Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Time Tunnel

1967 saw 8 year old me very sad to see Irwin Allen's THE TIME TUNNEL end on television. Although it had only run a single season, it was my first exposure to the concepts of time travel. It had the coolest set ever in the actual tunnel and very charismatic stars.

Robert Colbert's most important role on TV before this was probably his very brief time as Brent Maverick, the previously unmentioned Maverick brother who was essentially a replacement for series star James Garner. He didn't like that and so, didn't stay. James Darren was a pop singer and actor (best known as GIDGET's "Moondoggie").  
The plot basically was your standard "Adventure Town" trope in which regular cast members appear in a different setting every week, for all intents and purposes making it an anthology series with a continuing familiar presence. Doug and Tony, as played by Colbert and Darren, got lost in the time experiment and ended up in different historical settings each week before they could be rescued by the crew back at the lab.

Actor Whit Bissell was one of those actors who could bring a natural gravitas to a role and thus he played authority figures for most of his career on stage, in films and on television. 

A former Miss America, Lee Meriwether may not have been the typical sixties sex symbol but she was most definitely an early crush to many of us late Boomer boys. She was also Catwoman in the 1966 BATMAN as well as appearing on STAR TREK and later as a regular on BARNABY JONES.

I didn't realize it at the time, but many of the plots were inspired by what stock footage was available from 20th Century Fox historical epics. Every episode had a significant amount of such footage.

John Zaremba played Dr. Swain who monitored every story from the control room whilst supposedly trying to bring the boys home. 

Now, here we are in 2012 which could actually be called the Year of Time Tunnel! Next month, August 9-11, sees the reunion of Robert Colbert and James Darren at Martin Grams' MID-ATLANTIC NOSTALGIA CONVENTION in Maryland. 

Martin Grams has also prepared the ultimate treat for TIME TUNNEL fans in the book below, more than 500 pages of obsessive behind-the-scenes info on every single possible aspect of the series and the careers of all of its stars. The book is due out around the time of the Convention and would be too cool to get signed by both stars if I were going to MANC! My 8 year old self would plotz! You can order your copy here: 

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