Sunday, March 1, 2009

Time Travel and "It's About Time"

Like most red blooded American kids, I watched a lot of television in the sixties. But now I don’t care what the temperature is. That was a joke. A bad joke, a corny joke but it was a joke nonetheless. Along with Sherman and Peabody, and The Time Tunnel, It’s About Time helped me develop an interest in the concept of time travel. It’s About Time also helped me develop my bad or corny sense of humor.

I actually owned a copy the coloring book you see in this posting.

Unless you're an American Baby Boomer, you probably never had the chance to see It’s About Time. As far as I know, the network ran twenty-six episodes and that the end of it. No reruns.

Here’s the series in a nutshell. Two astronauts, Hector and Mac blast off from Cape Canaveral, break the time barrier and find themselves in prehistoric times where they meet a gorgeous female genie. Ok, the beautiful genie was a whole ‘nother show. They do befriend a cave couple, Gronk and Shadd. According to my Sunday morning net research, Shadd was originally named Shagg. This was before the network censors realized the British have a pretty colorful meaning for the word, shag. Back to the meat and potatoes, the astronauts live with a group of cave people until they find the copper they need to launch their space capsule. They return to 1966, where they realize Grogg and Shadd have stowed away in the capsule. The last seven episodes focus on Mac and Hector as they to hide their cave friends from NASA.

The show was created by Sherwood Schwartz, the mastermind of Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch. I found an eight minute clip of It’s About Time on You tube. Watching the clip was an exercise in time travel back to a Sunday night in 1966. It was also a hoot. The background music is quite similar to The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island. One of the Astronauts sounds and acts an awful lot like Gilligan and Schwartz used a lot of the same props Gilligan’s Island and It’s About Time.

In this particular episode, the astronauts find themselves tied up and on trial because Mac snapped a photograph of the boss. The cave people call their chief boss and speak English – caveman English, but English nonetheless.

One of the cavemen waves the photograph and says, “Prisoners evil spirits. Try to hurt boss with wicked magic.”

Sounding just like Gilligan, Hector says, “What’s he kicking about? It’s in focus. The background looks nice.”

How come people stopped saying what’s he kicking about?

Then Mac, sounding an awful lot like the skipper, says, “What’s he kicking about? To these people, a photograph is black magic.”

Hector comes back with, “It’s in color.”

Corny jokes are a good thing. I propose we all try to crack at least one corny joke each day. While we’re at it, let’s try to say “What’s he kicking about?”at least once a day too.


It's about time, it's about space,
About two men in the strangest place.
It's about time, it's about flight -
Traveling faster than the speed of light.
This is the tale of the brave crew
As through the barrier of time they flew.
Past a fighting minuteman, Past an armored knight,
Past a Roman warrior, To this ancient site.
It's about caves, cavemen too,
About a time when the earth was new.
Wait'll they see what is in sight!
Is it good luck or is it good night?
It's about two astronauts, it's about their fate,
It's about a woman and her prehistoric mate.
It's about time, it's about space,

About two men in the strangest place.
They will be here right on this spot
No matter if they like it or not.
How will they live in this primitive state?
Will help ever come before it is too late?
Will they ever get away?
Watch each week and see!
Will they be returning to the 20th Century?
It's about time for our goodbyes
To all these prehistoric gals and guys.


7:00-7:30 Lassie
7:30-8:00 It's About Time
8:00-9:00 The Ed Sullivan Show
9:00-10:00 The Garry Moore Show
10:00-10:30 Candid Camera
10:30-11:00 What's My Line


Bluesfrau said...

Haha! I love the steady underlying current of humour in your posts.
I have not heard of this show, but it sounds like something I would like to try sometime. And yea, the jokes sound cheesy, but Star Wars also has a lot of them - and I wouldn't go and change Star Wars...

I'm really starting to appreciate the existence of these blogs. It's nice to read what other people spend their thoughts with - often enough enriching.

#167 Dad said...

Hi Bluesfrau,
I'm with you. I love the cheese!
And I enjoy your blog. Loved the shots of the bicycles.

Rick Rivers said...

Dad: Just finished watching "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and noted there is a reference to time travel at the end when abducted Americans from various time periods in history disembark the space ship. Say, what time is it anyway?

Bluesfrau said...

Or as they say in Lost:
"Can you tell me WHEN I am??"
Taking that the human time system is in reference to our "mother star", the star in the center of our solar system (called the "Sun" - no, Journalism didn't invent that name!!), this IS a valid question to ask. After all, time is relative to the chosen reference. The next question to consider (veering off into Quantum Physics, a very lovely subject!) is:
Would a different choice of time reference alter the place?

RealRaiderNation said...

Great Post, Dude. I haven't been writing but time has come. And now, a short called "Goldie Fingers."

The sign hung low outside the establishment. Probably needed a handy to come and fix it for a few. Goldie didn't care; business was slow and who cared if the sign hung about eye-level. It said Goldie's. His hairy back was tired. just like the rest of his diminutive body. The workout was robust and thorough, but he had had enough. Time for work. After garnering a few drops of water, he went to his shoe cobbling. People past by his store, waving but not entering. Great, he thought in his little mind. It's a good thing I don't have a wife and kid to support. Suddenly, a large hand entered his shop. No place to hide. Goldie released himself to the hand. The hand was attached to an arm and a body, one of no consequence. What now? thought the shoe cobbler. Sitting between the hand he observed from his elevated point. Not a good time to jump, he thought. Suddenly, he found himself in a round . . . He couldn't think of what it was, but the sooner he could get out, the sooner he could find out why the hand did this to him. (will be continued).

#167 Dad said...

Close Encounters is one of my all time favorites. And I suppose time, like beauty is left to the eye of the beholder...
Ahh phisics. Wish I could comprehend the numbers. Lucky for me, guys like Carl Sagan and Brian wrote a few books in everyman terms. Have you read Green and or Sagan?

Keith (Raidernation),
Glad to see Goldifinger the hamaster is moving from the gray matter to the paper.

Bluesfrau said...

Yea, I got Brian's "The Fabric Of The Cosmos" some years ago. He has a very comprehensive writing style and makes the Universe sound like a piece of cake. I studied Cosmology at University a few years back for a little while, and the subject of electromagnetic waves is something I think should be stressed much more in physics classes than it was at least at my grammar school when I attended it. Also, teachers need to learn to love the subject they teach, like my Cosmology prof. His eyes were burning up in flames when he'd go off on his explanations about waves, and I'd frequently fall in Love with his way to work his own brain. Very inspiring!!

David C. said...

Ha! Great post. The coloring book reminded me I still have some components of my Winky Dink kit, namely the green vinyl sheet (magic drawing screen) and a few crayons in the original box. From a Wikipedia article:
Praised by Microsoft mogul Bill Gates as "the first interactive TV show," the show's central gimmick was the use of a "magic drawing screen", which was a large piece of vinyl plastic which held on the television screen via static electricity. A kit containing the screen and various Winky Dink crayons could be purchased for 50 cents. At a climactic scene in every Winky Dink short, Winky would arrive upon a scene which contained a connect the dot picture. He would then prompt the children at home to complete the picture, and the finished result would help him continue the story. Examples include drawing a bridge to cross a river, an axe to chop down a tree, or a cage to trap a dangerous lion. Many children would omit the Magic Screen and draw on the television screen itself, to the annoyance of their parents.

#167 Dad said...

Brian Green did a tv series for nova. I think it's called the Fabric of The Universe. Very good stuff. I tried reading Richard Feynman's Six Easy Pieces, but gave up.
Is Cosmology the same as Physics?

#167 Dad said...

Yeah, I remember Winky Dink. Quite frankly, I was one of those knuckle head kids who drew on the tv with crayon...

Bluesfrau said...

No, it's not the same. Cosmology is a sub-subject of Physics as well as Philosophy. We were dealing with the technical/physics aspects, however, though my prof was a big fan of rock music, so we also ended up playing unriddling rock song quizzes and such stuff, too. Hihi.
Physical Cosmology attempts to describe the Universe via laws of physics.
I'd like to watch "The Fabric Of The Universe". I haven't heard of it. I take it the show was possibly based on the book I mentioned above - or the other way around.