Simon and Liz were teenage friends who fell into a time hole and found themselves trapped in various periods of the 20th century, where they encounter all sorts of adventures. Many of them ... See full summary »
Simon and Liz were teenage friends who fell into a time hole and found themselves trapped in various periods of the 20th century, where they encounter all sorts of adventures. Many of them involve the nefarious Commander Traynor, who is also traveling in time. Written by
Marty McKee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mention British, science fiction and the 1970s in the same sentence and images of cardboard sets, tin foil monsters and the worst acting in the history of the business may well spring to mind. However, despite never being on a par with the slick, soap-opera style sci-fi serials from the States, the fact that homegrown sci-fi is often cheap and tatty is surely one of its appealing factors.
However, when looking at the 1970 ATV serial Timeslip, such criticisms, however quaint, are simply not applicable. Solidly acted, well crafted and smartly directed, this whopping great serial, split into 4 distinct stories, is a television treat.
First screened in 1970 and then repeated once the following year, Timeslip has maintained a loyal fan base despite its lack of exposure on television.
The series takes an intelligent look at the concept of time travel and the implications of meeting future/past selves. We travel back to a WWII naval station, forward to a Arctic research centre, the heat is turned up in a sweltering tropical jungle before closing the serial in a mixture of 60s and 70s Earth.
Epic in terms of its length and its concepts, Timselip benefits greatly from a stunning performance by Denis Quilley as Commander Traynor and a remarkably astute turn by Spencer Banks as Simon. Perhaps a drawback of the programme is the incessantly winy and extremely sexist presentation of Liz, played with little flair by Cheryl Burfield.
After a limited video release in the mid 90s, it is nice to see this wonderful series released on DVD. Although the original series was transmitted in colour, only black and white tele-recordings were maintained in the ATV archives. However, as a special treat, the final episode of The Time of the Ice Box is presented in its original colour format. Somewhat jarring after 11 episodes of grainy black and white, it makes the serial seem somewhat gaudy and bright and maybe this episode might have been best left as a special feature on the disk but all in all, it doesn't detract too much from this intelligent, well thought out serial.
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