Blast from the Past: The Time Tunnel

Dave

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"The Time Tunnel"

Does anyone remember this Irwin Allen show from the sixties?

http://www.thetimetunnel.com/
http://www.iann.net/irwinallen/
http://www.geocities.com/coderedlion/Project_TIC_TOC.html

Miles beneath the surface of the Arizona desert lies Project: Tic Toc: a top secret government research complex where the U.S. military are experimenting with a massive gateway to past and future ages called THE TIME TUNNEL. Doug Phillips and Tony Newman, two of the scientists working on the project become helplessly lost in the infinite corridors of time. While their fellow scientists labour to save them, the two time travellers become involved in key moments of historical and future events.

According to Variety, both ABC and Fox are dueling over rights to a Time Tunnel remake in development at Regency Television and 20th Century Fox Television. Rand Ravich (The Astronaut's Wife) is set to write and Todd Holland (Malcolm in the Middle) will direct the pilot. Kevin Burns (various Hollywood documentaries, including The Fantasy Worlds of Irwin Allen and Lost in Space Forever), Jon Jashni (Anna and the King) and Sheila Allen (Irwin Allen's widow) will exec produce.

I loved that show and I've been reading comments on other bulletin boards about it.

I think this is the full transcipt from Variety:
'TIME' IS RIGHT FOR FOX
Fox Broadcasting Co. is finalising a deal for a remake of 1966 Irwin Allen sci-fi actioner "The Time Tunnel" -- despite ABC's best efforts to land the project.

FBC sibling Regency Television and 20th Century Fox Television are the producing studios behind the new version of "Time Tunnel," which has made FBC the front-runner to snag the skein all along (Daily Variety, Oct. 12.) Agents at Endeavor and CAA, which rep the major parties behind the project, continue to hammer out details of the pact.

FBC is expected to get "Time Tunnel" by offering at least a put pilot commitment with a hefty seven-figure penalty attached -- a huge commitment in today's development market, where few projects are getting more than script orders.

But ABC execs, led by network co-chairman Lloyd Braun, have gone to extraordinary lengths to land "Time Tunnel" for themselves. Braun took Allen's widow, Sheila, to lunch last Thursday at the Disney exec dining room. ABC also sent faxes to 20th execs Friday informing them that it was prepared to match and exceed FBC's most recent offer.

While ABC may very well have been willin to exceed FBC's offer, insiders close to the negotiations point out that money alone is never a sole factor in determining where a project lands.

Some associated with the project believe "Time Tunnel" has a better shot at becoming a series, and landing a plum slot, if it goes to FBC. What's more, the show's sci-fi bent feels at home at FBC, which has skeins such as "The X-Files" and "Dark Angel".

They point to the unpredictability involved in ABC's May scheduling process, where senior Disney execs play a key role. The Alphabet has also had some difficulty launching new dramas in recent years, though new hour "Alias" has shown some promise on Sundays this fall.

Execs at ABC, meanwhile, believe they've never had a serious shot at landing "Time Tunnel," and that vertical integration has clouded the decision-making process. News Corp. insiders point out that Disney's ABC is among the most vertically integrated of all the nets.

Scribe Rand Ravich ("The Astronauts Wife") and helmer Todd Holland ("Malcolm in the Middle"), both of whom will exec produce, are putting together the new "Time Tunnel." Holland and FBC Entertainment prexy Gail Berman worked together last when Berman ran Regency Television, the studio behind "Malcolm."

Kevin Burns and John Jashni, who have an overall deal at Fox TV Studios, will also exec produce the skein. Ravich is based at 20th, while Holland has an overall deal with Regency Television.

Burns, Jashni, Holland and the Allen estate are all repped by Endevor. Ravich is repped by CAA.
Two points have been brought up by fans regarding a possible remake.

Firstly, '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'. Even some Sci-Fi which predate it do, some episodes of the original 'Outer Limits'. If they are to ressurect 'The Time Tunnel' will they alter that?

Secondily, Are they still going to rely heavily on stock footage fom old historical movies? It would be expensive to have the kind of scenes they had in the original series. But would modern audiences accept footage plundered from old movies? Would they not use CGI?
 

jsc

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Believe it or not..... In the sixties a friend of mine and I watched the show... After one which I think was the Chicago Fire, we discussed the same topic but about a current show....I am glad the fans are still talking about this! The stock footage from old movies was a hoot... we ided the movies... but the timeline was one that we believed could be changed if a character did something big but the show did not or would not...So the same arguments are current.... I love that!
 

Dave

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There could be two Time Tunnel remakes appearing soon:

ABC, Fox Duel Over Time Tunnel

ABC and Fox may fight over competing remakes of 1964 Irwin Allen SF TV series The Time Tunnel, Variety reported. ABC optioned the rights to Time Tunnel, the 1964 book by William Jenkins, published under the pen name Murray Leinster, and is now developing a script based on the book through its Touchstone Television unit, the trade paper reported.

Fox, meanwhile, partnered three months ago with sister studio 20th Century Fox TV and Regency Television to create a series based on Allen's Time Tunnel series, which ran on ABC during the 1966-'67 season.

At issue is whether the original TV show was based on Jenkins' book. The Supreme Court has ruled that owners of a book on which a filmed property is based are entitled to profits from that property should those rights expire, the trade paper reported. ABC reportedly believes that 20th's rights to the Jenkins work expired in 1992, and, since they weren't renewed, ABC believes it could have a say in how any TV series based on Time Tunnel proceeds. For its part, Fox argues the book rights were purchased only to bring Jenkins into the camp of the TV series creators and to avoid public confusion from any future Jenkins-penned Time Tunnel sequels. The actual series, Fox argues, was based on an original Allen story, the trade paper reported.

The Time Tunnel series differs in several respects from the Jenkins novel, Variety reported. Moreover, Fox sources told the trade paper that the U.S. copyright office doesn't note any similarity between the Jenkins book and the Allen series, and the Writers Guild didn't credit Jenkins for the TV series.
 

Dave

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There is also an early sixties film called 'The Time Travellers' which shows remarkable similarities to 'The Time Tunnel':

1) There is no 'Tunnel', but there is a machine with a viewsceen.
2) Two scientists are lost in a 'time trap'.

'The Time Tunnel' will celebrate its 35th anniversary in September 2002.

Anyone have any news on these possible remakes?

I would guess that the original idea was to coincide with the anniversary, but TV schedules have already been announced for the autumn/ fall season and I don't recall 'Time Tunnel' being mentioned anwhere.
 

Draco Weyr

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I loved Time Tunnel

It was shown in repeats where i lived on a Saturday afternoon. I always loved watching it. Admittedly it did have slightly to many alien episodes for what was suppose to be a earth based show...

And the lady who played the scientist in the control room was my favorite...
 

Dave

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Re: I loved Time Tunnel

Originally posted by Draco Weyr
And the lady who played the scientist in the control room was my favorite...
Lee Meriweather... she was Catwoman in one of the films based on the sixties TV show with Adam West as Batman. Other actresses played Catwoman too, but she was the best IMHO.

She didn't have much to do in 'Time Tunnel' though, just constantly 'trying to get a fix' on Doug and Tony's locations in space and time. She was always the one to have a gun held to her.

James Darren (who played Tony) was a singer contemporary with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jnr. Since he has been in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' as the holographic nightclub singer, Vic Fontaine, he has had something of a comeback, and has a current album of songs out.
 

littlemissattitude

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"The Time Tunnel"

Does anyone else remember this series? It ran for only one season, 1966-1967, and was typical mid-sixties cheesy sci-fi. But I loved it. It was a time-travel show, after all.:)

I hadn't seen the show in years, but this morning I was channel-surfing and found an episode showing on cable, on a channel that usually shows action movies. Put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.:D
 

Foxbat

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Re: "The Time Tunnel"

I remember this one. I can't remember much about specific episodes but I do recall feeling distinctly vertiginous every time our heros entered that spiralling entrance :D
 

angrybuddhist

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Re: "The Time Tunnel"

I remember it. Encore Action has been replaying it early Saturday or Sunday mornings. They've also been showing The Green Hornet. Good stuff.
 

littlemissattitude

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Re: "The Time Tunnel"

angrybuddhist said:
I remember it. Encore Action has been replaying it early Saturday or Sunday mornings. They've also been showing The Green Hornet. Good stuff.
Encore Action...that's where I saw it. Now I'm going to have to get up early again this weekend to see it again. Wish they (or somebody) would get really interesting and show "The Invaders" again.:D Remember that one?
 

angrybuddhist

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Re: "The Time Tunnel"

littlemissattitude said:
Encore Action...that's where I saw it. Now I'm going to have to get up early again this weekend to see it again. Wish they (or somebody) would get really interesting and show "The Invaders" again.:D Remember that one?
With Roy Thinnes. Now I'm showing my age. This was one of my favorite shows when I was quite young.
 

The Master™

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"Two American scientists are lost in the swirling maze of past and future ages, during the first experiments on America's greatest and most secret project, the Time Tunnel. Tony Newman and Doug Phillips now tumble helplessly toward a new fantastic adventure, somewhere along the infinite corridors of time."

Cast:
Lee Meriwether
Role: Dr. Ann MacGregor
Robert Colbert
Role: Dr. Douglas Phillips
Whit Bissell
Role: Lt. General Heywood Kirk
Sam Groom
Role: Jerry
James Darren
Role: Dr. Tony Newman
John Zaremba
Role: Dr. Raymond Swain
 

Jeffbert

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I guess the BLAST FROM THE PAST part kept me from finding this thread, but now that I have, or rather Dave has found it for me--

I think the TIME TUNNEL's sets, the ones showing the great depth & width of the complex were surely modeled upon FORBIDDEN PLANET's own complexes, & may have been reused.

Anyway, though I suppose that kids' interest in history may have been a bit better back then, than now, this was a great way to make academics fun. I recall one titled THE NIGHT OF THE LONG KNIVES, & upon watching it, I was surprised not to see Ernst Rohm & his SA being eliminated, but rather a story set in India during the Heyday of the British Empire. I think this was the last one I saw.:p
 

Metryq

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II think the TIME TUNNEL's sets, the ones showing the great depth & width of the complex were surely modeled upon FORBIDDEN PLANET's own complexes, & may have been reused.
Inspired by the Krell machine in Forbidden Planet, yes. Models or matte paintings reused, I didn't see any. However, it was very impressive to see such feature film quality visual FX in use for a TV production.

The incredible size of the complex made it all the more ridiculous when the senator showed up to shut the whole operation down. The project got that far before someone asked "is the payoff worth it?" In the pilot episode we learn that mice and monkeys have been sent back, but not returned, the status of the specimens unknown. (The time viewer wasn't functional yet?) The atomic bomb wasn't built on such a sketchy foundation.

The story would have been much more compelling if the time viewer gizmo had been established first—imagine being able to look anywhere, anywhen. The intelligence community alone would go ape. Perhaps forward-looking could be used to avert a few undesirable events, a la Seven Days, followed by a massive scale-up in order to send physical matter through. The project would be able to alter what was, as well as steer around what is yet to be.

If Congress was that close to shutting down Tik Tok, they certainly would have after Doug and Tony disappeared into the past. The network got to them first.
 

Jeffbert

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Good point, Metryq. But if the viewer was not working yet, why send anything back or forward, because how would anyone know they had not simply disintegrated? I think the most recent season of FUTURAMA had Prof. Farnsworth attempt to go forward by 1 minute, which should have been provable if he had synchronized his watch with the clock.
 

dask

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I missed the first episode as a kid but pretty much saw all the rest as I recall. Personally I liked the show.
 

Metryq

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But if the viewer was not working yet, why send anything back or forward, because how would anyone know they had not simply disintegrated?
Exactly! Yet this blind projection of specimens ("mice and monkeys") is what they were doing. Dr. Phillips tells the senator that the animals could not simply have disintegrated because there would be "some residue in matter." (No puff of smoke and no burn spot on the tunnel.) This still tells the crew absolutely nothing—did the specimens go anywhen in time (forward or backward and by how much), or were they projected somewhere else in space (and how far), or perhaps they were shunted into some new and unsuspected dimension, whole or atomized. This certainty that the specimens did not simply disintegrate is nonsense. ("Negative evidence.")

The writers could have made a much more compelling story—at the cost of only a minute of screen time—to explain that the ginormous construction of the tunnel and ancillary complex was not some wild, all-or-nothing shot in the dark because they started with a viewer, and then moved up to a device just capable of sending a BB-sized mass through. The cost of the tunnel would then be a practical gamble to send living specimens and eventually men through to begin some real exploring and perhaps time re-engineering. Then it would seem more credible that the tunnel was built in the first place, and that some senator was getting itchy from a lack of progress.

Instead, we have no incremental successes, just some vanished animals that they have no idea what happened to.


I think the most recent season of FUTURAMA had Prof. Farnsworth attempt to go forward by 1 minute, which should have been provable if he had synchronized his watch with the clock.
Amazing how such a simple test would prove so much. Doc Brown could think of it, but not a 7.5 billion dollar government think tank project.
 

Jeffbert

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But even if they had simply focused their efforts on teleportation, or just the viewing of current events elsewhere, the potential for spying on enemies would be invaluable. Not to mention the ultimate delivery system for bombs! They should have worked out those details long before bringing in the element of time travel, or even viewing past or future events. I just recorded THE TIME MACHINE on my DVR today, & though that guy's machine worked fine, it never moved from it starting point, except in the 4th dimension.
 
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