Thursday, May 25, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks Television Edition - Time Travel

I saw a time machine once. It was the summer of 1984. My bestest buddies and I were just hanging out in front of the house and something rather strange came zooming by. It was one of these...

It was just like that, doors up and all. We had never seen anything like it. We didn't know when it came from or when it was going, but we knew it wasn't from when we were. Strangely enough, I would see it a year or so later with some There's a good chance you've seen it, too. It looks like this...

The reason I'm talking about time machines is because this week's Thursday Movie Picks, hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves, is all about time travel. However, it's also the last Thursday of the month. That means, we're actually talking about television shows. And in my never-ending quest to find unique things to write about, I've come up with some doozies, this week. Let's just get to it. And keep that car in mind.

Back to the Future
No, I'm not talking about the movie. Yes, I'm serious. It takes place after the events of the third entry in the cinematic trilogy. Doc Brown has rebuilt the DeLorean since, you know, it got ran over by a train. The short of it is, Doc and Marty go on various adventures through time, Saturday morning cartoon style. And it was dreadful. It didn't help that none of the cast from the movies even bothered to do voice-over for the show. Christopher Lloyd does reprise his role as Doc during the show's Fat Albert like live-action opens, but that's not nearly enough to save See what I did there? Forget it. Just know that this show did do one good thing. It provides us with the national TV debut of one Bill Nye the Science Guy.

Time Trax
Late in the 21st century, 2193 to be exact, there's an issue with a time machine. It's a big issue. Some sort of malfunction happens and over 100 criminals are sent back 200 years into the past and are running around 1993 all willy-nilly. No need to fear, Darien Lambert is on the job. By that, I mean he's sent back to '93 and has to round up all the bad guys. It helps that the dude is a supergenius. Then again, everyone is in 2193. When he was a kid in the 2170s, he was described as "a normal child of his times." In this case, "normal" is having an IQ of 204 and a "speed memorization rate" of "1.2 pages per second." He has also trained his brain so that he could make things appear to him as if they were moving in slow motion. Well, damn. Anyhoo, it's not a terrible premise. The execution, on the other hand, not so hot.

No, I'm not talking about the movie. Yes, I'm serious. Wait, haven't I said this already? Anyhoo, just like the movie, it follows our hero as he tracks down bad guys who have traveled back to the past and tried to change it, usually for financial gain. For some odd reason, our hero isn't Max Walker, but Jack Logan (Ted King). I guess that makes sense since this show lacks even an ounce of Van Damme's charisma. Whether you like the movie or not, it's far better than this.

You want more (better) stuff about time travel? Click below.


  1. I did knew about a TV version Back to the Future but never saw it but I don't remember Timecop being a TV series. I'm going to skip this week's Thursday Movie Picks as I haven't seen a lot of TV shows based on time travel.

    1. You don't remember Timecop because it got canned after nine episodes.

  2. Um....Oh...interesting picks, Dell! Unsurprising to you I'm sure knowing my indifference to animation I haven't seen this Back to the Future knockoff nor Time Trax but considering the brevity that it ran I did catch a few episodes of Timecop. It stank so no surprise it bite the dust quickly.

    Two of mine were short-lived as well, but I just loved them when I was a kid. The other is more recent but was fun with a super cast.

    Atlantis (2013-2015)-When marine scientist Jason (Jack Donnelly) is mysteriously transported from present day England to the legendary land of Atlantis via a deep sea accident he discovers a world of legend and myth ruled by King Minos and his scheming Queen, Pasiphae. At first he blunders about but shortly is befriended by Hercules (Mark Addy)-not yet the strong man of legend and Pythagoras a brilliant but poor youth. As time passes Jason encounters monsters and gods as well as the mysterious Oracle (Juliet Stevenson) who has expected Jason’s arrival and holds the secrets to his destiny and the fate of his father who vanished when Jack was young. A little silly and too contemporary at times but a fun show with an excellent cast.

    The Time Tunnel (1966)-“Two American scientists are lost in the swirling maze of past and future ages in their first experiments on America’s greatest and most secret project…”The Time Tunnel”! Tony Newman (James Darren) and Doug Phillips (Robert Colbert) now tumble helplessly towards a new fantastic adventure somewhere along the infinite corridors of time!”

    So began this short lived series of adventures through time where each week the pair landed to witness another piece of history (the sinking of the Titanic, the signing of the Magna Carta, etc.) overseen by a team scientists and military able to shift them through time periods but unable to return them to the present. Created by master of disaster Irwin Allen.

    It’s About Time (1966-1967)-Goofy comedy created by Brady Brunch mastermind Sherwood Schwartz concerning two astronauts traveling faster than the speed of light who end up in prehistoric times that is best described by its theme song sung in rhyme:

    “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.
    Here is their tale, of the brave crew.
    As through the barrier of time they flew.
    Past the fighting Minute Men.
    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.
    And now, It’s About Time!”

    1. Haven't seen any of your picks. I've heard mixed opinions on The Time Tunnel. The opinions are so mixed I've seen it on several 'best' and several 'worst' lists.

      I only vaguely remember the existence of Atlantis.

      I've never heard of It's About Time. It might be a good show, but that theme song is horrible, at least from a songwriting perspective. There is just nothing poetic about it at all, save for all the easily (lazily) rhymed words. Sorry, that's a topic for another day.

    2. Well I certainly wouldn't put Time Tunnel on a worst list but I'd be hard pressed to justify it being on a best either. It had a fun concept and for its time period a decent execution, which is hopelessly dated now but so is the original Star Trek so you just have to roll with it. I loved the cast of familiar faces, Whit Bissell, Lee Meriwether, James Darren-who to my young eyes was still Gidget's Moondoggie flaying through space! I catch reruns of it sometimes and I still enjoy it.

      The theme song of It's About Time is clunky to be sure but it does its job of laying out the premise. Now unlike Time Tunnel the years have not been kind to It's About Time. It shows on one of the nostalgia stations in the bowels of Saturday or Sunday morning and I DVR'd a couple episodes to take a walk down memory lane and it was a rocky, bumpy ride!

    3. I think there are some episodes of Time Tunnel on YouTube. I might have to check them out and judge for myself. It's a good excuse as any to see a young Lee Merriweather.

  3. I had no idea Back to the Future had a TV show. Wow.

    1. Most people don't. There are some episodes floating around YouTube, but I wouldn't advise watching them.

  4. I surprise myself because I know of all three but never watched any...hahahaaa. I had a feeling they were not all that great and it seems, I was right:)

    1. Yes, you were. None of these were any good.

  5. I had no idea there was a Back to the Future cartoon. It doesn't seem like I've missed much though.

  6. OMG I had completely forgotten about that Back to the Future cartoon! I LOVE IT. Haven't seen the others, though.

  7. Timecop was a TV series? I had no idea. Oh well, it sounds like I didn't miss much. Seems that character needed Van Damme to make it work.

    1. No, you didn't miss much. They didn't even bother to use Van Damme's character, lol.

  8. I did not know about a Back to the Future TV version!!

  9. Haven't seen any of these and they don't look good. What would have been your good picks?

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  11. Cool story Dell about being surprised by a Delorean, it's a special car from a special movie. I just watched Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) which is another fun time travel film, and which also had an animated tv-series in the early 90s!

    1. The Delorean is special, indeed. Bill & Ted's is a fun movie, too. Didn't know about the TV series, though, lol.