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on November 15, 2014
This show always fascinated me as a kid! And how many 1 season shows ever went into syndication unless they were really good! This show from Irwin Allen had great props like that giant tunnel and in the pilot that disappearing entrance down into the earth with many levels down to the base. Each week taught many history lessons as our heroes went back in time to historical periods of the West, Iwa Jima, Greece, etc. but the ones I enjoyed the most were their journeys into the future and space with different aliens! This show was a blast ! I stored about 5 episodes into my Amazon Prime library so when I'm on the road and I'm tired of watching endless ESPN Sportscenters I watch one of these episodes! They tried to remake this series about 10 years ago but the pilot was terrible because it didn't have Irwin Allen's foresight!
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on November 14, 2016
The Time Tunnel was a Science Fiction show of the 60's that lasted only one season. We were usually in bed by the time it aired and we never saw it in syndication. I caught an episode on MeTV recently and decided to buy the DVD if it was reasonably priced.

The season is divided into two volumes and the first season does not disappoint. I liked the technical aspect of the show the most and always wondered how the actors ended up becoming a part of history vs. changing history.

Its too bad the series was short lived.
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on April 6, 2016
A great television series that takes you back to relive historical events (and possible future ones, although they were a little corny). When Doug and Tony are transported to events that took place in the past, it really does make you fall in love with history. Also makes you think about alternative history as well (What if they actually stopped the Lincoln assignation or the Titanic from sinking?)
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on December 3, 2013
As an armchair film student, I'm fascinated with Irwin Allen's stock footage opus, The Time Tunnel. It's a well-done blending of 1960's plots about time travelers lost in space, stumbling into one history-changing event after another from the Alamo to the fall of Troy. It's fun to pick out the stock footage sources as you watch, from The 300 Spartans to The Buccaneer to A Night to Remember. The stories themselves are good, the often long-gone guest star appearances are welcome, including Michael Rennie as captain of the Titanic and future TV star Carroll O'Connor playing both a British general at the Battle of New Orleans as well as his 20th Century English descendant who joins the doomed advance against General Andrew Jackson. Probably Allen's most ambitious low-budget dodge of tapping stock footage to beef up a story.
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on June 14, 2013
I just finished reading Stephen Kings 11/22/63. With time travel fresh in my mind, I remembered Irwin Allen's "Time Tunnel" program that I watched as a kid back in 1966. We did not own a colored TV yet so everything seen was through the prizm of black and white.

I remember the first episode like it was yesterday. Greg and Tony get sent back in time to April 14th, 1912 aboard the Titanic. I won't reveal anymore. VCR/DVRs did not exist in 1966. If you missed an episode you were SOL. I have enjoyed two episodes that I did not see back then. I was relieved to learn this morning that the Time Tunnel saved our earth from Halley's comet that almost destroyed us in 1910! This is real stuff folks.

Sure the effects are a bit cheesy at times, but they do a good job with what they had to work with back then. It is great to see this show in color.

Buy it now. It will bend your mind!
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on August 9, 2014
What a great TV show! I enjoyed watching this TV show when I was a kid and it is great watching these episodes now on DVD as an adult. Tony and Doug jumped into the tunnel before it was perfected. Therefore, the scientists didn't know how to bring them back home to the exact present. However, in one episode, Tony came out of the tunnel in a time warp within a fraction of a second with everybody else frozen and left a note saying that he was there. He went back into the tunnel to save Doug in the past. On the first episode, the Captain of the Titanic didn't believe they were from his future until the Titanic struck an iceberg and then he believed them. I'm sorry to see that ABC cancelled this TV series after being on ABC TV for only one season. This DVD is certainly a tape worth seeing.
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on June 1, 2007
If I could give this show 4.5 stars, that might be closer to how I feel about it, but 5 stars will do.

Like some of the other reviewers, I grew up on this show (I believe I was nine or ten when it aired); naturally, my memories of it are not close to what it actually was. Seeing it as an adult, I can see its flaws--the cheesy time tunnel, the use of stock footage from (I assume) films to pad out scenes, the very static situation in the control room, which is pretty much the only place the non-time travellers are EVER seen (must have been hard to stay fresh as an actor if you were on that end of things). The show also indulges in certain stereotypes--the noble English versus a myriad of savages, for example; also the menacing Asian stereotypes are prevalent. The show's concepts of aliens is pretty silly--why are they all silvery, looking like they're wrapped in foil?

Still, each week is a history lesson, and despite the show's occasionally awkward cultural assumptions, it does also come up with challenging ways to consider certain historical moments--Custer's Last Stand, which represents Custer as ambitious and blind; Mako, in the WWII episode in Volume 2, makes up for the horrid stereotypes in Volume 1's Pearl Harbor episode. I think the key to the show's "success" is the main duo, James Darren and Robert Colbert, who work so well together, and who seem so sincere and committed in every scene. Sometimes you would hope they'd introduce a little humor into their adventures, but that never happens. The Time Tunnel never gives you much of a window into the lives of the characters, which can be frustrating. But Darren and Colbert give us everything they've got every week, as do Whit Bissel, Lee Meriwether, and John Zaremba back in the control room. Had the show come back for a second season (producer Irwin Allen ended the show when ABC requested a 1/3 budget cut for a second season--ABC was #3 out of 3 in those days, and was notoriously cheap), I'm sure the focus on showing the viewers the tunnel would have been reduced, and more interesting scenarios developed. In any case, this show is done very sincerely and with pretty good attention to physical and historical detail, even when budget constraints are evident.

Finally, the extras (Allen's home movies, sans audio; interviews with four of the five principals) show a little extra care in the overall package and give a window into what TV was like then and how it's changed.

Definitely a cut above even then, and truly better than most current programs. Generally well-written, finding some human crisis in each historical moment, well-acted, and always interesting. Highly recommended.
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on July 26, 2006
As great as Lost in Space is (and it's certainly a fun favorite), the Time Tunnel may arguably be Irwin Allen's best show due to the fact that it was aimed at an older viewer and thus has more resonance for audiences today. The premise of the show -- two scientists and friends lost in time visit various points in history -- allowed for much stronger dramatic situations than Allen normally tackled, including much darker thematic elements (such as the episode "The Alamo" in which all but one of the side characters dies.)

But the true strength of the show lies in the superb acting of its cast, in particular Robert Colbert and James Darrin who play the shows two leads, Doug and Tony. Time Tunnel is also rare in that it's a true buddy show, and the actors genuinely display warm affection for each other as they hurtle through time and danger, saving each other as they fall out of the frying pan and into the fire with every passing episode. Their self-sacrificing heroic qualities are a welcome respite from the obnoxious, callous and self-centered personalities prominent on television and in movies today.

While some have accused the show of being formulaic, the varying shift of writers, locales and situations do create for enough narrative variety to satisfy all but the most critical of viewers. Critics also cite a shortness of verisimilitude in terms of accurate historicy. This is still vintage Allen and his first and foremost task was to entertain. And entertain he does. There's no shortage of epic battle scenes (seamlessly inserted from older film stock footage), malevolent villains, distress, mayhem and heroics! That said, one of the great things about this show for younger as well as older viewers is that it inspires a love of history and a desire to read up on the actual events that took place. And for that, the show deserves applause.

An important element that many viewers and critics fail to notice is that Allen tackles the historical scenarios with a surprisingly balanced perspective. The nationalistic propoganda so prevalent in that era of American TV is far more muted here (if not altogether absent), as heroes and villains appear on BOTH sides of the argument (this is especially notable in the episode "Massacre" about the Battle at Little Big Horn.) That's a refreshing change. Not every episode is perfect, however. "Revenge of the Gods" suffers from having the protagonists take sides in the conflict (not to mention providing no explanation why Greek and Trojan characters are speaking English!) But that's by and large the exception to the rule, as the show maintains considerably good continuity throughout. As with nearly all sci-fi TV, don't expect the science to be anything but pseudo-science. If you're focus is on that, you're missing the forest for the trees.

While comparisons to the later Quantum Leap have been made, Time Tunnel is actually a superior offering, free of Bellisario's mawkish, contrived elements (not to mention the crude, less-than-subtle sexual allusions) which occasionally reduced Quantum Leap to mid-eighties TV pablum.

But there is one common factor with Quantum Leap that critics fail to note when they attack the fact that Doug and Tony seem never able to return (while others are retrieved with no problem) and the fact that they keep appearing at crucial historic points, and that is the very science-fiction notion that the Time Tunnel itself is sending Doug and Tom to various hot-spots in history (revealed in the episode "The Death Trap" as well as in the novelization.) This is not unlike Sam's computer in Quantum Leap who may have been responsible for his trips. And while both computers seem bent on having their heroes aid individuals who got a raw deal the first time round (and who actually could be helped) before their sent on their next "mission," the Time Tunnel focuses on saving lives in and around major events and doesn't waste its heroes time (or its viewers) on winning baseball games! While that may keep the intensity amped up to 10 most of the time, it also means you have an overwhelming amount of great shows. Even when Time Tunnel veered into fantasy (which it does in the second half of the season), it still retains its sense of high drama and quality acting which make those episodes all the more memorable and enjoyable.

Overall, the show is a winner on every front. Aside from the nostalgic value, Time Tunnel boasts great performances, interesting storylines, lovable characters, vivid recreations of history, and an appropriate blend of intense action and drama.

The transfer on these DVDs is also stunning! This show has NEVER looked better! I had no idea a 40 year old show could appear so brilliant and sharp! Thanks goes to Fox for taking the time and effort to clean up and present this show so gorgeously! Those who complain that Fox split the season up into two box sets should take into consideration that fact (not to mention that each episode was an hour long and boasted 30 episodes in the season!)

Treat yourself and your family to a trip through time in the Time Tunnel!
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on January 17, 2006
I am eagerly anticipating the release of this DVD set. The Time Tunnel is my number #1 all-time favorite show. When I was 11, time couldn't pass fast enough each week till Friday night rolled around and I could escape the daily grind for a bit of fun with Tony and Doug. Sure, I had the required crush on James Darren (still do), but it was Robert Colbert who truly captured my heart (still does). Sure, looking back the sets were tacky, the effects were cheesy, but the adventure was fun and exciting. It even helped some of us kids learn a touch of history. I recall my sister having a history test, but she did not study. However, the time period visited on the show that week gave her enough historial information to pass her test on Monday! The younger generation may not appreciate the show, but there are plenty of us old-timers who still do. I plan on sharing the adventures with my own four children. One question -- when is Volume II coming out?...It's now two weeks later, I am now the proud owner of Volume I. The show held up much better than I anticipated! What is a shock for me -- is the color! When I watched the show back in 1966, my family only had a black-and-white TV set. It is so great seeing Doug and Tony's adventures "in living color." There are so many memories wrapped up in that little DVD box that just mean so much to me. Now I'm passing on the torch -- my 13-year-old son is enthralled. He's watching the shows in order. My two younger daughters, 12 and 8, are also converts to the fold. They are enjoying the show very much, too. I was surprised, but by all means delighted, that they do care for it.
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on February 11, 2006
Irwin Allen's shortest series was possibly his most ambitious: an adventure wherein its two protagonists, Drs. Tony Newman (James Darren) and Doug Phillips (Robert Colbert), are flung throughout time, allowing them to coincidentally arrive at important historical dates, real and imaginary. All of the producer's trademarks are present: lots of flashy bells and whistles, gobs of pyrotechnics, pseudo science, stereotypical roles of men and women, political incorrectness, and cost-conscious use of studio stock footage and music.

Sure, there are abundances of plot inconsistencies and errors but Allen was more concerned with making entertaining and audience-pleasing fare than accuracy or even logical storytelling. Strangely enough, it's ironic that in 1966, when the show debuted, the country was in the in the midst of the Civil Rights movement, the beginnings of America's involvement in the war in southeast Asia, and the successes of the space program. Only the latter is addressed in any of the episodes, Allen preferring to take the "easy road" and not tackling social issues of the day. A couple of installments hit at social commentary with a line or two but most of the series is pure escapism.

The special effects, mostly in the Time Tunnel complex itself, are impressive when one considers the time of the show's production.

The main stars, along with Whit Bissell, John Zaremba, and Lee Meriwether, do their best to make the show's impossible premise believable, even wih the stilted and, occasional, laughable dialogue. Though they don't appear in most episodes, supporting players Wesley Lau (Sgt. Jiggs) and Sam Groom (Jerry) fill out Allen's usual seven-member, or so, cast, found in each of the sci-fi series in Allen's stable.

Allen's "reparatory company" (actors that appeared in two or more of the filmmaker's productions, television or theatrical) includes Kevin Hagen, John Crawford, Abraham Sofaer, Dee Hartford, Paul Carr, Victor Lundan, Michael Opatoshu, Nehemiah Persoff, Torin Thatcher, Michael Ansara, Malachi Throne, Ford Rainey, and Gary Merrill. Some even appear in more than one of the first fifteen installments, featured in this set.

Michael Rennie ("The Day the Earth Stood Still" and "Lost in Space's" only two-parter, "The Keeper") appears in the pilot episode "Rendezvous with Yesterday". Coincidentally, Rennie also provided the opening and closing narration for the 1953 film "Titanic," a film whose footage is incorporated in much of "The Time Tunnel" pilot.

Susan Flannery (now on the soap "The Bold and the Beautiful" and Golden Globe winner for Allen's "The Towering Inferno") appears in "The Day the Sky Fell In," James Darren's favorite episode.

The show also showcased many future stars of the small and large screen: Carroll O'Connor (forever TV's "Archie Bunker"), Tom Skerritt ("Alien" and TV's "Pickett Fences"), Jim Davis ("Jock Ewing" of "Dallas") and Academy Award-winner Ellen Burstyn ("The Exorcist" and "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore"), billed here as "Ellen McCrae" in the episode "Crack of Doom".

"The Time Tunnel" may not rank as a highpoint in television drama but for a boy of the 60's, it offered a journey of the imagination and inspired a lifelong appreciation and fondness for history.

And that, is Irwin Allen's legacy...even if it was at the expense of James Darren's must-be-awfully-rancid-time-traveling-green turtleneck!
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