Sunday, March 25, 2012
The Rabbit Ear Test_ (8 out of 12)_ "The Time Tunnel"
Last time around, we featured "The Love Boat," which was produced by the late Aaron Spelling, who also gave the tv world such shows as "Charlie's Angels," "Fantasy Island" and "Dynasty." Today, we go with a producer known not for glossy tv shows, but rather science-fiction show which still have loyal cult followings to this day.
Irwin Allen (1916-1991), who also produced adventure and disaster movies, produced four tv shows in the 1960s. While the other three shows "Lost in Space" (1966-68), "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" (1964-68) and "Land of the Giants" (1968-70) were relative hits, "The Time Tunnel" was not even though it received widespread critical acclaim.
I show "The Time Tunnel," which aired in 1966 in the United States, a full decade after it was on American television when it aired on the TRT (Turkish Radio and Television) during the two years that we lived in Turkey from 1977-79. In Turkey, the show was called "Zaman Tuneli," which literally means time tunnel.
"The Time Tunnel" starred James Darren, now 74, who would also team with another '60s science-fiction tv series star William Shatner of "Star Trek" in the cop show "T.J. Hooker," which debuted in 1982.
The show also used props, such as guns and computers, that had also been used on other Allen-produced shows as well as "Batman" (which Allen did not produce).
"The Time Tunnel," like all Allen vehicles, was considered expensive for its time. And, the show was known for unique plots, including ones where Darren's character Dr. Anthony Newman (Tony) finds himself on board the Titanic during its fatal voyage (he escapes, of course) and on Pearl Harbor right before its attack.
In the 1960s, continuity was not a major concern as it is today, so according to Wikipedia, in one episode Tony says he was born in 1938, and then a few episodes later he states that he was seven years old when Pearl Harbor was attacked (that took place on Dec. 7, 1941).
John Williams, who would later collaborate with Steven Spielberg as music composer for virtually all of his films, including "Jaws," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "E.T." composed the theme for "The Time Tunnel."
So, today, for our quiz, and we hope to remember to provide the answer in the coming entries, we ask just how many episodes were made of this show, which alas didn't last as long as it should have.
Is the answer?:
A) 24 shows
B) 28 shows
C) 30 shows
D) 32 shows