write up courtesy of wikipedia

The Time Tunnel is a 1966–1967 U.S. color science fiction TV series, written around a theme of time travel adventure. The show was creator-producer Irwin Allen's third science fiction television series, released by 20th Century Fox and broadcast on ABC. The show ran for one season of 30 episodes. Reruns are viewable on cable and by internet streaming. A pilot for a new series was produced in 2002, although it was not picked up.

   

  Project TIC TOC is a top secret U.S. government effort to build an experimental time machine, known as "The Time Tunnel" due to its appearance as a cylindrical hallway. The base for Project Tic-Toc is a huge, hidden underground complex in Arizona, 800 floors deep and employing over 36,000 people. The directors of the project are Dr. Douglas Phillips (Robert Colbert), Dr. Anthony Newman (James Darren), and Lt. General Heywood Kirk (Whit Bissell). The specialists assisting them are Dr. Raymond Swain (John Zaremba), a foremost expert in electronics, and Dr. Ann MacGregor (Lee Meriwether), an electro-biologist supervising the unit that determines how much force and heat a time traveler is able to withstand. The series is set in 1968, two years into the future of the actual broadcast season, 1966-67.

   Project Tic-Toc is in its tenth year when United States Senator Leroy Clark (Gary Merrill) comes to investigate in order to determine whether the project, which has cost 7.5 billion dollars, is worth continuing. Senator Clark feels the project is a waste of government funds. When speaking to Phillips, Kirk, and Newman in front of the Time Tunnel, he delivers an ultimatum: either they send someone into time and return him during the course of his visit or their funding will cease. 

    Tony volunteers for this endeavor, but he is turned down by project director Doug Phillips. Defying this decision, Tony sends himself into time. Doug follows shortly after to rescue him, but they both continue to be lost in time. Senator Clark returns to Washington with the promise that funding will not be cut off to the project, leaving General Kirk in charge.

     The stage is set for the progress of the series as Tony and Doug are now "switched" from one period in history to another, allowing episodes to be set in the past and future. Each episode (up to episode 24) begins with the following narration (voiced by Dick Tufeld):
"Two American scientists are lost in the swirling maze of past and future ages, during the first experiments on America's greatest and most secret project, the Time Tunnel. Tony Newman and Doug Phillips now tumble helplessly toward a new fantastic adventure, somewhere along the infinite corridors of time."

     Tony and Doug become participants of notable past events like the Sinking of the Titanic, the Attack on Pearl Harbor, the eruption of Krakatoa, Custer's Last Stand, and the Battle of the Alamo among others. General Kirk, Ray, and Ann in the control room are able to locate them in time and space, observe them, communicate with them through voice contact, and send help. When the series is abruptly cancelled in the summer of 1967, they do not film an episode in which Tony and Doug are safely returned to the Time Tunnel complex.

  

Production

The production used sets, stock footage and props left over from the large number of period dramas made by the 20th Century Fox film company. Even black-and-white shots of the Titanic sinking were tinted for use in this color production. Only a few actors were costumed for a given episode, interspersed with cuts of great masses of people similarly dressed from original features. Only one set was constructed for the show, that of the Time Tunnel main control room. For the pilot episode, a large control room set was built, and a longer Time Tunnel was created using optical matte shots. After the pilot episode, location changes occurred for the production of the series; Colbert and Darren shot their scenes in another studio, on the 20th Century Fox backlot, or on location, while those who portrayed the Time Tunnel personnel filmed all their scenes on revised and smaller (due to the production having to utilize a smaller sound stage than used during the pilot filming) Time Tunnel control room set. Some episodes featured space aliens who wore costumes and carried props originally created for other Irwin Allen television and movie productions. Prop sets were similarly re-used. The prop computer looked realistic because it was an array of memory modules from the Air Force's recently decommissioned SAGE computer.

Continuity errors and errors in historical fact occurred throughout the series. In the premiere episode, "Rendezvous with Yesterday", Captain Smith of the Titanic is called "Malcolm" when his name was Edward historically. The names of the secondary officers are also fictitious, though Walter Lord's best-selling book A Night to Remember had been released only nine years earlier. Tony states that he was born in 1938. A few episodes later in "The Day the Sky Fell in", he states he was seven when Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941, which would make the year of his birth 1934.

The theme for The Time Tunnel was composed by John Williams (credited as "Johnny Williams"). GNP Crescendo later released an album featuring Williams' work and the score composed by George Duning for the episode "The Death Merchant".

The series won an Emmy Award in 1967, for Individual Achievements in Cinematography. The award went to L.B. "Bill" Abbott, for his photographic special effects.

Possibility of time travel

Time travel is facilitated by time being portrayed as a static continuum, accessible at any point through the Time Tunnel as a corridor spanning its infinite reaches. When Senator Clark sees an image of the Titanic on the image screen in the course of episode one, he is told by Dr. Swain that he is seeing "the living past", and Althea Hall is told by Tony Newman that the past and the future are the same. The Time Tunnel is also a portal connecting the Time Tunnel "complex" with the same time periods in which Doug and Tony are located. Other persons in time can also be relocated by the Time Tunnel from their time to another time as Machiavelli is switched from his own time to the time of the Gettysburg Campaign of 1863. Bringing people (other than Tony and Doug) back to the future happens continually in the series. 

      In the course of the series Doug, Tony, and the Time Tunnel personnel discover that events of the past can be altered to some extent by the intrusion of the time travelers, and in a few cases their historical research allows for it. Episode 26 ("Attack of the Barbarians") explores the scenario of one of the time travelers falling in love with someone from the past: Tony and the Princess Serit, daughter of Kublai Khan. Marco Polo tells Doug, "Can they not touch each other?" History itself hints at the possibility of Serit marrying Tony as Ann informs General Kirk. The historical information on Billy the Kid's victims alarms Ann, Ray, and the General as it records that he killed two strangers near Lincoln, New Mexico in April, 1881—just when Tony, Doug and Billy the Kid are brought together.

 

 

Season 1

Episode # Episode Name Airdate
Ep30 Town of Terror
Ep29 Raiders from Outer Space
Ep28 The Kidnappers
Ep27 Merlin the Magician
Ep26 Attack of the Barbarians
Ep26 Walls of Jericho
Ep25 The Death Merchant
Ep24 Chase Through Time
Ep23 Pirates of Deadman's Island
Ep22 Billy the Kid
Ep21 Idol of Death
Ep20 The Walls of Jericho
Ep19 The Ghost of Nero
Ep18 Visitors from Beyond the Stars
Ep17 Kill Two by Two
Ep16 The Revenge of Robin Hood
Ep15 Invasion
Ep14 Night of the Long Knives
Ep13 The Alamo
Ep12 The Death Trap
Ep11 Secret Weapon
Ep10 Reign of Terror
Ep9 Devil's Island
Ep8 Massacre
Ep7 Revenge of the Gods
Ep6 The Crack of Doom
Ep5 The Last Patrol
Ep4 The Day the Sky Fell In
Ep3 End of the World
Ep2 One Way to the Moon
Ep1 Rendezvous with Yesterday

 

 

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