tony and Doug come across them when their thrown onto their spacecraft in the year 1883. There would be two more run ins with aliens in the final episodes, but between them comes the best episode of the whole series "Chase Through Time"..that should have been saved for last as season finale instead of "Town Of Terror"
The final seven episodes of the series are missing the best part of the show and that is the narration of how the Tunnel started, we are replaced with them tumbling threw the vortex to their next destination which in the very beginning of the show no one in the complex could see till they landed and they got a probe on them, someone changed that and made a small mistake.
Finally, the only choice one can make from this show is that the show goes in a loop as Tony and Doug go back to their first landing which was the Titanic...it was made like this so it would be assumed that they are in a time loop re-living the same time peroids over and over again.
Time Tunnel was extremely ahead of its time with graphics and by far the most expensive of its time.
Its a shame that the 2002 revival of this sweet show didnt happen, but we have the pilot to enjoy and we can dream how sweet the series would have been and could have gone.
Season one volume two contains the final 15 episodes of this Irwin Allen classic and it remains one of my favorite TV shows of all time. From the creative mind of Irwin Allen we get to join scientists Tony Newman (James Darrin) and Doug Phillips (Robert Colbert) as they enter the Time Tunnel to prove that Project Tic Toc was indeed capable of sending humans through time and bringing them back, hopefully in one piece. Trapped in time and unable to return home because they tried to use the Time Tunnel before it was completed, the scientists now wait helplessly as they're colleagues try to get them back. Will Tony and Doug ever get back to the present or will they float in time for ever?
DVD extras include interviews with cast members, a still photo gallery, the 1970's made for TV "Time Travelers" movie and the unaired 2002 TV pilot episode. The bonus features this time around are a definite plus, although the footage of the 1970's "Time Travelers" movie is not as sharp as the 1960's episodes. As for the unaired 2002 TV pilot, it's almost an hour long and the sound is in 5.1. After watching the 2002 pilot episode I could see why the studio passed on it, it's like watching a lesser version of Stargate, only not as good.
This amazing DVD set completes the original series and is a must for all "Time Tunnel" fans new or old. My only complaint is that a 30 episode series took two volumes to complete when the Studio could have easily released a complete series set to begin with. Recently the complete season one of the "Wild Wild West" with all 28 episodes & bonus extras was released on 7 single sided discs by Paramount and definitely more affordable. I hope this review was helpful.
Tony Newman... (James Darrin)
Doug Phillips... (Robert Colbert)
Lee Meriwether... (Dr. Ann MacGregor)
Whit Bissell... Army Lt. Gen. Heywood Kirk)
John Zaremba... (Dr. Raymond Swain)
Dick Tufeld... (Announcer)
Watching the episodes back to back, one realizes how frequently a group of actors appeared in that single season. Though they would be assaying different roles, actors John Crawford, John Hoyt, Kevin Hagen, Vitina Marcus, Vincent Beck, Malachi Throne, Michael Ansara, Rhodes Reason, and Lawrence Montaigne would repeatedly find themselves, like stars James Darren ("Tony") and Robert Colbert ("Doug"), "trapped in the annals of time." In addition to this group, the following actors, who would be featured in other Allen productions, would be seen: Abraham Sofaer, Victor Jory (a standout in "The Pirates of Devil's Island"), future Oscar winner Robert Duvall, Arthur Batanides, Regis Toomey, Ronald Long, and Lew Gallo.
Heather Young is featured in the final episode and would later go on to appear as one of the stars of Allen's "Land of the Giants". The ever-popular Del Monroe ("Kowalski" from "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea") appears in one episode, also.
The sharp eye will notice some of the same set pieces from Allen's other television shows: the "computers" and other flashing gizmos, ray guns, and that ever present silver ALIEN makeup.
As far as the "extras" go, they are a curious lot. The unaired fifty-minute 2002 pilot owes about as much to its premise to the original series as it does to the Sci-fi Channel's popular "Stargate SG-1" show. However, it's a fairly good pilot and should have fit well on the Sci-Fi Channel's schedule.
And Allen's attempt to revive the concept with his own pilot, "The Time Travelers" benefits solely from the casting of Groom and Richard Basehart ("Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea").
If one has seen the television special "The Fantasy Film Worlds of Irwin Allen," the cast interviews offer nothing new.
As has been noticed by others, the second half of the season was not as strong as the first but there is one notable observation: the best show from this half ("Kill Two by Two") parallels the best from the first half ("The Day the Sky Fell In"). Both shows find Doug and Tony in World War II situations and feature standout performances from both actors, along with the respective guest stars (Linden Child's in the latter and Mako and Phillip Ahn in the former), and writing that was superior to the other installments in the series. Coincidentally, one of the best from Allen's other series ("Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea") dealt with survivors of World War II: "And Five of Us are Left".
Perhaps, if more of the episodes had been of their caliber, the pair would've been crossing time a little longer than one season.
And Lee Meriwhether ("Ann") may have gotten to wear something besides that godawful green blouse!
Still, the set comes recommended as an affordable entertainment.
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