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Time Tunnel is a classic series produced by Irwin Allen in the mid 1960s. It is one series of four successful shows. The others being Lost in Space, Land of the Giants and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. All of which have been released in America on Region one. 20th Century Fox Television released the classic three series of Lost in Space on DVD way back in 2003 to 2005 on Region 2, and it seems logical they would have released the other shows but it has taken them until this year 2011 for them to finally get on with it. So it has been a long time coming and a welcome release since Region one copies have been too expensive or difficult to play. It will be a great relief to many fans when they are finally released.
Dr Doug Phillips and Dr Tony Newman head a team working on a machine that can transport people back or forward in time. They work at a research centre, hidden beneath the Arizona Desert. They have perfected how to send something into time and locate their position but not how to bring it back. Time Travel is possible through "The Time Tunnel".
Doug and Tony need more time to perfect it but a government official arrives to inspect the progress of the project and decides that he may recommend closing down the project. Tony desperately enters the Tunnel to prove that it works. He finds himself transported back to 1912 on board the Titanic the day before it sinks. Knowing that they cannot bring him back, and that Tony is in danger, Doug follows him into the Tunnel. Every episode takes the pair to different and famous events in time.
The Time Tunnel was created by Irwin Allen in 1966. It was set two years into the shows future 1968. The series has a glossy big production feel about it even though it was made with limited studio sets and old cinema footage from the cutting room floor. Irwin Allen bought up these un used clips from big blockbuster historical movies and incorporated them into the action of the show.
It is a series of pure escapism and great fun. The historical stories can be a little informative when you forgive the added fiction of Doug and Tony's role in them.
There are other stories that are science fiction in origin with aliens from space and magical powers of Merlin.
Irwin Allen had a good run with other similar shows like "Lost in space", "voyage to the bottom of the sea" and "Land of the giants". It is a great action series with a taster of the next episode at the end of each story.
Some of the dialogue is a bit weak and is deliberatly simplistic so as to appeal to the whole family including the kids. For example things are often explained by some characters when it is very obvious what is happening anyway. But despite this element of the dialogue it is all a bit of fun. You cannot take any of it seriously. The beauty is that it is like that. It is just escapist fun.
Originally the episodes had a cliffhanger ending. At the end of each story our two heroes would tumble into the next adventure and we would get a taster of the story of next weeks episode. This would then leave us just as Doug and Tony were in terrible danger. However on these DVD releases those endings have been edited out. This is becuase the episodes have been put in production order rather than transmission order. Its a shame they have cut these episodes like that but these cliffhangers are available as extras.
There was only one series and this DVD version contains the complete series.
This is a good classic science fiction series that is pure indulgent fun.
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on 24 June 2011
Why oh why oh why? What *were* they thinking?!

It's one thing to bring us the episodes in production order as opposed to broadcast order. I have no problem with that at all. But I cannot for the life of me fathom why this means having to completely omit from the end of each episode the "teaser" for "next week's fantastic adventure" that was a much-loved feature of this series.

The logic behind this becomes even more puzzling when you discover that the teasers have been included separately as extras on the bonus disk. Surely it would have been just as easy (and would have made a whole lot more sense) to simply shuffle them around where necessary and tag them seamlessly onto the end of each episode to tie in with the production order. But apparently the thinking at Revelation was "why go down the sensible route when you can make such a ham-fisted dog's breakfast of it?"

On the plus side, the DVD transfers (based on the 5 random episodes I've watched so far) appear to be very good indeed. The picture quality is very clean and sharp, with excellent colour. I did notice some very faint, thin vertical lines here and there on "Raiders From Outer Space". But all in all an excellent effort indeed, especially considering that the source material is now almost half a century old.

There are some very nice extras too, principally in the form of the unaired but very promising-looking 2002 pilot for a new "Time Tunnel" show that the networks sadly didn't pick up (those idiot U.S. TV execs strike again) and the "Time Travellers" TV movie. But the butchered, teaser-less endings of each episode and the gimmicky (but spartan) lenticular packaging (not even an episode list on the cover, let alone a nice glossy booklet packed with fascinating factoids) mean that I can only give this package a three-star rating.
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"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."

The Time Tunnel wasn't one of Irwin Allen's most successful series - it only ran one season - but thanks to syndication it managed to gain a fairly loyal following even after its two accidental time travellers were literally left no better off than when they started at the end of the final episode, so Fox's two volume remastered US set of the series was certainly welcome, but it's suffered some terrible and hugely damaging cuts in its trip across the Atlantic to UK DVD.

The show's ambitions were never really matched by its budget - although it was a costly Technicolor series (shot by the Oscar winning cinematographer of She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Winton C. Hoch, no less, while The 7th Voyage of Sinbad's Nathan Juran directed several episodes and John Williams contributed the memorable title music), part of the fun would be spotting the rehashed costumes, standing sets, music (particularly Bernard Herrmann's King of the Khyber Rifles and Franz Waxman's Prince Valiant) and stock footage from films like Helen of Troy or 300 Spartans for the various historical periods Robert Colbert and James Darren would fall into while Whit Bissell, Lee Meriwether and John Zaremba tried hopelessly to bring them back to present day 1968 in the impressively designed giant underground time tunnel complex.

The special effects aren't state of the art, but like the stylishly designed title sequence, they're pleasingly colourful, not least the iconic slo-mo shots of the two heroes 'trapped in the infinite corridors of time.' It's hokey, but it's still good nostalgic fun. This first half of the 30 episode run sees the series still concentrating on the historical stories rather than the science fiction ones that took over as the ratings started to fall, but they're not recommended as history lessons. Hokum is the order of the day as they find themselves at various times stowaways on the Titanic, caught up in the Alamo, deposited on Krakatoa on the worst possible day for a visit, mistaken for emissaries of the gods in Troy, locked up in Devil's Island with Dreyfus, at the Little Big Horn with Custer, the Khyber Pass with Kipling, in France during the Revolution and on the eve of D-Day and, in perhaps the best of them, in Pearl Harbor on the day James Darren's father died. Along the way they meet the odd interesting guest star - Michael Rennie as the captain of the Titanic, Ellen Burstyn sporting a bad English accent and Nehemiah Persoff as a communist scientist who may have invented a Russian time tunnel among them in this volume - before finding themselves stranded in another time in each episode's movie-serial style cliffhanger ending.

It was too good to last, of course, with the second half of the series marking most of the worst episodes, as it saw an ill-advised move from bowdlerising history (this time they find themselves in Jericho, at Gettysburg, dealing with Billy the Kid, Cortez, Robin Hood, Merlin and facing Nero's ghost in WW1 Italy) to standard alien invasion plots (one even featuring Robert Duvall) as the budgets shrank and the same guest stars became increasingly recycled in different roles. But matters are made worse by Revelation's atrocious presentation, which rearranges the running order of the series from their original broadcast order to their production order. The only way to accommodate that change is to cut off the cliffhangers from the end of each episode which - absurdly - is exactly what they've done, relegating them to the special features disc. It's a ridiculous and unnecessary change, and one 20th Century Fox didn't feel the need to make on their US sets of the series, which offer the episodes uncut and in broadcast order.

Aside from the cliffangers, the extras package is the same as the US disc: soundbite interviews with Robert Colbert, James Darren, Whit Bissell and Lee Meriwether that look like they were intended for a documentary that got abandoned, leaving us with just the raw footage, 52 minutes of Allen's home movies of the shoot (the US release has more of this footage), camera tests and stills and merchandise galleries, the extended original pilot episode and the 1976 Irwin Allen-Rod Serling Time Travellers TV movie shot on the New York sets built for Hello Dolly. The real surprise is how good the failed 2002 pilot for a proposed new version of the series that's also included is: there are some casting problems and the new tunnel is nowhere near as cool as the original and far too close to the Stargate TV series, but the revamped premise is neat - they have to go back to repair faults in history unleashed by an experiment and which only they are aware of - and packs a fair bit of emotional value too. With a few tweaks and some recasting it could have been a winner.

However, all of these are available on the US NTSC sets (Time Tunnel: Season 1 V.1 [DVD] [1968] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] and Time Tunnel 1 V.2 [DVD] [1968] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]), which are a much better buy for fans of the series - buying Revelation's UK edition would only encourage them to apply the butcher's knife to more vintage TV series. Their ostponed Blu-ray release was to include the original versions with cliffhangers, but was going to simply a DVD upscale since no HD masters of the series were available.
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on 4 June 2012
THE TIME TUNNEL is a wonderful offering from Irwin Allen (his favorite series). It's only flaws are inaccurate renderings of history and too many "alien" episodes. Yet it is well worth seeing, but NOT on this DVD set! Why? Because the episodes each have four minutes of story edited out with a running time of 46 minutes each instead of 50! What is missing is the entire end segments which shows the beginning of the next adventure. This has always been broadcast as part of the show including on the Sci-Fi Channel and U.K.'s Channel Four. This is the first time ever the conclusion of each episode has been cut off and presented on a "bonus" disc as "trailers". To add insult to injury, the trailers are not viewable individually, but as a two-hour-long mess. Another gripe is that the series is not shown in the correct order on disc one.

Forget this set and buy the "complete" episodes in the U.S. NTSC edition!
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on 15 June 2011
The Time Tunnel - The Complete Series [DVD] [1968]

Oh dear, what have Revelation done? As with their Land of the Giants and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea DVDs, Revelation have put The Time Tunnel episodes in production order.
I personally like watching shows in production order, since you get to see the natural evolution of a show and this worked with Voayage and especially Land of the Giants. Unfortunately in placing the episodes of The Time Tunnel in this order the original endings with the preview of the following weeks show have been cut out. There is a montage of these on the bonus disc, which I could have lived with, except for one inexcusable thing, lost scenes. On Disc 1 At the end of the episode One Way to the Moon, Doug and Tony are left stranded on the moon pondering thier fate, then the end titles abruptly cut in. On the transmitted version there is a futher scene at the Time Tunnel complex where the scientists switch Doug and Tony to another time period. I've not had a chance to view all the episodes, but I'm hoping there aren't any more abruptly cut scenes. The extras are really good and the picture quality is good, however, because of the way the episodes appear to be butchered, which has spoilt my viewing pleasure, I can only give 2 stars.
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on 30 June 2011
I was looking forward to this but the episodes are all in the wrong order so it spoils one's enjoyment as no cliffhanger is continued in the following episode. One needs to watch them all in the wrong order before discovering which order they should be in!!!
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on 12 February 2011
Since the advent of DVD I've waited patiently for someone to release the popular US shows 'Time Tunnel' & 'Land Of The Giants' on region 2 DVD. At long last my wait is nearly over. I still remember the very first episode of 'Time Tunnel' that was shown over here in the UK. It featured Michael Rennie as the captain of the Titanic, and I was smitten for the rest of the series. Not so long ago I bought all 3 seasons of 'Lost In Space', and was extremely pleased that while some of the later episodes were somewhat lacking in appeal, the series as a whole had not lost it's lustre, and I'm sure that both 'Time Tunnel' & 'Land Of The Giants', will still stand the test of time.
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on 16 August 2012
NOTE: the 1 star is for the butchering of the set NOT the series itself. That is 5 stars ***** Now to the butchering - > This complete set is NOT a complete set, well not really. All the episodes are here BUT.... and there is a BIG BUT. The episodes are not in their correct order AND as the episodes ( when orginally aired ) were supposed to have "cliff hanger endings" this "complete " package has simply edited them out and put them on the special features disc. MUCH BETTER to Buy them as separate seasons as imports for the US to get correct order together with the cliff hanger endings ( available here on Amazon Time Tunnel: Season 1 V.1 [DVD] [1968] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] )& Time Tunnel 1 V.2 [DVD] [1968] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]Go figure ?? why go to the bother of butchering what was already fine just the way it was ??
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on 31 August 2014
Remembered the series from childhood and had to have it, I don't really care about the teaser missing as I have them all in the set, the menues are straightforward and it's great to have a blast from the past.
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on 23 October 2013
Unfortunately the company releasing Time Tunnel have not been supplied with genuine HD masters for the series so the Bluray will simply be standard definition masters upscaled . While the available bitrates will be higher so pictures will look slightly better the images will not be genuine HD so in all honesty releasing it on Bluray seems pointless other than to correct the awful dvd version that re-edited the episodes to remove the cliffhangers from their proper place. If you want a good version of the show it may be cheaper to get the US region 1 import . Paying over £40 for a Bluray that is not HD is a waste of money . To be fair Revelation did tell me they had enquired about HD masters but were unsuccessful. This release was planned for quite a while back so perhaps the long delay of several months means that they are waiting on genuine HD masters . Unless that is the case don't waste time with a Bluray that isn't HD. Sales may encourage other companies to pull the same stunt
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