The Time Tunnel (1966–1967)
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Merlin the Magician 

Merlin the Magician pulls Tony and Doug from their journey through time and send them to help a young King Arthur fight an invasion of Vikings.


Harry Harris


Irwin Allen (created by), William Welch

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Episode credited cast:
James Darren ... Dr. Tony Newman
Robert Colbert ... Dr. Doug Phillips
Whit Bissell ... Lt. Gen. Heywood Kirk
John Zaremba ... Dr. Raymond Swain
Lee Meriwether ... Dr. Ann MacGregor
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Vincent Beck Vincent Beck ... Wogan
Christopher Cary ... Merlin
Lisa Jak Lisa Jak ... Queen Guinevere
Jim McMullan ... King Arthur Pendragon


Doug and Tony are transported to Cornwall, England, in 544 AD by Merlin the Magician to help King Arthur against an invasion of Vikings. Doug is stabbed by one warrior while Tony and Arthur are imprisoned in the dungeon by Wogan and his warriors. However, Merlin revives Doug and together with Guinevere they try to break in the castle to save Tony and Arthur. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

lost in time | See All (1) »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

17 March 1967 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode takes place in Cornwall, England in 544 and in Arizona in 1968. See more »


The outlandish horns on the helmets and hats of the "Vikings" have no basis in fact. Helmets worn by Vikings were of a simple conical shape, occasionally featuring nose-guards and ear-guards. The purpose of a helmet is to protect the head. A projection such as a horn would catch, rather than deflect, a downward blow, snapping the head violently to one side and breaking the wearer's neck. Pre-Viking era priests and shamans sometimes wore headdresses festooned with antlers, which gave rise to the mistaken notion that their helmets were horned. The notion that Viking helmets had horns seems to originate in 19th-century German theatrical productions. See more »

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User Reviews

William Welch & Chris Cary Join Forces
11 August 2006 | by StuOzSee all my reviews

In the 6th Century UK, Merlin The Magician requests that Tony and Doug help Arthur - the future King - rid the UK of Vikings.

This was the 4th last episode of Time Tunnel and from this point on all common sense and reality is thrown out the window and is replaced by comic strip spaced out thrills, or in this case, total fantasy. Is total fantasy bad? No, it can be fun if Chris Cary is playing Merlin The Magician and if William Welch is doing his lines.

Frankly, I have no interest in the 6th century, so almost this whole show is about waiting for Merlin the wizard, dressed in black, to come out with the next bitchy arrogant line (for example, he looks at the Tunnel's blinking light computers and says "toys").

Whit Bissell as General Kirk attempts to bring reality to the tale - "Could this be one of those miracles you said we needed?" - but is brought down by his co-worker - "This is no time for romantic non-sense, General".

More humour is found when a gentleman says "America? Does such a place exist?". To which Doug responds "We're beginning to wonder".

William Welch really had a way with words, and in this case, even if the storyline is crap, Welch can dress up the story with clever lines, and actors like Whit Bissell and Chris Cary can bring life to such lines.

In a nutshell, I am saying that Merlin The Magician is just a clever bit of showmanship, and since Irwin was a master showman, we can only guess that Mr Allen was on deck during the making of this outrageous, flamboyant hour.

Please note, the music used here is often stock music from Tunnel's The Death Merchant episode (that score is on the Fantasy Worlds Of Irwin Allen CD set). The score is also vital to Merlin The Magician. Not everyone will like Merlin The Magician, but as a bit of screen showmanship, it works rather well.

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