Ultimate Time Travel
Books, Movies, TV Shows and Everything Time Travel

Classification: Past and Future Time Travel


In The Time Tunnel, we are introduced to a secret government research facility buried deep in the (Arizona?) desert. There, a team of scientists has built a time machine called ‘The Time Tunnel’. Why exactly is this machine built is never explained: conveiably, the government envisioned some sort of information gathering abilities.


As often with this type of expensive program, there comes a time when a political hotshot attempts to shut it down. Growing alarmed at this prospect, one of they key scientists, Dr. Tony Newman, sends himself back in time in order to prove that it works. His plan succeeds: he finds himself in the past… on the sinking Titanic! (Out of all the places..)


Unfortunately, from some unknown technical reasons, the team in the present discovers it is unable to recall Tony: pull him back to the present. They do, however, maintain the ability to witness what Tony is experiencing, but that is no help. Tragically, it seemed Tony is doomed to go down with the Titanic!


But Dr. Doug Phillips, Tony’s colleague and good friend, refuses to accept this. He, too, activates the Time Tunnel and sends himself to the Titanic. I’ll stop here. You’ll have to see the first episode to find out how it resolves.


During the rest of the show, we see that the research team is unable to recall Doug and Tony. However, as said, they are able to view what is going on with them, as well as occasionally send the odd useful item to the past. Although they keep attempting to recall them, this never works. Though at times someone else, a native of the current time, is occasionally pulled to the present. That being said, they are always eventually able to transport Tony and Doug to other periods of history in the hope that they’ll eventually return home.


Strangely enough, Doug and Tony have a knack of finding themselves in historical situations, usually just about the time things are about to go wrong. But fortunately, both are quite knowledgable about various historical eras, so they usually manage to come out unharmed. Truly bizarre, no? I’ve always wondered why can’t Doug and Tony find themselves stuck in a really good time for a while, sipping Margaritas on the beach ;) . But no can do. Let’s just say it is this way: if The Time Tunnel: The Next Generation is ever to be made, in the first episode, Doug and Tony would find themselves on the top floor of Twin Towers during 9/11. Mark my words.


As someone who did not grow up in the United States, for me The Time Tunnel represents the ultimate time travel show. When I was a kid, whenever a new Time Tunnel episode was released, I – together with all of my friends – would watch it in awe. Although it is quite possible that from a grownup’s perspective it won’t seem the masterpiece that I remember it to be, I’d take that risk any day. It really was a very good show – me, my friends, our parents – we were all glued to the screen.


During their adventures, Doug and Tony visit the Titanic, a future expedition to the moon, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the US Civil War, Nazi Germany in WW 2, the French revolution, Troy (before it fell), the old west (when Aliens took over!) and many more places. This offered a truly diverse set of stories, settings and historical characters.


What I particularly loved about The Time Tunnel is the seriousness in which it was made. It’s almost as if the producers wanted to us to learn history – the plot never turned into Kitsch or slapstick (as too many modern shows do). It just felt real.


In summary: Interesting, fun, serious, diverse, challenging, scary at times (ah, the episode where Aliens took over the present), the Time Tunnel is the ultimate Time Travel television show. Although it will definitely look outdated (it was made in the 60s), if you can let that fact go, I’m sure you’ll have a blast.


The Time Tunnel – Volume One on Amazon


The Time Tunnel – Volume Two on Amazon


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Classification: Historical Characters


Voyagers! begins with a Jeffrey Jones, a boy living in 1982 with his uncle after his parents died. One afternoon, a man suddenly appears before his eyes. Extremely surprised, the shock causes him to fall out of the window. But instead of dying, the man jumps after him and – miraculously – transports them both somewhere safe.


It seems Jeffrey was rescued by Phineas Bogg, a member of the society of time travelers who are responsible in maintaining the timelines in the event that they go wrong (something that happens all the time). Since Phineas doesn’t know much about history, and Jeffrey does (his father was a history professor), they both go together on various temporal journeys. This often brings them in contact with various historical characters.


As a kid, Voyagers! used to be my favorite show. I used to have dreams about the Omni, the watch-like device Phineas uses to transport himself in time. Although it looked a bit outdated when I recently watched a couple of episodes, I still really enjoyed it.


As a side note, Jon-Erik Hexum, the actor who played Phineas Bogg tragically died at the end of first season by a stunt prop. It’s a real shame.


A second side note, last I read, Meeno Peluce the kid who played Jeffrey, now works as a history teacher. I guess he really was the perfect casting!


In summary: highly recommended: Adventure, history and time travel – you can’t go wrong with this combination!


The show’s DVD on Amazon


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Classification: Effects of Time Travel Technologies on Society


Two masters of science fiction, Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter, have joined forces to bring us The Light of Other Days.


In the year 2035, a new technology, a system of “WormCams” is invented; this technology enables opening a microscopic wormhole and sending a tiny camera to the other side – allowing the controller to see and hear what goes on on the other side. Although at first this technology is only available to very few, later it becomes widespread.


In its first incarnation, this technology is used to spy on various locations. This means that the concept of privacy is forever lost, obviously, with enormous repercussions. Imagine: How would society react if nothing is private anymore: everyone’s most personal and intimate moments could be viewed by everyone else. Celebrity or not, no one is impervious.


Then the technology is further refined, allowing the wormholes to be opened in any time. It is now possible to solve every crime that has occurred in any point in time, by moving the wormhole camera backward from the victim. More importantly, this technology gives humanity the ability to watch every historical character and scenario. Unsurprisingly, this has enormous ramifications: many historical beliefs are debunked – some of which are quite fundamental.


In my opinion, this premise is superb, as befitting of two giants of science fiction. In fact, this could’ve easily been split to two novels, as there is so much potential to either one of the underlying premises. The problem is that the novel is written in a very dry manner. The characters are not too interesting, and what they do with the technology is not that fascinating either. Although the book is definitely not bad – it’s actually quite good – what I find frustrating is that it could’ve been so much better.


Furthermore, although the effects on society made by the invention of the WormCams is done pretty well, I thought some of the ideas were implausible. In particular, the emergence of an organization of people who’ve decided to live their life in darkness and communicate using a sign language, only so that their privacy is maintained. Suspension of disbelief aside, I thought this is just plain silly. (Not to mention the fact that surely in the even more distant technology a new technology would be able to overcome this barrier as well, no?)


All in all, criticisms aside, this work is good and should appeal to any sci-fi lover. It’s a shame that it could’ve been so much more.


Link to the book’s details on Amazon.com


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Time Travel Movies