Time Trax

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Time Trax
TimeTrax cast.JPG
Capt. Darien Lambert and SELMA
Created by Harve Bennett
Jeffrey M. Hayes
Grant Rosenberg
Starring Dale Midkiff[1]
Elizabeth Alexander
Country of origin United States/Australia
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 44 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time 60 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel PTEN[2]
Original run January 20, 1993 – December 3, 1994

Time Trax is an American/Australian co-produced science fiction television series that first aired in 1993.[1][3][4] A police officer, sent through time into the past, has to track down and return convicted criminals who have escaped prison in the future.[5] This was the last new production from Lorimar Television.

Premise[edit]

In the year 2193, over a hundred criminals become fugitives of law enforcement by traveling back in time two hundred years, using a time machine called Trax. Darien Lambert (Dale Midkiff) is a police detective of that period who is sent back to 1993 in order to apprehend as many of the fugitives as possible.[6] He is assisted by the Specified Encapsulated Limitless Memory Archive, or SELMA (Elizabeth Alexander), an extremely small but very powerful computer (described as equivalent to a mainframe) disguised for the mission as an AT&T MasterCard and communicated through a holographic interface which takes the visual form of a prim British nanny. Lambert is also equipped with an MPPT (Micro-Pellet Projection Tube) disguised as a keyless car alarm remote, which can stun targets or engulf them in an energy field, rendering them transportable to the future. This process, executed by SELMA, incorporates a transmission sequence to send the criminal on his way. Dr. Mordecai Sahmbi (Peter Donat), who was responsible for sending the fugitives to 1993, tries several times to kill Lambert.

Captain Lambert, fearing the possible consequences of altering the timeline, does not actively attempt to interfere with the natural flow of history, although he frequently leaves messages for his colleagues in 2193 (via the 'personals' sections of assorted newspapers). However, the series makes occasional allusions to a theory of parallel timelines, implying that time travelers go into an alternate past so that their actions there have no effect on the 2193 "present".

Opening narration[edit]

Season 1

"It began in the future. A scientist turning to evil, a time machine called TRAX, criminals who vanish and a lawman with a mission. He has one weapon and a computer named SELMA."

SELMA: Good morning, Captain Lambert.

"With them he will travel to a time more innocent than his own. Now he is among us. A special breed of man, a hunter, travelling through our world searching for fugitives from his own, knowing he can not go home until he has found them all. His name is Darien Lambert and this is his story."

Season 2

"It began in the future. A time machine called TRAX, criminals who vanish, and a lawman who must pursue into the past. Now he is among us, a special breed of man. He has one weapon and a computer called Selma. With her, he will travel through our world, searching for fugitives from his own, knowing he cannot go home until he has found them all. His name is Darien Lambert and this is his story."

Characters[edit]

Darien Lambert[edit]

~ Captain, Fugitive Retrieval Section

Pre-Series (pilot narration)

He was born on August 17, 2160, 8:05 AM, Monday. He was left at the Bradwell orphanage (#35 "Mother"). Unclaimed by his birth parents; he was raised in Enclave I-6 Middle City, the area known long before as Chicago Land. As was the custom, he was allowed to choose his own name. He chose Darien, hero of the Just War of 2129, and Lambert, the surname of the woman who bore him; whom he called mother even though all he had of her was her photograph.

He grew up a normal child of his times: IQ 204, Speed Memorization rate 1.2 pages per second (slightly above average). He was a competent athlete. His best speed for the 100 meters was 8.6 seconds, and for the Mile Run - 3 minutes 38 seconds. He wondered how the Olympic Champion could ever have done it twenty seconds faster. His heartbeat was a normal 35 beats per minute. His life expectancy - 120 years. His lungs were average, capable of air storage up to six minutes. Beta wave training had given his generation mind control capabilities unavailable fifty years before his birth. One of these was the ability to slow down the speed of visual images reaching the brain, popularly called "time stalling". It demanded rigorous training.

He was a solitary child; he lived among his memories. He was also a patriot. He admitted this to no one, because it was out of fashion. But he had feelings for his native land, once called the United States, and knew every detail of her history. He admired her early Fugitive Retrieval Specialists, the U.S. Marshals, and wondered why in later times so many of her criminals went unpunished. This belief system took him on a career path: The International Police Academy at West Point on Hudson.

In the same year, Dr. Mordecai Sahmbi of MIT won the Nobel Prize for physics for his theoretical work in the teletransportation of particle mass. Halfway around the earth, Sahmbi is idolized by the brilliant young prodigy, Elyssa Channing-Knox (Mia Sara). About to be accepted at MIT, she is nine years old. By the time she is 17, she will have become his most gifted student. These two people will change Lambert's life forever.

At West Point, Lambert excels; he learns Mosh-T an occidental improvement of martial arts. He becomes expert with the Pellet Projection Tube, the standard police weapon of the day. He graduates first in his class and is commissioned a Detective, Junior Grade. He is a marshal at last. The years that follow are turbulent to Lambert. He learns the eternal lesson of his trade; a policeman stands alone. Nor is his isolation made easier by being a member of a minority race. [The crowd chants 'blanco'.] It is the 22nd century's most abrasive racial slur. His experiences have made him strong, yet by decade's end, a series of events have begun to shake his confidence.

His arrest record declines sharply. Routine track-downs end in mysterious disappearances. Suspects vanish without a trace. He begins to doubt his ability. Then, one day in the summer of '92 ... (leads into the series)[1]

(Primary Source: Introduction First Episode of "Time Trax")

Family

  • Mother's name is Kathryn (#10 "Treasure of the Ages")
  • Darien says that SELMA looks like the picture that he drew of his mother. (#22 "One on One")
  • Kathryn "Kit" Lambert Logan traveled with her now "ex-husband" who is a fugitive to the past. Darien meets her in episode #35 "Mother"

Aliases

  • Danny Lambertson, Boxer (#08 "The Contender")
  • Donald Lombardi, Police (#09 "Night of the Savage")
  • Darien Lind, Special Investigator of International Thoroughbred Racing Association (#20 "Photo Finish")
  • Dan Longstreet, Reporter (#30 "The Cure")
  • Daniel Lang, Former Police (#37 Split Image)

Misc

  • Lambert is a Chicago Cubs fan, and during several episodes, wore a vintage 2145 Cubs' hat, which was the last time the Cubs' won the pennant. (200 years after the actual 1945 pennant)

SELMA[edit]

Selma was Darien's link to his past (i.e. life in our temporal future) Selma was a computer, but a computer that seemed like a real person to Darien most of the time. They fought with one another and worried about each other. By the end of the series, SELMA almost "mothered" Darien and, despite her programming, admitted a deep pride in him. By all appearances the feeling was mutual. Selma was disguised as a credit card that Darien always carried with him. Selma communicated with both a voice and a holographic interface based on a picture of Darien's mother. It is revealed that SELMA can change her outward holographic appearance if Darien so desires. Additionally, SELMA can place phone calls, perform medical and scientific testing as well as interface with virtually any computer including those belonging to law enforcement agencies. Using this ability, SELMA has created marshals' credentials. Additionally, using this ability, SELMA has also made travel reservations for Darien as well performing research from contemporary sources. SELMA also has a vast amount of information in her database; this encompasses everything from technical manuals to cookbooks and historical facts.

Encountered fugitives[edit]

Dr. Mordecai Sahmbi

  • Dr. Mordecai Sahmbi of MIT, won the Nobel Prize for Physics for his theoretical work in the teletransportation of particle mass in the same year that Darien is admitted to the Police Academy at West Point (estimated about 2178). (#1 "Stranger in Time")
  • As a child, Sahmbi's father used to drink and would beat him for going to the library, while his mother went into deep denial. (#22 "One on One")

Charlie "C.L." Burke

  • Committed Treason in the 22nd century. (#1 "Stranger in Time")

Sepp Dietrich

  • A violent neo-Nazi racist. Attempted to establish a Fourth Reich. Is the only known survivor of more than two doses of TXP, which left him disfigured.

Other characters[edit]

Elyssa Channing-Knox

  • Young prodigy, accepted to MIT at age nine (#1 "Stranger in Time")
  • By age seventeen, she is Dr. Sahmbi's most gifted student. (#1 "Stranger in Time")

Annie Knox (Mia Sara)

  • A Secret Service Agent in the 20th century. She appears to be a relative of Elyssa Channing Knox from the 22nd century based on resemblance.

Fugitive Retrieval Sergeant

  • Worked with Darien Lambert and the Chief (#1 "Stranger in Time") (#3 "To Kill A Billionaire")

Country singer Caitlin Carlisle (Kassie Wesley DePaiva)

  • One of Lambert's favorite singers. (#19 "Beautiful Songbird")
    • His favorite songs are: "Mystery Man," which as it turns out is about him, and "Lofty Pines on Misty Mountains"

Joey Miller

  • Lambert's favorite comedian who turns out to be one of the fugitives. (#39 "The Lottery")

Timeline[edit]

  • 1993 June 15 - Darien Lambert arrives in the past
  • 2129 The "Just War"
  • 2142 First Contact - transmission received from the Procardians.[who?]
  • 2160 August 17 - Darien Lambert is born
  • 2164 The "War of the Hemispheres"
  • abt. 2169 - Elyssa Channing-Knox is born
  • abt. 2178 - Darien is admitted to the International Police Academy at West Point.
  • abt. 2178 - Dr. Mordicai Sahmbi of MIT, wins Nobel Prize for Physics for his theoretical work in the teletransportation of particle mass.
  • 2193 Lambert jumps to the past

Production[edit]

Time Trax was filmed in and around Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.[3] It was the last series to premiere under the Lorimar Productions name.[citation needed]

Credits[edit]

Created by:

Regulars:

Recurring characters:

Episode list[edit]

Season 1[edit]

No. Air Date Episode Title Synopsis
01 and 02 20 January 1993 A Stranger In Time Series opener. After several criminals he's been tracking vanish into the past, Captain Darien Lambert travels back in time to capture them all.
03 3 February 1993 To Kill a Billionaire Dr. Sahmbi concocts a scheme to send nuclear waste to the twenty-second century under the guise of a business.
04 10 February 1993 Fire and Ice Darien tracks down a pair of jewel thieves.
05 17 February 1993 Showdown It's a new kind of wild west when Darien teams up with a local lawman to capture a fugitive. But this lawman might not be what he seems...
06 24 February 1993 The Prodigy When a boy (Rider Strong) displays unusual athletic prowess, Darien suspects both the boy and his father are from the future.
07 3 March 1993 Death Takes a Holiday A fugitive uses his knowledge of future drugs to run a Mafia family.
08 10 March 1993 The Contender A fellow time traveler asks Darien to help him bring his son, a banned boxer, back to the future.
09 17 March 1993 Night of the Savage Darien travels to London to find a literally bloodthirsty killer known as the Savage.
10 31 March 1993 Treasure of the Ages A fugitive turned treasure hunter is trapped in a hurricane with Darien.
11 7 April 1993 The Price of Honor A fugitive blackmails the man destined to win the presidential election.
12 14 April 1993 Face of Death When a plastic surgeon is killed in a strange matter, Darien believes one of the fugitives is responsible. The only problem is the doctor was a plastic surgeon, and now Darien must figure which member of an archeological expedition is his target.
13 5 May 1993 Revenge Sepp Dietrich, a fugitive, joins a white supremacy group.
14 12 May 1993 Darien Comes Home While visiting Chicago, Darien learns that a man was killed by a future weapon, and goes undercover at a computer company to catch the killers, a pair of fugitive brothers (Christopher Daniel Barnes and Robert Mammone).
15 19 May 1993 Two Beans in a Wheel A woman claiming to be from the future tells Darien that Sahmbi is after the Holy Grail.
16 26 May 1993 Little Boy Lost One of Darien's old instructors winds up in the hospital, and Darien seeks the Man's adopted son.
17 27 October 1993 The Mysterious Stranger Ignoring Selma's warning, Darien responds to an add in the paper telling him a fugitive is hiding in Mexico.
18 3 November 1993 Framed Darien is framed for murder and hunted by fugitives.
19 10 November 1993 Beautiful Songbird An obsessed fugitive (John de Lancie) stalks a future singer.
20 17 November 1993 Photo Finish A fugitive uses an invention of his on race horses.
21 26 November 1993 Darrow for the Defense Laura Darrow (Amy Steel), a lawyer and old friend of Darien's, goes back to 1993 to find her client, who just happens to a fugitive, to inform him he's been acquitted of the charges against him.
22 1 December 1993 One On One Darien becomes the unwilling test subject of Sahmbi's mind control invention.

Season 2[edit]

No. Air Date Episode Title Synopsis
23 29 January 1994 Return of the Yakazu A Yakuza member from the future tries to use his knowledge to take over the Yakuza of the past.
24 5 February 1994 Missing When Selma is stolen by muggers, Darien teams up with an older officer to save her.
25 12 February 1994 To Live or Die in Docker Flats When a fugitive is murdered in a small town, Darien stays to find out who did it. But this town isn't exactly Mayberry...
26 19 February 1994 A Close Encounter Darien helps an alien find his mate.
27 26 February 1994 The Gravity of it All
28 5 March 1994 Happy Valley
29 12 March 1994 Lethal Weapons
30 19 March 1994 The Cure
31 23 April 1994 Perfect Pair
32 30 April 1994 Catch Me If You Can
33 7 May 1994 The Dream Team
34 14 May 1994 Almost Human
35 21 May 1994 Mother
36 28 May 1994 The Last M.I.A.
37 15 October 1994 Split Image
38 22 October 1994 Cool Hand Darien
39 29 October 1994 The Lottery
40 5 November 1994 Out For Blood
41 12 November 1994 The Scarlet Koala
42 19 November 1994 Optic Nerve
43 26 November 1994 The Crash
44 3 December 1994 Forgotten Tomorrows

DVD release[edit]

On October 9, 2012, Warner Bros. released the complete first season on DVD in Region 1 via their Warner Archive Collection. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release.[7] The second and final season was released by Warner Archive on July 9, 2013.[8]

International broadcasters[edit]

Time Trax in other media[edit]

Video game[edit]

A video game for the Super NES console based on the series was released on the U.S. market by Malibu Games in April 1994[9] (although some sources list December 1993). A Sega Genesis version was also developed and completed, and was reviewed in major gaming publications,[10][11] but it was never released by the publisher. A prototype of the Mega Drive/Genesis version in fully finished state was leaked in 2013.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Garron, Barry (1993-04-21). "Time-traveling Role Keeps Actor Hopping - Sun Sentinel". Articles.sun-sentinel.com. Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  2. ^ Benson, Jim (May 28, 1993). "Warner weblet to 2-night sked". Variety. 
  3. ^ a b "From Hooterville to Australia : Eddie Albert's 'Time Trax' sends him Down Under with his son - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 1993-03-28. Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  4. ^ Dawson, Greg (1993-02-03). "New 'Time Trax' Isn't Original, But It's Fun - Orlando Sentinel". Articles.orlandosentinel.com. Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  5. ^ Hiltbrand, David (1993-01-25). "Picks and Pans Review: Time Trax". People.com. Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  6. ^ Willman, Chris (1993-01-20). "TV REVIEW : 'Time Trax' Suitably Silly Fare for the Kiddie Contingent - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  7. ^ "Time Trax - Captain Darien Lambert Travels to...TODAY! Warner Archive DVD is Now Available!". 
  8. ^ "Time Trax DVD news: Announcement for Time Trax - The Complete 2nd Season". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  9. ^ Time Trax release data at GameFAQs
  10. ^ "Review Crew: Time Trax". Electronic Gaming Monthly (57) (EGM Media, LLC). April 1994. p. 40. 
  11. ^ "ProReview: Time Trax". GamePro (60) (IDG). July 1994. p. 56. 

External links[edit]