Friday, February 10, 2006

The Time Tunnel

Needing a break from a day of furious editing, Carolyn and I watched the first episode of The Time Tunnel on DVD this evening. Of course, the show has all sorts of logical problems, but it's still enormous fun. The first episode features Michael Rennie (Klaatu from The Day the Earth Stood Still) as the captain of the Titanic and the irresistible Susan Hampshire (Fleur Forsyte from the 1960s version of The Forsyte Saga, which I've watched through in its entirety three times in my life). The art direction is fabulous.

We also skipped ahead to the best parts of the third episode, when Halley's Comet gets accidentally pulled into the Time Tunnel, and Dr. Newman comes home -- ten years early. Cool stuff!

There are a couple of other episodes I'm very fond of: the one with Nehemiah Persoff as the inventor of a Soviet Time Tunnel in the 1950s -- that one is included in this DVD boxed set of the first fifteen episodes -- and "The Last Patrol," with Carroll O'Connor (later, Archie Bunker). Also, the one about the walls of Jericho was the first science-vs.-religion exploration I ever saw, and obviously went on to influence my own writing.

The show deserves enormous kudos, by the way, for casting Lee Meriwether as a brainy female scientist. She happens to be very attractive (the actress is a former Miss America) but she's way more in control and sensible than any of the miniskirted females aboard the Enterprise on classic Star Trek, which was in production at the same time. Never does she become the love interest, or do anything gratuitously sexy; she's just brilliant and competent and level-headed (in the third episode, she saves a man's life while all the other male characters stand around ineffectually). Full marks, and, if you'll forgive me, way ahead of its time ...


At February 12, 2006 5:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great break from all of that editing!


Jessica Thomas

At February 12, 2006 9:11 PM , Blogger Peggy K said...

Are scientists ever young, pretty and beautiful?


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