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Scientists Tony Newman and Doug Phillips are the young heads of Project Tic-Toc, a multi-billion dollar government installation buried beneath the desert. They have invented a Time Tunnel, which will allow people to visit anywhere in time and space. While testing the tunnel for an impatient senator, Newman and Phillips became trapped in time, and each week coincidentally found themselves at the site of an important historical event, be it the Siege of Troy, the sinking of the Titanic or an assassination attempt on President Lincoln. Sometimes they traveled into the future, and battled alien invaders. Ann MacGregor, Gen. Kirk and Dr. Swain are the scientists trying to fix the malfunctioning Time Tunnel and bring Doug and Tony back to the present (1968). Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
[opening narration for most episodes]
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.
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I was 9 years old when "Time Tunnel" came on the air, and to an impressionable kid, this series was not so much a stretch as it would be when you're older. I used to love Friday nites on ABC, IIRC the lineup was Green Hornet, Rango (w/Tim Conway), Time Tunnel, Pruitts of Southampton (w/Phillis Diller). Memory is a little weak on the exact order, but I think that's close.
From the moment I saw the slide they put on just before the show began that said "The Time Tunnel, IN COLOR!" I was jealous of everyone that had a color TV (we had an old 21" B&W Olympic brand TV from the 50's). It wouldn't be until years later that I could see it in color. I was never that crazy about "Land of the Giants" or "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", but I never missed "Lost in Space". I never understood as a kid why TT was cancelled (What do kids know? I was just upset my favorite show wasn't on anymore!)
Over the years I would see it pop up once in a great while on some UHF station where I lived in Florida (WTOG-44 in St.Pete in the early 70's). I didn't see it again for years until it reappeared on SciFi. I taped almost all the shows but missed a few. Now I keep hoping for them to come out on DVD as I keep reading, but they still haven't appeared.
I always especially loved the theme music at the beginning of the show, and used my cassette recorder in the 70's to get the theme music so I could hear it when I wanted (no vcr's then!). Sure the show inspired disbelief, but it's pure escapism. Even as a kid, I wondered out loud why they always landed where trouble was about to begin. It didn't matter though, it became my favorite show of all time and still is. I watched it on it's premiere night in 1966 and when I see "Rendevous with yesterday" it takes me back like a Time Tunnel to 1966 and laying on the floor in front of that old TV and being mesmerized by the effects and story...it's like listening to an old song and remembering the time and place where you heard it the first time.
I think it will always be a classic, even if it got (unjustly) cancelled after it's first season. Obviously, I'm not alone, with all the websites devoted to it and all the comments in forums, it will live on for a long time to come. I hope the DVD's come soon.
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