Saturday, February 7, 2009

Time Traveling with You Tube


"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."

With a little help from You Tube, I took the opportunity to do a little time traveling of my own last night. I rocketed myself back to 1966 for an episode of Irwin Allen’s The Time Tunnel. All I can say is the experience was captivatingly cheesy. In case you’re unfamiliar with the show’s premise, it goes something like this: an entity of the United States government was in the process of building an enormous time travel facility beneath the Arizona desert. When a congressman showed up to shut the project down – due the excessive cost, a couple of cool sixties cats named Tony and Doug jumped into the tunnel in order to prove that the apparatus in point of fact did work. The two protagonists bounced around in time over the course of thirty episodes while thirty-thousand scientists and time tunnel team members tried to figure out how to bring them back to1968 (the show was produced in 1966). The scientists were able to get the guys out some terrific mess each week, pulling them back into the tunnel just in the nick of time before they sunk with the Titanic or were killed at Little Big Horn. The show always ended with the heroes dropping out of the sky into the middle of some new well known historical crisis which would serve as the next week’s episode.

In this particular episode the two sixties dudes were dropped in the middle of the battle of the Alamo. The Alamo itself looked a little more like a castle than a Spanish mission. There were plenty of historical inaccuracies but I didn’t mind. There was lots of stock battle footage, probably from John Wayne’s movie, The Alamo. I had an absolute blast watching the sixties hipsters interact with historical figures like Jim Bowie and William Barret Travis. It was especially cheesy cool when Doug and Tony used 1960’s karate chops and judo flips in hand to hand combat with Santana Anna’s Mexican troopers and later with the defenders of the Alamo.

Some of greatest cornball lines in the history of dramatic arts were delivered by the Alamo’s commander, William Barret Travis, played by journeyman television actor, Rhodes Reason. Colonel Travis became suspicious of Doug and dramatically expostulated, “I don’t know whether you are a mad man or a calculated trouble maker,” and then to his men, “Seize him!”

Later in the show, Travis was accidentally sucked back to 1966 by the project scientists
(If remember correctly, they were always sucking back historical figures, but they could never get a bead on the sixties cool cats). Staggering through the psychedelic tunnel, Reason unloaded the following hyperthespian gems:

“How did I come to be here? How did I come to this place?”

The scientists explained that he’s been brought to the future through time travel.

Reason pressed the back of his hand to forehead and shouted, “Time…travel? What kind of voodoo magic is this?”

When the scientists set the machine ten minutes ahead and showed Travis video footage of his death at the Alamo, the colonel gazed toward the heavens and announced, “I beg you, sir, send me back!”

The cheese whiz was beautiful. Rhodes Reason’s overblown dramatics were first rate. William Shatner and Charlton Heston had nothing on the guy.

I think I’m in love with You Tube.


Twelve unsent Christmas cards remain on the kitchen counter and there is still a gallon of eggnog in the back of the fridge. At this point we might as well save the Christmas cards for next year. We’ll probably have to come up with a different plan for the eggnog.


...Bluesfrau said...

Aye! I like that picture! Nice Vortex!

...Bluesfrau said...

Think I'll have to take a peek at Irwin Allen's Time Tunnel. I have never heard of this. Thanks for tipping my nose onto it.