?THE CONTROL OF TIME IS POTENTIALLY THE MOST VALUABLE TREASURE THAT MAN WILL EVER FIND.? Or so believe the scientists of Project Tic Toc. Located beneath the Arizona desert, the ten-year project?s focus is the feasibility of time travel. But when the government reconsiders the project, the scientists have only 24 hours to prove their untested ?Time Tunnel? will actually work. Determined to save the project, Dr. Tony Newman and Dr. Doug Phillips go through the tunnel?and quickly find themselves catapulted from one historical event to another, barely escaping with their lives as their colleagues back in Arizona race to figure out a way to bring them back home.
Home video is our own little time tunnel, instantly transporting us back to dimly-remembered TV shows of our youth. The only thing more fun than re-encountering a show one hasn't thought about in years is the happy discovery that it holds up relatively well. In The Time Tunnel
, James Darrin and Robert Colbert star as intrepid scientists Tony Newman and Doug Phillips, who are studying the feasibility of time travel ("potentially the most valuable treasure the world will ever find") as part of the top secret Project Tic Toc. The government, though, considers it a billion-dollar boondoggle and threatens to shut it down. Tony impetuously enters the untested Time Tunnel, and, on his inaugural adventure in "Rendezvous with Yesterday," finds himself on a New York-bound ocean liner. It remains one of the great TV moments when a life preserver reveals that he is, in fact, on the Titanic
. Doug will join him shortly after, and together they will hurtle backward and forward through time, usually arriving on the eve of some pivotal historic event. Meanwhile, back at Project Tic-Toc, the other scientists (including Lee "Catwoman" Meriwether's Dr. Ann MacGregor) follow their progress and try to bring them home.
This four-double-sided-disc set contains the short-lived series' first 15 episodes, complete with the freeze-frame cliffhangers that found the duo on some "fantastic new adventure." Among the most memorable is "The Day the Sky Fell In," in which Tony and Doug find themselves at Pearl Harbor the day before the Japanese attack, and Tony has a Field of Dreams moment that allows him the opportunity to find out what happened to his father, who stationed there at the time. In "Massacre," Tony and Doug try to head off the battle at Little Big Horn. In "Invasion," the pair land in France in advance of the D-Day invasion, and Doug is captured and brainwashed by the Gestapo. Notable guest stars include Michael Rennie (The Day the Earth Stood Still) as the captain of the Titanic, and Carroll O'Connor as a War of 1812 colonel and his modern-day descendant in "The Last Patrol." The Time Tunnel was one of three shows that cult fave sci-fi/fantasy producer Irwin Allen had on the air in 1966 (the other two were Lost in Space and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Sure, the science and history are pure hooey, but The Time Tunnel's cheesy charms (such as the pre-psychodelic time travel light shows) are, well, timeless. --Donald Liebenson