episode #03 - End of the World

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episode #03 - End of the World

Post  BoG on Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:49 pm

episode #3 / Air Date: 9.23.66 / Directed by Sobey Martin
teleplay by William Welch; story by Peter Germano, William Welch

Doug and Tony end up at a collapsed mine where many men are trapped. As it happens, this cave-in happened at the point when Halley's Comet was making its run close to the Earth - 1910. The comet is depicted as this bright orange ball of fire - sort of like a sun. Most everyone in this period (according to this episode) believed that the comet would destroy the Earth; hence, no one bothers to rescue the trapped men - they all departed to spend their last hours elsewhere.

Only one man remained, an elderly clerk (Paul Fix) who figured he'd just as soon die where he is, in his office. Doug & Tony try to convince him that the comet will not hit Earth but he's very fatalistic, then abruptly changes his mind, goes into the mine and promptly gets smashed by a cave-in. There's also a sudden unintentional moment of humor when General Kirk (Whit Bissell) asks in an alarmed voice if the comet will affect the Time Tunnel complex - no one seems sure; I was thinking, why would it?

Later, the general states that the comet is only an image to them, so it won't affect anything in the present. But, it does - that Time Tunnel sure is weird: a comet in 1910 almost destroys the complex in 1968. Suspect By way of vague explanation, the Time Tunnel is revealed as more than a portal or visual screen - it actually has the possible power to draw in objects as huge as the comet. BoG's Score: 6 out of 10

Epilogue: Doug & Tony separate when they time travel out - Tony lands alone in the desert, near the complex, but 10 years in the past (1958). No one, including a younger Jiggs and Doug, recognizes him (this sure seems like a set-up for a time paradox); after about a minute, Tony vanishes again and rejoins Doug as they land in Hawaii... Pearl Harbor. What was the point of that separation? I dunno but this sequence was originally in the unaired pilot.

Time Tunnel Trivia: Sam Groom has a role in this episode as a nervous technician in the Time Tunnel complex (he would be in several more episodes); he would star in Irwin Allen's update of this, The Time Travelers TV movie in 1976. Star Trek TOS actor alert - Paul Fix played the doc in the pilot Where No Man Has Gone Before; Paul Carr was also in that one; he plays one of the trapped miners here.
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