The Time Tunnel TV show was a 60 minute sci-fi series on ABC! While it may look antiquated by today's standards, it was one of television's first well-made sci-fi series with believeable scripts, great acting, and much better special effects than the "flying saucer on a string" stuff with which audiences had become familiar. A top secret U.S. Government program attempted to build a time machine. When a visiting Senator seemed about to cut off funds for the project, Professor Tony Newman jumped into the tunnel and found himself in the year 1912 on the Titanic just hours before it would sink! Professor Douglas Phillips followed him in a rescue attempt, but they both ended out trapped in time! Their team in the present was constantly trying to repair the time tunnel to bring them back, but to no avail. Each week thereafter, they would either find themselves at some major historical event or they might be battling aliens in the future.
The Time Tunnel Cast
James Darren .... Doctor Tony Newman
Robert Colbert .... Doctor Douglas Phillips
Lee Meriwether .... Doctor Ann MacGregor
Whit Bissell .... Lieutenant General Heywood Kirk
John Zaremba .... Doctor Raymond Swain
Wesley Lau .... Master Sergeant Jiggs
Sam Groom .... Jerry
The Time Tunnel Trivia
After the first few minutes of the first episode, the supporting cast never worked with the stars again. While Drs. Newman and Phillips were traveling throughout the world and time, the rest of the cast were simply dealing with emergencies in the control room.
The Time Tunnel project was actually called "Project Tic-Toc", was buried beneath the desert, and cost $7 Billion to build.
There was an attempt to bring a new Time Tunnel TV show back to television in 2002. A pilot was produced but, unfortunately, was not sold to any network. The theme of this new series would have been slightly different that the original. Instead of aimlessly being tossed through time, the main characters would have gone to specific times in order to fix something that had "gone wrong". They would have returned triumphantly after each episode!
Lee Meriwether was "Miss America" in 1955. Contrary to popular belief, she did not play "Catwoman" on the "Batman (1966)" TV series! She portrayed "Catwoman" in the 1966 movie, also titled, "Batman". Lee is also a desendant of Meriwether Lewis, an explorer and Governor of the Louisiana Territory during the 1800s!
What a coincidence! Lee Meriwether's co-star "James Darren" was married to the Miss Denmark of 1958! Her name was Evy. Do you think they ever got together and talked about their pagent days?
Many of the props used on this series were also used on other Irwin Allen productions such as "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964)", "Lost In Space (1965)", "Batman (1966)", and "Land of the Giants (1968)". The majority of the control room set was composed of surplus NASA computers and other electronics.
The Time Tunnel TV show's special effects, sets and costumes were so elaborate that this was the most expensive show to produce in 1966!
Like most Irwin Allen Productions, The Time Tunnel TV show was often critisized for its weak script dialog and plotlines but the fast-paced action and suspense was what made Irwin Allen shows successful! Writers were instructed to keep dialog short such as, "Hurry Up!", "Let's Go!", or "We have to get out of here!" They were also asked to include fist fight scenes wherever possible!
The first episode of the Time Tunnel TV show aired one day after the first episode of the original Star Trek TV Show, another of TV's first quality sci-fi series!
James Darren starred in many 1950's teenager films and became a teen idol! He also had a successfull singing career in the mid 60's. You may have seen him decades later as the holographic nightclub singer, "Vic Fontaine" on several "Star Trek Deep Space Nine (1993)" episodes! He also starred on the series "T.J. Hooker (1982)". He's also the Godfather of "Angela Jennifer Lambert" who is Nancy Sinatra's daughter and Frank Sinatra's granddaughter.
Whit Bissell was a huge star in the 1940s and 50s! He was in more that 200 movies and dozens of television series! He usually played the "Man In Charge" or a doctor. He's probably best known for his role as the evil scientist in the movie, "I Was A Teenage Werewolf" where he co-starred with Michael Landon.
Time Tunnel Opening Narrative
"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!"
Episodes List With Original Air Dates
The First And Only Season
1... Rendezvous With Yesterday (9/9/1966) - Tony and Doug find themselves on the Titanic's fatefull voyage!
2... One Way To The Moon (9/16/1966) - The guys appear in the future on a spaceship headed for Mars! The astronauts think they are spies and their extra weight puts the mission in danger!
3... End Of The World (9/23/1966) - In the year 1910, Tony finds himself in a cave-in along with 200 other miners. Meanwhile, Doug must convince the villagers that Halley's comet is not going to hit the Earth!
4... The Day The Sky Fell In (9/30/1966) - The guys materialize in the Japanese consulate in Honolulu, Hawaii on December 6, 1941 ... one day before the attack on Pearl Harbor! Can Tony find his father who is a Naval Commander at the time and convince him of what is about to happen?
5... The Last Patrol (10/7/1966) - Tony and Doug land right in the middle of the war of 1812!
6... Crack Of Doom (10/14/1966) - Can the guys convince a scientist on the island of Krakatoa in 1883 that the island's volcano is about to erupt, causing one of the most catastrophic natural disasters in recorded history!
7... Revenge Of The Gods (10/21/1966) - Tony and Doug appear at the battle of Troy where Ulysses mistakes them for Gods.
8... Massacre (10/28/1966) - South Dakota ... June 24, 1876 ... the day before the Battle of the Little Bighorn, otherwise known as Custer's Last Stand! Can Tony stop the carnage by convincing Sitting Bull or will Doug be able to talk some sense into General Custer?
9... Devil's Island (11/11/1966) - The guys find themselves on "Devil's Island", home to the infamous prison of the same name where sentences are nearly always for life and the prisoners' treatment is extremely inhumane. They try to tell the authorities that they are stranded Americans, but when they can't prove it, they are considered escaped prisoners and locked up!
10. Reign Of Terror (11/18/1966) - It's Paris, 1793, and Doug has been arrested by the Committee of Public Safety that had recently taken control of the French government after the French revolution!
11. Secret Weapon (11/25/1966) - The guys arrive in Russia in 1956 and find that Russian scientists are working on their own Time Tunnel project!
12. The Death Trap (12/2/1966) - Doug is captured by the Pinkertons security service in 1861 when they decide that he is one of John Brown's followers during the abolitionist movement in the southern U.S.
13. The Alamo (12/9/1966) - It's March 6, 1836 and neither Tony nor Doug can convince Colonel Travis, the commander of the Alamo, that his forces are all doomed to death!
14. The Night Of The Long Knives (12/16/1966) - Doug is shot and taken prisoner by Afghani tribesmen, while Rudyard Kipling, the famous British short story author, rescues Tony in 1876 Afghanistan!
15. Invasion (12/23/1966) - June 4, 1944, just 2 days before allied troups with attack German forces at Normandy, an evil German scientist brainwashes Doug into believing that Tony killed his father. Then Doug goes after Tony!
16. The Revenge Of Robin Hood (12/30/1966)
17. Kill Two By Two (1/6/1967)
18. Visitors From Beyond The Stars (1/13/1967)
19. The Ghost Of Nero (1/20/1967)
20. The Walls Of Jericho (1/27/1967)
21. Idol Of Death (2/3/1967)
22. Billy The Kid (2/10/1967)
23. Pirates Of Dead Man's Island (2/17/1967)
24. Chase Through Time (2/24/1967)
25. The Death Merchant (3/3/1967)
26. Attack Of The Barbarians (3/10/1967)
27. Merlin The Magician (3/17/1967)
28. The Kidnappers (3/24/1967)
29. Raiders From Outer Space (3/31/1967)
30. Town Of Terror (4/7/1967) - In the "future" (1978), the guys uncover a plot by alien androids to steal Earth's oxygen!
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