episode #29 - Raiders From Outer Space

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episode #29 - Raiders From Outer Space

Post  BoG on Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:49 pm

episode #29 / Air Date: 03.31.67
written by Bob & Wanda Duncan; Directed by Nathan Juran

Doug & Tony land in the middle of a huge battle between Arabs and the Brits in the desert, guessing that they're in North Africa, late 19th century. To be precise, they're in the Sudan, Nov.2, 1883 - the Battle of Khartoum. Most startling, however, is when they are confronted by an obvious alien with a ray rifle, told that they are to be destroyed. However, an alien voice soon rings out, halting the execution. Another surprise - when the Time Tunnel personnel try to snatch Doug & Tony, their equipment overloads; the alien leader (Kevin Hagen) appears on the viewscreen and warns them not to interfere! Doug & Tony are taken to the hidden alien base and the alien leader explains his plans: he will obliterate London with his missile and force Earth's surrender to show his leaders that he is fit to be a prince in the alien order.  Tony is selected to be taken out and killed with a dehydration gun, but he is instead captured by a British officer (John Crawford). Trying to convince the Brit about aliens is all but impossible but then, seeing is believing, as the saying goes, what?

This episode really benefits from the use of stock footage from a major motion picture only a year before. Most of the new scenes meld quite well with the stock footage - the desert locations were well picked - and the stock stuff has some truly spectacular battle sequences with hundreds of extras to give this one a boost. I'm not really clear as to why the aliens picked this spot to launch an attack against London and also why the alien leader has a human-like face while the alien soldiers are thoroughly alien all over. The main issue with such a plot - aliens on the rampage in Earth's past - is that they obviously could not and never did succeed in their plans of conquest, as evidenced by what is known of history and how things are in the present of 1968. There's never any talk of an alternate timeline being created if the aliens succeed. So, there's not much suspense with this plot of destroying London. BoG's Score: 6 out of 10

STOCK FOOTAGE From Khartoum (1966)

Epilogue: Doug & Tony land in a basement with sophisticated computers and are attacked by a zombie-like man...

Tunnel Trivia: actor Crawford previously appeared as King John in the episode The Revenge of Robin Hood and as a lawman in the Billy the Kid episode, making him one of the more frequent guest stars; Hagen is best known for the semi-regular role of Inspector Kobeck on Allen's later Land of the Giants.
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