Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Rendezvous With Yesterday-Time Tunnel-Episode 6

All dialog in brown text is taken from the movie script at

Any text in yellow tells you about what was cut


Warning the captain has failed. Talking to Althea has failed. It’s now the morning of the fourteenth. With just a few hours before disaster strikes Tony pounds on the locked door. All that accomplishes is angering the guard. The door is unlocked and the guard admonishes Tony.

51. If that means using chains I have them too

The captain said to keep you quiet. If that means using chains, mister, I have them too”. Tony soon discovers that the door is remarkably solid and starts rubbing his hands. I thought I recognized the guard, and I suspect you will, or are about to, as well. If you, like me, watched Star Trek (which debuted on NBC just one day before The Time Tunnel debuted on ABC) you will recognize Mr. Kyle. Jon Winston played Mr. Kyle in a recurring role during Star Treks three year run, and appeared as Cmdr. Kyle in the second Star Trek film Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan. Not wishing to be put in chains Tony stops pounding the door and starts behaving like a civilized human being.

52. Tony talks to Tunnel personnel

Leaning against the bunk beds he starts talking, hoping the people in the tunnel complex can hear him. “Doug ! I don't know if you're picking me up. If you're just getting sound, I'm on the Titanic locked in a forward cabin just above the waterline”. Ann again states the obvious “He's a prisoner”. Tony goes on about his location on the ship. “It's 9:1 5 a.m., April 1 4, 1 9 1 2.  I don't know when it's gonna sink, but- They've got me locked up because I tried to warn the captain”. Strange as it may seem Irwin Allen got this part right, or at least close. Bunk beds were found only in steerage and crew quarters. And the ordinary seamen that were seen by the passengers were housed in this area. Doug announces “He's right in the middle of the section that was slashed open by that iceberg. The Titanic struck an iceberg late on Sunday evening, April 14 and sank during the early hours of Monday, April 15”. The senator gets flustered and ask what they plan to do. His old boss Gen. Kirk answers “Theoretically, we can suspend Tony in his time zone and remove him from it. But, during that suspension, Tony's body processes- his heart, his breathing, his tissue regeneration- would all stop. Unless we can return him here or to some other time zone within seconds we'll kill him”. Nobody like that solution at all. The general looks at Doug thinking he was about say the same thing. Doug announces his plan “We could go back and help him. Yesterday, you refused to let Tony do what he went and did anyway, and you were right. What do you suggest? We just sit here and watch him die? At least my way he'd have a chance. Remember, I'll appear there dressed for the period and prepared with the facts”. General Kirk reminds him he could order him not to go. “But, just this once, it might be the right thing to do. Now, we have a friend that's in danger. You're trying to protect me from that danger. I appreciate that. But if Tony weren't back there, this research would have come to a close”. The senator nods in agreement. The general considers the pros and the cons and comes to the decision that this might the right time to throw the rule book out the window, and to do what feels right. A countdown is put motion, and a newspaper dated April 15 1912 is rustled up. The headline naming the ship is wrong, but a great many news outlets got all sorts of information about the Titanic wrong, so this is a nice touch, although I suspect it was unintentional.

55. Not SS but RMS

Doug gets dressed in clothes for 1912, tucks the paper inside his jacket pocket, buries the hatchet with the senator, and says goodbye to everyone. Ann pleads with him not to go. Ray says “Doug, your master guidance control has been programmed for an identical overlay with Tony's”. It’s not in the script but inferred that Doug will appear exactly where Tony did. Doug walks into the tunnel, explosions are seen and heard, and that eerie sound effect originally heard in Lost In Space is heard. Doug tumbles through time just as Tony did, however his landing is no where near where Tony's was. He lands somewhat ingloriously in a coal bunker and is face to face with a surly member of the ships “black gang”. Anyone who worked with coal usually ends up as black as it. Everyone except Doug. He was sitting on coal and should have a rather filthy pair of pants. Yet when he gets up on deck only his hands are dirty.

58. Doug lands in a coal bunker61. dirty hands - but no dirty pants

Dry cleaning through the miracle of television

Monday, March 23, 2015

Rendezvous With Yesterday -Time Tunnel - Episode 5

All dialog in brown text is taken from the movie script at

Any text in yellow tells you about what was cut

Inside the tunnel complex the image area Doug spoke of suddenly comes alive. Senator Clark, who is busy reading, is alerted by General Kirk. They all see a ship in the image area. “A ship that size- it couldn't have been too long ago. Anybody recognize it?” asks Doug. General Kirk does and announces “I'd know those lines anywhere. Gentlemen, that's the Titanic”.

45. Titanic on the image arms46. Gen Kirk recognizes the Titanic

All images of the Titanic that we see from the image area are from the film “Titanic” with Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck made in 1953. The film was made in black and white which why the image area has no color. The very first time I saw the aired version it was on an old black & white TV. It’s a real pleasure to finally see this episode in color. When this particular episode was made (1966) ten films had been produced featuring the Titanic – 

  1. Saved From The Titanic (1912-Silent)
  2. La Hantise (1912-Silent)
  3. In Nacht und Eis (1912-Silent)
  4. Atlantis (1913-Silent)
  5. Atlantic / Atlantik (1929)
  6. Cavalcade (1933)
  7. Titanic (1943 – Nazi Propaganda film)
  8. Titanic (1953)
  9. A Night To Remember (1958)
  10. The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964)

Irwin Allan had the availability of 20th Century Fox stock footage, and made liberal use of the stock footage during the entire run of the series.

It’s at this point in the episode where the technobabble – gibberish that sounds technical and important – starts to fly thick and fast. For example Doug asks Ray to increase the “pressure magnification”. That term may actually mean something, but to an audience made up of primarily of kids it meant nothing. The senator still doesn’t get it. “A picture of the Titanic”. General Kirk explains to him that what he’s seeing is really is the Titanic. After all the reading the senators done on the Time Tunnel and Project Tic-Toc, and knowing that the Titanic was at the bottom of the sea the senators ignorance is starting to show. Ann, otherwise known as Doctor MacGregor, states the blindingly obvious “Then Tony must be on board”. Doug approaches Ann and asks her “When did the Titanic go down? Ann, get the boys on the history computer to give us a complete rundown on the Titanic with pictures and cross-section diagrams. I want tonnage, speed, equipment- the works”. Doug already has a plan in mind, but he’s reluctant to announce it yet. Despite all he’s seen, and all he’s been told the senator seems to think that Tony is still in the complex hiding, and his lack of understanding is wearing thin on Gen. Kirk. “But Dr. Newman is alive now, in our time. How could he be affected by something that's happening at the beginning of the century?”. General Kirk answers this question, but his rapid fire delivery of this line, coupled with his facial expression betrays the fact that he’s growing annoyed with the senator. “No. He's living in that time zone now. Anything that happens to us won't affect him there but if he's on that ship when it goes down he'll die along with the others”.


Aboard ship Tony is cooling his heels in the ships brig. He is under guard. All of a sudden he hears a key being inserted into the doors lock. It opens and Althea enters. From the way she is dressed it’s dinner time. But she’s puzzled by Tony's actions.

47. Althea visits Tony in the brig

Is it true that you're a stowaway?. And that you're trying to alarm passengers with- with wild stories of the ship's safety?. Tell me. Why are you behaving like this? Do you know, it's been a peaceful trip up till now. And then, out of nowhere, you- Well, I don't understand”. Tony tries to explain, but only succeeds in confusing Althea more. It’s in this sequence that an ordinary wrist watch features somewhat prominently. Tony asks her for the correct time. When Tony hears it he adjusts his 1968 watch to coincide with correct time.

48. Tony adjusts his watch from 1968

Tony tries to Althea explain how and why he’s there, but Althea understands none of it. But she does make a suggestion. “Why don't you let me tell the Captain that you didn't mean what you said and that you won't mention it again, hmm?”. Tony thinks it over but says “I can't promise that, Althea not when I know what's going to happen”. After Althea leaves she turns go up some stairs. But she collapses. She digs into her purse and takes out a pill. After swallowing it she recovers and proceeds up the stairs. Did the guard notice any of this ? Not a chance.

50. Althea collapses in the stairs


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Rendezvous With Yesterday-Time Tunnel–Episode 4

All dialog in brown text is taken from the movie script at

Any text in yellow tells you about what was cut

Tony is taking the first trip by a man down the corridors of time. It looks very much like a kaleidoscope of swirling colors, but they are fascinating to watch.

34. Tony in the corridors of time

The trip comes to an end as the image of a ship becomes more and more clear. As Tony lands on the ship he hits his head against a bulkhead with a resounding thud. This attracts the attention of first class passenger Althea Hall (in the version of the pilot that was aired some prints of the pilot included the dialog that she was a first class passenger while some prints did not have the deleted dialog). Althea wants to call someone, but Tony convinces her he’s alright. Althea maintains “But you had a very bad fall” while Tony maintains he’ll be fine. She asks him to at least sit down on the deck chair next to her. Tony, whose still collecting his wits, sees no problem with this innocent request, and does just that. Tony makes a comment on the size of the ship. This prompts Althea to respond “It's supposed to be the biggest ever built. It doesn't look so big in the middle of all this water, does it?”. Formal introductions are made, and soon after Tony begins to feel the cool air of the North Atlantic. Althea can’t help but ask “Do all Americans adopt the vigorous life just to please your Teddy Roosevelt?”. At first the comment means nothing, then after some quick thinking Tony says “I guess I should have put on a jacket. I didn't think it would be so cold”. Through the course of the conversation Tony learns it’s Saturday April 13, the ship started its journey in London, with its destination being New York. And with Althea mentioning Teddy Roosevelt it gives Tony a rough indication that he now exists in the early 20th century. And that according to Althea “Well, it's bad luck to work on Saturday nights particularly when it's the 13th. Saturday, April 13”. Tony really starts to feel the cold and excuses himself while he gets the mythical jacket.

Back in the tunnel complex Dr. Ray Swain informs Doug “Doug, we've collated the automatic settings that Tony used. The energy he employed could not have sent him more than a hundred years forward or back in time- probably less”. Senator Clark, always on the lookout for the blackest part in any cloud says “Only a hundred years forward or back. That means you have to pinpoint him across 200 years”. General Kirk hears this and tries to put a more positive spin on current events “Compared to the countless billions of years of time”. The senator asks Doug what will happen when they find Tony. Doug responds as if he’s still giving a tour. “Tony and his immediate environment will be relayed into the Tunnel's recorders and reproduced instantly on the image area”. For a fellow who deals with language Sen. Clark strikes me as a pretty dense fellow. “You mean we'll be able to see him?”. Gen. Kirk answers this the question. “See and hear him”. Senator Clark now asks the obvious. “Would he be able to see us?”. Dr. Swain, known most of the time as Ray fields this question. “No, but he'll know what we're trying to do. He might communicate with us on the assumption that we've found him”. The sounds of bells chiming is heard coming the tunnel and the image area tries to do something but there is no audio or video.

Back on the ship Tony starts walking away from Althea. It is at this point Tony encounters Dennis Hopper. Apparently he asks Tony some pretty ungentlemanly questions about Althea. From what I read Hoppers character is interested in “female companionship”. Tony takes that to mean only one thing. Hopper also asks about her “availability”. Thoroughly disgusted Tony terminates the conversation and continues walking. Just then his foot is struck by a shuffleboard disk. He bends down to pick up the offending disk. As he rises he see a circular floatation device affixed to a wall.

39. Tony discovers where he is 

Just then the captain strolls on the deck accompanied by one of his officers. We learn from the credits the captains name is Malcolm Smith. This a blatant diversion from history. The captain of the Titanic was E.J. Smith, and this could have been discovered in any number of books and newspapers of the sixties. The officer accompanying the captain is referred to as Mr. Grainger. There weren’t any officers with that name so I can only think that the writers of the show weren’t interested in historical accuracy. They just wanted a good show. Tony approaches Captain Smith played by Michael Rennie (The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Devil’s Brigade, The Power) and Mr. Grainger is played by Don Knight.

41. Very impressive title Doctor.

Captain, this ship is the Titanic

Tony and Captain Smith strike up a conversation, a clumsy one, in which Tony warns the captain of the impending disaster. He also makes the grave error by admitting in front of the captain and Mr. Grainger that he’s not on the passenger list. Captain Smith has Tony taken into custody. “Mr. Grainger, this gentleman is a confessed stowaway. Please see that he's confined till we reach New York. I'm afraid his peculiar ideas might alarm some of the other passengers. I suggest you keep him incommunicado and under guard”. Tony pleads with the captain to at least change the ships course before he is hauled away to the ships brig. Titanic buffs are aware the real did not have a brig.

43. Tony is taken below

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Rendezvous With Yesterday – Time Tunnel - Episode 3

All dialog in brown text is taken from the movie script at

Edited March 18 2015

Dr. Tony Newman, is a man with a slim built and dark hair. Even though he is a doctor in his field, he is extremely passionate about his work. He believes in what he is doing. When we first see him he is clad in white overalls and he is installing some sort of instrument that resembles the business end of an old car radio. It even has an antenna. When Doug calls to him he just finishing up, and is quite proud about his work. “It's gonna work. I just finished the polarization, and it just feels right”. Doug introduces the senator. “Doctor? You seem a little young for that title not to mention being number two man on this project”. Doug then pays Tony the ultimate compliment. “His youth is only a disguise, Senator. Inside is an old genius struggling to get out”. Tony thanks the senator for stopping by. The senator doesn’t care for the politeness, and gets right to the purpose behind his visit “Let's just say I don't like to scrap billions of dollars by just sending a memo”. Confused by this statement Tony looks to Doug for clarification. “The senator feels our experiments haven't shown enough success to warrant the time and money invested”. Tony can’t quite believe his ears. He tries to explain to the senator that they are very close to sending a man back in time and returning him to the present day. The senator says then do it. He doesn’t want scientific excuses, he wants results. “That's right, because tomorrow afternoon I'm flying back to Washington to write you a blank check or cut your umbilical cord

The senator seems to think that results will miraculously appear through the threat of blackmail. Tony offers to try to go back in time to appease the senator, but Doug, his immediate superior vetoes the request. “I'm not going to commit murder and I'm not going to allow you to commit suicide just to satisfy a budget. That's no answer. That's not even science”. Tony is more than upset when Doug won’t let him try. Seeing the senator as the enemy he excuses himself and takes the instrument he created with him. Sen. Clark observes this behavior and says “He seems a little emotional for a scientist”. He shifts his focus back to Doug “Anything else you want to show me?”. General Kirk and Doug show the senator much more but we don’t get to see any of it.


Later that day, at the end of the work day, but while the senator is still on a tour of the Time Tunnel complex, Tony skulks back into the main tunnel area and starts to activate the tunnel.26. Tony sculks in at night and activates the tunnel

First he turns on the overhead lighting system. Then the three computer consoles at the front of the tunnel. and finally the long row of computers that do nothing but make sounds and look cool. Just above is a small observation

27. Tony sees people coming

area. As the tunnel starts to light up small explosions are seen. The sound effect for activating the tunnel is the same one used in the series Lost In Space when the Jupiter 2 is either about to take off or crash. The effect still holds up today – 49 years later. Sure the effect is cheesy by comparison to todays computer generated imagery (CGI) but it was a top of the line effect then, and you have to remember the intended audience – kids.

Doug spots him and calls a red alert “This is a red alert! Red alert! All Time Tunnel personnel report to their stations on the double!”. When any red alert is called people race around frantically, the reactor pulsates wildly, while steam or smoke rise from the base of the reactor. Watching this 49 years after I first did I thought the entire effect was pretty silly, but I remember watching this as a nine year old and being enthralled.

29. People race around

Again Irwin Allen doffs his cap to the movie Forbidden Planet yet again as all hell breaks loose. Tony has disappeared in the multiple explosions in the tunnel. Not sure at all what’s transpiring Senator Clark badgers Dr. Ann MacGregor for an answer “He's in a radiation freeze.It's the first step in his relocation”. The senator is baffled by the answer. Doug has to put it in terms he’d be able to understand. At first Doug ignores the senators pleas. “You’ve got your guinea pig Senator!”. General Kirk reprimands Doug for his outburst. Then Doug takes over for Ann and puts her explanation in terms the senator will be able to understand. “Tony just finished developing that radiation bath. That was the blue mist you saw just before he disappeared. In theory, this should give us a magnetic fix- like a homing device- to enable us to locate him in time”. The senator looks towards the tunnel and repeats the two key words of Dougs explanation “In theory”. It hasn't even dawned on Senator Clark that he is the cause behind this attempt. As a kid I took an almost instant dislike to this particular character, and I can say that even after 49 years, my feeling are almost the same. The only difference now is that I can now see this turkey - Sen. Clark - in color.