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 »
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1971   1970  
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Cheryl Burfield ...
 Liz Skinner (26 episodes, 1970-1971)
Spencer Banks ...
 Simon Randall (26 episodes, 1970-1971)
Denis Quilley ...
 Commander Charles Traynor (22 episodes, 1970-1971)
Iris Russell ...
 Jean Skinner (17 episodes, 1970-1971)
...
 Frank Skinner (15 episodes, 1970-1971)
Mary Preston ...
 Beth Skinner (14 episodes, 1970-1971)
...
 Alpha 4 / ... (13 episodes, 1970-1971)
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Storyline

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 <mmckee@wkio.com>

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Plot Keywords:

portal | 1990s | 1970s | time travel | See All (4) »

Genres:

Family | Sci-Fi

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Release Date:

28 September 1970 (UK)  »

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(26 episodes)

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first two stories were adapted by an uncredited James Boswell into a novelisation for Pan Books, reprinted the following year by Piccolo Books. The book reveals that St. Oswald's is located in Rutland. See more »

Soundtracks

Rite de la Terre
(uncredited)
Composed by Edouard Michaël
[Series theme tune]
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User Reviews

 
Intelligently written, remarkable slice of 1970's television
29 September 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Timeslip is one of many science fiction series from the 1970's. However, crucially it is also one of the best, standing the test of time better than say the excruciatingly cheap but entertaining romp that was the Tomorrow People or the imaginative fantasy series The Ace of Wands. Created by Ruth Boswell and husband James Boswell, the series focused on crucial issues in an increasingly technological age and did so all under the banner of a serious children's television drama, which for its time was really quite something. Aimed as a rival to the BBC's Doctor Who, the Boswell's and excellent television writer Bruce Stewart produced something entirely different from what was available on British television at the time. Doomwatch - the gritty and often rather lacklustre series covering moral, social and environmental issues was the only programme that came close to Timeslip at this time, but Timeslip was overall much more successful. The premise of the story - a young girl finding a time barrier at an abandoned naval station - is truly intriguing, add in some atmospheric direction from a team of excellent directors, sparse but brilliantly executed location footage and some solid performances - special note goes to the flawless and concentrated performance of Denis Quilley as Commander Traynor and you have a remarkably entertaining and memorable series. The regulars, intrigued by local gossip about the young girl and drawn to the time barrier were an excellent choice as central characters - as children from 1970 could instantly relate to them. Simon, portrayed by the excellent child actor Spencer Banks is the brainy one, interested in science and maths, with an instinct for discovery he single-handedly figures out all the crucial plot points for the audience to absorb, whilst (rather unfortunately) the naive and whining Liz, played by the admirable Cheryl Burfield, whines a little longer. In this respect the serial has dated - but the concepts and ideas put forward, and its ability to predict many future issues put the series way ahead of its time. Timeslip is quite simply 26 episodes of virtually flawless television. Throw away the minor grumbles about the sexist interpretation of Liz and the opening stories slightly laboured execution and delve in. The Wrong End of Time is a fantastic instalment in which one of our central protagonists encounters her father in a 1940's naval station - coincidentally where the time barrier stands in 1970's England - and with the first appearance of Commander Traynor - a character so crucial to the overall story. The Time of the Ice Box gives viewers a terrible insight into future earth - and Liz's alter ego Beth. One of the strongest stories of all - The Year of the Burn Up gives us an equally bleak presentation of future earth - Buckinghamshire turned into an Amazonian jungle, with the issue of climate change being brought to the fore - and all this occurring as a possible projection (like the Ice Box) of the Earth in 1990. The final story - written by the excellent Victor Pemberton - effortlessly following on from Bruce Stewart - addresses the importance of individuality and the limits of genetic progress - with another appearance of the excellent John Barron as Devereaux and a marvellous final twist concerning the malevolent and untrustworthy Commander Traynor. And so after 26 episodes, the series ended. Could it have ran for another series? ........ Quite possibly - but what we have is truly special, consistently brilliant, consistently thought provoking and remarkably well made for its small budget, skillfully avoiding ambitious special effects and concentrating on character, mood and atmosphere. Timeslip is a slice of television gold - one of the best TV series of its time. So sit back relax, and watch the excellent DVD set of all 26 episodes. Beware though, you might want to adjust your lenses for episode 12! To repeat a hideous, but fitting cliché - they don't make them like this anymore!!!


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