Irwin Allen shows

Jeffbert

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#1
I am a fan of Irwin Allen's science fiction series, though in those that I have seen, it seems like they begin halfway decent, then all too soon descend into silly plots or kiddie entertainment. LOST IN SPACE is the most obvious offender, but even VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA became ridiculous after a few serious episodes.

In VOYAGE, creatures were so huge, that it was just impossible that they could take the SEAVIEW by surprise, but they did, anyway. TIME-TUNNEL, of which I have recently viewed the 1st 13 episodes used the same tired-old element some half-dozen times, already. Though the TUNNEL could only move Doug & Tony from 1 time and place to another, it did bring others to its present on numerous occasions, & return them to their own times and places without complications. :D

Borrowing of props: VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA used a LOST IN SPACE (LIS) laser rifle on at least 1 occasion (I have seen). LAND OF THE GIANTS went so far as to use the LOST IN SPACE space pod in one episode.

MID-SERIES ADDITIONS TO EQUIPMENT: O.K., I see no problem with the Seaview being fitted with the FLYING SUB & its bay or hangar, because it could have been in dry dock for such modifications. However, LOST IN SPACE 2nd season introduced the SPACE POD, and proceeded as though it had always been there. :confused: Assuming we buy this, it deploys through the lower deck & out through the bottom of the Jupiter II, with no loss of floor space on the lower deck. No chance for pulling into dry-dock for the J2, but as stated, it appears as though they want viewers to simply accept that it was there from the start.

Granted, I did & still do enjoy these series, as much as the 1950s B sci-fi movies.
 

Dave

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#2
I remember watching Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea as a very small child, and liked it in the same way that I liked Doctor Who i.e. it was exciting and it had monsters. I didn't really understand it and the sonar was too loud - how did anyone ever sleep aboard Seaview?

Lost in Space I found to be a poor alternative to Star Trek and I never watched. I still find Mr. Smith annoying and he should have been put out of the air lock. It is really just Swiss Family Robinson in Space.

Land of the Giants was staple weekly viewing for me for a while, though I saw it more recently and the plots were fairly thin and a little unbelievable. I was too young to understand the anti-government sub-plot involved. I just found it hard to believe where the freshly ironed uniforms and suits, and the make-up came from every week. The whole premise is based on bad science, but again it was exciting to root for the little people.

I still think Time Tunnel was the best and could even be brought back again and updated along the lines of Seven Days. I expect I just like Time travel stories best. The idea of using stock footage to reduce costs meant they had more money to spend on the things that really counted. The Time Tunnel itself was impressive, thought he rest of the set seems like a few computer towers. I agree with you that some of the plots left something to be desired i.e. the ghost of Nero haunting them. One plot had future aliens visiting the wild west, which was recently also the plot of a 2010 Hollywood film. However, some of the stories were quite involved with classic temporal loops and paradoxes. The one where the Russians are developing their own Time Tunnel, or where Doug and Tony arrive at the Time Tunnel before it is in use and no one knows them.

Have you ever seen this film? http://www.sffchronicles.co.uk/forum/32122-the-time-travelers-1964-a.html
It is so similar to the Time Tunnel premise that it can't be a coincidence.

Also, you may wish to check out these old threads in which I say almost the same thing, only about 10 years ago:

http://www.sffchronicles.co.uk/forum/24773-irwin-allen-shows.html
http://www.sffchronicles.co.uk/forum/6322-blast-from-the-past-the-time-tunnel.html
http://www.sffchronicles.co.uk/forum/6314-blast-from-the-past-space-family-robinson-aka.html
http://www.sffchronicles.co.uk/forum/6312-blast-from-the-past-land-of-the-giants.html

Jeff, I believe you were asking for an Irwin Allen forum. We don't make forums on the basis of worthiness, merely popularity. While these were great shows with high production values, not that many people have wanted to talk about them in the last 10 years. They are available on DVD.
 

Metryq

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#3
You were expecting logic and accurate science from Irwin Allen shows? They were written for kids. Lost in Space was based on the absurd notion that spaceflight can offset overpopulation, and that 10 million families per year would be following the Robinsons to colonize other planets. The writers routinely confused the terms star and galaxy. And I recall both The Time Tunnel and Lost in Space depicting comets as implacable monsters from space with burning heat and overwhelming magnetic pull.

I liked the shows as a kid—even though I knew the difference between a star and a galaxy from a very young age—and still enjoy the shows for nostalgia, but they are patently ridiculous. (Seriously, Allen submitted papers to the US Patent Office.) :D

The Time Tunnel is more like Quantum Leap than Seven Days. Although while The Time Tunnel is random jumps through time, Quantum Leap is like Highway to Heaven with some god-like force directing the hapless protagonist into new goodwill missions every week.

In the The Time Tunnel thread Dave wrote: 'The Time Tunnel' was made under the assumption that the time line is fixed. Time travelers cannot change the history no matter what they do. This is contrary to what is now beleived and almost all Sci-Fi made after 'The Time Tunnel' follow parallel timeline possiblities, such as 'Sliders', 'Philadelphia Experiment', 'Timecop', 'Back to the Future'.
All time travel stories are fantasy and whatever physicists believe about single or multiple universes is theoretical. The Philadelphia Experiment was not a multi-verse; no paradoxes were invoked. Although lots of time travel stories involve paradoxes because audiences just can't get enough of "what might have been" stories. By definition, paradoxes cannot happen. The first Back to the Future was centered around the "grandfather paradox," even though the character involved happened to be Marty's father. The only way for things to "change," such as Marty's loser dad becoming a popular novelist and the name of the mall changing, would be for Marty to shift into an alternate universe. But if that happened, he could not have "interfered" with his own past and ended up vanishing while playing guitar on stage. In other words, he was in an alternate universe from the moment he appeared back in 1955—not when he jumped back to 1985. And in that case, there would be another Marty in the alternate 1985. (I could go on and on about the logical errors in BTTF, but I accept the fantasy because it was well told and entertaining.)

Seven Days cloaks itself in more impressive techno-babble than The Time Tunnel, but ultimately it is just as silly. In every episode the hero is sent off to "correct" some undesirable event that occurred within the last seven days, the operational window for the time machine. It doesn't get any more fantastical (as in "fantasy") than that. The crux of a paradox is that if one changes history, one also changes the impetus for one to go back in time and change something. The only way to rescue such stories is to resort to a multi-verse. And in that case, the time pilot is navigating only himself into the most ideal universe. He does nothing for the rest of the people on the project, or the world he leaves behind. Talk about your plum jobs!
 

Dave

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#4
Metryq - In ten years time I am going to quote things you said today and see if you still stand by them. I don't disagree with anything you said, except that I thought the sequel to the Philadelphia Experiment did involve a paradox of future technology and the Nazis, but I may be confused with Battlestar Galactica: 1980. In whatever case, time travel combined with Nazis is always a bad sign. ;)
 

Metryq

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#5
No offense, Dave. I did not mean to hold you to an old quote. I was merely using it as a springboard to comment. I've never seen the sequel to The Philadelphia Experiment, which you did not mention until now, by the way. The Terminator is not a paradox either, nor a multi-verse—until the sequels start showing up. (Don't even get me started on the Sarah Connor Chronicles. Loved the cast, but that's it.)

I've seen a handful of episodes of Seven Days and enjoyed it, but that does not change the fact that it is pure fantasy and completely illogical. I know I've seen Time Cop, but anything with Van Damme is unlikely to be memorable for me. I've seen a few episodes of Time Trax and generally liked it—especially when there's a guest star like Chelsea Field. That show is also as absurd as Trancers, only Trancers wears its goofiness with pride.

If you want a "realistic" time travel tale (which still resorts to paradoxes in a big way), check out Primer. (I'm guessing you may have seen it already.)
 

BAYLOR

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#7
I have the entire Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea tv show on dvd This was by far his bet show . It starts out as a fairly serious adventure series but as it progress , the show degenerates into a camp since fction series in which get see the endless reuse of props and stop footage from other Fox films. For me , this show is a bit of a guilty pleasure. :cool:
 
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Al Jackson

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#8
I have the entire Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea tv show on dvd This was by far his bet show . It starts out as a fairly serious adventure series but as it progress , the show degenerates into a camp since fction series in which get see the endless reuse of props and stop footage from other Fox films. For me , this show is a bit of a guilty pleasure. :cool:
As I think I stated, Harlan Ellison called his time on Allen's show Voyage to the Bottom of the Toilet.

One thing about that show that used to send me into paroxysms of laughter was .... here was a hand picked top crew or professionals for the most advanced submarine in the world ….. and they would mutiny at the drop of a pin!
 

BAYLOR

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#9
As I think I stated, Harlan Ellison called his time on Allen's show Voyage to the Bottom of the Toilet.

One thing about that show that used to send me into paroxysms of laughter was .... here was a hand picked top crew or professionals for the most advanced submarine in the world ….. and they would mutiny at the drop of a pin!
One episode of Voyage used alot footage from The 1960 film The Lost World , In fact ,the episode was practically a one hour recap of that film . The reuse of Props and monster to save money a hallmark of all of his shows. The the two most popular guest staring monsters on Voyage were Double Hearer and Mr Man Fish, both of these monster were frequent guest stars to the point of practically being series regulars. And they could be large or small depending on the story requirement. And then he the show first in the 1970's anthem the 1980's . Allen would have been better off to do less recycling of props and should have stayed of day to day production of his shows.

I do enjoy the silliness of this show. :D
 
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BAYLOR

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#10
The show that did that had the greatest post entail was The Time Tunnel . The problem with the show ran into was they quickly ran out of Historical events to do So they started doing alines and monsters and the future . None of which the should have done at all. For this show to have worked , they would likely have had to switch to a serial format. meaning continue story arc , stretching out the historical events. Im not at all sure the audiences of that era would have gone for that kind of format .
 

BAYLOR

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#11
Lost in Space . My favorite season is the first season because it has a grittiness which they dispensed with in later seasons . Also Like the early Laser Pistols and rifles they had in the beginning .
 

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