Irwin Allen's cost-consciousness gets a workout in the second half of this compilation of episodes from his single-season science fiction adventure. Not only did the show continue its use of stock footage from earlier theatrical films, there was an over-utilization of Bernard Herrmann music, especially themes/melodies from "Garden of Evil" and the classic "The Day the Earth Stood Still."
Watching the episodes back to back, one realizes how frequently a group of actors appeared in that single season. Though they would be assaying different roles, actors John Crawford, John Hoyt, Kevin Hagen, Vitina Marcus, Vincent Beck, Malachi Throne, Michael Ansara, Rhodes Reason, and Lawrence Montaigne would repeatedly find themselves, like stars James Darren ("Tony") and Robert Colbert ("Doug"), "trapped in the annals of time." In addition to this group, the following actors, who would be featured in other Allen productions, would be seen: Abraham Sofaer, Victor Jory (a standout in "The Pirates of Devil's Island"), future Oscar winner Robert Duvall, Arthur Batanides, Regis Toomey, Ronald Long, and Lew Gallo.
Heather Young is featured in the final episode and would later go on to appear as one of the stars of Allen's "Land of the Giants". The ever-popular Del Monroe ("Kowalski" from "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea") appears in one episode, also.
The sharp eye will notice some of the same set pieces from Allen's other television shows: the "computers" and other flashing gizmos, ray guns, and that ever present silver ALIEN makeup.
As far as the "extras" go, they are a curious lot. The unaired fifty-minute 2002 pilot owes about as much to its premise to the original series as it does to the Sci-fi Channel's popular "Stargate SG-1" show. However, it's a fairly good pilot and should have fit well on the Sci-Fi Channel's schedule.
And Allen's attempt to revive the concept with his own pilot, "The Time Travelers" benefits solely from the casting of Groom and Richard Basehart ("Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea").
If one has seen the television special "The Fantasy Film Worlds of Irwin Allen," the cast interviews offer nothing new.
As has been noticed by others, the second half of the season was not as strong as the first but there is one notable observation: the best show from this half ("Kill Two by Two") parallels the best from the first half ("The Day the Sky Fell In"). Both shows find Doug and Tony in World War II situations and feature standout performances from both actors, along with the respective guest stars (Linden Child's in the latter and Mako and Phillip Ahn in the former), and writing that was superior to the other installments in the series. Coincidentally, one of the best from Allen's other series ("Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea") dealt with survivors of World War II: "And Five of Us are Left".
Perhaps, if more of the episodes had been of their caliber, the pair would've been crossing time a little longer than one season.
And Lee Meriwhether ("Ann") may have gotten to wear something besides that godawful green blouse!
Still, the set comes recommended as an affordable entertainment.