THE TIME TUNNEL
Lost In Time
Lost In Space creator Irwin Allen was behind a number of other fondly remembered shows, like this one.
Set in 1968, The Time Tunnel is the story of two scientists at a government time travel project. Threatened with its closure, Doug Phillips and Tony Newman head into the “time tunnel” themselves. At each location visited, project director Kirk and the other scientists back at the control room can observe them, send occasional aid and ultimately jump them back into the tunnel – but remain unable to return them back to the present.
There’s a very Quantum Leap feel, as Tony and Doug attempt to survive and help those around them. It quickly becomes tiring, though. Despite several interesting conceits (aliens attempt to invade in our past; traitors encountered in the future turn up in the present; historical figures are transported themselves), it often feels formulaic. And though the show’s visuals start promisingly – the credits have a Saul Bass feel, and the opening shots of the complex are stunning – it becomes an overly familiar combination of stock footage and Californian landscape.
A show with potential, so it’s a shame it only ran for one season (30 episodes), but it’s far from an essential part of TV history to visit.
Extras The original unaired pilot (53 minutes); the unaired pilot for a 2002 reboot (49 minutes); Time Travelers, a 1976 Irwin Allen TV movie written by Rod Serling (72 minutes); four cast interviews (28 minutes); home movie footage shot during the making of the pilot (52 minutes, no audio); a camera test of the time tunnel effects; TV/radio ads; galleries of stills, merch, comic art and storyboards. Rhian Drinkwater
Despite interesting conceits, it’s formulaic
Keep ’em peeled watching the pilot and you may spot Dennis Hopper in the background as a passenger on the titanic.
The photographer had forgotten to zip his fly back up.