The Time Tunnel

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The Time Tunnel
Series title over a blue/black wavy background
Created byIrwin Allen
StarringJames Darren
Robert Colbert
Whit Bissell
John Zaremba
Lee Meriwether
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes30
Running timeapprox. 50 minutes
Production companiesIrwin Allen Productions
Kent Productions Inc.
20th Century-Fox Television
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 9, 1966 (1966-09-09) –
April 7, 1967 (1967-04-07)

The Time Tunnel is an American color science fiction TV series written around a theme of time travel adventure starring James Darren and Robert Colbert. The show was creator-producer Irwin Allen's third science-fiction television series and was released by 20th Century Fox Television and broadcast on ABC. The show ran for one season of 30 episodes from 1966 to 1967.

A new pilot was produced in 2002 but did not proceed to a series. A history of the series by Martin Grams, Jr., was published in 2012.[1]


Project Tic-Toc is a top-secret U.S. government effort to build an experimental time machine, known as "The Time Tunnel" due to its appearance as an elliptical passageway. The base for Project Tic-Toc is a huge, hidden underground complex in Arizona, 800 floors deep and employing more than 12,000 specialized personnel.[2] The directors of the project are Dr. Douglas Phillips (Robert Colbert), Dr. Anthony Newman (James Darren), and Lt. General Heywood Kirk (Whit Bissell). The specialists assisting them are Dr. Raymond Swain (John Zaremba), a foremost expert in electronics, and Dr. Ann MacGregor (Lee Meriwether), an electrobiologist supervising the unit that determines how much force and heat a time traveler is able to withstand. The series is set in 1968, two years into the future from the actual broadcast season, 1966–1967.[3]

Doctors Newman (James Darren), MacGregor (Lee Meriwether), and Phillips (Robert Colbert), 1966

Project Tic-Toc is in its 10th year when United States Senator Leroy Clark (Gary Merrill) comes to investigate to determine whether the project, which has cost $7.5 billion (equivalent to $63 billion in 2022), is worth continuing. Senator Clark feels the project is a waste of government funds. When speaking to Phillips, Kirk, and Newman in front of the Time Tunnel, he delivers an ultimatum – either they send someone into time and return him during the course of his visit or their funding will cease. Tony volunteers for this endeavor, but he is turned down by project director Doug Phillips. Defying this decision, Tony sends himself into time. Doug follows shortly after to rescue him, but they both continue to be lost in time. Senator Clark returns to Washington with the promise that funding will not be cut off to the project, leaving General Kirk in charge.

The stage is set for the progress of the series as Tony and Doug are now "switched" from one period in history to another, allowing episodes to be set in the past and future. Episodes 2–23 begin with the following narration (voiced by Dick Tufeld):

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.

Tony and Doug become participants in past events such as the sinking of the Titanic, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the eruption of Krakatoa, Custer's Last Stand, and the Battle of the Alamo, among others. General Kirk, Ray, and Ann in the control room are able to locate them in time and space, observe them, occasionally communicate with them through voice contact, and send help. The series was abruptly cancelled in the summer of 1967 by ABC, before they were able to film the episode in which Tony and Doug are safely returned to the Time Tunnel complex.

Possibility of time travel[edit]

Lee Meriwether as Dr. Ann MacGregor

According to the plot, time travel is facilitated by time being portrayed as a static continuum, accessible at any point through the Time Tunnel as a corridor spanning its infinite reaches. When Senator Clark sees an image of the Titanic on the image screen in the course of episode one, he is told by Dr. Swain that he is seeing "the living past", and Althea Hall is told by Tony Newman that the past and the future are the same. The Time Tunnel is also a portal connecting the Time Tunnel "complex" with the same time periods in which Doug and Tony are located. Other people can also be relocated by the Time Tunnel from their time to another time as Machiavelli is switched from his own time to the time of the Gettysburg Campaign of 1863. Bringing people (other than Tony and Doug) to the present happens often in the series, but the only occasion in which Tony and Doug return to their own time occurs in "Merlin the Magician", when the great wizard uses magic to bring them home in suspended animation so he can instruct them to perform a mission for him.

In the course of the series, Doug, Tony, and the Time Tunnel personnel discover that events of the past can be altered to some extent by the intrusion of the time travelers, and in a few cases, their historical research allows for it. Episode 26 ("Attack of the Barbarians") explores the scenario of one of the time travelers falling in love with someone from the past: Tony and the Princess Serit, daughter of Kublai Khan. Marco Polo tells Doug, "Can they not touch each other?" History itself hints at the possibility of Serit marrying Tony as Ann informs General Kirk. The historical information on Billy the Kid's victims alarms Ann, Ray, and the General, as it records that he killed two strangers near Lincoln, New Mexico, in April 1881—just when Tony, Doug, and Billy the Kid are brought together.


The production used sets, stock footage, and props left over from the large number of period dramas made by the 20th Century Fox film company. Even black-and-white shots purporting to show the Titanic sinking were tinted for use in this color production. Only a few actors were costumed for a given episode, interspersed with cuts of great masses of people similarly dressed from original features. Only one set was constructed for the show, that of the Time Tunnel main control room. For the pilot episode, a large control room set was built, and a longer Time Tunnel was created using optical matte shots. After the pilot episode, location changes occurred for the production of the series; Colbert and Darren shot their scenes in another studio, on the 20th Century Fox backlot, or on location, while those who portrayed the Time Tunnel personnel filmed all their scenes on a revised and smaller Time Tunnel control room set (due to the production having to use a smaller sound stage than used during the pilot filming). Some episodes featured space aliens who wore costumes and carried props originally created for other Irwin Allen television and film productions. Prop sets were similarly reused. The prop computer, however, had an unusual degree of verisimilitude because it was an array of memory modules from the Air Force's recently decommissioned SAGE computer.[citation needed]

Continuity errors and errors in historical fact occurred in the series. In the premiere episode, "Rendezvous with Yesterday", Captain Smith of the Titanic is called Malcolm, when historically, his name was Edward. The names of the secondary officers are also fictitious, though Walter Lord's best-selling non-fiction book about the event, A Night to Remember, had been released nine years earlier. Tony states that he was born in 1938. A few episodes later in "The Day the Sky Fell in", he states he was seven when Pearl Harbor was attacked on 7 December 1941, which would make the year of his birth 1934, or possibly 1933, if later than 7 December.

The theme tune for The Time Tunnel was composed by John Williams (credited, as in Lost in Space, as "Johnny Williams"). GNP Crescendo later released an album featuring Williams' work and the score composed by George Duning for the episode "The Death Merchant".

The series won an Emmy Award in 1967, for Individual Achievements in Cinematography. The award went to L. B. "Bill" Abbott, for his photographic special effects.[4]

Recurring elements[edit]

  • A short "teaser" from the following week's episode was shown at the end of each episode as Doug and Tony arrived at their next destination, with one exception: Episode three's ending teaser has a scene where Tony lands 10 years before 1968 in the desert, at the time tunnel complex. He tries to tell Doug that he works there and he knows him. This was not to be seen in the following episode.
  • The impressive introduction to the scale of the project (over 36,000 people and huge underground buildings) is never seen after the first episode except for two clips of the giant power generator flashing, and tunnel security running across a walkway. New matte paintings and models were created specifically for The Time Tunnel pilot episode.
  • Most episodes involved the capture or detention of Doug, Tony, or both, their escape, their recapture, and their escape again, before their move to the next episode.
  • Nearly all location shooting was filmed in and around Southern California. This caused scenes set in different parts of the country (or the world) to have the same general hilly landscape with arid-type trees and brush typical to the local region where filming occurred.
  • The majority of episodes placed Tony and Doug in stories set in past historical contexts.
  • Aliens and people from the future were similarly dressed, often in metallic silver clothing, like other Irwin Allen television series of the same era.
  • Many episodes used stock footage from previous 20th Century-Fox and Irwin Allen productions. These shots ran the gamut from episodes on General Custer, to the sinking of the Titanic, and many other historical events.


While the episodes were first shown in 1966, the show's setting begins in 1968, two years into the then-future.[5]

No. Title Arrival date Directed by Written by Arrival location Original air date
1"Rendezvous with Yesterday"April 13, 1912Irwin AllenS : Irwin Allen;
S/T : Shimon Wincelberg and Harold Jack Bloom
RMS TitanicSeptember 9, 1966 (1966-09-09)

United States Senator Leroy Clark (Gary Merrill) arrives from Washington, DC, to investigate the progress of Project Tic-Toc in Arizona. He is met outside the subterranean complex by Dr. Doug Phillips, who ushers him in. They are met by Lt. General Heywood Kirk, known to Clark as his former commanding officer when he was a paratrooper in the army. As chairman of the Senate committee overseeing the Time Tunnel, Clark lets it be known that he can either authorize the continued funding of the project or "cut [its] umbilical cord", He wants immediate results. Dr. Tony Newman wants to comply by "going into time", but Phillips, the project chief, vetoes the offer. Late that night while the others are elsewhere, Tony powers up the Time Tunnel, enters, and successfully sends himself back in time. He arrives on board the Titanic on Saturday, April 13, the day before it collides with an iceberg and sinks. He meets Ms. Althea Hall, played by Susan Hampshire, when he "lands" on one of the ship's promenade decks. Later when he learns that he is aboard the Titanic, he runs into the captain, played by Michael Rennie, whom he tries to urge to sail further south to avoid icebergs. As he does this, he discloses the incredible facts explaining his own presence on board. The unconvinced captain has Tony arrested as a stowaway and held incommunicado, although he is seen and heard by those in the Time Tunnel control room, who are tracking him. Doug Phillips decides to follow Tony into time to rescue him and try to convince the captain of the imminent disaster with a newspaper reporting the matter the day after. General Kirk permits him to go. Doug finds himself in the boiler room of the ship, makes his way further into the ship, and enlists the aid of a French lad, Marcel Copot, played by Gerard Michenaud, to help get Tony free. After breaking Tony out of the cabin, they go to the wireless room to send an SOS message. They overcome the staff armed with Tony's guard's pistol, but they are overpowered by the captain and his detail and locked back into the cabin Tony had occupied. As Tony and Doug had predicted, the ship strikes an iceberg at 11:40 pm, bringing the captain to Tony and Doug, who then are successful in getting him to order the "abandon ship" procedure. Doug gets to place his friend Marcel with his mother onto a lifeboat, and Tony persuades a reluctant Althea Hall to board one. Thrown off the ship by an explosion, Tony and Doug are successfully frozen in time by the Time Tunnel control room, and placed in "time limbo". Since Tony and Doug are still lost in time, Senator Clark assures Time Tunnel control that he will not discontinue funding.

The DVD release made available the original "pilot film" for the series, which is an extended version of the first episode, running about 53 minutes rather than the regular 49 minutes. It contains material that was cut from "Rendezvous with Yesterday" and then added to two subsequent episodes: Tony arriving alone outside of the Time Tunnel complex 10 years earlier, when he was unknown to the security forces and Doug Phillips (see "End of the World"), and Tony being reunited with Doug in a prehistoric rainforest (see "Chase through Time"). In the pilot film, Senator Clark suggests that Time Tunnel personnel should just go outside the base to save Tony; however, in "End of the World", since Senator Clark is not in the episode, his lines are given to the technician Jerry.
2"One Way to the Moon"1978Harry HarrisWilliam WelchSpacecraftSeptember 16, 1966 (1966-09-16)

Tony and Doug find themselves on board a spacecraft's service module just before blast off. The spacecraft, part of the M.E.M. (Mars Excursion Module) ten years in Tony and Doug's future, is to be the first U.S. crewed spaceflight to Mars. It is the M.E.M. IV flight, and it is crewed by Colonel Kane (played by Larry Ward) the captain, Nazarro (Ben Cooper) the radioman, Beard (James T. Callahan) and Major Harlow (Warren Stevens) the doctor. Tony and Doug's added weight (335 pounds) makes it impossible for the spacecraft to reach escape velocity in order to escape the earth's gravitational pull. Captain Kane decides to jettison the service module, effectively scrubbing the mission and killing Tony and Doug, but Beard, who wants the mission to continue, furtively fires the boosters to achieve escape velocity. Unable to get directions from mission control due to being incommunicado with a sabotaged radio, Kane makes the command decision to make a stop on the moon to replenish the fuel that Beard expended and continue the mission. When Tony and Doug are discovered they are treated as spies. Beard wants to throw them off the ship. Tony and Doug prove themselves honest by assisting in repairing the outer hull of the ship after it is struck by a meteor.

Back at the Time Tunnel control room, three visitors are brought in, who are with the M.E.M. program: Vice-Admiral Killian (Barry Kelley), Dr. Brandon (Ross Elliott), M.E.M scientist, and Killian's aide, Ensign Beard, who is the same crewman Beard on the M.E.M. IV. They are brought in because they are interested in seeing the future of their program, and they are enlisted to help retrieve Tony and Doug. Both Brandon and Beard are spies. Brandon succeeds in exploding the Time Tunnel control panel with plastic explosive before he is exposed later by security Master Sergeant Jiggs. In doing this, Beard does not see his further nefarious actions: killing Doctor Harlow in the moon's fuel depot and his own death when his time bomb explodes the depot.

When Brandon is exposed, he tries to escape by grabbing a machine gun, and he tells Beard that his job is to protect him as his accomplice. Beard betrays Brandon after being given a gun by Brandon. Beard shoots and kills him. Brandon had become expendable, which Beard becomes ten years later if he is successful in destroying the M.E.M. Mars flight and killing Tony, Doug, and the rest of the crew. Doug tells Beard this before knocking him unconscious.

Presumably, the two remaining M.E.M. crewmen Kane and Nazarro continue the flight to Mars, leaving Tony and Doug behind on the moon at Doug's suggestion. Tony and Doug are then safely shifted in time before their oxygen runs out.
3"End of the World"May 21, 1910Sobey MartinS : Peter Germano;
S/T : William Welch
A mining communitySeptember 23, 1966 (1966-09-23)

The return of Halley's Comet in 1910, causing worldwide panic monitored by the Time Tunnel control room, interposes an obstacle to saving over 200 miners trapped in the cave-in of the "Emperor Mine". Relocated to this time period, Tony and Doug try to organize a rescue party, but all of the townspeople have left town to wait for the end of the world predicted by a respected professor, Dr. Ainsley (played by Gregory Morton), working at a local college observatory. Doug and Tony split up to get help: Tony goes out to appeal to the townspeople and Doug goes to see Ainsley at the observatory to get him to retract his prediction. Tony succeeds in getting the sheriff (played by James Westerfield) to come to the mine to help, and when a partial cave-in is caused by the suicidal mine office clerk Henderson (played by Paul Fix), the sheriff succeeds in saving Tony. Doug demonstrates to Ainsley that he is a competent scientist, but his chalkboard calculations only corroborate Ainsley's prediction that Halley's Comet will collide with the earth. The Time Tunnel control room tries and fails to send a radarscope to help Doug convince Ainsley. Just before the time of the predicted collision of the comet, Doug gets Ainsley to hook the college's Nichols radiometer up to the telescope to scan for a possible mass in space that would divert the comet. Such a mass would be invisible. The radiometer detects such a mass, which convinces Ainsley that he was wrong. Doug and he go to Pilgrimage Hill outside of town to appeal to the townspeople. Ainsley's accurate prediction of the imminent disappearance of the comet's tail convinces the townspeople that the world will not end, and they proceed to the mine to rescue the trapped miners.

At the Time Tunnel complex, a disaster ensues when the time-spatial "fix" on the comet allows its gravitation to pull anyone or anything not strapped down into the Tunnel. Technician Jerry (Sam Groom), who warned of this earlier, becomes its victim. He is saved by Ray manually ripping out power cables from the right instrument console. As Jerry is led away from the Tunnel, he suffers cardiac arrest due to shock, and is saved by the resourcefulness of Ann, who uses the severed power cords as a makeshift resuscitator to revive him. Ray, Ann, and General Kirk discuss the risk of subjecting the Time Tunnel complex and personnel to the continued attempt to rescue Doug and Tony. Ray feels that they are dealing with forces well beyond control that might force them to choose to shield Time Tunnel personnel over rescuing Doug and Tony, Ann objects to discontinuing the rescue, and General Kirk encourages them to continue while working in safeguards.

After being relocated in time from the 1910 mine, Tony and Doug are separated. Tony arrives outside the Time Tunnel complex ten years before the present. He goes half out of his mind when Sergeant Jiggs and a younger Doug Phillips fail to recognize him (see "Rendezvous with Yesterday"). In the control room, Ray advises abandoning the attempt to close the ten-year gap to bring Tony back and superimposing his signal with Doug's. They are then reunited as they are dropped into the Japanese consulate near Pearl Harbor on December 6, 1941.
4"The Day the Sky Fell In"December 6, 1941William HaleEllis St. JosephHonolulu, HawaiiSeptember 30, 1966 (1966-09-30)
Tony and Doug arrive inside the Japanese consulate in Honolulu the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor. The young Anthony Newman was living in Honolulu at the time and had spent that night at his friend Billy Neal's house – which would be destroyed in the raid – but Dr. Newman has no memory of what happened. His father, a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy, was never seen again after the attack. When Tony tries to warn his father of the impending attack, he only succeeds in making his father wary of the danger. The attack goes on schedule the following morning, but Tony and Doug are able to persuade Billy's mother, Louise Neal (played by Susan Flannery), to take Billy and young Tony and flee to the mountains. Lt. Commander Newman is seriously injured at the communications center in a bomb blast while trying to warn the USS Enterprise to stay away from Pearl Harbor. Tony arrives and helps his father transmit the warning to the ship. The elder Newman then dies in his son's arms.
5"The Last Patrol"January 6, 1815Sobey MartinBob and Wanda Duncannear New Orleans, LouisianaOctober 7, 1966 (1966-10-07)

Tony and Doug arrive in Louisiana the day before the final battle of the War of 1812. They are taken prisoner by the British troops, court-martialed as spies, and sentenced to be shot at dawn. A present-day British Army general, General Southall (Carroll O'Connor), is brought to the time tunnel so the team can establish the location of their scientists. Recognizing his ancestor, Colonel Southall (also Carroll O'Connor), and confessing that he does not have long to live anyway, General Southall insists on going back to order Colonel Southall to release the two scientists and to find out why he led his troops into the strong point of the opposing army. General Southall fails to convince his ancestor, and both Southalls are killed in the battle.

Note: This episode said that the battle occurred on January 7; it actually occurred on January 8.
6"Crack of Doom"August 27, 1883William HaleWilliam WelchKrakatoa in Maritime Southeast AsiaOctober 14, 1966 (1966-10-14)
Tony and Doug arrive on the island of Krakatoa the day of its eruption in August 1883 just in time to stop the sacrifice of a young Indonesian by his companions, who are there to serve as guides to Dr. Holland (Torin Thatcher) and his daughter (Ellen Burstyn). Dr. Holland is conducting a scientific investigation of the island following the loud volcanic explosion a few months before. Karnutu, the chief guide, believes Doug and Tony are devils, who are causing the eruption, and he tries to sacrifice them to the fires to stop the eruption. Doug and Tony find that they have only a few hours to convince the scientists to leave the island before it is blown up with the biggest explosion in history. One problem they face is lack of information, Doug feels that they should go to Java for safety when they must go instead to Sumatra. Tony is retrieved just before Karnutu throws him into a lava pit, but when he gets to the Time Tunnel complex, he finds all personnel frozen in a time warp. Tony finds the correct escape information written down by Dr. Swain. He takes it with him when he sends himself back to 1883. Karnutu is thwarted and falls into the lava pit. Doug and Tony finally persuade the scientists and their remaining guides to leave for Sumatra, but Doug and Tony must be left behind due to a lack of room in the canoe. Fortunately, Tony left coordinates necessary to switch Doug and himself on a pad of paper in Dr. Swain's frozen hand when he was there during the time warp. They are shifted just before the big eruption.
7"Revenge of the Gods"April 23, 1184 BCSobey MartinWilliam Read Woodfield and Allan BalterNear Troy in AnatoliaOctober 21, 1966 (1966-10-21)
Tony and Doug arrive near the city of Troy after the tenth year of the siege by the Achaeans (Mycenaean Greeks). Ulysses, the Greek commander, takes Doug and Tony to be gods from Olympus to the disgust of Sardis, one of Ulysses's commanders. Sardis is defeated by Tony in a sword fight and defects to the Trojans, whose Prince Paris uses him for a raid on Ulysses's camp. Doug is captured and tortured in Troy. Tony distinguishes himself in a battle against the Trojans with the help of Jiggs, the Time Tunnel chief of security, who is sent back in time by accident with modern weapons and ammunition. Tony gets the privilege of joining the Greeks in the Trojan Horse for the capture and sack of Troy. Both Sardis and Paris are killed, and Queen Helen and Doug are rescued.
8"Massacre"June 24, 1876Murray GoldenCarey WilberBig Horn County, Montana TerritoryOctober 28, 1966 (1966-10-28)
Tony and Doug land in 1876 Montana the day before the Battle of the Little Bighorn. They are captured by Chief Crazy Horse and his companions, and Doug manages to escape with the help of the survivor of a troop of soldiers, Trumpeter Tim McKinnis. Tony does not escape and is taken to the Sioux encampment. There, he demonstrates his honesty and bravery to Chief Sitting Bull, moving him to adopt him. Doug and Tim make their way to the 7th Cavalry for help. Doug finds it pointless to try to convince Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer either to try to rescue Tony or reconsider his intention to fight the Sioux at the Little Big Horn. At the Time Tunnel complex, General Kirk has brought in Dr. Charles Whitebird, an expert on the Indian Wars period, who happens to be a full-blooded Sioux himself. Dr. Whitebird is able to give Ray and Ann spatial coordinates. They succeed in bringing back Yellow Elk, who had been sent by Crazy Horse from the Sioux encampment to thwart Tony and Sitting Bull's plan to send a peace offer to Custer. Yellow Elk is stopped from ambushing Tony on his way to Custer with the offer. Later, Yellow Elk keeps his companions from killing Tony and Doug just before they discover the outcome of "Custer's Last Stand".
9"Devil's Island"March 14, 1895Jerry HopperBob and Wanda DuncanDevil's Island in South AmericaNovember 11, 1966 (1966-11-11)
Tony and Doug arrive on the French penal colony of Devil's Island just as new prisoners arrive. They are mistaken for two of the prisoners who have escaped and are imprisoned in their stead. The other prisoners are not interested in escape until Captain Alfred Dreyfus arrives on the island, but this is part of a scheme of the French government to eliminate Dreyfus by killing him if he tries to escape. (See the Dreyfus Affair)
10"Reign of Terror"October 8, 1793Sobey MartinWilliam WelchParis, FranceNovember 18, 1966 (1966-11-18)

Tony and Doug arrive in Paris, France, in the middle of the French Revolution during the Reign of Terror. A shopkeeper offers to help them get out of the city if they will help him get to Marie Antoinette in an attempt to free her. Instead, they end up helping the Dauphin, Louis XVII, to escape with the shopkeeper as his guide and protector. Tony and Doug are confronted by an ancestor of General Kirk, who is a dead ringer for him. Kirk has his heirloom ring sent back to possibly facilitate Doug and Tony's being recovered, but the ring had been a love token between Marie Antoinette and a foreign amour (i.e. Axel von Fersen the Younger). The ancestor General Querque seeks to use the ring as evidence to incriminate Marie Antoinette, clearing the way for her execution. At the end of the episode, Doug and Tony distract a young artillery lieutenant by the name of Napoléon Bonaparte so that the shopkeeper and the dauphin can go aboard a ship that will take them to freedom. The ring experiment ultimately fails; Doug and Tony get transferred to another era just before rifle shots reach their position, while the ring gets transferred, by inference, back to Kirk.

Note: This episode said that Marie Antoinette was executed shortly after noon on October 15; the execution actually took place on October 16.
11"Secret Weapon"June 16, 1956Sobey MartinTheodore ApsteinSoutheastern EuropeNovember 25, 1966 (1966-11-25)
A general in The Pentagon takes advantage of their arriving at the right time and location to send them on a spy mission. They are sent a message to meet a contact who will get them in to a secret Soviet project, A-13. A-13 turns out to be a project very similar to Project Tic-Toc, but it is not quite functioning. Also, the chief scientist of that project is currently (in 1968) defecting to the United States. Tony and Doug pose as scientists and return valuable information on the project and the defector.
12"The Death Trap"February 21, 1861William HaleLeonard StaddBaltimore, MarylandDecember 2, 1966 (1966-12-02)
A barn in an abandoned northern neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland is the landing place of Tony and Doug where they become involved in an Abolitionist plot to assassinate President-elect Abraham Lincoln on his way secretly to Washington, DC, for his inauguration on March 4, 1861. (See the Baltimore Plot). The ringleader is Jeremiah Gebhardt, played by Scott Marlowe, who was an accomplice of John Brown in his 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry. Tony and Doug are met by Matthew Gebhardt, played by Tom Skerritt. In the Time Tunnel control room, the image screen shifts its image to the April 14, 1865, assassination of Lincoln in Ford's Theater, confusing the general, Ann, and Ray, but associating the events, the attempted assassination with the successful assassination. Jeremiah points out that the southern secessionists would be blamed, thereby sparking a war with the South and resulting in an end to slavery. The meeting is violently broken up by Lincoln's security detail led by Allan Pinkerton, played by R.G. Armstrong, who kill four of the conspirators and take Doug into custody. Tony escapes with Jeremiah and Matthew to their home, where they live with their 11-year-old brother David, played by Christopher Harris. Jeremiah reveals the particulars of his plot to Tony: he has constructed a time bomb that he plans to plant on Lincoln's train when it is switched to "the Washington line." Jeremiah hears Lincoln's train as it arrives at the abandoned depot, and goes to investigate. Tony tries to dissuade Matthew from the plot, which he knows from history will fail. Doug is interrogated by Pinkerton as Lincoln's train arrives, and Lincoln is invited into the depot where Doug gets the opportunity to talk with him. In response to Lincoln's concern about the survival of the Union, Doug assures him that it will survive for more than a century to come. Since Pinkerton had delayed Lincoln's train due to the actual assassination plot he partially foiled, Jeremiah changes his plan to bombing the depot. Tony resists, and is tied up in the kitchen. Matthew diverts Pinkerton's attention from the depot by shooting a rabbit near the depot, allowing Jeremiah to place the time bomb next to the depot. Tony manages to escape from the Gebhardt house, get to the depot, and intercept the bomb, which he throws away from the depot. David finds the bomb, examines it, and is picked up by the Time Tunnel when General Kirk decides to bring the bomb into the tunnel to defuse it. Afraid to come out of the tunnel, David is thrown a pack of tools to help him stop the bomb's timing dial. He succeeds by placing a screw driver into the hole for the windup key. David is then returned to 1861. Matthew decides to stop Jeremiah, but Jeremiah finds the bomb and attempts to follow through with his plan until Matthew stands up to him. Brotherly affection gets the better of Jeremiah, and he goes home with Matthew after Doug throws the bomb safely away. Tony and he notice the screwdriver that David had placed into the bomb, which they realize could only have come from the Time Tunnel. They dematerialize to their next adventure.
13"The Alamo"1836Sobey MartinBob and Wanda DuncanThe Alamo MissionDecember 9, 1966 (1966-12-09)
A hill outside the Alamo provides the entry point of the time travelers. As they roll down the hill, they are confronted by Mexican soldiers from nearby San Antonio de Béxar attacking the Alamo. Doug sustains a serious head injury aggravated by his struggle with the soldiers. Captain Reynerson (John Lupton) beckons Tony and Doug to the safety of the Alamo, which they reach. Tony and Doug are thought to be couriers from Brazoria and other settlements of east Texas. They meet the commander of the Alamo, Colonel William B. Travis (Rhodes Reason), a meddlesome authoritarian, who is so zealous for the Alamo cause that he refuses to listen to Tony when he warns him of Santa Anna's impending attack at 4:00 pm. Tony and Doug are then locked in a storeroom after Doug sustains yet another blow to the head, which makes him blurry eyed and incapacitated. Captain Reynerson, whose wife is a nurse providing the only medical help, comes into the storeroom to tend to Doug. He tells Tony of Dr. Armandez (Edward Colmans), who might be persuaded to come to help Doug and the wounded. Reynerson helps Tony to escape the Alamo, resulting in the fall and serious injury of Colonel Jim Bowie (Jim Davis). Just outside the Alamo, Tony is taken prisoner by a Mexican scout, Sgt. Garcia (Alberto Monte), who takes him to Captain Rodriguez (Rodolfo Hoyos Jr.). Dr. Armandez is tending Rodriguez's sore throat when Tony is brought in, and helps Tony escape after Tony eludes Rodriguez and Garcia. Dr. Swain obtains a strong "transfer fix" for Doug, but picks up Col. Travis, instead, who is shown the onscreen fall of the Alamo along with his own death. He agrees to release Doug just before he is sent back at his request. Tony and Doug are then safely retrieved by the Time Tunnel.
14"Night of the Long Knives"Mid May 1886 (1886-05)Paul StanleyWilliam WelchThar Desert in IndiaDecember 16, 1966 (1966-12-16)
Tony and Doug arrive in the Thar, where Dr. Phillips is immediately captured by Afghanistan rebels. Tony is shot and presumed dead, but is found by Rudyard Kipling and taken to the local British fort. Rebellion against the British occupiers is rising, and the local commander has been ordered to not attack the rebels. However, one of the scientists has escaped and must convince the British to attack the rebels, freeing Dr. Phillips and stopping the Night Of The Long Knives, the signal to begin the general uprising. Dayton Lummis appeared as the character Gladstone.
15"Invasion"June 4, 1944Sobey MartinBob and Wanda DuncanCherbourg, FranceDecember 23, 1966 (1966-12-23)
Two nights before the D-Day invasion of Europe, Tony and Doug arrive on the Cherbourg Peninsula. They witness an attack of the French Resistance, referred to as the Underground, on a Nazi installation. Tony later becomes acquainted with these fighters, Mirabeau (Robert Carricart), Duchamps (Michael St. Clair), and Verlaine (Joey Tata). Tony and Doug are captured by the Nazis and taken to the Gestapo headquarters in the village of Sainte-Mère-Église. They are questioned by the commandant Major Hoffman (Lyle Bettger) attached to the Gestapo. They are observed on the other side of a two-way mirror by Dr. Hans Kleinenmann (John Wengraf), who calls in Major Hoffman, telling him to bring Doug to him and allow Tony to escape. Doug is to serve as a guinea pig for Kleinemann's last brainwashing experiment to get him to kill Tony in cold blood. Tony makes his way from the Gestapo headquarters tailed by a Gestapo agent, who is killed by Verlaine. Tony is captured by Duchamps, the leader of the Underground group. Although Tony is an American, he is still under suspicion of working for the Gestapo, but Mirabeau sells information on the Underground's activities to the Nazis.
16"The Revenge of Robin Hood"June 14, 1215William HaleLeonard StaddKing John's Castle, EnglandDecember 30, 1966 (1966-12-30)
The Earl of Huntington, formerly Robin Hood, is petitioning King John to sign the Magna Carta, or the barons (who have raised armies) will overthrow the king. Dr. Phillips has arrived just outside the throne room and overhears the end of the conversation. When King John orders his men to arrest the Earl of Huntington, Huntington puts up a valiant fight (with swordplay), but is apprehended when he runs into Dr. Phillips on his way out. They are questioned by the king as to where the barons are meeting, but when they do not give up the information, they are taken to the dungeon to be tortured for the information. Dr. Newman had arrived earlier in the dungeon, and when the time is right, he overcomes the guards and frees the two prisoners. Tony and Doug manage to escape, but Huntington does not. On their way to warn the barons, Tony and Doug are caught by the Merry Men. After escaping the king's men, rescuing the Earl of Huntington and kidnapping the king, the episode ends with King John reluctantly signing the Magna Carta.
17"Kill Two by Two"February 17, 1945Herschel DaughertyBob and Wanda DuncanMinami IwoJanuary 6, 1967 (1967-01-06)
Tony and Doug arrive about 700 miles southeast of Tokyo, Japan in the South Pacific on the island of Minami Iwo, one of two islands off the coast of Iwo Jima, two days before the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. They manage to overpower the observer left on the island to radio the position of the U.S. Navy ships, but are captured themselves when a Lieutenant Nakamura (played by Mako) surprises them. Instead of imprisoning them or killing them, he offers them an opportunity to capture or kill the Japanese soldiers. Nakamura gives Doug and Tony a one-hour head start, but no weapons. Dr. Newman has a badly sprained ankle, so Dr. Phillips sneaks back and manages to take five grenades from the supply room. The two sides play a dangerous game of cat and mouse, but Lieutenant Nakamura seems strangely suicidal.
18"Visitors from Beyond the Stars"1885Sobey MartinBob and Wanda DuncanIn space above Mullins, Arizona TerritoryJanuary 13, 1967 (1967-01-13)

Tony and Doug arrive on an alien spacecraft in space above the Americas. Two aliens soon appear, pull a gun, and force Tony and Doug into an area that translates between their different languages. The aliens tell Tony and Doug that they are going to take all of the protein (food) from Earth and that there will be no life left when they leave, just as they have done with other planets. The aliens also tell them that there are three kinds of people: those who cooperate, those who can be made to cooperate, and those whom they must kill. "Resistance is impossible," they say.

The aliens (from Alpha 1) land their ship at a farm near Mullins, Arizona Territory (approximately 112°W 34°N) in the year 1885. Their first objective is to take over the farm house, which they do. Their second objective is to take over the town, which they almost succeed in doing. Dr. Phillips has been made cooperative by the aliens. Dr. Newman has to get help from the sheriff and the bar owner for his plan to take the aliens' control unit away from them to succeed. Meanwhile, two other aliens, (John Hoyt playing the one speaking character of these two) who no longer need to raid planets for food, appear in the Time Tunnel control room and demand that the Tunnel operators prove that they did not destroy the alien ship, or face destruction of the Earth. After they are shown an image of the ship leaving Earth safely, the aliens leave.

This episode makes use of Bernard Herrmann's music from the film The Day the Earth Stood Still and 'high tech sci-fi' sound effects from the film Forbidden Planet.
19"The Ghost of Nero"October 23, 1915Sobey MartinLeonard StaddItalian Alps in Villa Galba, Northern ItalyJanuary 20, 1967 (1967-01-20)

Tony and Doug arrive at the Italian Alps just outside fictional Villa Galba during the Italian Campaign in World War I, and enter the cellar to avoid an artillery bombardment. A German advance team has just arrived at the villa. A German corporal is mysteriously stabbed to death while investigating a crypt marked Nero, which was exposed by a bomb. Fearing that the Germans will think they did it, Tony and Doug hide and accidentally find a secret passage to the upper floors of the estate, where the owner, an Italian count named Enrico Galba –who is descended from Roman emperor Galba –offers to protect them from the Germans. When the Germans arrive at the room, Galba tells the Germans that Tony and Doug are neutral American guests of his. The German major orders them to stay in the room as prisoners while the Germans use the villa to observe the movements of Italian forces.

A German officer is possessed by the ghost of Nero and tries to kill the descendant of Galba, whom Nero blames as his assassin. The ghost also tries to kill the nobleman by possessing Tony. Project HQ utilizes the services of a paranormal researcher Dr. Steinholtz (played by John Hoyt), who suggests zapping Tony with 1,000,000 volts of electricity for one millisecond through the Tunnel to force the ghost out. This nearly kills Tony, so HQ attempts to bring him back to the present. Nero is transported instead, and almost destroys HQ before the scientists can send him back. When the Italian army retakes the Villa, the ghost of Nero enters a young Italian Corporal by the name of Benito Mussolini, who vows to drive the Huns from his country and restore the glory of the Caesars. Tony and Doug are "switched" after this.

Note: Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary in May 1915, but it was not until August 1916 that Italy declared war on Germany. Count Galba also appeals to Nero for help against the "Huns", a common nickname for the Germans in WWI. But the real Huns invaded Italy four centuries after Nero's demise. This episode makes frequent use of Bernard Herrmann's music from the film The Day the Earth Stood Still.
20"The Walls of Jericho"1550 BCNathan JuranEllis St. JosephNear Jericho in the West BankJanuary 27, 1967 (1967-01-27)

Tony and Doug arrive outside of the tent of Joshua during the night, two days before the end of the Israelite siege of Jericho. Joshua comes to believe they are who they say they are–time travelers–and sends them to spy inside the city. Doug and Tony save a young virgin from being sacrificed to the Levantine deity Chemosh by the high priest of Jericho, played by Arnold Moss. Doug is captured and sent to the dungeon to be tortured as an Israelite spy. Tony escapes into a house with an unlocked door. When the resident arrives, he calls her (Rahab) because, from the Biblical account, she is the one who sheltered the two Israelite spies. (Rahab is the sister of the almost-sacrificed virgin.)

After Tony rescues Doug from the dungeon, they take refuge on the roof of Rahab's house, but are betrayed by her servant woman Azah, who desires the reward of 1,000 talents of silver. Doug escapes to tell Joshua the information that he seeks. Tony and Rahab are about to be stoned to death, but when the Israelites complete their march, blow their trumpets and shout, the walls of the city fall down as what appears to be a tornado traces the destruction. Ann, a skeptic, decides that since a tornado is a natural phenomenon, that the fall of the walls was not a supernatural event, while Ray is convinced it was supernatural (perhaps because tornadoes are not known to strike in the Holy Lands). Tony and Doug are transported to a new era after telling Rahab she'll be safe.

Special Note: In some time zones, during the original broadcast of this episode, the program was interrupted by an ABC News Bulletin regarding the death of three astronauts (Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee) in a fire in the Apollo 1 command module, while preparing for launch of the first Apollo space mission, on the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center. In other time zones, the interruption came while Rango was airing.
21"Idol of Death"October 2, 1519Sobey MartinBob and Wanda Duncannear Veracruz, MexicoFebruary 3, 1967 (1967-02-03)

Hernán Cortés (played by Anthony Caruso) has captured the royal family of the Tlaxcalan people of Mexico just as his army of 3,000 Tlaxcalans begins its deadly rampage through Cholula during the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire. He is questioning them about the location of a golden mask, the symbol of ruling authority to these Indians. Doug and Tony arrive before the torture begins and are captured trying to save the royals. Once Cortés gets the information he wants, he kills the king and queen but keeps the timid royal heir alive for the moment. While Cortés is away watching the burning of his ships to prevent the rebellion of his troops, a member of the tribe frees the royal heir as well as Tony and Doug. The four of them try to retrieve the mask before the Spaniards gain it.

Project HQ, meanwhile, has enlisted the aid of a Mexican named Castillano (Rodolfo Hoyos Jr.) to help pinpoint Tony and Doug's location in Veracruz in order to bring the two scientists back. However, it turns out that Castillano is more concerned with acquiring the mask for himself. He insists that the project team bring back the mask before their colleagues. When HQ transports the mask, Doug, Tony and the young chief are in the cave containing the mask, being forced by a Spanish captain to collect the gold given to the pagan god. The transport of the mask threatens to collapse the cave, so the team tries to send it back, but Castillano grabs the mask and threatens to shoot anyone in his way. A short gun battle breaks out in HQ and the mask is successfully sent back. However, the time disturbances cause the cave to collapse onto the greedy captain. The young chief, now confident in his ability to lead his people, saves the mask while Doug and Tony are transported to a new era.
22"Billy the Kid"April 23, 1881Nathan JuranWilliam WelchLincoln, New Mexico TerritoryFebruary 10, 1967 (1967-02-10)
Tony and Doug arrive in Lincoln, New Mexico Territory, but a gang on horses chases them into the sheriff's office. The gang kills the deputy who is guarding Billy the Kid (played by Robert Walker Jr.). The young outlaw plans to shoot Tony and Doug, but Doug manages to shoot Billy. The scientists then escape out of town. Billy, whose belt buckle deflected the bullet, pursues them and catches them in an abandoned shack outside of town. Before Doug and Tony can be shot, Lt. General Heywood Kirk sends an audio transmission to the room stating that Billy is surrounded by law enforcement. Tony and Doug manage to overpower Billy and tie him up. Tony goes back to town to get help from the sheriff, but is mistaken for the Kid and arrested. When sheriff Pat Garrett arrives back in town he verifies that Dr. Newman is not Billy the Kid, but the townspeople are convinced that he is and besiege the sheriff's office. Garrett sends out a deputy to start a cattle stampede to disrupt the lynch mob, allowing Garrett and Tony to escape the jail and return to the shack to arrest Billy. However, Billy has been rescued by his gang. Doug evaded them and headed for town. When he arrives back in town, he finds Billy waiting for him. Billy demands a showdown in the streets, but Garrett and Doug arrive and save him. Garrett arrests Billy and his cohort, and Tony and Doug are "switched" to a new point in time.
23"Pirates of Deadman's Island"April 9, 1805Sobey MartinBarney SlaterNear the Barbary Coast of AfricaFebruary 17, 1967 (1967-02-17)

Tony and Doug arrive somewhere in the Mediterranean on a pirate ship during the First Barbary War and are captured and taken to an island. Captain Beal (Victor Jory), a Barbary pirate, orders that the strangers be shot. However, the nephew of the king of Spain, Armando, was also captured and pleads for the lives of the Americans, saying Tony and Doug can watch over him until a ransom can be paid. Doug, Tony and the boy attempt several escapes, but are recaptured each time. Beal then decides to kill Doug and Tony for good, but the shelling from several U.S. Navy ships–commanded by Captain Stephen Decatur, who has arrived to defeat the pirates in the First Barbary War–puts an end to the pirates' plans. The pirates head for their ship to engage in battle. Tony is hit by a shot on the beach is and presumed dead. The pirates take Armando and Doug onto their ship during the battle. Tony recovers and swims out to the U.S. flagship.

The Time Tunnel personnel accidentally transfer Captain Beal back to HQ, and he causes a ruckus and kidnaps Ann. She persuades him to go back to his ship, where he is intentionally killed by one of his own crew. HQ then transfers Armando and Doug back to the island before the pirate ship is destroyed. They then transfer first Armando and then Doug to Captain Decatur's ship to save them from the shelling. Both Doug and Armando are seriously wounded, however, and it is feared they may both die. The newly retired Time Tunnel staff doctor, Dr. Benjamin Berkhart, insists on going back to save their lives and help the wounded American sailors. Dr. Berkhart arrives and treats Doug's shock with an injection and administers an anesthetic to Armando. Happy knowing he will live out the remainder of his life in this time period, Dr. Berkhart goes to look after the wounded sailors as Tony and Doug are switched to their next adventure.

Note: This is the last episode to have the opening narration.
24"Chase Through Time"1547 and two other time periodsSobey MartinCarey WilberGrand Canyon, a futuristic beehive community, a Pleistocene rainforestFebruary 24, 1967 (1967-02-24)

Tony and Doug arrive near the Grand Canyon, Arizona, in 1547. Back at HQ, a 'Dr. Stiles' is monitoring the Time Tunnel—no explanation is given as to why Gen. Kirk, Ann, and Dr. Swain are not at the controls 'as usual' when the 'move' occurs. Meanwhile, Raul Niman (Robert Duvall), a spy for an unspecified country or organization, has planted a nuclear bomb somewhere in the complex. He kills Stiles to secrete the bomb's timer in the Time Tunnel control room. A security check exposes his presence, and, with no other avenue of escape, he jumps into the Time Tunnel. The Tunnel had been tuned to the location of Doug and Tony, so Niman also arrives near the Grand Canyon. General Kirk, Ann, and Dr. Swain reappear at the controls and discover the bomb plot through unexplained discovery of 'instructions' to Niman to place the bomb, once his spy mission was complete. Gen. Kirk offers all in HQ a chance to evacuate, or volunteer to stay and try to save the complex (and Tony and Doug). All bravely decide to stay. Tony and Doug are told they must apprehend Niman and get him to tell them the location of the bomb. But the lock on the time period drifts and moves Niman to another time, so Tony and Doug are sent after him.

They arrive in the year 1,000,000 A.D., ten years after Niman has arrived. Niman is helping the inhabitants of this future age to build a time machine so that the 'masters' can spread their "ultimate human society"–actually a repressive, orderly society based on bee society–throughout different ages. Tony and Doug are pressed into service to help him build the time machine, but attempt to escape. The Time Tunnel personnel are able to move them–along with Niman–just before they come to serious trouble. However, two people from that time are accidentally moved as well: Niman's guard Vokar (Lew Gallo) and a sympathetic female worker named Z24A19 (Vitina Marcus). All five of them arrive in 1,000,000 B.C. and the chase continues until they all fall into a cell in a giant beehive. Niman is reminded that if the Time Tunnel is blown up, they will all be stuck here. Niman tells them where the timer is located and it is disabled 'just in time'. As the sound of approaching bees is heard, they all need to escape the hive, but the Time Tunnel can only transfer two people at a time; Doug and Tony are moved first, then the two from the future. The Tunnel hasn't enough power left to do any more moves at this time, so Niman is left in place to face an unpleasant end. The destination and fate of the two future characters is left to one's imagination. This episode also makes use of music from The Day the Earth Stood Still and 'high tech sci-fi' sound effects from Forbidden Planet, along with 'dinosaur' scenes lifted from Allen's The Lost World.
25"The Death Merchant"July 2, 1863Nathan JuranBob and Wanda DuncanAdams County, PennsylvaniaMarch 3, 1967 (1967-03-03)

Tony and Doug arrive in the middle of the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War, where Dr. Tony Newman is quickly shell-shocked by an artillery blast. Dr. Doug Phillips retreats from the battlefield with a small group of Union soldiers, whose commander tells him to put on a Union uniform to avoid getting shot. The Time Tunnel personnel send a shock through time to revive Tony and he is found by a small group of Confederate soldiers. Suffering from amnesia, he becomes convinced he is the lieutenant whom the Confederate soldiers were expecting and dons a Confederate uniform. The Union soldiers had intercepted the courier so they know that a man named Michaels, who has stolen some gunpowder from the Union army, is going to sell it to the Confederate army. Both sides are attempting to find Michaels first and get the gunpowder.

Mr. Michaels is actually the early-16th century philosopher Machiavelli (played by Malachi Throne), who has been moved to this period by the Tunnel due to similarities with Doug's "pattern". When the Confederates show up, Machiavelli is willing to give them the gunpowder because the war is much more interesting when the sides are evenly matched. Tony takes Doug prisoner. Tony, Doug and Machiavelli eventually make their way to the cave where the gunpowder is stored. Doug and Tony fight, which results in Tony regaining his identity after being knocked out by Doug. The Time Tunnel transfers Machiavelli back to his own time (January 3, 1519) and Tony and Doug to a new adventure.

Note: In this episode, Machiavelli says that he is working on his book, The Art of War. This should not be confused with the book by Sun Tzu, which bears the same title when translated into English.
26"Attack of the Barbarians"1287Sobey MartinRobert HamnerEast AsiaMarch 10, 1967 (1967-03-10)

Doug and Tony–wearing their usual attire despite having left the previous era in soldiers' uniforms–arrive somewhere in Mongolia or Eastern China and are captured by Mongols and taken to the tent of Batu Khan (Arthur Batanides). Batu–a grandson of Genghis Khan–feels he is the rightful heir of Genghis, but he has to overcome Kublai Khan. Doug is thought to be dead, so Tony is tortured on the rack for information on the weaknesses of the nearby enemy fortress. Batu and most of his guards leave once Tony passes out. Doug wakes up and carries Tony away from the camp, where they are found by Marco Polo (John Saxon). Tony and Doug seek safety in the fortress, where Tony falls in love with Princess Sarit (Vitina Marcus), the only daughter of Kublai Khan. Batu comes up with a plan to kidnap Sarit and marry her, thereby uniting the various Mongol tribes behind him in his quest.

Batu's men succeed in kidnapping Sarit, but she is freed by Doug and Tony. Batu's forces then launch a massive assault on the fortress. Doug and Tony are able to make artillery shells by mixing gunpowder and potassium nitrate in empty water jugs. General Kirk is able to send back igniters to make the bombs successful. The tide is turned in the battle, and Tony and Doug are relocated.

Note: This episode is supposed to take place in 1287, but Batu Khan died in 1259, when Marco Polo was 5 years old, 12 years before Marco began his travels to the Orient.
27"Merlin the Magician"544Harry HarrisWilliam WelchCornwall, EnglandMarch 17, 1967 (1967-03-17)

Merlin the magician appears in Time Tunnel HQ and freezes the personnel. He then brings Tony and Doug out of their "time limbo" (between destinations) back to the Time Tunnel control room in suspended animation so that he can instruct them to do what he asks, though they may die in the effort. He then sends them to Cornwall in the year 544. There, they fight off a band of Vikings and encounter a young man named Arthur Pendragon whose father has been killed by the Viking raiders. Merlin appears and orders Tony and Doug to protect Arthur at all costs. A band of Vikings then attack and Doug is felled by a sword while Tony and Arthur are captured. Merlin prevents the Time Tunnel personnel from moving Tony and Doug from 544 to the point of injuring Ray with an electric shock while never explaining why Doug and Tony apart from any others are needed. When Doug awakes, he is in the castle of King Leodegrance of Cameliard and is being cared for by the king's daughter, Guinevere (Lisa Jak). Merlin heals Doug and has Guinevere fetch the doctor, new clothes. Tony escapes from his bonds and frees Arthur, but they are later recaptured. Doug goes to look for weaknesses in the Viking-held castle, and he and Guinevere, who followed Doug, are captured as well. Guinevere is imprisoned in a room by the Viking chieftain Wogan (Vincent Beck). Arthur, Doug and Tony are imprisoned in a cell. Merlin frees them from their bonds, but tells them that they must free themselves from the locked room, since there is a limit to how much magic he can perform at a time. Doug and Tony blow the door of the cell off by improvising a pressure cooker from water, a pot and two thumbscrews. Doug gathers Leodegrance's troops and brings them back to fight, but Merlin says that the Vikings will not be frightened by these "gentlemen knights", so he changes their clothing to that of Vikings, which is the last way Merlin can help them in this venture. The knights storm the castle and drive the Vikings out while Tony kills Wogan in a sword fight. Arthur declares he will make Doug and Tony his first knights, but they are transferred by the Tunnel.

Note: The episode places Vikings in England approximately 250 years before the Viking Age and their first recorded appearance in the British Isles. Historians date the beginning of the Viking Age as 8 June 793, the day of the first Viking raid on the abbey on Lindisfarne.
28"The Kidnappers"8433Sobey MartinWilliam WelchPlanet orbiting CanopusMarch 24, 1967 (1967-03-24)

An alien time traveler from the future called OTT (acronym for "Official Time Traveler") (played by Del Monroe) appears in the Time Tunnel control room and abducts Dr. Ann MacGregor. Ray discovers a metal punched card presumably dropped by OTT that has a set of space-time coordinates. Kirk directs Ray to transfer Doug and Tony to those coordinates, which place them on a planet in the system of the star Canopus in the year 8433 A.D. They are in a futuristic complex run by a curator, played by Michael Ansara, who has begun to compile all the data of the history of the Earth by extracting the memories of all its historical figures, rendering them walking "vegetables". As the first human time travelers, Doug and Tony are fitting subjects for the project. Ann's abduction was the "bait" to have them relocated there by the Time Tunnel. Shortly after their arrival they are reunited with Ann, and since the tunnel's fix on them is strong, Ray attempts to retrieve them. This is forestalled by OTT once again materializing in the tunnel control room to extract the time-spatial conversion unit. Doug, Tony, and Ann witness OTT's return to the alien complex with the unit. They now face the danger of being rendered vegetables like the three historical figures seen there—Cicero, Erasmus and Hitler, but they discover the aliens' significant vulnerability: like plants they derive sustenance from the light of their "sun" Canopus, becoming dormant at night. They fool the curator into thinking that they had eaten the drugged food pills that would have rendered them sedated for mind extraction. When the curator and the guards go dormant at night, Doug, Tony and Ann remain awake to retrieve the time-space converter and escape. They outwit and kill OTT, who by a power pack remains awake to patrol the alien complex; Ann sends herself back to the Time Tunnel control room with the converter by way of the alien time machine, and Doug and Tony are transferred away in the nick of time. This episode also makes use of Bernard Herrmann's music from the film The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Note: This episode gives the distance to Canopus as 98 light years, a distance thought likely in 1967, whereas it is now known to be 310 ± 20 light years.
29"Raiders from Outer Space"November 2, 1883Nathan JuranBob and Wanda DuncanNear Khartoum, SudanMarch 31, 1967 (1967-03-31)

Tony and Doug arrive in the middle of the Siege of Khartoum between British and Arab forces in the Sudan. This chapter is loosely based on the campaign of General Gordon. In their efforts to hide from the battling armies, they encounter two aliens who take them prisoner. The alien leader (from Aristos) then contacts the Time Tunnel control center and tells them not to interfere.

Rather than kill them, the aliens are ordered by their leader to bring Tony and Doug back to their base. After explaining their plan to conquer Earth by destroying the city of London, the aliens order Dr. Newman to be taken out in the desert and killed with a dehydration ray while Dr. Phillips will be put in a machine to extract all of his knowledge. But the alien ordered to kill Dr. Newman leaves when they are encountered by two British soldiers. Dr. Newman is thought to be an Arab spy, so he leads them to the alien base where one of the soldiers is killed. The Time Tunnel is also able to move Dr. Phillips out of the alien machine to where Dr. Newman is. In response, the aliens send a bomb to the Time Tunnel control room that will explode in sixty minutes unless all personnel are evacuated to the upper levels of the complex.

Unable to attack the aliens effectively with the resources at hand, Tony, Doug, and the British soldier fetch grenades and gunpowder from Khartoum. They attack the alien base, but have insufficient resources left to destroy it. However, just before the bomb explodes in the Time Tunnel control room, the Time Tunnel transfers the bomb to the alien base, destroying it a few minutes later.

Note: The Battle of Khartoum was fought in 1884−1885.
30"Town of Terror"September 10, 1978Herschel DaughertyCarey WilberFictional town of Cliffport, MaineApril 7, 1967 (1967-04-07)
Tony and Doug arrive in a hotel cellar containing sophisticated equipment. When they get to the lobby of the hotel, the proprietor (played by Mabel Albertson) tells them that there is no cellar. When they attempt to show her, she immobilizes them. The Time Tunnel frees them from their immobilization by moving them. Doug and Tony flee and are pursued. A force field around the town prevents their escape, but two young people–Joan (Heather Young) and Pete (Gary Haynes)–soon encounter them. Tony and Doug find out that the townspeople have been immobilized and aliens are using the forms of the townspeople to appear as humans. The aliens are planning to transport all of the oxygen from Earth's atmosphere to their atmosphere-poor home planet of Andros. The aliens also start sucking oxygen out of the Time Tunnel headquarters, nearly asphyxiating the staff. Joan and Pete help Tony and Doug procure dynamite, which are made into time bombs. Doug and Tony successfully destroy the alien control room, destroying their ability to remove Earth's oxygen, freeing the townspeople and saving Time Tunnel personnel.


Although The Time Tunnel was scheduled on Fridays (often considered the "Friday night death slot" for TV programs), the ratings for the series were solid. ABC pointed to The Time Tunnel as one of the few successes in a disastrous schedule.

A series titled The Legend of Custer was lobbied to drop The Time Tunnel in favor of Custer. The network headquarters gave green light for Custer, and The Time Tunnel was cancelled.

The Legend of Custer was itself cancelled after airing 17 low-rated episodes, skewered by critics and performed worse than The Time Tunnel.[6]



Murray Leinster promotional novel[edit]

In January 1967 a promotional novel, The Time Tunnel, was published by Pyramid Books.[7] The author was Murray Leinster, who had previously written a novel of the same name in 1964, completely unrelated to the television series. Leinster used four of the main characters: Tony Newman, Doug Phillips, General Kirk, and Ann MacGregor as well as the initial antagonist Senator Clark. Unlike the television series, Project Tic-Toc is secretly begun and financed through the Defense Department without the consent of Congress. General Kirk is a retired Air Force General rather than an active duty Army General. Senator Clark, rather than urging immediate human time travel as he does in the TV series, demands that Project Tic-Toc refrain from going forward with it. He does this in the interests of humanity, which, in his view, would be adversely affected by a person from the future intruding into the past: ancestors of persons now living could be killed by a time traveler resulting in their descendants now living ceasing to exist or inventions and developments of the past being changed resulting in the wiping out of what exists in the present day.[8]

Tony and Doug's relocation to Johnstown, Pennsylvania just before the Johnstown Flood of May 31, 1889 allows them the opportunity of saving the life of Senator Clark's grandmother, Julie Bowen.[9] If Tony and Doug had not gone back in time and saved her, Senator Clark would have ceased to exist.

The second time and place Tony and Doug are relocated to is the Texas prairie near Adobe Walls, Texas, June 26, 1874. They are picked up by a traveling group of hunters tracking bison at the scene of the massacre of another group of bison hunters by Comanche warriors. Tony and Doug travel with them to Adobe Walls just in time for the historic battle on June 27. Knowing about the impending attack and the incident of the cracking of the ridgepole of the sod roof of Hanrahan's saloon where Tony and Doug were staying, they caused the cracking themselves by shooting at the pole. This effectively awakened the sleeping hunters, making them ready to repulse the attack of the Native American warriors.[10] Tony and Doug were able to assist the historic Bat Masterson in his exploits in the battle.

Tony and Doug's final adventure before being returned to the Time Tunnel took them to Saint Louis, Missouri sometime in the distant future.[11] The American populace is menaced by aliens setting up a force field. Tony and Doug were able to utilize a vehicle capable of moving in both time and space developed by the Time Tunnel while they were in Adobe Walls. It is a floating platform with rails operated by Ann MacGregor back in the Time Tunnel control room. They appear to anyone seeing them as people riding on a flying carpet.[11] In the Saint Louis library Doug finds out that he will marry Ann MacGregor, who is in love with him, and they will have three children. With the help of the "time traveler" platform they are able to destroy the flimsy alien craft and return to the Time Tunnel complex.

Other novelizations[edit]

This was followed later in the year by Timeslip: Time Tunnel Adventure #2, the last novel based on the TV series, written again by Murray Leinster. The front and back covers feature photos from the series.

In Timeslip, an experimental nuclear missile was sent through the Time Tunnel – but something went wrong, and it wound up at the bottom of a pond within Mexico City, in the 1840s. In the present (1968), excavation equipment was moving toward the site – any day a bulldozer blade might set it off, destroying a mighty city and plunging the world into war. Time travelers Tony Newman and Doug Phillips had only one chance to head off disaster – to go through the Time Tunnel and make the accident "unhappen." The trouble was, there was a war on in the past – and the bomb was in enemy territory.[12]

Comic books[edit]

There were two issues put out by Gold Key Comics (Western Publishing Co.) in 1966–1967. These were reprinted by Hermes Press in 2012.

In Issue #1:

  • The Time Tunnel: The Assassins – April 14, 1865, Abe gets a second chance.
  • The Lion or the Volcano? – August 24, 79 A.D., Pompeii. It's the lions or Vesuvius for Doug & Tony – which will it be?
  • Mars Count-Down – 1980. Will the US make it to Mars? Will Doug & Tony make it back to Earth?

In Issue #2:

  • The Time Tunnel: The ConquerorsD-Day 1944. The Nazis get a second chance—this time with weapons from the future.
  • The Captives – June 25, 1876, mid-America. Custer gets a second chance.

DVD releases[edit]

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released the entire series on DVD in Region 1 in 2006 in two volumes.[13][14] Volume Two includes the unaired 2002 pilot and the made-for-TV film The Time Travelers as special features. The DVD box sets include nearly all full-length, uncut and unedited original network prints, but one episode, "Chase Through Time", was edited.

In Region 2, Revelation Films released the entire series on DVD in the UK in one complete series box set.[15]

In Region 4, Madman Entertainment released the complete series on DVD in Australia on August 20, 2014.[16]

Blu-ray releases[edit]

In Region B, Revelation Films has released the entire series on Blu-ray in the UK in one set. Though made for the UK, the Blu-ray set is in fact all-region and plays in US players.

Record album[edit]

The Time Tunnel 1967 ABC-TV Japanese book with record album. 33⅓ RPM record licensed and manufactured for exclusive release in Japan by Asahi Sonorama company and was released during the show's original airing in 1967. The record is pressed in blue-vinyl and contains the time-travel drama "Adventure in the Lost World." The highlight of this package is the colorful 12-page booklet which showcases original storybook artwork of the record's episode with the intrepid time travelers being terrorized by rampaging dinosaurs and angry cavemen.

Soundtrack album[edit]

An album of music from the series, featuring the episodes "Rendezvous With Yesterday" (tracks 2-4) and "The Death Merchant" (tracks 5 and 6) was released by GNP Crescendo as part of the collection The Fantasy Worlds of Irwin Allen.

  1. The Time Tunnel: Main Title – John Williams (:39)
  2. To The Tunnel/Tony Enters Machine/Tony's First Trip/Titanic Trot/The Titanic – John Williams (10:06)
  3. Tony's Tall Tales/Althea's Attack/Doug's Arrival/Hose Nose/Telegraph/Approaching The Berg – John Williams (7:11)
  4. The Iceberg Cometh/Time Transfer/The Jungle – John Williams (10:24)
  5. In The Battle/Lost Trail/Anne Worried/Michael's Dog/No Sign/Omens/Corporal Shot/The Trunk – George Duning (7:16)
  6. Doug Duels/Tony Returns/Doug Chased/Tony Again/Pal Fight/More Pal Fight/What's Happened/Stand Back – George Duning (7:35)
  7. The Time Tunnel: End Title – John Williams (:50)

Episodes with original music[edit]

Listed in production order.

  • "Rendezvous with Yesterday" (John Williams)
  • "End of the World" (Lyn Murray)
  • "One Way to the Moon" (Lyn Murray)
  • "Revenge of the Gods" (Leith Stevens)
  • "Secret Weapon" (Paul Sawtell)
  • "The Day the Sky Fell In" (Paul Sawtell)
  • "The Last Patrol" (Lyn Murray)
  • "Crack of Doom" (Robert Drasnin)
  • "Massacre" (Joseph Mullendore)
  • "Reign of Terror" (Leith Stevens)
  • "The Death Trap" (Robert Drasnin)
  • "The Death Merchant" (George Duning)


The Time Tunnel 1966 boxed board game from Ideal Toys (No. 2326-7). The playing board design shows characters and events from the prehistoric era into the future. The box insert has a spinner board and other parts include playing cards, tokens, and marker disks. The second game is The Time Tunnel: Spin-To-Win, a 1967 boxed board game from Pressman Toys, which features a box insert playing board that has a tunnel-like design representing different past years in history and plastic tops are spun on the playing board to determine "Time Travels."

Pinball games – Bally Manufacturing created a pinball called Time Tunnel in 1971 based loosely on the TV series, but production was stopped due to copyright infringement. The game was re-released with revised artwork as Space Time.


  • The Time Tunnel coloring book
  • The Time Tunnel Viewmaster set – Saalfield #9561, 1966A story book to color, 80 pages, Sawyer #B491, 1966. Three Viewmaster slides from "Rendezvous With Yesterday" and 16-page story booklet that tells the pilot episode.
  • The Time Tunnel comic book, 2 issues published by Western Publishing, February 1967 – July 1967.[17]

After the original run[edit]

In 1982, five feature-length television films were assembled from 10 complete individual episodes with portions of the first episode as introductory material. Aliens from Another Planet, was produced using episodes 24 ("Chase Through Time") and 18 ("Visitors from Beyond the Stars").[18] Revenge of the Gods was a compilation of episodes 7 ("Revenge of the Gods") and 20 ("The Walls of Jericho). Old Legends Never Die edited together episodes 27 ("Merlin the Magician") and 16 ("The Revenge of Robin Hood"). Kill or Be Killed comprised episodes 4 ("The Day the Sky Fell In") and 17 ("Kill Two by Two"). Raiders from Outer Space was compiled from episodes 28 ("The Kidnappers") and 2 ("One Way to the Moon").


To date, three attempts have been made to resurrect the show. Two produced a pilot episode, and another got no further than a script.

1976 remake[edit]

2002 remake[edit]

In 2002, Fox showed interest in remaking this series. A pilot was produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television, Fox Television Studios, and Regency Television in association with Irwin Allen Properties. Kevin Burns and Jon Jashni were executive producers. Sheila Allen was credited as one of the producers. The series was not ordered by Fox so as to make room in its schedule for Joss Whedon's Firefly.

The pilot had a darker and more serious tone than the original 1966 series. Doug Phillips (David Conrad) is the main character, and the other is Toni Newman (Andrea Roth). The unaired pilot episode is available on DVD from Fox Home Entertainment on The Time Tunnel: Volume Two, Disc Four.

In this remake, the 2002 Time Tunnel is a Department of Energy research project into nuclear fusion, which produces nearly limitless energy. When the reactor was initiated (not shown in the episode), that caused an unintended "time storm" which uncontrollably changed history. The DOE was able to anchor one end of the storm by using the Tunnel like a lightning rod.

On their way into the tunnel complex, Flynn tells Doug Phillips, a former friend, that the latter has been recruited because he has a detailed knowledge of the Battle of Hürtgen Forest. The head of the Time Tunnel project likens their team to FEMA—they don't send a team back for a rain storm but they do for hurricanes. However, they can only go through time to where the other end of the storm is at the current moment, so they have a limited period to fix what is wrong and to be retrieved by the Time Tunnel.

The team (Doug, Toni, Flynn, J.D., and Wix) must travel to the Battle of Hürtgen Forest in 1944 Germany during World War II. They plan to retrieve a person moved there by the time storm from 1546. During the mission, Doug Phillips meets his grandfather, a soldier who will be killed in the battle. Doug knows this, but cannot tell his ancestor and save his life because it would change history. Toni Newman tells Doug she used to have three brothers and two sisters before the time storm accident but is now an only child. The time travelers learn the displaced person is a now-confused medieval monk who carries bubonic plague. When the team is almost captured, two members switch to German uniforms and pretend to be Colonel Klink and (Sergeant) Schultz, complete with fake documents. Everyone who came in contact with the monk is given an antibiotic injection and the time ripples stop. But Flynn has been fatally stabbed, so he reveals Phillips was a lonely single man before the time storm, but he now has a family. Flynn tells Phillips this information to give him an incentive to keep the timeline intact.[19]

Reality changes due to the time storm[edit]

There are some notable differences between the series world and the real world:[19]

  • Traffic lights use red for "go" and green for "stop" while yellow retains its meaning.
  • There are 49 states in the United States. The title sequence shows New Jersey disappearing and the territory being divided between New York and Pennsylvania.
  • The title sequence shows the Soviet Union winning the race to the moon as the American flag dissolves into the Soviet flag.
  • The New York Yankees are now the Boston Yankees.

2006 remake[edit]

The SciFi Channel announced in 2005 it would create a new pilot for its 2006/07 season. Allen's wife, Sheila, and two producers of the 2002 FOX remake (Kevin Burns and Jon Jashni) began work on the new pilot. John Turman (Hulk) wrote the script.[20] The series never went beyond a pilot script.


A recurring sketch called Drunk In Time starred Alexei Sayle and Peter Capaldi as two men so inebriated that they weren't aware they were time travellers. Featuring a mock up of the original Project Tic-Toc set and animated Time Tunnel-style title sequence, the main characters are also called Doug and Tony. The six sketches featured in The All New Alexei Sayle Show in 1995.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Martin Grams, Jr., The Time Tunnel: A History of the Television Program, (Duncan, Oklahoma: BearManor Media, 2012)
  2. ^ Burns, Kevin (September 30, 1995). "The Fantasy Worlds of Irwin Allen". IMDb. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  3. ^ The Time Tunnel: Volume One and The Time Tunnel: Volume Two DVD sets
  4. ^ "Emmy Awards: Individual Achievements In Cinematography 1967". Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  5. ^ The Time Tunnel: Volume One and The Time Tunnel: Volume Six DVD sets
  6. ^ "Time Tunnel".
  7. ^ Murray Leinster, The Time Tunnel, (New York: Pyramid Books, 1966), 144 pages.
  8. ^ Murray Leinster, The Time Tunnel, (New York: Pyramid Books, 1966), pp. 19–20.
  9. ^ Murray Leinster, The Time Tunnel, (New York: Pyramid Books, 1966), pp. 70–74.
  10. ^ Murray Leinster, The Time Tunnel, (New York: Pyramid Books, 1966), p. 102.
  11. ^ a b Murray Leinster, The Time Tunnel, (New York: Pyramid Books, 1966), p. 131.
  12. ^ "Novels". The Time Tunnel. Retrieved November 6, 2010.
  13. ^ " The Time Tunnel – Volume One: James Darren, Robert Colbert, Whit Bissell, John Zaremba, Lee Meriwether, Dick Tufeld, Wesley Lau, Sam Groom, Kevin Hagen, John Crawford, Patrick Culliton, Paul Stader, Irwin Allen: Movies & TV". January 24, 2006.
  14. ^ " The Time Tunnel – Volume Two: James Darren, Robert Colbert, Whit Bissell, John Zaremba, Lee Meriwether, Dick Tufeld, Wesley Lau, Sam Groom, Kevin Hagen, John Crawford, Patrick Culliton, Paul Stader, Irwin Allen: Movies & TV". June 6, 2006.
  15. ^ "The Time Tunnel – The Complete Series [DVD] [1968]". June 13, 2011.
  16. ^ "The Time Tunnel: The Complete Series". Madman Entertainment. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  17. ^ "GCD :: Series :: The Time Tunnel".
  18. ^ Harry Johnson (January 21, 1999). "Aliens from Another Planet (TV Movie 1982)". IMDb.[unreliable source?]
  19. ^ a b The Time Tunnel: Volume Two, Disc Four, side B
  20. ^ IMDb link for 2007 series

External links[edit]